Making a message with movies
By: John Domol Posted: Feb 13, 2018 06:17 PM CST
Updated: Feb 13, 2018 06:17 PM CST
APPLETON, Wis. - The Wildwood Film Festival normally puts a premium on local talent.
But this year, it is going a step further--It is putting the spotlight on the battle against sex trafficking.
The movie on everyone's radar this year puts an abusive crime into perspective.
It is called "Innocence Sold," and it takes the seedy business of sex trafficking head on.
"She moved here with a boyfriend," says Paul Evansen, the moderator for Friday's conversation about sex trafficking. "Her mother lives out of the area. All she has is in the bag that she's carrying. She doesn't have a phone--it was taken from her."
He says any of these can be a red flag...a warning.
Except that was not Hollywood. It was real life.
"I was fortunate enough in that opportunity to be able to direct this young woman to the Appleton Police Department," said Evansen.
Lt. Jeff Miller from the Appleton Police Department tells me that sex trafficking in Northeast Wisconsin has increased in the past 5-to-10 years, with hundreds of cases hitting our area yearly.
One sex trafficking arrest was made in the Fox Cities just last week.
And that is what the locally shot "Innocence Sold" is all about--identifying the crime and showing us the mental toll it can create.
It is a crime that hinges on fooled emotions.
"An adult, male or female, taking interest in a younger child," says Abby Persons of Outagamie Youth and Family Services. "Making them think that they are in a relationship with them--a boyfriend, girlfriend. They capitalize on that relationship."
The film festival opens with a conversation on what the community can do to minimize this crime in our community, and we can work on a large part of it right away by simply paying attention.
"Parents, friends, other professionals, people in school, teachers--they play a huge part in recognizing the signs and then offering help," says persons.
You can join the conversation at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton this Friday at 3pm.
February 13, 2018 09:28 am
Jason talks about the local angles to the festival, how you can attend and learn!
Posted on Feb 13, 2018 by Appleton Downtown Inc.
Asking an organizer to write about the upcoming 17th Annual Wildwood Film Festival is similar to asking a wallpaper hanger to do his job in a windstorm, interesting to say the least. At this point, less than a week away from our event, random thoughts go through my mind. How much time is there in a day? What is critical for the event and what is not? Leading up to the event it becomes a process of checking items off a large to-do list and the realization that the truly large, mission-critical items are all handled. Thankfully, the event is going to happen on Feb. 16 and 17 right here in Downtown Appleton.
For those in the community who may not have heard, the Wildwood Film Festival is a film event focused on “Celebrating Wisconsin Talent”. Every piece shown during the two-day event and the seventeen-year history has had a demonstrable connection to this place we call HOME. Wisconsin has been and is still the home to some terrifically talented individuals. This event highlights individuals of all experience levels.
If you have some pre-conceived notion of what Wildwood might be based on either a “student film event” in your or maybe your child’s school, or based on the idea that it’s only boring foreign films with subtitles, give that up right now. The Wildwood Film Festival truly has something for almost every member of the film-going public. If you want thrills, we have them. If you want laughs, we have those too. This year we have over 30 short films PLUS 3 feature length films! If you want to be scared, if you want to learn, and even if you want to cry, you will have your chance during the TWO-day event, with six sessions of film, two educational events, and one great wrap party. Come, enjoy, and help us “Celebrate Wisconsin Film Talent” like never before!
For a complete schedule of events, please visit Wildwoodfilmfestival.com. And if you enjoy the event, consider volunteering to help plan, promote or work at next year’s event.
Written by Jason Buss, Co-founder / Director of the Wildwood Film Festival
Shane Nyman, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin | Published 2:17 p.m. CT Feb. 12, 2018
APPLETON - Human trafficking — a serious problem in the state of Wisconsin and here in the Fox Valley — is the topic of a community conversation event as part of the 17th annual Wildwood Film Festival.
