Golden Badger Jury Statement

This year our jury got to watch films and deliberate from the comfort of their own homes: Rebecca Weaver, director of June Falling Down (WFF 2016) watched our slate in California. James Runde (Golden Badger winner 2019 for Played Out) deliberated with us from Florida, and Amanda McQueen, former Wisconsin’s Own Programmer, joined us from her home in Alabama.

Here are their thoughts on the two winners they selected, as well as a host of honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions

David Van Auken’s documentary short Bid Caller immerses us in the world of auctioneer Harold Betthauser and his team in Milwaukee. Instantly engaging & surprisingly moving, the film deftly turns a portrait of one man’s career into a broader exploration of loss, memory, and nostalgia.  Three short narratives also stood out to us. Blood Runs Out, by UW-Madison student Gracie K. Wallner, is a bold twist on a vampire story with clever visual metaphors. The deliberate minimalism of Julian Castronovo’s Hannah’s Video is bolstered by strong performances from its two actors. And Lori Felker’s Not You perfectly balances frankness and humor to convey the love and exhaustion that come with motherhood. Finally, we thoroughly enjoyed Jack Duffy’s 04 and first-time writer/director Elijah Edwards’ Make a Wish. We can’t wait to see more from these young filmmakers.