Deadlines Feb. 28th – Screenplay (Feature, TV) and Novel Writing Festivals

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Just wanted to let you know about the upcoming deadline. Hope to see you submit. Love to perform your stories at the festival.

Deadline February 28th: Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review

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Deadline February 28th:: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
TV Screenplay Testimonials from the WILDsound Festival

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DEADLINE February 28th: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.
1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL. Deadline February 28th

NEW OPTION: Or, just submit for an actor performance reading transcript…

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Submit your LOGLINE for FREE to www.storypitches.com

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Submit your Logline for FREE to the Story Pitch site and get it promoted on the social media networks (over 1.2 million followers)

https://storypitches.com

We will post your pitch right away and send you a link.

There is a introductory special to turn your logline into a Video Pitch for only $10. This includes a voice over artist performing your logline as your text scrolls on the video with images (optional). Watch examples on the site:

Video Pitch Logline

We guarantee 1000s of views on your video.

There are also some other exciting contests these other festivals runs that I thought would be right up your alley:

Write and submit a 1pg. screenplay. Guaranteed win and a performance reading video using professional actors:
Deadline February 28th – 1pg. Screenplay Contest

Write and submit at 1pg. novel (400 words or less). Guaranteed win and a performance reading video by a…

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The 89TH OSCARS 2017 – Review

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

2017oscars.jpgby Gilbert Seah

This year, the most unbelievable mistake was the announcement of the year’s BEST PICTURE.  Warren Beatty announced LA LA LAND instead of MOONLIGHT.  A mistake that will be remembered FOREVER!

MOONLIGHT is the BEST PICTURE.  NOT LA LA LAND!

The Red Carpet that began an hour or so before the actual ceremonies is the normal show of glamour – designer gowns (Valentino’s red gown worn by Ruth Negga, Armani’s white one worn by Isabelle Huppert, just to name 2 of the best), make-up, hair. etc.  One big difference this year is the spotlight on mothers.  A lot of celebrities brought their ‘mom’s as their guests, among them, Matt Damon, Dev Patel, Russell Brand, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper.

The Golden Globes had Jimmy Fallon as host.  The Oscars have Jimmy Kimmel.  Which talk show hosts did the better job?  Your judgement, not mine.  Kimmel has 14 years of experience hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! in addition to hosting the Emmy Awards in 2016 and also the American Music Awards.

Kimmel performs a funny enough 10-minute comic opening poking fun at among others, Mel Gibson, Matt Damon including and yes, Donald Trump.  The best joke was the the undeserved round of applause given for Meryl Streep, the most under-rated actress in Hollywood.  A close second was the joke on Hollywood doing white people jazz and black people NASA.  

Political statements?  Last year’s host Chris Rock criticized diversity and this year saw, as a result, a record number of African American films nominated that included MOONLIGHT, FENCES, HIDDEN FIGURES, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO and LOVING with an African American nominated in each of all 4 acting categories.  This year, the statement was made by the director of the Best Foreign Film THE SALESMAN, Asghar Farhadi who refused to attend the ceremonies because of Trump’s travel ban.  This was his second win after UNE SEPARATION.

The best speech is arguably from Viola Davis, the sure shoo-in for the win for FENCES.  She likely prepared and rehearsed her speech before the win, many times.  She cried and made the audience cry as well for her moving speech about the glory of acting.

The Golden Globes have the advantage of being first.   The Golden Globes and Fallon did an excellent opening musical number with him singing and stuck in his car en route to the Golden Globes as in the musical highway number in LA LA LAND.  This one cannot be topped by any thing done in the Oscar ceremonies.   Justin Timberlake tries hard with his opening song and dance number from the animated TROLLS. 

As usual, the most sombre part of the evening is the obituaries segment.  This year saw the passing on of a high number of talent, too many to mention – among them, Debbie Reynolds, Prince, Bill Paxton, John Hurt, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder and Anton Yelchin.

But this year’s Oscar controversy might not be over yet.  Trump might still ‘tweet’ in.