The free discussion will be held at 3 p.m. Friday in the Kimberly-Clark Theater at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.
The event will include representatives from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Appleton, Appleton Police Department, Outagamie County's Department of Health & Human Services and 5-Stones. 5-Stones is a nonprofit that focuses on raising awareness about human trafficking in Wisconsin.
Paul Evansen, who has worked in the media in some form for about 30 years (including with both WFRV and WGBA), will serve as moderator. He'll also share his own personal story connected to the topic.
The conversation will be steered by the showing of three short films from director Julien Lasseur and produced by 5-Stones. Titled "Innocence Sold," the films show a human trafficking situation from three perspectives: the person trafficked, the perpetrator and a friend of the trafficking victim.
Evansen said the goal of the evening is simply to help raise awareness and give people a better understanding of the problem and how we can do our part to help.
"Hopefully (the event will help) get the right information out, the right numbers out, and make them aware," he said. "And also make them aware of what to look for — not to go to the opposite extreme and say every older man with a younger woman might be a trafficking scenario — but to look for the warning signs, the realistic and logical warning signs, and take a more active part. It takes all of us out there in the community doing our part in some small way."
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The film festival held its first community conversation event last year, with a panel discussion and Q&A about race and recidivism.
This weekend marks the 17th year for the Wildwood Film Festival, which celebrates Wisconsin filmmaking. It runs Friday and Saturday at the Fox Cities PAC.
For more information, visit wildwoodfilmfestival.com.
The Northeast Wisconsin Arts Association is a new, grass roots organization that has recently applied for not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status. NEWAA will be regarded as the conduit and the home for art in Northeast Wisconsin; attracting professionals, inspiring beginners, and bringing people together to learn, educate, celebrate, and build community through art. In communities throughout Northeast Wisconsin, participation in and support of art will flourish as diverse voices, artistic expressions, and opportunities to create and engage in art are accessible to all.
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After a short film they created got rejected from another film festival, Jason Buss and his other co-founders decided to start their own festival. That was 17 years ago.
On February 16th and 17th, the 17th Annual Wildwood Film Festival will be held at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The event will have over 30 short films, a double feature, a community conversation on the topic of human trafficking and a workshop on “The Business of Filmmaking.”
It should be a weekend jam packed with tons of local films, filmmakers and fans.
Exciting news! The executive producer/star of our feature film "Halfway", Quinton Aaron will be here. Most people know him from his role as Michael Oher (Big Mike) in the award winning film, "The Blind Side". Sure to be sell out. Do you have your tickets?
Original Post: Facebook
Quinton Aaron (born August 15, 1984) is an American actor. He made his film debut in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind. His first lead role was as Michael Oher in the 2009 film The Blind Side. In 2010, Aaron guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2015, Aaron shot the film Busy Day in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Original Post Date | February 23, 2017 by foxcities
Jason Buss, Tom Thorne, and Craig Knitt created a film together and submitted it to a film festival. They thought it was a really good film, but it didn’t make the cut. Upset with the festival’s decision, the three decided the only way to avoid the same result in the future, they needed to start their own festival. With that, Wildwood Film Festival was born.
The first festival was actually held in Green Bay, they stopped in Shawano for their second event, but have been an Appleton mainstay each year ever since. Each year, they take over the Kimberly Clark Theater at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center for a weekend and put together some of the best short films from around Wisconsin.
This year’s event has a special event on Friday afternoon, A “Fresh Take” Town Hall: Exploring Race and Recidivism, a free event that ties in perfectly with their Friday feature film. They are also holding a special wrap party at the PAC at the end of the festival.
On today’s episode, Jason and I talk all things Wildwood Film Festival, from that first festival to where they are today. He also provides details for anyone looking to get involved with Wildwood Film Festival.
Original Source: http://foxcitiesadvicegivers.com/fcag-036/
APPLETON – Like a teenager driving solo for the first time, the Wildwood Film Festival is growing more mature in its 16th year.
