Award-winning Independent Film Coming to La Crosse


Award-Winning Film Skips LA, Coming Straight to a Town Near You

The award-winning independent feature film, AQUARIANS, brings a range of emotion, striking visuals, and formidable young talent to the screen with a multi-city theatrical release slated for Friday, Nov. 2.

Midwest native/Los Angeles based filmmaker Michael M. McGuire showcases the wintry landscape of northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan in this comedic brotherhood drama, starring Shane Coffey (Pretty Little Liars, Sugar Mountain), Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said, A Hologram For The King), and Chandler Massey, best known for his triple Emmy-winning role as Will Horton on Days Of Our Lives.  Veteran character actor Richard Riehle (Casino, Office Space), Pete Schwaba (The Godfather of Green Bay) and acclaimed Midwest theater actors James DeVita and Colleen Madden comprise some of the well-rounded supporting cast.

Aquarians will be released in select theaters across Wisconsin and Upper Michigan starting on Friday, November 2.  In line with its small-town setting, McGuire and his team decided to flip the typical release pattern for independent films on its head; rather than opening in New York and Los Angeles, with the possibility of expanding to other big cities, the team behind Aquarians is partnering with independent and family-owned theaters in small towns across the region to bring the film to the audiences who will most relate to and appreciate the story, characters, and setting.  Moviegoers in several locations will have the opportunity to meet the filmmaker, as McGuire and members of the filmmaking team will appear in person to conduct question-and-answer sessions during the film’s opening weekend (locations & times TBA).

Aquarians has earned accolades on the film festival circuit, most notably at its premiere at the 2017 Twin Cities Film Fest, where it was the Audience Award Runner Up out of over 100 films, and the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival, where it was programmed alongside several Oscar nominated films and oversold both its screenings.  Festival programmers and critics have called Aquarians “an intelligent, thought provoking and compelling drama,” and “highly enjoyable” saying “the writing is excellent,” and “Chandler Massey gives a fantastic performance” while fans have described it as “moving” and “flawless.”

Release Date:

Friday, November 2, 2018


Cloverland Cinemas, Ironwood MI

Tivoli Theater, Stephenson MI

Palace Twin Theater, Antigo WI

Micon Stadium 8, Chippewa Falls WI

Vilas Cinema, Eagle River WI

Rivoli Theatre, La Crosse WI

Mariner Theatre, Marinette WI

Shawano Cinema, Shawano WI

Sparta Cinema 6, Sparta WI

Sturgeon Bay Cinema 6, Sturgeon Bay WI

Lakeland Cinema 6, Woodruff, WI

Running Time: 103 minutes

Rating:  Not Rated.  Contains adult language, situations and light drug use.  Parental discretion advised.

Appearing in Person: 

Writer/Director Michael M. McGuire, Actor Pete Schwaba, & Producer Ben Fritz (Other cast members TBD); locations, dates and times TBA.

Synopsis:   Aquarians follows Danny (Chandler Massey), a seminary student who begrudgingly returns to his snow-covered hometown of Silver River to support his longtime, terminally ill pastor, Father Rob (Richard Riehle).  But as questions swirl about the young deacon’s family past, Danny embarks on reconnecting with his estranged brother, Jake (Shane Coffey).  With the help of Nicole (Tracey Fairaway), a hipster hair stylist from their past, Danny sets off into the night woods to find Jake, setting in motion an emotional rollercoaster as the two undertake chores, debate faith, go ice fishing and confront temptations that twist and turn in surprising ways.  As tensions erupt, the brothers find themselves in violent confrontation over the past event that sent them down divergent paths in life.

About the Filmmaker:

Born in Minneapolis and raised in Marinette, Wisconsin, Michael M. McGuire spent his youth exploring the forests and waterways of the north woods before heading to UW-Madison, where he earned his BA in History and Theater/Drama.  There, he presided over the Pre-Law Society while performing in university theater and film productions, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Michael began his career in the arts as an actor, performing in theatre productions across the US and in New York City, as well as onscreen in TV shows such as Law & Order: SVU, Breaking Vegas, and in several independent feature films.  Realizing his passion for storytelling in the motion picture medium, McGuire transitioned into filmmaking, earning his MFA from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where he trained under esteemed faculty such as producer Neil Canton (Back To The Future), screenwriter Gill Dennis (Walk The Line), and Oscar winning filmmaker Seth Winston (Session Man).

An experienced producer of over a dozen feature films, McGuire is best known for his producing work on the Spirit Award nominated ELECTRICK CHILDREN, the 2017 Sundance selection BITCH, starring Jason Ritter, and the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival selection DEAD WOMEN WALKING, with Ashton Sanders, Dot-Marie Jones and Lynn Collins.  As a production executive for Company X, the production company founded by Elijah Wood, McGuire helps oversee production for a variety of film and media projects.  Company X recently released the Nicolas Cage starring MANDY in theaters nationwide.  McGuire also recently produced the music video for Chris Cornell’s Grammy-nominated performance of his song, “The Promise,” from the film of the same name, prior to the artist’s unexpected passing last year.

More information about McGuire and AQUARIANS can be found on the film’s website:

For Press Inquiries Contact:

Alexander Beale