Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Plans Mapped for Green Bay Film Festival’s Ninth Year

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The ninth annual Green Bay Film Festival is just around the corner, with the first events set for Jan. 31. Info: gbfilmfestival.org/.

According to a press release: The Green Bay Film Festival is an international film festival with a focus on Wisconsin filmmakers. Unlike any other film festival, the Green Bay Film Festival plays films over a six-week period, beginning with its “Films Around Town” series and ending with its “Weekend Extravaganza.”

“Films Around Town” plays in various locations once a week to broaden access to the event to various communities. The series also offers additional marketing opportunities for the “Weekend Extravaganza.”

The “Films Around Town” schedule:

+ Jan. 31, 7 p.m. at the Norbertine Center for Spirituality, 1016 N. Broadway, De Pere: “The Nuns, The Priests and The Bombs.” Panel Discussion to follow.

+ Feb. 7, 8 p.m. at Luna Café, 330 Main Ave., De Pere: “The Moon and the Lake of Stars” and “The Trouble with Wolves.”

+ Feb. 13, 5:30 p.m. at YWCA, 230 S. Madison St., Green Bay: “Intimate Battles.” Feb. 21, 7 p.m. at Hinterland, 1001 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay: “Shorts Sampler.”

+ Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at St. Norbert College Cassandra Voss Center, 311 Grant St., De Pere: “From Seed to Seed.” Panel discussion to follow.

The “Weekend Extravaganza” is March 1-3 in. St. Norbert College’s Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts.

+ March 1, 7 p.m.: “Weekend Kickoff” with “Rich Kids.” Snapshot: A group of troubled teens from a low-income community resolves to break into Los Ricos, the local mansion with a border fence, to forget their difficult lives and experience a different one.

+ March 2: A full day of U.S. and international short films, documentaries and features, wrapping up with a traditional evening of comedy shorts.

   Also: • The touching feature “I Heart Jenny” directed by Blake Babbit (attending)

   • The festival’s thriller and horror lineup, including the Wisconsin film feature rendition of “Gags” by Adam Krause (attending). Snapshot: It’s been eight days since the clown first showed up in Green Bay, Wis. Now, over the course of one night, four groups of people cross paths with the clown everyone calls “Gags,” and his true intentions are finally revealed. A small city in Wisconsin is terrorized by a mysterious clown who roams the streets late at night with nothing more than a handful of black balloons. The local news stations scramble to break the story on who he is and what he wants while a group high schoolers see the clown’s arrival as an excuse to create a little trouble themselves. The police try to maintain order in a city that has gone clown crazy, and a conservative podcast host vows to put a stop to the clown known as “Gags” while broadcasting his “clown hunt” on social media for the world to see.

+ March 3: Wisconsin filmmakers and family films. Meet filmmakers from the Badger State, and check out a variety of movies by Wisconsin filmmakers. Wisconsin documentaries include:

   “Taino Daka (I Am)” directed by Alex Zacarias (attending). Snapshot: A man is on a journey to reclaim his Caribbean indigenous identity as a Taino. History books say that the Taino people have been extinct for the past 525 years since their first encounter with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World.

   “Light in the Darkness” directed by Daniel Gartzke (attending). Snapshot: The story follows the lives of survivors of traumatic events ranging from military experiences, sexual abuse, chronic illness and domestic/child abuse.

Wisconsin Feature Films include:  

   “Disconnection Notice” directed by Rubin Whitmore II (attending). Snapshot: A comedy about Rochelle (Kelly Kellz) and Mike (Wildcat) struggling to keep their relationship alive and the lights from getting shut off by the electric company.

   “Speaking in Tongues” directed by Nathan Deming (attending) Snapshot: A lonely college student grieving the loss of his mother has found purpose in a local megachurch. When a young pastor invites him to Chicago for a summer internship evangelizing the “lost,” his new faith is put to the test. A realistic, naturalistic portrait of evangelical Christianity and the rise and fall of intense belief.

An informational breakfast about the new Public Film Academy will be held at 9 a.m. March 3 at the De Pere Community Center, 600 Grant St. Special guest is hometown filmmaker Steve Anderson (master acting teacher and director).

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays.

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