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Wis. filmmaker directs cinematic fan letter to "Calvin & Hobbes"

"Dear Mr. Watterson" playing at Wisconsin Film Festival

MADISON, Wis. - The 15th annual Wisconsin Film Festival, currently in session, is offering screenings of more than 150 different movies.

The event, as always, is giving special recognition to local filmmakers, who are taking the opportunity to get their films some badly-needed exposure.

Returning to Madison from his current home in Los Angeles is always a thrill for Wisconsin native Joel Schroeder.

"For me this is great," said Schroeder. "It's coming back home."

But the real reason Schroeder is back is to watch the screening of his own film at the Wisconsin Film Festival.

Schroeder's documentary feature "Dear Mr. Watterson" is one of twenty films at the festival created by a Wisconsin filmmaker.

"It's a cinematic fan letter to the creator of Calvin and Hobbes," explained Schroeder. "When we started the film, it was that question of, 'how does something have that much impact and hold so much meaning to me now as it did when I was a kid?'"

The annual film festival not only gives Schroeder and other Wisconsin filmmakers some publicity, it also provides the audience with the perfect viewing venue.

"That's where it was it was meant to be, as a professional sound mix that was mixed for the theater, so it's got that theatrical experience," said Schroeder. "It's a tremendous opportunity to be able to see your film as it was meant to be seen, in a group of 200, 300 people."

The festival has a special meaning for Schroeder, as it is his second film at the event. He had his first screened at the festival more than a decade ago.

"This is kind of where my film career got started," said Schroeder.

He hopes his career isn't the only one that is sparked by the festival.

"Being able to come and see films made by Wisconsinites is a great opportunity to see what could be something for you down the road if you're just getting into film," explained Schroeder.

More than 29,000 have been sold, with Schroeder's film one of several to sell out.

The festival goes through Thursday with screenings at seven locations across Madison.

Go here for more information on the festival.

Go here for more information on "Dear Mr. Watterson".

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