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Go Behind the Screen
International sperm donor comedy sensation "Starbuck" and Milwaukee Magazine-presented Opening Night Party kick off the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival

The Milwaukee Film Festival logo projected onto Discovery World.

Even though we’re in the midst of a renaissance of sorts regarding over-the-top comedy on both the big and small screen with comedy kingpins Judd Apatow and Seth MacFarlane leading the charge, it’s not every day one hears universal praise about a foreign-language film centered around a 40-something slacker with an expectant girlfriend who learns that copious sperm donations of his made 20 years ago have contributed to the births of 533 children, some of whom are interested in knowing the identity of their birth father.

That’s the odd premise for the French-Canadian produced film Starbuck, an international hit that has received near-universal praise from audiences and critics alike, which just so happens to be this year’s opening night film for the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival (or MFF, for short) which kicks off its fourth year this Thursday, Sept. 27.

Starbuck, already being adapted for an English-language film remake with Vince Vaughn in the lead role, is the first foreign-language film to be chosen as the festival’s opening night selection. It screens this Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6:30pm at the historic Oriental Theatre, located at 2230 North Farwell Avenue on Milwaukee’s East Side. Tickets are still available.

Following the screening, festival organizers have promised to take attendees “behind the screen” at the festival’s official Opening Night Party this Thursday, Sept. 27 at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin (500 N. Harbor Drive) near the Maier Festival Park. If the opening night party is anything like last year’s, it’ll be a party worth staying out late for despite the school-night timing.

On tap for this year’s soiree: live music performances from the likes of local soul artist Harvey Scales with the Kings Go Forth rhythm section, a live DJ set by 88NINE Radio Milwaukee and WMSE 91.7 FM’s DJ Madhatter, interactive exhibits inspired by this year’s festival selection, the Gravity Benders Breakdance Crew, the Shaolin Center’s traditional Chinese Lion Dance and silhouette dancers from Danceworks.

Guests can also strike a pose in the Cinema Hooligante Spider Photo Booth, lounge and luxuriate Neroli Salon & Spa's beauty bar, and enjoy some choice hors d’oeuvres from Bartolotta Catering and Events at Pier Wisconsin. Plus, all ticket and pass holders will receive two complimentary drink tickets courtesy of Bacardi and Grolsch.

Tickets to the Opening Night Party at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin are $25 (for the general public), $15 (for the general public with an Opening Night Film ticket as well as all Milwaukee Film Members), and FREE (for attendees with a Festival Pass).

For more information or to purchase tickets to either the opening night screening and/or the opening night party, visit the festival’s official website, stop by one of the official Milwaukee Film box offices located at the Oriental Theatre (2250 N. Farwell Ave.), the Downer Theatre (2589 N. Downer Ave.), and the Fox-Bay Cinema Grill (334 E. Silver Spring Dr.), or call 414-727-8468.

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