Milwaukee Film embraces diversity, conversation in week-long Cultures and Communities Festival

NOW: Milwaukee Film embraces diversity, conversation in week-long Cultures and Communities Festival

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Film returns with a new week-long festival that explores diverse perspectives from creators.

The 2021 Cultures and Communities Festival kicked off Monday, Sept. 6.

This year, there will be 40 films and many events -- both virtual and in-person -- to join people through cinema.

"I think, oftentimes, we think of culture as just race or ethnicity," said Milwaukee Film Chief Innovation Officer Geraud Blanks. "To me, it's just about the things that get you up in the morning, that interest you and your family, right?"

Blanks said the festival embraces diversity and the power of conversation... something he calls the 'essence of community.'

"All the things that we're sort of dealing with come down to people talking, first and foremost. You can't get past anything until you have a conversation," said Blanks.

Some famous names will also help kick off the festival -- culinary expert Adrian Miller and Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams.

Events will happen throughout the city, and several will be inside the Oriental Theater.

It's back open after a pandemic-forced shutdown last March and some much-needed renovations.

"The seats are brand-spanking new, they're clean, the cushions are nice and soft, new carpeting, we've updated the sound," he explained. "We took a situation with being closed and tried to make the best of it."

There's also a new concession stand inside the theater, too.

The Cultures and Communities Festival runs through Sept. 12.

For information, times and tickets CLICK HERE.

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