Q: Tell us about yourself. What do you do for the Festival?
A: Along with Ben Reiser and one or more WUD Film assistants, I program our Wisconsin’s Own slate. I also coordinate print traffic, meaning that I make sure all of the Festival’s films arrive on time and end up at the right screening venue. On top of that, I contribute blurbs to our gorgeous Film Guide and write posts for our Festival’s Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the year.
Q: What is the best part of the programming process?
A: Watching a film you selected and vouched for with a packed, appreciative Festival audience.
Q: What grabs your attention when screening films for inclusion in the WFF program?
A: For narrative and documentary entries, I appreciate compelling, complex on-screen characters. For experimental entries, I value striking audiovisual choices. For any kind of film, I am looking for a bold, impassioned, even eccentric vision.
Q: What’s the most recent movie you watched?
A: Horse Money (2014), directed by Pedro Costa.
Q: If you HAD to pick, what is your favorite film of all time?
A: An impossible question, of course, but I can choose John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (1946) without much regret.
Q: …and favorite film genre?
A: Comedies and melodramas, or better yet some combination of the two.
Q: Do you have a memorable Festival anecdote to share?
A: I cherish the Q&A I moderated with Yujing Wang, producer of 2019 Wisconsin’s Own documentary feature Yen Ching. We had an illuminating conversation with a reflective and visibly moved audience.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: Being a film professor (with tenure!).
Q: If you were a WFF patron, how would you plan your Festival?
A: Prioritize all the older movies being screened. Frequently, we secure 35mm prints that don’t often see the light of day. On top of that, seek out Q&As with interesting people, whether they be Wisconsin’s Own filmmakers or visiting industry figures, like Ralph Breaks the Internet co-director Phil Johnston this past year.