Dontre Hamilton Documentary Chosen as Milwaukee Film Festival Centerpiece Screening

The deadline to apply for next year’s grants is fast approaching.

The Blood is at the Doorstep, a documentary about the 2014 shooting death of Dontre Hamilton by a Milwaukee Police Department officer, will be the Centerpiece Screening for this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival.

The documentary by local filmmaker Erik Ljung follows the Hamilton family after Dontre’s death. Amid rallies and protests, the family and surrounding community gained national attention. Ljung first turned his footage into a shorter film about the shooting and subsequent struggle called Mothers for Justice, which was screened at the Festival in 2015.

With the help of a Brico Forward Fund grant, an annual award for local filmmakers which Ljung won twice, he was able to turn it into a feature-length film. The Blood is at the Doorstep premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in March, where it received a standing ovation, and has been featured at multiple film festivals since. The Hollywood Reporter called it “an urgent report from the frontlines of an American crisis.”

The Milwaukee Film Festival will run from September 28 to October 12. Winners of next year’s Brico Forward Fund grants, which is awarding $50,000 cash and $60,000 in production resources, will also be announced during the festival. Applications close on Sunday, August 20.



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.