No Studios

Last week, Oscar-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee native John Ridley formally unveiled plans to bankroll a new, for-profit creative hub in an old Pabst Brewery building on West McKinley avenue.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images Entertainment

This weekend marks the 90th Academy Awards – or what Lake Effect’s Audrey Nowakowski and Milwaukee film critics Ryan Jay and Dave Luhrssen call the Super Bowl of film!

Come Sunday evening, the Motion Picture Academy will announce their verdicts for best film, best actor, best actress, and best director of 2017. Among the top films up for awards are The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Get Out, and Lady Bird – a testament to how broad the genres and film topics are this year.

Who do you think will win best picture?

Mark's Postcards from Beloit / Flickr

You might not expect the city of Beloit, Wisconsin to have a reputation among members of the international film community. But over the past 13 years, a group of people have been working towards the goal of  “Bringing the world to Beloit, and Beloit to the World" with the Beloit International Film Festival.

The festival’s executive director, and Beloit native, Max Maiken answers the question, “Why Beloit?”

Marvel Entertainment

After 24 long years in development, Marvel’s Black Panther has finally come to the big screen. Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Bassett, and many other veritable who’s who of prominent African American actors, it's is the first superhero film that features a predominantly black cast.

In 2016, the National Institute of Health reported that five percent of high school seniors misuse prescription drugs. In 2016 alone, 827 people in Wisconsin died from prescription opioid overdoses – and another 371 died from heroin overdoses, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

20th Century Fox

A few years ago, the film The Post may have been simply another historical drama by director Steven Spielberg. However, today’s political climate has eerie parallels with the time surrounding the “Pentagon Papers” in the early 1970s. In fact, Spielberg thought making this movie was so important, he wrapped production in nine months.

Grasshopper Films

First produced a couple of years ago, Okwui Okpokwasili’s one-woman show Bronx Gothic is a take on "growing up as a brown girl in the Bronx." It takes on topics like identity, self esteem, sexual knowledge, and how it can be difficult for girls to navigate these milestones.

Her show was made into a documentary of the same name, which showed at the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival.

The Shape of Water/Fox Searchlight /

Guillermo del Toro has put his unique stamp on a wide array of movies, from the serious Pan’s Labyrinth to the wildly entertaining Pacific Rim. But he claims that everything he has made so far led him to his latest film – The Shape of Water.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

The eighth chapter of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, picks up where last year’s The Force Awakens left off - an intriguing staring contest between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on an isolated island on the planet of Ahch To.

Don't worry, there are no spoilers in this post, but film critic and UW-Milwaukee film instructor Duane Dudek says that the new film features plenty of old favorites, including Carrie Fisher, who reprised her role as Princess Leia before her death. 

A24 Films

From Rebel Without a Cause, to The Breakfast Club, to 10 Things I Hate About You, coming-of-age movies have been around for almost as long as the film industry.

Low Strung /

Many people had childhood hobbies that perhaps fell to the way side as they grew older. However, filmmaking for Milwaukee natives Victoria Lee and Lili K started at age 11 when they created a horror trilogy about a serial killer who wreaked havoc on their friends at slumber parties.

The "Oops I Peed My Pants," "Oops I Did It Again," and "Oops I Peed the Pool" trilogy created by Lee and Lili K that "didn't make any sense" may be lost in the back of their professional portfolios, but their passion for creativity on camera never faltered.

Denny Rauen

More six months of protests over the Dakota Access pipeline ended in February following a law enforcement crackdown on protesters.  A federal court also denied a final request to block the last link of the pipeline.

Mount Liptak

Ever been to Antarctica? Maybe not, but if you find yourself there, make note of a peak known as Mount Liptak. When Milwaukee filmmaker Ryan Allsop found out that that very mountain is named after his uncle, Navy veteran Lester Liptak, - he knew he had a story to share.

"When I heard the final story about how he had a mountain named after him on Antarctica, being a filmmaker and one who tells a lot of stories and loves writing - it just clicked," says Allsop. "It was just the final thing, 'this is a movie right here, this is incredible.'"

Warner Bros. Pictures

When Ridely Scott's Blade Runner hit theaters in 1982, its shocking, dystopian future world alienated audiences. It didn't do well at the box office and only years later did it become a cult favorite.

35 years later, Blade Runner 2049 expands the Los Angeles of the original as well as upon the basic question of the original film: what does it mean to be human?

Maayan Silver

Six years ago, Will Lautzenheiser was starting a job teaching film at Montana State University, when he started to feel a pain in his leg. After his first two classes, he went to the hospital where he went into total organ failure. In a matter of days, a strep infection had caused Will to lose his arms and legs.