Small Town Wisconsin

Director : Niels Mueller

2021 OzIFF Laurel Winner Comedy
Small Town Wisconsin film poster

Overview & Credits


Wayne Stobierski is the most fun-loving, hardest-living party animal in Rhinelander, Wisconsin (population 7,798). Just ask his favorite wingman, Tyler, who’s seen it all, lived it all, loved it all. Only problem? Tyler is Wayne’s nine year old son.

When Wayne learns the devastating news that he is losing shared custody and that his beloved wingman will be moving far away, he plans a special weekend for his son to remember him by –– a trip to the big city of their dreams Milwaukee, Wisconsin (population 592,025).

Poor Wayne. The moment he’s out of his small town comfort zone, he finds his plans spinning comically out of control. When Wayne passes out drunk before he can find a hotel room, his best friend and chaperone, Chuck, decides to take the gang to Wayne’s estranged sister Alicia’s house.

Wayne is none too happy to wake up and find himself in the middle of an unscheduled family reunion. But there’s nothing quite like family to help find levity in heartache. Surrounded by love -- some of it tough, all of it genuine -- Wayne finds himself facing down his demons, all while showing his son the most spectacular time of his life.

Director Biography

Mueller was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended Tufts University, where he earned a BA. While an undergraduate, he collaborated with fellow-student Gary Winick on a number of independent film projects. Mueller subsequently attended film school at UCLA where he earned an MFA. His most notable work remains The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004), starring Sean Penn, which he directed and also co-wrote with Kevin Kennedy. Other writing projects include Tadpole (2002), which he co-wrote, 13 Going on 30 (2004), A pilot he wrote with Kevin Kennedy, The Defenders, was picked up by CBS television for the Fall 2010 season. The series, starring James Belushi and Jerry O'Connell, chronicled the adventures of two defense attorneys in Las Vegas.


Niels Mueller - Director
Jason Naczek - Writer
Scott K. Foley - Producer
Josh Rosenberg - Producer
Hongtao Liu - Producer
Niels Mueller - Producer

Key Cast

David Sullivan - “Wayne ”
Bill Heck - “Chuck ”
Kristen Johnston - “Alicia ”
Cooper J. Friedman - “Tyler ”
Tanya Fischer - “Deidra ”
Mark Borchardt - “Store Clerk ”