Ticker Arrow Image Thank you for attending and supporting the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival!


In addition to film screenings, the Wisconsin Film Festival offers additional fun events throughout the week of the Fest. We look forward to seeing you there!


Opening Night Celebration

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016
Time: 5:30pm - 12:00am
Location: Barrymore Theatre | 2090 Atwood Avenue | Madison, 53704
All-inclusive Opening Celebration tickets (limited availability) $25 | Opening Night Reception Only $15 (does not include film or VO5) | VO5 Dance Party at the Harmony $5 (at the door only, does not include reception or film)


Note: Comp codes should not be used for this event.

This year the Wisconsin Film Festival will have its opening night exclusively at new-for-this-year venue, The Barrymore Theatre. Our evening will start at 5:30pm with a reception in the Barrymore lobby featuring music, food from a variety of local restaurants, and a cash bar. At 7pm join us in the Theatre proper for our Golden Badger Awards ceremony, your first look at our Festival trailer, a delightful short, and our opening night feature film selection, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. After the movie, cross the street with us over to the Harmony Bar and Grill for a disco dance party with local favorites, VO5. Let's get this Festival started right, right?

Opening Night Reception | 5:30pm

The Barrymore lobby will never be the same. Enjoy a spectacular sampling of food from all your local favorites and soon-to-be favorites, get your drink on at our cash bar, get an early jump on our silent auction, and get your pick of seats for our opening night film. Limit of 200 tickets for this special start to our first evening on Atwood.

Golden Badger Award Ceremony | 6:45pm

This year's Golden Badgers, awarded for artistic excellence to a select few Wisconsin's Own entries, will be presented to the winners. Pete Schwaba, of Wisconsin Public Television's Director's Cut, will be on hand to host the ceremony.

Forest Products | 7:00pm

Eric Nelson (Siszilla, Golden Badger winner, 2013) presents a stop-motion animated short so perfect and sweet, you'll want to watch it again, immediately.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

An action-buddy comedy that is likely to be one of the most entertaining films you will see all year, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the latest feature from the multi-talented Taika Waititi, director of Boy (WFF 2011) and the clever vampire movie What We Do in the Shadows. 13-year old hip-hop loving foster kid Ricky (Julian Dennison), shuttled from one home to another due to his troublemaking ways, finally lands at the farm of the warm-hearted Bella and the grouchy Hec (Sam Neill). When tragedy strikes and it looks as though Ricky will be taken away from this new place he’s grown to love, he runs into the vast New Zealand bush. When Hec comes searching for the boy, a series of accidents and misunderstandings turn this unlikely duo, along with their faithful dog Tupac, into a pair of wanted outlaws. The hunt for the “Wilder-people,” as Ricky calls his small gang, is on, and it all culminates in a rollicking motor vehicle chase that deserves comparisons to the Mad Max series. Funny, fast-moving and filled with imaginatively staged action set pieces, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a survival movie with a big heart and a pair of memorable heroes.

VO5 for 5 | 9:00pm - 12:00am

Madison's favorite disco cover band takes the stage at the Harmony Bar and Grill for the first time ever to help celebrate opening night of this year's Wisconsin Film Festival. Special admission price of five dollars! Dance til you drop!

Filmmaker Panel Series

Presented by:
 sfm_logo film_wisconsin_logo

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
10:30 am and 12:30pm
Bar and Bistro, Sundance Cinemas | 430 N. Midvale Boulevard | Madison, 53705

The Wisconsin Film Festival has partnered with Focal Flame Photography to present video coverage of select 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival events via live stream! (Note: All live stream videos will be available post-Festival on our YouTube channel.)

Two filmmaker panel discussions will take place at Sundance Cinemas, 2nd floor Bar and Bistro on Saturday, April 16. These events are free and open to the public. However, if you can't attend in person, the crew will also be there to capture these events for live stream. Details about the panels and how to tune in are available on our Events page.

AfterGlow at Festival Hotels presented by Stella Artois


Date: Friday, April 15
Time: 10pm - 1am
Location: Graduate Hotel |
601 Langdon Street | Madison, 53703 
Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 10pm - 1am
Location: HotelRed |
1501 Monroe Street | Madison, 53711
Date: Sunday, April 17
Time: 10pm - 1am
Location: Best Western Plus
Inntowner | 2424 University Avenue | Madison, 53726

Over the Festival's long weekend, come bask in the afterglow of the day's events after the last films of the evening have screened. Join us for conversation and merrymaking at our Festival hotels. Jam to local bands while enjoying drink specials, featured appetizers, and the chance to connect with industry guests along with Festival film-goers, staff and volunteers. An RSVP is not needed, but we encourage you to attend!

Fresh & Snappy

Date: Friday, April 15 - Thursday, April 21
Gallery Hours: 2:00 - 8:00pm
Location: Hilldale Shopping Center | 726 N. Midvale Boulevard | Madison, 53705

Fresh & Snappy is an exhibition of a group of emerging artists from the UW-Madison. A selection of both undergraduate and graduate students will occupy several of the empty storefronts between Macy’s and the Sundance Theater in the Hilldale Shopping Center. The artwork will cover a wide range of media and techniques. This exhibition will reflect the individual visions of this group of artists as they begin to expand their professional visibility.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 15 from 6-8 pm and the gallery spaces will be open through Thursday, April 21. Window installations can be viewed during Hilldale Mall hours.


Filmmakers' Brunch

Date: Sunday, April 17, 2016
Time: 9:00 - 11:00am
Location: The Livingston Inn | 752 E. Gorham Street | Madison, 53703

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! We invite you to start your Sunday off right by joining us for our traditional Filmmakers Brunch hosted and sponsored by The Livingston Inn. In addition to carbo-loading, attendees will have the chance to network with Festival filmmakers before the first films of the day are screened. Space is limited. Sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

Put The Fest To Bed

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016
Time: 9:00pm - 1:00am
Location: Great Dane, Hilldale | 357 Price Place | Madison, 53705

It's become a tradition for Festival staff, volunteers, film-goers and any Guests of the Fest still in Madison to close out the week with a few brews and snacks at Festival sponsor The Great Dane. An RSVP is not needed for this informal gathering of folks who are ready to kick back and reflect on another Fest gone by.