The Milwaukee Film Festival annually pays tribute to people who have contributed greatly to film through directing, producing, writing, or another areas of the film world. Yesterday morning, Sept. 3, The Milwaukee Film Festival (http://mkefilm.org) announced its 2013 tributes: writer/producer Paul Attanasio ("Quiz Show", "Donnie Brasco", "House, M.D."), writer/director/producer George Tillman Jr. ("Soul Food", "The Barbershop" franchise, "The Inevitable Defeat of Mr. and Pete"), and brand-new online film site The Dissolve.
Artistic & Executive Director Jonathan Jackson commented on this year's tributes saying,
Our tributes have become a way to give our audience a real and personal connection to the world of film and the brilliant men and women contributing to it. And this year's tributes are not only some of the most celebrated individuals we've ever brought to the festival, but also some of the most locally connected.
Tributes include both a live appearance from the honorees, as well as a film curated by them for the Milwaukee Film Festival audience. Past tributes include Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney (2012), Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau (2009), and non-profit documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films (2011).
2013 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL TRIBUTES:
Starting in the film industry as a self-described "snotty" Washington Post film critic, Paul Attanasio progressed to writing for film and TV, earning nominations and wins for every major award (Academy Award, BAFTA Emmy, Golden Globe, Peabody Award, and Writers' Guild of America Award). Over the past 20+ years, he has written award-winning Baltimore-based cop drama "Homicide: Life on the Street", "Quiz Show" (Starring Ralph Fiennes, directed by Robert Redford), "Disclosure" (Starring Michael Douglas, Demi Moore), "Donnie Brasco" (Starring Al Pacino & Johnny Depp), and "The Good German" (Starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett), to name a few. He also produced "House M.D.", the world's most watched television show with 82 million viewers. When he's not cheering on the Milwaukee Brewers (his brother Mark owns the team), Attanasio is currently writing the upcoming Showtime series "The Vatican" and a big screen reboot of gangster epic "Scarface". His brother Mark owns the Milwaukee Brewers, and is an avid fan himself.
An Evening with Paul Attanasio
Saturday, Oct. 5 | 7:30 PM Oriental Theatre
Paul Attanasio will join Milwaukee Film Artistic & Executive Director Jonathan Jackson on stage for a rare evening of film discussion and insight. Together the two will address Attanasio's career, analyze film clips, share artistic influences, and consider the evolution of writing for TV and film and how the two are more similar than ever.
GEORGE TILLMAN JR.
George Tillman Jr. is one of Milwaukee's own, as he was born and raised in the city and attended John Marshall High School. He got his inspiration for filmmaking after seeing "Cooley High" (1975) and went on the graduate from Chicago's Columbia College. He made his directorial debut with "Scenes for the Soul" in 1991, but it was his follow-up feature, "Soul Food", that skyrocketed his popularity and led to a deal at Fox 2000 with producing partner Bob Teitel. After directing the epic "Men of Honor", Tillman took on producing for Showtime's "Soul Food: The Series", "Barbershop (the most profitable African-American-themed film off all time), "Barbershop 2: Back in Business", "Beauty Shop", and "Roll Bounce". After a decade to focus on producing, Tillman returned to directing with "Faster", Notorious B.I.G. biopic "Notorious" and, most recently, "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete". This most recent work made it's U.S. premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival and will be released on Oct. 11.
George Tillman Jr. is scheduled to attend the following screenings:
USA | 2009 | 122 min
Saturday, Sept. 28 | Noon | Downer Theatre
An edgy biopic about slain rapper and cultural icon Chris Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., that follows his journey from street hustler to one of hiphop's greatest artists. The film shows how Sean "Puffy" Combs helps in turnning B.I.G. into an overnight sensation, which tragically led to his senseless murder at 24 years-old. "Notorious" features supporting actors Anthony Mackie ("8 Mile", "The Hurt Locker") and Angela Bassett ("Maclom X", "ER"), with actor/rapper/comedian Jamal Woolard starring as The Notorious B.I.G.
"The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister and Pete"
USA | 2013 | 108 min
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 7:30 PM | Oriental Theatre
After both of their drug-addled parents disappear, thirteen-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) and nine-year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon) must fend for themselves in the Brooklyn projects. The two must grow up quickly as they dodge child protective service and the police, all the while scavenging for food. The two up-and-coming young actors are supported by Jordin Sparks ("Sparkle", "American Idol"), Jeffrey Wright ("Casino Royale", "The Ides of March"), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agdaje ("The Mummy Returns", "The Bourne Identity"), Anthony Mackie ("Notorious", "The Hurt Locker"), and Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls", "American Idol") in this tale of friendship amidst immense hardship.
This new website was launched by Pitchford Media Inc. in July of 2013 and is rooted in the spirit of the company's popular music website http://pitchfork.com. However, this site aims to take that same writing style in the film realm. The Dissolve provides a kind of film criticism that utilizes serious writing while maximizing on new media to reach new reader communities. Many of The Dissolve's editorial staff have established themselves alongside Editorial Director Keith Phipps as part of The Onion's A.V. Club, and their work has appeared in outlets such as NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, and Indiewire.
Members of The Dissolve editorial staff are scheduled to appear at the following:
State of Cinema
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 1 PM | Colectivo Coffee
Four staff members of The Dissolve will take part in this year's State of Cinema keynote address. This round-table discussion addresses the current state of film, the future of film, and film criticism. The Dissolve's Editorial Director Keith Phipps, Editor (and 2012 MFF juror) Scott Tobias, Senior Editor Tasha Robinson, and Staff Writer Nathan Rabin are scheduled to appear for this discussion moderated by former A.V. Club National Music Editor and current Milwaukee freelance writer Steven Hyden (Grantland, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone).
USA | 1981 | 107 min
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 4 PM | Oriental Theatre
Jack Terry (John Travolta- "Saturday Night Fever", "Pulp Fiction") is a recording artist who is working in B-movies when he discovers potential evidence of a car accident-turned-murder in his late-night field recordings. Jack slowly slips into paranoia, trusting no one, as shady conspirators catch on to his developments in the case. Writer/director Brian De Palma combines cinema and psychological turmoil in what film critic Pauline Kael referred to as "the best of all American conspiracy movies."
The 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival runs Sept. 26-Oct. 10 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, and Fox-Bay Cinema Grill. Passes and ticket 6-packs are currently available online at http://mkefilm.org/tickets. Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting Sept. 11 for Milwaukee Film Members and the following day for the General Public. For more information on the Tributes and the rest of the 2013 Milwaukee Film Festival, visit http://mkefilm.org.