Hands down, the best and most hilarious presenters were John Cho and Leslie Mann.

Below is the complete list of nominees.  In bold are the ones the Oscar went to, and the underlined are the ones in my opinion, should have gone to.  (The word ‘winner’ is a no-no during the Oscars).

BEST PICTURE

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

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ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

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ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

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ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

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ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

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ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

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CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

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COSTUME DESIGN

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

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DIRECTING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

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DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Fire at Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

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DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Extremis

4.1 Miles

Joe’s Violin

Watani: My Homeland

The White Helmets

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FILM EDITING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Moonlight

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FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

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MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

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MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

MoonlightPassengers

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MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls

Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

“City Of Stars” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Passengers

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SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Pearl

Piper

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SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Ennemis Intérieurs

La Femme et le TGV

Silent Nights

Sing

Timecode

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SOUND EDITING

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

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SOUND MIXING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

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VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

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WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: THE SHACK (USA 2017)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

The Shack (2017).jpgDirector: Stuart Hazeldine
Writers: John Fusco (screenplay), Andrew Lanham (screenplay)
Stars: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw

Review by Gilbert Seah

THE SHACK is a faith movie that loses the ‘Christianity’ label but whose theme would probably include the Christian faith. God appears in many forms, as male papa (Graham Greene), female papa (Octavia Spencer) or Jesus (Avivi Alush) or Sarayu Sumire Matsubara.

Though the Christian God’s name is absent, many of the teachings of Christ are present in one form or another. In the film, God appears in the film as a trinity, though the trinity is not in the form of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost but in the form of papa, Jesus and Sarayu. The preaching of forgiveness, very important in Christianity is also emphasized in the story.

The film opens with a young boy, MacKenzie as he witnesses his father abusing his mother and then giving him a beating after he tells on him at church. The abuse obviously flows into the boy’s adult life. The film forwards to the present where the boy is now a grown man, (Sam Worthington), married with two children. Christianity loves to test the faith of its believers and in this case, the patience of the audience as well.

After his young daughter is murdered during a family camping trip, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to the shack where the crime occurred, deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack goes there and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

Director Hazeldine’s straight forward storytelling technique leaves nothing to the imagination. Apart from a few dreamlike sequences, the story unfolds in chronological fashion with hardly a flashback The film is more interesting (though this is not saying much) in the first 15 minutes or so, because there are incidents happening. After, when redemption is the order of the day, the film just ponders along ponderously.

There are no special performances in the film. Worthington appears to be faith blindly walking though his role The same goes for the rather well-known name cast that includes Radha Mitchell, Octavia Spencer and Graham Greene. I have never seen Spencer in such a painful performance, forcing laughter too many times as in this film.

The film is suitable for a family audience. There is no foul language. Even the child beating scene is done without any violence and the reason for Missy’s appearance is mentioned in a ‘too polite’ manner.

An overlong faith movie running at 132 minutes which is as slow and tedious as it tests your faith and patience, see THE SHACK only if you absolutely MUST.
The film end with an equal tedious song “Keep Your Eyes on Me” by Faith Hill and actor Tim McGraw.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL0yUbSS5Eg

 
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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: AFTER THE STORM (Japan 2016) ***1/2

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

AFTER THE STORM.jpgDirector: Hirokazu Koreeda
Writers: Hirokazu Koreeda (original story), Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi

Review by Gilbert Seah

 I was totally amazed with the first Hirokazu Kore-eda film I had seen called AFTER LIFE in 2003, which I considered a minor masterpiece. The British magazine did a 5-page article on him and the film hoping the publicity would get the then undistributed film distribution. It did. Kore-eda followed AFTER LIFE with a few other films, most notable being the Cannes Palme d’Or winner in 2013 LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON – again an excellent film.

