What is the Wildwood Film Festival?

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This blog is written and presented by Jason Buss, Director and Co-Founder of the Wildwood Film Festival. Order your tickets today and experience an incredible, eclectic line-up of films made right here in Wisconsin!

I was recently asked to explain the Wildwood Film Festival event to somebody that had never attended it. Wildwood Film Festival is an annual event programmed almost entirely with short films ranging from one to thirty minutes in length. This means that in the amount of time you would normally see one feature length film you will probably see five or more short pieces.

Why “shorts”, as they are commonly referred to in the film festival world? They offer us great programming flexibility. We also joke that a series of short films helps to keep the audience’s attention better than one long film. Similar to our great Wisconsin weather, we have often said that if you do not like a film, wait a few minutes and it will change. The other main reason we choose to program with mostly short films is that it is easier to get more filmmakers involved in the same period of time. Instead of having one director and one lead actor excited about screening, you now have three or four or two dozen. We try our best to foster Wisconsin film talent and short films offer a great way to that. Finally, though as of late this has been changing, a reason for the short selections was just the availability of film. For a long time, especially before the lowering of production gear cost like that of cameras and editing software, the cost of producing a “short” was much more attractive and it was just plain easier to do. It still is, mind you, but the hurdles to producing a quality feature have dropped so far that we have highlighted two amazing films made in Wisconsin in the past two years and hope to continue this trend.

The other aspect that makes this event truly unique is its focus on Wisconsin filmmakers, so much so that the phrase “Celebrating Wisconsin Film Talent” is part of the event identity. What does this mean? For lack of programming options and connections in the early days, the only directors that we knew were of course in Wisconsin so we almost have this focus by default, but I for one am glad that this is part of who we are. We have grown to share the belief that our state has been and still is the home to some amazingly talented individuals and if you have ever called Wisconsin home and are making films you qualify to submit. We believe that Wisconsin is a special place and we shine a light on it at least once a year and lately, that light has been getting brighter and brighter and will hopefully keep growing.

We hope to see you at the festival on March 10-11 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

More info at: www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com

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