“53206 Milwaukee:” The city’s poorest neighborhood serves as setting for Hollywood film

MILWAUKEE -- The 53206 ZIP code has seen a high rate of murders, violent crime and drug abuse -- so what would there be to sing about? A Hollywood film will take this Milwaukee neighborhood to the big screen.

A group of filmmakers has headed to Milwaukee's poorest neighborhood to produce a movie.

Stephen Gregory Curtis

Stephen Gregory Curtis

"I'm from LA. I produce and direct out there, and we wanted to use as much local Milwaukee talent with casts as well," Stephen Gregory Curtis said.

"What's going on is that we're filming a full feature movie called 53206 Milwaukee, and it highlights the crime and tragedy. It also highlights talent," Kim Zulkowski said.

Zulkowski, known as Ms. Kim, is producing the Hollywood movie, and it's not her first.

Kim Zulkowski

Kim Zulkowski

"Lived in poverty. Grew up in foster care. Had that single mother. Mom was young when she had me -- a teenage parent. 11 siblings -- so I grew up on the streets that we're filming on," Zulkowski said.

Several months ago, a casting call went out through Facebook -- spearheaded by Milwaukee activist Tory Lowe.

Tory Lowe

Tory Lowe

"The talent is amazing. From Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee," Lowe said.

There were call backs, and Milwaukee talent was discovered. Imani Brown got the lead role -- playing Robbie.

Imani Brown

Imani Brown

"A 17-year-old girl named Robbie. Her and her friends have dreams and aspirations of making it out of 53206 and becoming something great," Brown said.

"I'm Robbie. I'm my character all the way. Completely," Brown said.

53206 movie

"Around her all she sees are drugs, violence, her friends being murdered, classmates dropping out of school left and right," Zulkowski said.

"Robbie has lots of experience. Lots of deaths in regards to gun violence and I have as well. I just lost my friend last December. Ten months she's been gone," Brown said.

Bullet casings found during shoot of 53206 movie

For one shoot, the crew set up at 9th and Burleigh. It just so happened to be the night after another kind of shoot -- with bullets. Casings and bullet holes served as a reminder of why they were there.

"Showing that someone with the right motivation can make change in the community and can inspire people to make a difference -- that's what we're all hoping to do," Zulkowski said.

53206 movie

The movie is currently being edited in Los Angeles. It could debut as soon as the spring of 2017.

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12 comments

    • walloffthenorthside

      Truth hurts. Wouldn’t say poorest seeing as with all the free handouts y’all get you actually make more than someone with a 4 year degree without having to do nothing other than dump out some more kids..however that’s about to change starting in January.

      • WEALLSHOULDCAREABOUTEACHOTHER

        Seems like you didn’t get an accredited 4 year degree, seeing as your grammar and knowledge about basic human needs is clearly abysmal! I’m curious if you’ve ever talked to someone who receives well-fare, I have, seeing as my mission in life is to increase equitable access to healthcare across the US. Many people receiving public assistance work, sometimes multiple jobs, some don’t eat when the end of the month comes in order to continue feeding their children. I hope you can take sometime and reflect on your privilege.

    • FAUX6 the Liberal Pandering Machine

      I’m surprised Michael Moore isn’t involved somehow… but then again there are other nutjobs out there just as ignorant as he is. I’m sure they will take plenty of swings at white people and Republicans and blame them for making all of those people “poor”. I’m sure they will even throw in a few jabs at Trump even though he isn’t President (yet). Like Darrell above said, this is nothing more than a pathetic Liberal propaganda piece… of course FOX6 would never call it by that since they pander to all of the liberals so hard-core these days.