Making of “The Human War”

human-war-makingSun, Feb 23, 2014 – 12:00 pm — La Casa Grande Tickets

Filmmaker AttendingFilmmaker Spotlight:
The Making of “The Human War”

Pirooz Kalayeh, one of the directors of BIFF 2014′s official selection “The Human War,” presents a look into the benefits and challenges of independent film by discussing the making of some of his feature films. Actor James Roehl will be in attendance.

Pirooz Kalayeh is a filmmaker, artist, and author. His films include SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL, THE HUMAN WAR, and BRAD WARNER’S HARDCORE ZEN. His novel THE WHOPPER STRATEGIES details an advertising executive’s journey to package Enlightenment in a Box. His fourth feature ZOMBIE BOUNTY HUNTER M.D. is currently in post-production with ILIKENIRVANA.

Three other screening of The Human War | More information & tickets here.

Frederick & Friends Spotlight

Ericka Fredericks

Sat Feb 15, 2014 –  2:00 pm — Bushel & Peck’s  Tickets

Filmmaker Spotlight:
Ericka Frederick & Friends

Ericka FrederickThis year BIFF is spotlighting award-winning and inspiring filmmakers in the area.

With this Regional Filmmaker Spotlight, we honor the Academy Award nominated Chicago film producer Ericka Frederick and her peer, Iverson White, a filmmaking professor at UW-Milwaukee and respected screenwriter.

Join Ericka as she presents a selection of unique topics in filmmaking.



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Drywater Productions Spotlight

Drywater Productions

Sun Feb 16, 2014 – 2:00 pm — Domenico’s  Tickets

Filmmaker Spotlight:
Drywater Productions

Filmmaker Attending

This year, BIFF is spotlighting award-winning and inspiring filmmakers in the area. With this Regional Filmmaker Spotlight, we honor the award-winning Stateline filmmakers, Stephen and Cameron Pickering of Drywater Productions.

Stephen and Cameron Pickering is a husband-wife team who started Drywater Productions in 2006 after Stephen graduated from Vancouver Film School in British Columbia, Canada. They create a mixture of short films, documentaries, commercials, corporate videos and web videos for top companies in Wisconsin and nationally. In this spotlight, they will show a selection of their work and discuss how they made their Stateline production company successful, all the while raising three young children.

What does it take to build a video production company without loans, and in this economy? What is it like to work at home with the kids, and how do they balance the corporate videos with the creative videos? Learn how they were able to find their creative niche and finally get the chance to take their company full-time by entering (and winning) commercial competitions with big brands like Microsoft, Orbitz, Hormel, 3M, and Pizza Hut.

Vets Roll

The award-winning short films and commercials selected for this spotlight include:

Short Films:

  • My Prison Called Life – (2005, Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival 2012, Nominated for Best Wisconsin Film)
    • Charles spends his last day on Death Row. For years, he has written to his son every day. His last wish is for his forgiveness.
  • House Call – (Created for Madison 48 Hour Film Project, 2007)
    • House Call tells the story of June Baker, a woman murdered in her home by a “handyman.”
  • Unknown Spectre – (Winner Madison 48 Hour Film Project – Best Film, Best Use of Genre, Best Graphics, Best Sound Design, Best use of Character, Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival 2011)
    • Detective Jack Spencer is investigating a series of strange disappearances. His search leads him to the offices of John Charles where he is led on a journey to save the world from unearthly villains.
  • The Momento – Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival 2012)
    • A hitchhiker is picked up one dark night by clean-cut middle-aged man named Nathan. This begins a journey where the audience will question whether or not to judge a book by its cover. The Momento was created for the 50 Hour Canned Film Competition in association with the Beloit International Film Festival 2011.
  • The Extraction (Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival 2013)
    • After successfully completing their mission, two soldiers suddenly find themselves trapped behind enemy lines when their chopper is shot down. Having been given their new extraction point, their sole mission is to stay alive. They must now depend on their training, survival skills and faith in one another as they dodge enemy fire trying to get home. This film was written and directed by middle school and high school students from the Drywater Productions School of Film, class 101.
  • Tripping with the Planketts (Winner Madison 48 Hour Film Project – Best Use of Dialogue, Best Use of Character, Best Writing, Best Acting, and Runner Up for Best Film.)
    • When a quirky vacationing couple picks up a stranded pharmaceutical representative their imaginations take them for a ride found only in a good murder mystery novel.
  • Take it From Me (Winner Madison 48 Hour Film Project 2013 – Best Original Music Score)
    • A dramatic short about love, honesty, and forgiveness. When Jeremy, a recovering alcoholic meets Sylvia, a diagnosed kleptomaniac, it’s love at first swipe.

Award-Winning Commercials:

  • “Interrogation” – Hormel Completes
  • “Office Zombies” – Microsoft Windows Phone 7
  • “Love on a Plate” – IHOP
  • “Milkman vs. Egghead” – Got Milk?
  • “Am I still Grounded?” – Megapath
  • “My Woodman’s” – Woodman’s Markets


  • VetsRoll (Created for, Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival 2014)
    • 200 WWII and Korean War Veterans and Rosie the Riveters. 100 Assistants. 10 Badger Buses. 4 days that will change their lives! Follow along as we travel from Beloit, WI to Washington, D.C. as VetsRoll takes these men and women on a trip of a lifetime to visit the memorials that were erected in honor of their service to our country! Learn how much this trip means to them because it gives these men and women the respect they deserve, which they often never got.

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Little Red

Tate Bunker Spotlight

little red

Fri Feb 14, 2014 –  7:30 pm — Bushel & Peck’s
Sat Feb 22, 2014 – 7:30 pm — La Casa Grande

Filmmaker Spotlight:
Tate Bunker

Tate BunkerThis year BIFF is spotlighting award-winning and inspiring filmmakers in the area.  With this Regional Filmmaker Spotlight, we honor the extraordinary talent of  Milwaukee filmmaker Tate Bunker, Winner of “Best Feature Film” at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, “Best Milwaukee Filmmaker” at the Milwaukee Film Festival as well as our very own BIFFY award for “Best Wisconsin Film.”

Join Tate Bunker as he presents a selection of his work.

Following the presentation, Bunker’s former student and BIFF’s Creative Director Kristin Peterson will lead a Q&A between the audience and the filmmaker.


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