MILWAUKEE — The third annual MKE Film Cultures and Communities Festival kicked off on Labor Day with over 20 feature films. The event was previously called the Minority Health Film Festival.
According to MKE Film, the festival shares "the voices of underrepresented groups, including those identified by race/ethnicity, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socioeconomic or citizenship status."
This year's festival is a mix of in-person and virtual events. The first two days of the festival are virtual with in-person events starting on Wednesday. For a full schedule, click here.
"When we think of culture, it's often bound by the restrictions of race and gender identity or ethnicity. And while those things are hugely important to how we identify as people, as human beings, culture is so much more. Culture is a way of life, it's the things that interest you, the things that get you out of bed in the morning, the things that you and your family talk about," said MKE Film Chief Innovation Officer Geraud Blanks about the diversity of film and events during the festival.
Two of the films Blanks highlighted are "All These Sons" and "Minari."
"All These Sons" is a look at a community-based approach to gun violence in Chicago. "Minari" is an Oscar-winning film about a Korean American family that moves to Arkansas in search of the American Dream.
In addition to the films, the festival also features conversations, panel discussions and resources fairs.
On Wednesday night Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child will be part of a conversation discussing her new book and her experience with depression.
"We've got an amazing collaboration with FUEL Milwaukee about the issue of stolen cars in Milwaukee, we've got an event at the Black Historical Society around maternal health care," Blanks said of some of the other featured events this week.
There are COVID-19 precautions in place as well. If you are going to the Oriental Theater to watch one of the films, you are asked to bring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours.