Launched at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival, the Dear MKE film series embraces everything that makes life good here. Four films highlighting Milwaukee have been released to critical acclaim and have received more than 60,000 views on YouTube. Now the concepts of four lucky winners crowd-sourced from a contest held last fall are in development to become part of the 12-film series.
We asked people who love Milwaukee to tell us what makes Milwaukee special. The contest inspired an overwhelming response of more than 300 videos, photos and stories, available online at DearMKE.com<http://www.dearmke.com>. These came to us from a wide range of people with a strong connection to Milwaukee eager to share their personal thoughts, memories and feelings about what our great city means to them.
It was challenging to select only four winners. Dear MKE producers – VISIT Milwaukee, Hollywood producer and native Milwaukeean Jack Turner and About Face Media – were inspired by submissions that asked Dear MKE to explore a variety of perspectives, ranging from the creativity of the performing arts to the energy of a college town, to the rich texture of our architectural legacy to the family-friendly nature of the city.
In addition to winning a prize package worth approximately $1,000, the names of the winners will be included in the closing credits in the films under development to acknowledge their role in inspiring these topics.
The Dear MKE winners are:
* Michelle Jaskulski – Michelle’s photo of young ballet dancers will inspire a multifaceted look at the arts as seen through the eyes of local children enrolled in performing arts programs. See: http://www.dearmke.com/detail/821/
* Marquette University – Marquette’s submission gives focus to a story about Milwaukee as a hub of higher education.: http://www.dearmke.com/detail/587/
* John Sterr – John’s video about Milwaukee’s built environment will become the foundation for an exploration of Milwaukee’s rich architectural heritage. See: http://www.dearmke.com/detail/909/
* Danielle Bergner -Danielle’s “love letter” is the catalyst for a film that will focus on family-friendly Milwaukee. See: http://www.dearmke.com/detail/559/
A special People’s Choice award went to Sam Kozel, whose video “Weightless Collidescope”, received the most views during the contest. See: http://www.dearmke.com/detail/917/
According to Jeannine Sherman, director of public relations at VISIT Milwaukee, “It was difficult to select only four winners to complement the films we have already completed and those currently in development. It has been a privilege to witness such an outpouring of community pride and I want to encourage everyone who is passionate about Milwaukee to continue to share their stories here.”
Dear MKE’s most recent release, “All in the Family,” features Bill Davidson and Willie G. Davidson and gives viewers an unprecedented glimpse into their personal story through family photos, home movies and a visit behind the doors of the Harley-Davidson Museum(r) archives. It joins the first three films – an introduction to Milwaukee, a profile of local artist Reginald Baylor and a glimpse into what it takes to participate in the Riverwest 24 Bike Race.
When complete, the 12-film Dear MKE series and image campaign will paint a picture of Milwaukee and its many facets as told through the stories of Milwaukeeans. The project is designed to dispel old perceptions of Milwaukee, drive brand awareness, entice new talent, attract new businesses, and bring more visitors – and remind locals why we embrace the essence of what makes life good here.
To see all four films and an additional 300+ video clips, stories and photos of Milwaukeeans sharing their love, pride and stories about Milwaukee, go to Dearmke.com<http://www.dearmke.com>. Dear MKE is on Facebook