'Slenderman' documentary to be shown at Milwaukee Film Festival: "I was absolutely shaken by it"

MILWAUKEE -- "Beware the Slenderman," a documentary about two Waukesha girls accused of stabbing a classmate 19 times and leaving her for dead in the woods to appease the fictional character "Slenderman" will make its debut at the Milwaukee Film Festival this fall.

The documentary, by filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, was one of eight films announced Tuesday morning, July 19th for this year's festival.

Morgan Geyser, Anissa Weier

The trials have not yet begun for the two girls accused in the attempted murder of a classmate in May of 2014 -- but the documentary focusing on the case and the online horror stories about the fictional character Slenderman that played a part has been completed.

Beware the Slenderman

Milwaukee Film Festival officials say the filmmakers reached out to them.

Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film Festival director

"We have a great relationship with HBO and they thought we'd be a great place to screen and launch locally here and with the subject matter of the film, it needs to be in delicate hands," Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film Festival director said.


Jackson said he's seen the film, and as a father, it had an impact on him.

"I was absolutely shaken by the film," Jackson said. "Today in our world, children and youth have more access to information, content, stories than ever before and I think it's understanding as a society what the impacts of that are. This film does a really good job of showcasing the challenges that can come with that," Jackson said.


The Milwaukee Film Festival has had its share of documentaries that focus on some of Wisconsin's most troubling cases.

Milwaukee Film Festival

A Jeffrey Dahmer documentary was screened and then hit Netflix.

A documentary on priest abuse inside St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis was also a feature at the Milwaukee Film Festival in the past.

It's unclear whether Wisconsin has more fodder for documentaries than other states, but Milwaukee Film Festival officials say "Beware the Slenderman" will bring a tough issue to screens here in Milwaukee this fall.

The Milwaukee Film Festival lineup also includes Sonita, which won the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and Lamb, the first Ethiopian film to ever be included in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection.

The 2016 Milwaukee Film Festival will take place at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, Times Cinema, and Avalon Theater. It will take place September 22nd - October 6th.

Discounted festival passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2016 festival are now on sale at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Below is the second list of official selections: