5 Film Picks From the 2024 Wisconsin Film Festival

By Lily Mihelich | Photography courtesy of (L-R): “Io Capitano” and the Wisconsin Film Festival; “February (Or: Si Nos Dejan)” and the Wisconsin Film Festival

It’s time to grab some popcorn and check out the 2024 Wisconsin Film Festival, an eight-day cinematic celebration taking place April 4-11, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Films will be shown at four on-campus locations and three off-campus spots (see where here).

Here are five films to catch, which include documentaries, animated productions, Wisconsin-made titles and more.

“Io Capitano” (2023)

“Io Capitano” was a nominee for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards and is the opening film at this year’s festival. It follows the riveting narrative of Seydou and Moussa, who embark on a journey across the Sahara in seek of European pop fame but end up facing torture by Libyan captors. They must go to great ends, attempting to find one another after being separated.


“Angels Of Dirt” (2024)

Madison director Wendy Schneider produced this documentary dedicated to the life of Charlotte Kainz, a West-Bend born professional Flat Track motorcycle racer who started riding at the age of four. The documentary features archival footage and interviews that share the courageous life of Kainz, who passed away at the age of 20 in a racing accident.


“Buzz” (2023)

Looking for a film for little ones? “Buzz” is an animated short in the festival’s Big Screens Little Folks category. Presented with support from the UW–Madison Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, see Buzz the bee assist a scientist on Mars who has difficulty growing crops among his robot colleagues.


“February (Or: Si Nos Dejan)” (2024)

Director Nathan Deming’s narrative short, “February,” is a Golden Badger Winner this year, a juried competition for Wisconsin-made films or films with creative staff with Wisconsin connections. The film follows Miguel, a Mexican immigrant living in Wisconsin, who discovers an appreciation for ice fishing after finally acclimating to Wisconsin winters.


“Ghostlight” (2024)

Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson’s narrative feature follows a family who finds healing and comfort in a local theater production after being faced with tragedy. When construction worker Dan is drawn into a community theater production of “Romeo and Juliet,” the performance makes for a surprising change of pace.


Check out the Film Guide Here: https://issuu.com/wifilmfest/docs/wff24filmfest_finallowres

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