This September marked the beginning of the 4th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival. Featuring more than 200 films during the 15 day festival, the Milwaukee Film staff of eight people need to fill over 30 positions with technically trained, seasoned professionals.
How do they get by? With a little help from their Gypsy friends.
"Gypsy" refers to the group of professional and technical staff that travels from Film Fest to Film Fest around the U.S.. and the world. Starting their work-year off at Sundance in Colorado in December, some live out of their cars (sometimes) but mostly out of suitcases, crashing on couches and hotels rooms around the globe.
From box office manager to projectionists, these gypsies come with the experience needed from working at much larger festivals. However, Milwaukee Film Festival is one of their favorites.
Gypsy Kristin Coates is the shipping coordinator for MFF and works 16 hour days. She says "We find our balance between work and play. We take our work seriously here at Milwaukee Film. But I laugh more here than anywhere else and we have a good rapport. That makes your work day amazing."
She also sees a sense of community and support for the festival in Milwaukee that is lacking in other cities.
The Milwaukee Film Festival runs now through October 11th. Information and how you can get involved is found at mkefilm.org.