MKE Film Festival: An indiecredible experience


Abby Patterson

The Oriental, the main theater of the film festival, advertises the event on its billing. The theater showed feature presentations each day.

Since Milwaukee is a known for its artsy people and unique programs, it makes sense that every year the city host’s a huge indie film festival. The festival is known for its wide span of indie movies, which are played at all of the different theater venues Milwaukee offers. The main theater, the Oriental, mainly shows the feature presentations that the festival picks out for each day. The festival spans about two weeks, from September 25th– October 9th. On the first day of the festival, there is a huge opening day party where any movie geeks are invited to dance and rave about movies. Throughout the rest of the days, movies play at each of the five venues.

The movie I chose to see was called Life Partners. After arriving at the Oriental, where it was being shown, we had to wait outside of the theater. It was a bit cold, but standing in the line was fun since we could talk to others waiting who knew more about Milwaukee and the film festival. After waiting outside for a bit, they let us into the theater. Although small, the Oriental had beautiful designs on the wall and sculptures all over. We went to the concession area and ordered our snacks for the movie. The whole theater had a vintage mood to it since it had been there for decades. The huge crowd quickly hurried into the theater, and once everyone was inside, the head director of the MKE film festival went onto the stage for a short speech before the movie started. He talked a bit about the festival and introduced two special guests who then came on stage, the producer and director of the movie. After their short speeches about the movie, the three left the stage and the audience clapped and cheered.

Some short commercials were played, and more cheers were heard when the actual movie began. The movie, featuring two best friends, one straight and one gay, kept me interested the whole time. Whenever a joke was made the whole audience would laugh, which was different than normal theaters, but in my opinion, it added to the experience and made the movie more enjoyable. At the end of the movie, everyone stood and cheered. We filed out of the theater, but not before handing the employees slips of paper on which we rated the movie. As we left, all of the workers were very kind, thanking us for coming as we walked by. Overall, it was a memorable experience, and it had a great atmosphere to it. It was a great way to show a ton of indie movies in the span of a few weeks, and I will definitely be heading back next year.