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Shot at spotlight: Milwaukee Film Festival highlights young directors

Some of Milwaukee’s youngest filmmakers are getting their talents showcased on the big screen.

Among the hundreds of films during this year's Milwaukee Film Festival, some of the creative minds behind them are not 18 years old yet.

During the youth show on Sunday, the festival screened dozens of short films by Milwaukee area youth, including of Veritas High School senior, Sergio Sandoval. "So the film I directed is based on Hamlet, it's based on 'The Office', the T.V. show,” he said. “I thought it was kinda crazy. My teacher had actually told me 'can I submit this?’ And I said yeah sure. I didn't think it would actually get selected, but I'm really thankful it did."

Organizers said young filmmakers played an important role.

"These stories are being told first hand by kids who have either experienced something that meaningful in their life, or are seeing something in our society that they want to be able to tell a story about. In many cases it's a very personal story," said Sara Meaney, chief marketing officer of the Milwaukee Film Festival.

Some of the directors didn't shy away from hot-button issues in their films, such as LGBTQ representation or obstacles minorities face.

"We as kind of a minority, when you think about Milwaukee, you think about segregation a lot of all this, we're kind of bringing the city, putting it on the map and that's one of my dreams -- putting Milwaukee on the map, so I feel like we're kinda achieving that one step at a time," Sandoval added.

The showcase was followed by a 'Q-and-A' with the directors. A few of them said the experience has inspired them to continue film-making.

The Milwaukee Film Festival runs through Nov. 1. For more details, visit: https://mkefilm.org/

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