Neither rain nor snow kept audiences from turning out in droves to support the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank.

Milwaukee Film recently announced a record attendance for the 15-day Festival, with 87,618 members of the public taking part in films, forums, education screenings, and special events. The number marks a 12% increase in attendance over the 2018 Festival.

Attendance figures also include 8,440 students who took part in education screenings at the Oriental Theatre. Film audiences voted at every screening to determine the winners of three awards, and documentaries about iconic female subjects took home two of the honors.

“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) received the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award for Best Feature, while “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” (directed by Janice Engel) won honors and a $2,500 prize for the Women in Film Audience Award, presented by Live Wire Productions. “Tree #3” (directed by Omer Ben-Shacher), which was featured in the “Kids Shorts: Size Medium” presentation, received the Selig Audience Award for Best Short.

“In just 11 years, we’ve seen the Milwaukee Film Festival transform into the largest arts event in the city – and an event that people passionately support,” said Cara Ogburn, Festival director for Milwaukee Film. “We are thrilled with the numbers, but we’re just as thrilled with the level of authentic engagement our audience has throughout this Festival. This is a true community event.”

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Lee Matz