Festive indeed! This Sunday, September 28, the Oriental Theatre was crowded around the block with lines of people. Once inside, the real magic began, as movie-goers could get lost in short films about personal stories. 

The screenings of Shorts: Stories We Tell are brought to you by Milwaukee Film, with Ex Fabula as community partner. A packed house not only enjoyed nine fantastic stories, but everyone was invited to a question and answer session with directors representing four different films right after the show.

The first film was The Chaperone, an animated true story. At a 70’s era middle school dance, kids start screaming because “lo and behold” a motorcycle gang busts in. But don’t fear! A lone teacher saves the day.

Next in Funnel, a man on a trek across town makes quips on his cellphone about jumping over moats (er, small creeks?) and other adventures, which got lots of laughs from the audience.

You Won’t Regret That Tattoo gave us a look at how every tattoo has a story. And as film subjects said, their “skin-deep” stories are ones they are confident in displaying.

One of the more serious but inspiring films was Maikaru, a first-person account of a childhood that was almost without respite from unthinkable circumstances. The attitude of the film’s storyteller made it a personal favorite because he took the liberty to dream for material things and be happy.

The final short in the collection was Person to Person, a film with rich, visual, storytelling.

After the show, about half of the audience stayed for the question and answer session with four of the directors.

Romi Trower of Australia said she made the short No One is Listening Anymore! because she was tired of big budget projects and wanted something that could be shot in a day.

The director Dustin Guy Defa’s roommate was the focus of Person to Person. Defa said that his roommate Bene’s real life persona is cinematic and he wanted to translate it into film.

You can see pictures of the Day 4 on the Milwaukee Film facebook page. Two more screenings of Shorts: Stories We Tell are coming up, one on Oct 1, 10:30 pm at the Oriental Theatre and  Oct 4, 9:30 pm at the Times Cinema. See you there!