By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 11, 2022 at 6:01 PM Photography: Milwaukee Film

After two weeks of tremendous movies, this year's Milwaukee Film Festival has unfortunately come to a close, and you know what that means. That's right: Time to get excited for NEXT year's Milwaukee Film Festival!

This week, the Milwaukee Film Festival already announced its dates for its 2023 edition, hitting screens April 20 through May 4 next year. There's no word yet if the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival will once again be a hybrid model, featuring both in-person movie screenings and virtual screenings available at home, like this year's event.

As for this year's festival, Milwaukee Film revealed its final attendance numbers for the two-week movie-watching extravaganza: 99,131 attendees, between both virtual and in-person screening as well as adjacent events.

For those eager for "normal," the glass-half-empty reading of the results is that in-person attendance was significantly less of the total than virtual, with 18,734 fans attending screenings at the theater as opposed to 79,375 film views at home. (The virtual number comes from the total number of views – 44,097 – multiplied by 1.8 in order to simulate screenings watched by more than one person.) On the positive side, however, 99,131 attendees is a significant increase on past years – more than double 2021's total, more than 2020 and even more than 2019's record-setting (all in-person) 87,618 tally. Plus, considering 2020 and 2021 were both virtual due to COVID, 18,734 in-person attendees is certainly more than the past two years' combined in-person attendance total of zero. 

“After 903 days since our last MFF, it was joyously cathartic to see crowded screenings throughout the festival,” said Milwaukee Film’s Artistic Director Cara Ogburn, in a release. “Considering that in January we nearly canceled the in-person component of our 2022 MFF at the height of Omicron, this year signaled the essential vitality of our ability to convene our community through cinema."

In general, the results are a positive step – and speaking of positive news, in case you missed some of the past festival's best entries, the Oriental Theatre is currently screening several "Best of Fest" selections now throughout the following week. Selections include the Audience Award winner "Navalny," the Cinema Hooligante time-bending charmer "Beyond the Infinite 2 Minutes" (the best movie of the festival, in this writer's opinion), the endearing retro restaurant doc "The Automat," the freaky family horror flick "Hatching," the closing night selection "Petite Maman," the Cream City Cinema jury winner "A Life on the Farm" and the excellent doc pick "North By Current." For a list of showtimes and dates, visit Milwaukee Film's website

And we'll see you at the movies – either at the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival or sooner!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.