The 17th Annual Wildwood Film Festival will take place at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton on February 16 and 17. The festival features Wisconsin films only; all projects have direct ties to the state, whether it’s the primary creative personnel (producer/director/writer), the actors or the locations.
After their original film submission was rejected by other festivals, Jason Buss, along with Wildwood Film Festival co-founders Tom Thorne and Craig Knitt, decided to start their own festival.
“We work very hard to make every year different,” Buss says. “Not only different, but better than the previous year, whether it is the general lineup, the quality of the films, the balancing of the programming. We improve upon it from year to year to give the audience another reason to come back.”
The Wildwood Film Festival team seeks to educate high school students and adults in film basics like script writing, storyboarding, filming, lighting, sound, editing and marketing.
According to Buss, the Wildwood Film Festival is unique because in the same amount of time it takes to see a feature-length film, viewers have the opportunity to see eight or more short pieces.
“We’ve always thought that this is an excellent way to keep the audience’s attention because if one film is not for you, just like the Wisconsin weather, you can wait five minutes and get something new,” Buss says.
Two films that made the cut this year are the locally produced feature-length film “Wraith” and the 64-minute documentary “OUTATIME.” “Wraith,” starring renowned actor Lance Henricksen, is a supernatural thriller filmed in Neenah and Menasha. “OUTATIME” is based around the premise of saving the DeLorean time machine from the “Back to the Future” trilogy. The film features dedicated fans as they inexhaustibly work to bring the time machine back to life.
In addition to films, this year’s community discussion panel will highlight the human trafficking epidemic. Josh Dukelow, host of WHBY’s Fresh Take, will be the returning moderator for the talk.
“Attendees will have a unique opportunity to hear first hand accounts from local law enforcement, victims and of course talented film makers as well,” Buss says.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wildwoodfilmfestival.com or call 931-4091.