Don’t worry, there’s still a wide range of films to be shown — from comedies to documentaries to horror flicks with creepy clowns — but the annual celebration of filmmaking with Wisconsin ties is wading into the waters of social awareness. Using the film “Halfway” as a springboard, the opening night of the two-day festival will feature a community conversation about race.
“The goal is to help people gain a broader perspective about what it’s like to be different in the community they live in,” said Josh Dukelow, host of the “Fresh Take” radio show on WHBY and moderator for the Friday night town hall event. “And how each of us can play a role in making it easier for those who are different, being welcoming and included in things and making this a better destination for business, for talent and, for people who already live here, making life more pleasant and more connected.”
The “Fresh Take” Town Hall, “Exploring Race and Recidivism,” will get the 16th annual Wildwood Film Festival started at 3 p.m. Friday March 10 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton. The two-hour discussion will serve as a preface of sorts for “Halfway,” a feature-length film shot in southwestern Wisconsin, which will be shown at 8 p.m.
Produced by and starring Quinton Aaron, who famously portrayed Michael Oher in “The Blind Side,” “Halfway” is the story of a black man released from prison adjusting to a new life in the urban (and very white) Wisconsin town of Montfort. The film’s trailer will be shown at the start of the town hall to set up the discussion.
“(The trailer) captures a moment in the film that really just shines a light on how communities can be unwelcoming,” Dukelow said. “We’re also going to talk about the notion of the revolving door of the criminal justice system, how easy it can be once you’re out to end up back in prison.
“That’ll be one aspect of the conversation, but we’ll also talk about how art and culture can help connect people and community and make it more welcoming and inclusive. There will be a lot of themes going on — it’s going to be a wide-ranging conversation.”
A panel of speakers with diverse backgrounds will be a part of the town hall, including Rayon Brown, manager of diversity and inclusion services at Fox Valley Technical College; Paris Brown, Lawrence University admissions counselor; ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force member Bill Van Lopik; and photographer Mark Ferrell.
Dukelow said he expects the event to play out almost like a live version of his radio show.
The Saturday lineup for the festival plays out much like in past years. A 9 a.m. workshop for young filmmakers will be housed in the Redwood Room of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. The short film sessions begin at 1 p.m. and continue at 3, 6 and 8 p.m. The final batch features six works aimed for an adults-only audience. In all, 27 short films will be shown — each with a Wisconsin connection, whether it be a native behind or in front of the camera or the film having been shot in-state.
“We always pride ourselves in being able to offer a little something for everybody,” said Jason Buss, who founded the festival in 2001 with buddies Tom Thorne and Craig Knitt.
Among this year’s offerings are a documentary from an Oshkosh filmmaker on the experience of Vietnam veterans during an Old Glory Honor Flight that took place during EAA AirVenture.
Buss said one of his favorites from the 2017 crop is a horror thriller called “Taste,” produced and starring an actress from Wausau. He said it’s one that will leave the audience scratching their heads — in a good way.
There’s also “Gags,” a 17-minute horror movie from a Green Bay filmmaker, that’s part of the 8 p.m. set. That film might ring a bell for those who remember the creepy clown that was photographed in Green Bay last year and turned out to be a promotional stunt for the movie.
A 10 p.m. wrap party follows the final screening and runs until midnight in the lobby of the PAC.
The festival has been able to slowly grow over its 16 years, Buss said, thanks to an increase in community engagement. That's one thing he said was a huge plus this year, more so than in the past, from Dukelow's involvement in the town hall — he pitched the idea — to a team of sponsors jumping on board to help make it happen.
It all came together thanks to the help from numerous individuals and entities in the Fox Valley, he said, and it feels a little like catching "lightning in a bottle."
"It feels really good," Buss said.
Original Source: Postcresent.com
Shane Nyman , USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Published 8:39 a.m. CT March 4, 2017 | Updated 10:35 a.m. CT March 4, 2017