Milwaukee Film Fest Vs. Green Bay Packers

Some films draw short straw on game night.

When a film festival conflicts with the Green Bay Packers football season some films always draw the short straw on game day or night.

Monday the Packers play the Kansas City Chiefs in prime time opposite the appearance of director Stanley Nelson at a screening of his film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, at 6:15 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival.

nel“It actually has very good ticket sales,” said Jonathan Jackson, the festival’s creative and executive director.

“It was the only day during the entire fest when Stanley Nelson could make it unfortunately.”

The Black Panthers is a historically vivid account of the founding in 1966 of the African-American self defense group that advocated armed struggle against police violence (one of the few times the NRA was against the Second Amendment).

The Panthers sparked high profile confrontations with police in Oakland, Chicago and New York; initiated food programs for children; was a target of COINTELPRO, the FBI surveillance and infiltration program designed to undermine the group; suffered factional splintering within the group; and was dissolved under increasingly erratic leadership.

The film uses vintage news footage and still photos and interviews with surviving members and witnesses to revisit an era whose heat of the moment resonance is obvious. It also shows Oct. 5 at the Times Cinema.

Nelson, a MacArthur Genius Fellow who received the National Humanities Medal in 2014, is the recipient of the festival’s Tribute Award.

Other films showing opposite Monday night’s Packer game are Dearest, 6:40 p.m., Oriental: A Separation, 7 p.m., Downer Theater; Iris, 7 p.m. Fox Bay Cinema Grill; British Arrow Awards, 7:15 p.m. Times Cinema, and Margarita With A Straw, 7 p.m. Avalon Theater.

Festival director Jackson, is a Cleveland native who moved to Milwaukee in 1998 and ran the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema before joining the festival in 2009.

“You should actually be asking what I am doing at noon on Sunday when the Cleveland Browns play,” Jackson said in an e-mail.

Ok, I’ll bite. What will you be doing?

“Sneaking way to Hooligans,” on E. North Ave. adjacent to the Oriental to watch the Browns play at noon. “It’s become a festival tradition for me.”



Duane Dudek is a Milwaukee native. For more than 30 years, he was film critic and television columnist at the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He continues to apply his expertise at