The Weyauwega International Film Festival will light up the screen at the Gerold Opera House Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 12-15.
The festival features independent films from Russia, Egypt, France, Spain, Korea, South America and Wisconsin.
“Our featured international film is ‘The Fool’ by writer/director Yury Bykov,” according to Ian Teal, who organized the festival with his partner, Kathy Fehl. It tells the story of a simple plumber who discovers that the tenement building he lives in is in danger of collapsing. His attempts to persuade the town officials to take action are met with disdain and excuses. Even the 800 inhabitants are indifferent to his warnings.”
Teal said the film represents the extent of the corruption in contemporary Russian politics.
“The film also eerily reflects the similar corruption and malaise that inhabits our own government,” Teal said.
The festival’s Saturday night feature is “Bucky and the Squirrels,” a lighthearted comedy about a ‘60s rock band from Appleton, that disappears in a plane crash in the Swiss Alps. Half a century later, the plane is discovered and the Squirrels are defrosted and brought back to Appleton for rehabilitation and an attempt at finding their past glory. The film is written and directed by Allan Katz.
Katz was a writer and producer for many Hollywood and TV classics including Laugh-In, Sanford and Son, MASH, Roseanne and others. Katz will be in attendance for the screening. The film was shot in Appleton, including at Lawrence University, and features many local actors and extras.
The Weyauwega International Film Festival is screening many films with Wisconsin connections this year including “Boy Minus Girl,” a romantic comedy filmed in Appleton and “The King Tilts,” which was filmed in Door County.
Adam Zuehlke, who was raised in Weyauwega and now produces Film and Video in the Twin Cities, will be returning to his hometown with two short films “Evergreen” and “Sad Clown,” which are both scheduled for Friday night.
“It is a big deal to host a hometown boy. We look forward to getting to know Adam,” Teal said.
Thursday night features the gritty and raucous film “BFE,” about a group of young adults and a grandfather who are looking to get out of their dead-end, middle-of-nowhere town by any means necessary.
“Sex, drugs and a possible murder make this film better suited to mature audiences who will be well rewarded with a story well told,” Teal said.
Friday night features the documentary “My Name is Jonah.” Jonah has made a name for himself by self-publishing calendars featuring himself as war heroes and fantasy figures alongside scantily clad women.
“The film provides insight into the real Jonah and audiences will be surprised and amused to learn that he is not quite the man he portrays himself to be,” Teal said.
The Saturday afternoon feature is “Proud Citizen” by Thomas Sutherland. After winning second-place in a play writing contest, Bulgarian Krasimira Stanimirova travels to the rolling hills of Kentucky for the premiere of her autobiographical, Communist-era play “Black Coat.” She soon discovers that America is not quite what she had expected yet manages to make the most of her visit despite numerous disappointments.
Teal said this film has great emotional depth and features an engaging and rewarding performance by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer.
Tickets to the film festival are $30 in advance or $35 at the door for the entire four-day festival and $12 for a single day.
Go to www.wegaarts.org for more information about the Weyauwega Film Festival, a full schedule and to purchase tickets.