Small Town Wisconsin

Copy of Wayne and Bowling Ball.jpg


Film Information

Year: 2020

Genre: Feature Narrative

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Runtime: 105


Adult language or content


Cast & Crew

DIRECTOR Niels Mueller
WRITER Jason Naczek
PRODUCER Alexander Payne, Scott K. Foley, Josh Rosenberg, Hongtao Liu
KEY CAST David Sullivan, Bill Heck, Kristen Johnston, Cooper J. Friedman, Tanya Fischer, Mark Borchardt, Braden Anderson


Perpetual teenager Wayne Stobierski whisks his son away on one last father-son road trip after losing a custody battle. All of Wayne’s plans go comically and tragically wrong, but somehow in the process the trip transforms into a journey of heartfelt redemption.


I see Small Town Wisconsin as a love letter to America's heartland, which is where I grew up. It grapples with the question, "What is going wrong in America’s heartland?" Carefully interwoven into the simple, tragic, and comedic father-son story at the center of the film is a subtle exploration of the sadness and desperation behind our rural addiction crisis and the disenchantment behind the misguided longing for an America that “once was.” It’s an intimate epic of middle America in all its pain and glory and evokes the comedy and drama found in Neo-Realist stories—but with a distinctly American bent. It’s a story about people in crisis, whose small personal concerns, economic anxieties, and addictions are proving to be more and more relevant to us all.