AFTER THE STORM is not Kore-da at his best but at his mildest filmmaking. Don’t expect the drama of LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON or the imagination of AFTER LIFE. Yet AFTER THE STORM is not without its pleasures. On the surface it is a simple film, a kind look at a loser. Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is a failed writer, a third-rate detective, and a hardened gambler. As the film’s title seems to suggest, the salient moments of his life have already passed before the beginning of the story. He won an important literary award when he was young, but his promising career vanished into thin air. Now, his father has died and his wife has left him. What he makes as a private detective, he loses on gambling and can barely pay his child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother Yoshiko (Kilin Kiki) and his ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a place in the life of his young son, Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa). Ryoto seems resigned to his position on the sidelines of the boy’s life. But Ryota works with another young man, his private-eye assistant, who fills in the position of his absent son.

The audience is left to judge Ryoto. Ryoto is a man, not without vices, but still honest man despite dishonest doings. And he is still a handsome man, besides his age, able to attract the opposite sex, as in the old classmate he meets at the beginning of the film.

Thefilm’s climax takes place one night when a typhoon strikes. The broken family is forced to spend the night together at Ryota’s mother’s home. The ensuing interaction that is both bittersweet and tender forms the film’s highlight. “I never want to grow up to be like you.”, the son says. “I will always love them. They are my family.” The father says at one point. These are the sensitivities always prevalent in Kore-eda’s films that make them memorable. Great performances here come not only from Abe but from Kirin Kiki as Ryota’s mother, who is so funny she steals every scene she is in. And as in all Kore-eda’s films, there are a lot of scenes of trains. Kore-eda has said that this film is based on his personal experience of the death of his parents.

Also interesting is the observation of the ex-couple’s arguments. Ryota argues with his ex-wife over seeing his son and child support. In this film, typical of Japanese films, there is argument with reasoning without any shouting or display of cheap theatrics that are common to European and American films.

There is a beautiful shot of a delicious braised pork brewing stew at one point in the film when Yoshiko tells her son: “A stew needs time for the flavours to sink in; so do people.” The same applies in AFTER THE STORM – patience is needed for the audience to savour the pleasures of Kore-eda’s film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwJcIoFuhto

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with Festival Director William Vela (Miami Short Film Festival)

Miami short Film Festival is a film festival based in Miami, Florida that features short films of 20-minutes or less each. A growing movement to exhibit and expand the art form of short film making providing a venue to build community around the arts. Philosophy: Short films, past and present, are true works of art, and deserve a venue dedicated to their exhibition. Their mission is to present quality films from around the world as well as support, recognize and honor filmmakers creating a films under 20 minutes.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

William Vela: Miami short Film Festival is succeeding because we continue to promote the short film genre and supporting local and international filmmakers providing an ideal platform in a popular city such Miami Florida. The MsFF is international in scope and as a result, the festival has showcased over 1,000 high-quality films from around the world representing over 70 countries and has given the filmmaker a gateway for exposure and to short film an identity differentiating it from the classical feature lent films.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

MsFF will offer our audience a one of a kind selection of the best short films across all genres from all over the world. From original scripts to different perspectives, to new cinematography and film techniques, each piece is the result of true emotion andexpression. Today’s short film cinema is beyond doubt, the nurturing ground of tomorrow’s world-renowned filmmakers.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

When selecting the films, our goal is to find films that are
distinctive and with a powerful team. We look for a storyline that can transform audiences, living them with a powerful message.

Technical Requirements:
-Films must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2015
-All non-English films must have English sub-titles.
-Films must be submitted electronically
-We will only consider works with a maximum running time of 20 minutes or less. There is no minimum running time.
-Works-in-progress will be considered, provided they will be completed prior to the Festival.
-We do not allow multiple category entries.
-Though not a requirement, we prefer that films NOT have previously screened in a public theatrical setting in Dade or Broward County FL prior to their screening at MiamisFF.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

No comment.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

The love of filmmaking and desire to contribute to the cultural scene of our community. Also the responsibility of having create a dependable film festival that filmmakers and our audience wait for every year.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Film Freeway has been very helpful offering filmmakers and Film
Festival organizers a friendly tool to process all the materials. It has also provided a reachable staff that you can contact any time. They are way better than any other exiting platforms.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

The film that I have seen the most times in my life is The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Great films most have a good storyline, interesting characters and good performance.

