Once a year, the Driftless Film Festival fuses the best of independent cinema with the rolling hills, artistic energy, and local atmosphere of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Driftless Film Festival showcases regional gems, hard-hitting independent films and thought-provoking shorts. Now in its ninth year, Driftless continues to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for audiences and filmmakers alike.
The Driftless Film Festival is offering an all-session pass to the festival for $50. This pass gets you into all features in the 2018 festival.
The link to purchase the all-session pass can be found by clicking here. Tickets can be printed at home, displayed on a mobile device, or purchased for will-call.
Tickets to individual screenings are $10 apiece. They are available at Berget’s Jewelers, at the MPOH box office on the day of the show, and at this link.
RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE
Thursday, Nov 1, 7 pm
Hard-headed Louisiana fisherman Thomas Gonzales doesn’t know what will hit him next. After decades of hurricanes and oil spills he faces a new threat — hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats. Known as nutria, these invasive South American rodents breed faster than the roving squads of hunters can control them. And with their orange teeth and voracious appetite they are eating up the coastal wetlands that protect Thomas and his town of Delacroix Island from hurricanes. But the people who have lived here for generations are not the type of folks who will give up without a fight. Thomas and a pack of lively bounty hunters are hell-bent on saving Louisiana before it dissolves beneath their feet. It is man vs. rodent. May the best mammal win.
Friday, Nov 2, 11:30 am
On July 27, 1890, a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers. The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly. This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little-known artist; now the most famous artist in the world. His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot. Loving Vincent tells that story. Van Gogh is not only famous for his paintings, but also for his tortured life, notably for cutting off his ear and shooting himself while painting at his easel — painting to the bitter end of his unhappy, misunderstood life. He is the world’s totemic ‘tortured artist’. Loving Vincent explores Vincent’s life and work by animating some of van Gogh’s most inspirational paintings to tell his story.
MINDING THE GAP
Friday, Nov 2, 2 pm
First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. In his quest to understand why he and his friends ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, along with Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.
FUTURE LANGUAGE: THE DIMENSIONS OF VON LMO
Friday, Nov 2, 5 pm
A distorted portrait of an artist that explores storytelling, ego, delusion, conviction and memory. VON LMO is a musician/artist and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was a part of the late 70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet of Strazar and multi-dimensional travel, VON has also spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across the galaxy, Lori, our filmmaker and VON LMO fan, gets sucked into VON’s orbit and finds herself lost in his story.
THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP
Friday, Nov 2, 7:30 pm
After Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice, and reform as the investigation unfolds. Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre’s death, this intimate verite documentary follows his family as they channel their grief into community organizing in an attempt to reset the narrative. Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born out of tragedy, The Blood Is At The Doorstep is what the Hollywood Reporter calls “an urgent report from the front lines of an American crisis.”
DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME
Saturday, Nov 3, 11:30 am
This meditation on cinema’s past from Decasia director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896 and became the center of the Canadian Gold Rush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. It was also the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned. The now-famous Dawson City Collection was uncovered in 1978 when a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans. Morrison draws on these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, pairing them with archival footage, interviews, historical photographs, and an enigmatic score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers. Dawson City: Frozen Time depicts the unique history of this Canadian Gold Rush town by chronicling the life cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery, and salvation.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM
Saturday, Nov 3, 2 pm
Saturday, Nov 3, 5 pm
In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. They swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. By war’s end, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by General John J. Pershing for their service. When they returned home, the U.S. government told them they were never soldiers. For 60 years, they fought their own government for recognition. In 1977, with the help of Sen. Barry Goldwater and Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, they won. Unfortunately, only a handful were still alive.
DECODING THE DRIFTLESS
Saturday, Nov 3, 7:30 pm
In the middle of North America exists a beautiful and mysterious land, left untouched for millions of years by massive continental glaciers of the last Ice Age. This is the Driftless — a rugged landscape home to tremendous biodiversity, fascinating geology, and features unique in the world. Take a breathtaking flight over ancient, scenic bluffs, dive into cold-water trout streams, rappel down precipitous and rugged rock faces, venture deep into ancient caves, explore mysterious underground rivers, and enjoy the magnificence of the massive Mississippi River ecosystem. It’s all waiting for you in Decoding the Driftless.
RIVERWEST FILM AND VIDEO
Sunday, Nov 4, 11:30 am
This documentary is about Riverwest Film & Video, a store in Milwaukee that rents DVDs and sells film equipment. It also hosts a neighborhood radio station open to anyone who wants to produce a program. The documentary examines the regulars of the store and the radio programmers and their relationships with the place. It is also an investigation of a space in which the public and the private merge.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM
Sunday, Nov 4, 2 pm
DON’T GET TROUBLE IN YOUR MIND
Sunday, Nov 4, 5 pm
A documentary portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band from Raleigh, North Carolina, and their mentor, fiddler Joe Thompson (1919-2012). Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind captures how three African-American musicians from the hip-hop generation embraced a 19th-century genre and took it to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. The story of the band’s meteoric rise, from busking on the street to playing major festivals, is punctuated and informed by the history of the banjo’s origins in Africa, and the untold story of how blacks and whites collaborated to create the earliest forms of American popular music.