Now entering its seventh year, the Driftless Film Festival will return to the Mineral Point Opera House this November for four days of independent cinema, live entertainment, workshops, filmmaker discussions, and networking opportunities.
The festival is known for boasting a healthy lineup of both regionally-produced cinema and popular independent productions not typically found on small-town movie screens.
“We’re really proud of our program this year,” says festival director Eve Studnicka. “We are screening more features shot in Wisconsin than we have in the last few seasons.” These include opening night film AMERICAN FABLE which features a surreal scene shot in local attraction House on the Rock, and THE SEEKER, a feature-length narrative set to the music of regional sensation Cloud Cult – members of which will be in attendance for a Q&A. The crowd-pleasing Wisconsin Shorts Showcase will also return in 2016, featuring short films produced in-state.
Studnicka notes that once again 50% of the features and shorts in the festival lineup are directed by women. “It’s important to be conscious of representation,” she says. “We definitely have room to improve, but I feel that this is a noteworthy step towards ensuring that our program is contemporary and relevant, and resonates with as many audience members as possible.”
There is no shortage of heavy-hitting documentaries in the 2016 Driftless program. From CHURCH OF FELONS and DIVIDED WE FALL respectively tackling issues of drug abuse in rural Wisconsin and the state capitol Occupy protest, to NUTS!, a zany and darkly comedic animated documentary about an eccentric genius who built an empire with his goat-testicle impotence cure, the festival once again brings exceptional nonfiction to the forefront.
Expanding its educational outreach, Driftless will partner this year with the Madison Media Institute and Frozen Stage Films to bring attendees two unique workshops on DIY cinema lighting and writing & directing with a focus on story arc. The popular Student Shorts Showcase will also return to the festival, featuring student-produced short films from across the world competing for a cash prize.
New to the festival this year is a late-night program entitled TEMPTATIONS showcasing short films with central themes of indulgence, decadence, and the pursuit of pleasure. “It’s a little risque,” says Studnicka, “but not distasteful. The stories are meant to make us think about how we treat ourselves and really enjoy what life has to offer.”
The Driftless Film Festival will take place November 3-6, 2016 at the Mineral Point Opera House with after-parties at local nightlife establishments