In Movies & TV

The Milwaukee Film Festival announced its three biggest picks of the fest.

Milwaukee Film Festival announces its opening, closing and centerpiece movies

There are more than 300 movies at the Milwaukee Film Festival – but only three get the honor to open, close and serve as the event's centerpiece selection. And today Milwaukee Film named this trio of spotlight selections, from delving into a mecca of music history to one of the icons of television and a wholly unique festival darling.

"Our opening, centerpiece and closing films all look at the power of the arts to shape our lives," said Cara Ogburn, festival director for Milwaukee Film, in a release. "They all contribute to important conversations about who we are as a society – and how we make changes toward who we want to be."

The first Milwaukee Film Festival movie to hit the big screen will actually head to the small screen with "I Want My MTV," a documentary about the influential music network's '80s origins and how it revolutionized both the worlds of music and media, featuring interviews and footage with musicians like Sting, Jack Antonoff and Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo as well as MTV celebrities from the channel's earliest days and highest points including Pauly Shore and Downtown Julie Brown.

The festival's centerpiece selection finds an indie festival favorite called "Chained for Life," a representation-focused film-within-a-film drama about an actress (Jess Weixler, "Teeth" and "It: Chapter Two") struggling and reconsidering her own prejudices while working on a movie set with her disfigured co-star, played by Adam Pearson of "Under the Skin" fame.

A return to the world of music will end the Milwaukee Film Festival with the closing night pick, "The Apollo." After decades upon decades of shining the spotlight on music's greatest performers, the iconic Harlem music hall itself gets to take center stage in this documentary from Oscar-winning director (and past MFF opening night alum with "Life, Animated") Roger Ross Williams, telling the venue's rich story with interviews with Pharrell, Smokey Robinson, Jamie Foxx and many, many more.

This is just the latest piece to the Milwaukee Film Festival lineup puzzle we've received over the last few weeks, but it will all come together into a beautiful complete picture on Thursday, Sept. 26, when Milwaukee Film will drop the full festival program book at a release party, hosted by Good City Brewing's East Side location, starting at 5 p.m. Then, one week later on Thursday, Oct. 3, tickets will go on sale to the general public – though, if you're a Milwaukee Film member, you get early access to tickets starting Tuesday, Oct. 1. And then it's Milwaukee Film Festival time, running Oct. 17-31!

So stay tuned to OnMilwaukee – a proud sponsor of the festival and its spotlight selections program – for more updates, reviews, previews, guides and just overall general excitement.

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