McMillan has brought a different kind of film festival to Wisconsin Rapids. Like most film festivals, we are showing a selection of limited release, foreign, documentary and regional films. Unlike other festivals, the films are shown throughout the year. When possible, we bring in those involved in the making of the films, in support of the Digital Media Studio.
In most cases, the films will be shown as part of our regular Monday Movies, though films may be part of wider events, such as ARTiGras. As always, admittance is free and there are no tickets. If you like this series, we recommend our National Theatre Live presentations.
Submissions: We accept submissions of regional films (about Wisconsin, filmed in Wisconsin or by Wisconsin natives/residents) only.
Events in the McMillan Memorial Library Film Festival:
January 8 - Victoria & Abdul. The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
December 18 - Step. STEP documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore. As each one tries to become the first in their families to attend college, the girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city.
November 13 - Maudie. MAUDIE, based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. MAUDIE charts Everett's efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie's deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.
October 9 - United Kingdom. A UNITED KINGDOM is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighboring country intolerable. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium and gold and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana.
September 11 - 13TH. The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis. This Netflix original was nominated for an Oscar and six Emmys.
August 21 - Silence. Martin Scorsese's SILENCE tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) - at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.
July 24 - A Monster Calls. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window.
June 19 - Eagle Huntress. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.
May 22 - Jackie. Featuring Oscar nominee Natalie Portman.
May 1 - Moonlight. Three Oscars, including Best Picture. This film did not play locally.
April 24 - Fences. This outstanding film with Viola Davis and Denzel Washington did not play locally.
March 13 - Between Allah and Me (and Everyone Else) Between Allah and Me (and Everyone Else) explores the challenges faced by four practicing Muslim women in North America as they decide to start or stop wearing hijab. This 4:00 p.m. showing is part of ARTiGras.
March 13 - The Look of Silence The Oscar nominated documentary in which a family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers. This 1:30 showing is part of ARTiGras.
February 13 - Coming Home Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband's return. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
February 2 - Love Between the Covers. The world of romance novels is explored through the lives of five of the genre's most popular and successful authors. Featuring Nora Roberts, Beverly Jenkins, Celeste Bradley, Mary Bly and Susan Donovan. Followed on February 9th with a panel discussion by Wisconsin members of Romance Writers of America.
January 9 - Indignation. Based on Philip Roth's late novel, Indignation takes place in 1951, as Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant working class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio.
December 12 - Dark Horse. A documentary about a group of friends who band together to buy a racehorse. A Sundance Audience Award winner.
November 28 -Touched with Fire. Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby in a limited release title about young bipolar poets who fall in love.
October 10 - Miles Ahead. A wildly entertaining exploration of one of 20th century music's creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career defining performance by Oscar nominee Don Cheadle in the title role.
September 19 - Hello, My Name is Doris. Sally Field charms in the limited release film that is getting a lot a buzz.
August 15 - Amy. The life and tragic times of Amy Winehouse. 2016 Oscar winner for best documentary.
July 18 - Son of Saul. In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son. The 2016 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
June 20 - Lady in the Van. Featuring with Maggie Smith. A limited release gem based on the book of the same title by Alan Bennett.
June 16 - Merchants of Doubt. An award winning documentary about pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities. This showing is presented by the Mayor's Council on Sustainability and co-sponsored by the Library.
May 9 - Old Fashioned : The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club. Director Holly De Ruyter will be on hand during the 7:00 p.m. showing.
April 11 - Macbeth. Shakespeare's classic with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.
March 31 - Missing Threads: The Story of the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. This documentary includes discussion with director and participant.
February 22 - He Named Me Malala. The story of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Rapids League of Women Voters.