An Award-Winning Movie Is Premiering at the Oriental Theatre

The film was shot in Wisconsin – and the director and writer are from here.

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Film

An award-winning, locally made movie is making its world theatrical premiere at the Oriental Theatre Friday night.

During its virtual festival circuit run, Small Town Wisconsin won over 40 film festival awards across the globe. The movie, which was shot in Wisconsin, follows a father who struggles with alcoholism and is going through a divorce and custody battle. After losing custody, he decides to take his son on one last weekend trip to Milwaukee.

It was directed by Niels Mueller, a Milwaukee native, and was written by a son of Wauwatosa, Jason Naczek. The cast also includes Kristen Johnson, who grew up in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Film is putting on the movie’s world premiere with a red-carpet event Friday that includes the director, cast and the movie’s executive producer Alexander Payne, who won writing Oscars for his 2005 film Sideways and 2012 film The Descendants.




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In honor of the event, Mayor Cavalier Johnson proclaimed June 3, 2022 “Small Town Wisconsin Day” in Milwaukee.

“The City of Milwaukee proudly joins the entire cast and crew behind the film Small Town Wisconsin in celebrating the premiere of the film,” Johnson said in his proclamation

After the premiere the movie will be released nationwide on June 10.

The filmmakers released a joint statement before the event: “It’s a dream come true to premiere the film on the big screen at the iconic Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee – one of the finest movie palaces in the country which happens to be in the city where the film was made!”




Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.