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2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

The 7th Milwaukee Film Festival announced its 2015 Jury Award Winners on Sunday, with awards given out in both the Competition and Cream City Cinema programs. No One’s Child directed by Vuk Ršumović is the winner of the Herzfeld Competition Award.  No One’s Child, based on a remarkable true story, takes us deep into the mountains of Bosnia, where we’re introduced to a feral child living among the wolves. Upon his discovery in 1988, he is sent to a Belgrade orphanage. There, he struggles to relate to his peers until a friendship allows him to embrace humanity, only for the Balkan War to put pressure on his caretakers to return him to his homeland.

Lemon directed by John Roberts is the winner of the Cream City Cinema, this is the second win for John Roberts, who also won the award in 2009. In Lemon, a girl saves money to buy a bicycle, but is swindled by an old man.

The Look of Silence directed by Joshua Oppenheimer is the winner of  the Documentary Jury Award.  A critically acclaimed companion piece to the breathtaking look into the heart of darkness that was THE ACT OF KILLING (the sensation of MFF2013), THE LOOK OF SILENCE approaches the 1960s Indonesian genocide not from the perspective of its perpetrators but the survivors.

Brico Forward Fund top honors were awarded for continued production of a feature documentary based on local filmmaker Erik Ljung’s Mothers For Justice, a short film included in the 2015 Cream City Cinema’s Milwaukee Show II. Mothers for Justice follows Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton who was shot by a police officer in 2014 in Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park. In 2015, Maria Hamilton founded the organization Mothers for Justice dedicated to uniting mothers who have lost children in police related deaths and demanding further investigation and accountability from law enforcement.


Abele Catalyst Award
Donna and Donald Baumgartner

Herzfeld Competition Award ($10,000 cash)
No One’s Child (dir. Vuk Ršumović)

Cream City Cinema ($5,000 cash)
Lemon (dir. John Roberts)

Cream City Cinema Special Jury Prize
The Sound Man (dir. Chip Duncan)

Documentary Jury Award ($5,000 cash)
The Look of Silence (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

Shorter Is Better Award ($1,000 cash)
Giovanni and the Water Ballet (dir. Astrid Bussink)

Shorter Is Better Special Jury Prizes
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (dir. Konstantin Bronzit)
De Smet (dirs. Thomas Baerten, Wim Geudens)

Kids Choice Short Film Award ($1,000 cash)
A Place in the Middle (dirs. Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson)

Kids Choice Special Jury Prizes

Papa (dir. Natalie Labarre)
Johnny Express (dir. James Woo)

Pitch Us Your Doc! Contest Winner (initially announced October 3)
Wingman Dad (Elizabeth Ridley)

Brico Forward Fund Winners
Mothers for Justice (working title) (Erik Ljung)
$25,000 cash and $10,000 from Independent
After her black, unarmed, schizophrenic son, Dontre, is shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee Police Officer in a popular downtown park, Maria Hamilton attempts to rally grieving mothers from across the country to join her in a Million Moms March on Washington D.C.

The Night Country (Oliver Franklin Anderson)
$10,000 cash, $15,000 from North American Camera, $15,000 from the Electric Sun Company and $10,000 from RDI Stages

Smoke from an industrial fire brings the residents of a small Midwestern town into communion with spirits preying on their fears and desires on a stormy summer night.

When Claude Got Shot (Brad Lichtenstein)
$10,000 cash, $6,000 from RDI Stages, $5,000 from the Electric Sun Company, $5,000 from Independent
When Claude Got Shot’s story of three strangers brought together by gun violence humanizes and disrupts the narrative about so-called “black on black” crime in America.

Never Home (working title) (Pang Yang Her)
$5,000 from Independent
Why do cities continue to struggle in treating those with Sexual Assault within minority communities? Through the journey of Joua Yang, a Hmong American women sexually assaulted at the age of nine, Never Home examines a survivor’s strength to both unravel cultural confusion and use her story to help other heals from their past.

Just Eat (Laura Dyan Kezman)
$5,000 from North American Camera
Just Eat opens up the guarded world of the estimated 30 million people affected by eating disorders in our country. We follow the stories of prominent researchers, grieving parents fighting for recognition, and the diagnosed sufferers, crying out for help.

Lunar Man (Kyle V. James)
$5,000 cash for script development
After stealing a time-travel suit on a desert planet, a lawless miner must seek help from a beautiful young hunter to help him escape from a dangerous group of bandits called The Sharks.

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