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Milwaukee's connections to this year's Sundance Film Festival.

To Utah and beyond? Two Milwaukee-made films had their Sundance Film Festival debuts in January.

In Jáaji Approx., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate student Sky Hopinka’s landscape footage included audio of his father speaking and singing in the Ho-Chunk language, with transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet. “I use this tool to help bridge the gap between me and my father,” Hopinka says.

The second project, Across the Line, came by way of veteran filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein’s 371 Productions, which worked with Planned Parenthood to use “virtual reality” to illustrate what it can be like to walk into an abortion clinic.

A third film, Jim: The James Foley Story, about the slain Marquette University grad and conflict journalist, also premiered at the big-screen festival.

‘Star Qualities’ appears in the February 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find the February issue on newsstands beginning Feb. 1.

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