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Covering Madison’s film offerings in 2019

Looking back on an ambitious year of writing and podcasting about the many corners of local cinema. (Image: Jia Zhangke’s “Ash Is Purest White” was among the highlights at this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival.)

While Tone Madison places a lot of emphasis on music and social commentary, our film coverage also ramped up ambitiously throughout 2019. We welcomed a number of new yet seasoned writers into the fold to regularly comment on campus and downtown screenings in our events calendar. At the beginning of the year, we offered an in-depth podcast conversation 3D installation at UW Cinematheque’s regular venue (4070 Vilas Hall) before coordinating wide-ranging coverage of the 21st annual Wisconsin Film Festival across the city.

Our own Edwanike Harbour even served on the film festival’s Golden Badger Jury, which bestowed local director James Runde with a prize for his confident, quintessential Madisonian “featurette” Played Out.

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Other highlights in audio from this year included a candid talk with Milwaukee-based director Carol Brandt, who recently returned here to present an encore of 2018 SXSW premiere, Pet Names, and a roundtable podcast with special guests James Kreul (of Isthmus and Mills-Folly Microcinema) and Hamidreza Nassiri (educator and filmmaker) on Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s “Koker Trilogy.”

We also wrangled two thorough interviews— the first with American indie darling Hal Hartley ahead of the 35mm Chicago Film Society presentation of his 1990 feature Trust; the other came shortly thereafter with innovative multimedia artist Zia Anger, who visited Madison in October with the inspiring, interactive personal memoir, My First Film, at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Thanks for reading, listening, and supporting our work! Here’s to a fruitful new decade of film in Madison and beyond as we ring in 2020.

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