How is the film scene in your city?

Miami’s independent film scene is flourishing, even as hundreds of arthouse cinemas close around the country. The city is home to seven independent cinemas, most of which have opened in the last four years, and its increasing number of film festivals and notable filmmakers is propelling South Florida into a passionate film mecca with more than 10 festivals and an entire month dedicated to showcasing film such as the Miami short Film Festival.

miamishorts1.jpg

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Interviewee BIO: For the past thirteen years Mr. Vela has been the Executive Director of the MsFF organization, overseeing every single aspect of this exiting international film festival. With more than 20 years of experience working as a professional actor, producer and director, he has work in over 250 TV commercial for the locals, nationals and international market. A creative and dynamic leader in the entertainment field industry, with continued success in event planning and media productions. Mr. Vela has been focus on expanding local, national and international independent short film productions while integrating influential and diverse partnership and sponsors to this campaign

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Shira Dubrovner (Mammoth Lakes Film Festival)

Awarded in 2016 by MovieMaker Magazine as a top 50 film festival worth the entry fee. In 2017, the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will screen over 60 features and shorts in the spectacular setting of Mammoth Lakes—California’s premier mountain resort, high in the Eastern Sierra. It will take place on the Wednesday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

http://www.mammothlakesfilmfestival.com/

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Shira Dubrovner: We combine our commitment to cutting-edge programming with our efforts to create a friendly, nurturing, fun atmosphere, giving our filmmakers a unique experience to be a part of what’s new and exciting in the independent film world and to make personal and professional connections in a truly unique setting. We believe films can change the world, but we also believe in art for art’s sake. Our slogan is “Movies Unfiltered,” and we make a point of showcasing work that digs deep, gets personal, and gets real and raw and confrontational when necessary. We put our filmmakers first, and make every effort to bring them to the festival and give them an unforgettable experience. We are truly a filmmaker friendly film festival. We offer all our filmmakers travel stipends and housing. We take over a student housing facility and house all the filmmakers under one roof, which creates a great synergy and a “Filmmaker-First Festival”.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

We create an intimate atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable to connect: filmmaker to filmmaker, filmmaker to audience, and filmmaker to industry professionals (from our Jury) and sponsors. Whether you are a filmmaker or cinephile you will be inspired and challenged with the lineup of films that we carefully procure for our audiences. We also have both guided and spontaneous outings to visit the amazing natural surroundings.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

For this year, 2017, they must have been completed after January 1, 2016. They also must not have had a theatrical release.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

I think the bigger festivals rely on reaching out to established filmmakers and organizations for their programming, and submitted films can become an afterthought. We make a point of carefully evaluating all submitted films and drawing a large percentage of our program from blind submissions.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our commitment to find films with a specific and original vision. We love discovering the filmmakers of the future. Our director of programming Paul Sbrizzi discovered Lena Dunham and Ben Zeitlen before their careers took off. We love discovering and nurturing young filmmakers’ careers and watching them grow. We also love to showcase fresh and stimulating work by established filmmakers.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Very smooth. We find the platform very easy to use and easy to keep all the submissions organized and we are able to communicate with all the programmers well through the platform.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Our goal is to be a destination festival that is known for showcasing a selection of the best new work from around the world as well as finding up-and-coming talent. We are well on our way and intend on achieving that by 2020.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

The Wizard of Oz because it comes on T.V. every year and it brings out the kid in me.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A naturally gifted filmmaker who is unafraid of expressing a personal, inspired vision with style and sensitivity.

How is the film scene in your city?

Mammoth Lakes is a ski resort where many second-home-owners are industry professionals with a passion for filmmaking and a great interest in new talent. A lot of the year-round locals have a taste for art and culture; they welcome the festival and the filmmakers with open arms.

mammothlakes1.jpg

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.