David Redstone Winning Feature Screenplay – Fleet Week: Evanscence

WILDsound Festival

For unproduced writers, the real frustration after keystroking “The End” is trying to get noticed.  There are so few outlets to present your material.  WILDsound appeals to me because my work now migrates from an unread concept into a produced staging, easily accessible by industry pros.

 – David Redstone, on the WILDsound Screenplay Festival (Review)

Based on David Redstone’s Sci-Fi/Drama novel, FLEET WEEK: EVANSCENCE is the December 2014 WILDsound Feature Screenplay Winner.

    Watch the Full Winning Reading Here:

    SYNOPSIS:

    A Navy ex-SEAL goes independently active to rescue his kidnapped niece from the ghostly world of undersea ‘Neathers’.

    CAST LIST:

    NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
    KRYSTEL JANELLI – Erin Boyes
    TOM GILMORE – Julian Ford
    DEREK GARNET – Andy Bridge
    CAPTAIN BERTREL – Chris Huron
    RAY KELVIN – Aaron Rothermund
    VARIOUS PEOPLE – Frances Townend

Q&A with writer David Redstone:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Fleet Week reveals the initial…

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Wrong Place, Wrong Crime – November 2014 Film Festival

WILDsound Festival

It’s a little surreal. It’s amazing that people in Toronto got to see our little film! And I was surprised about the comments. Often people in Q & A sessions are only interested in single aspects about the films they’ve watched. But your audience analyzed our short on so many levels, that I was blown away!

– Director Florian Puchert, on his reactions to people’s comments at the WILDsound Film Festival (Review)

Wrong Place, Wrong Crime was a mixture of Crime meets Comedy meet Mystery meets Thriller. A film that was extremely well received at our November Film Festival.

    Watch the Audience Feedback Video from the Festival:

    A woman in red. A masked man on the run. A kidnapping. And only one place to hide.

Q&A with Director Florian Puchert

MT: What motivated you to make this film?

Florian: The actress, Laura Maire. I had worked with her before on…

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Poetry Writer Natalie Jovanic

WILDsound Festival

I wanted to bring my message to a different audience, and I was curious how my poems would sound if they were interpreted by a professional actor.

– Natalie Jovanic, on why she submitted to WILDsound (review)

WILDsound just performed three poems by Natalie Jovaniic. Watch them now:

Q&A with Natalie:

MT: What is the theme of your poem?

Natalie: My poems are about love and relationships, and I hope that they support people in creating relationships that are free of violence and judgement.

MT: How would you like people to respond when they read or watch your poetry reading?

Natalie: That’s difficult to say because each person will relate to the poems in a different way. I’d be…

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CIMM Fest – Chicago International Movies and Music Fest

This is CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival—a four-day showcase of outstanding films, energetic concerts, visually stunning VJ/DJ sets, lively Q&A’s, daring live score performances, industry panels and presentations…anything to show just what movies and music mean to each other.

CIMMfest was imagined and brought to life by musician Josh Chicoine (Cloudbirds, The M’s) and filmmaker Ilko Davidov (BulletProof Film). Neither knew what he was getting into at the start, but hundreds of films, thousands of attendees and countless incredible experiences later, CIMMfest is a respected Chicago fixture.

CIMMfest No.7 will take place April 16-19, 2015.

Go to the website and learn more about the upcoming 2015 festival: http://www.cimmfest.org/

Matthew Toffolo recently chatted with the Festival Director CARMINE CERVI

MT: What is the goal of your film festival?

Carmine: Our goal is to create a home for great music-themed films and visually exciting concerts, where fans and industry alike can come together for a long weekend- have a great time, network, learn and possibly do some business. With Chicago being the center of the Midwest, we hope to grow to have a regional presence for the industry and fans. This year we have the City of Chicago partnering with us in this effort by adding a major arts convergence event aligned on CIMMfest’s dates April 16-19.

MT: How has the festival changed since is began until now?

Carmine: When co-founders and original directors, Ilko Davidov and Josh Chicoine (filmmaker and musician, respectfully) and I started out– we knew nothing about running a festival. We only did what was fun for us– and tried to create an experience for both filmmakers and audiences that we would appreciate ourselves. We were punk. We were street-level. Despite all the attention we’ve received, we strive to maintain that street-level experience– and the punk attitude. Two years ago we initiated CIMMcon, a conference component that brings industry professionals together to discuss trends, resources and strategies. It’s a great opportunity for networking and relationship building. We’ve also expanded our outreach and relationships with other festivals and organizations both in Chicago and around the world. In 2013 we created the CIMMfest Baadasssss Award by honoring the man for whom the award was named, Mr. Melvin Van Peebles. Last year we presented it to SXSW founder and CIMMfest board member, Louis Black.

Perhaps our most exciting change this year is the addition of Sundance Film Festival programmer,Adam Montgomery, who last year served on our jury.

One thing that has not changed– our entire staff is comprised of filmmakers, musicians and artists. Our goal continues to keep the artists and audiences as our primary focus.

MT: How many films are you showcasing at your Film Festival?

Carmine: Typically we screen 40-50 feature films (docs, fiction, concert films) and as many shorts and music videos. We try to pair shorts and music videos with like-themed features, as well as shorts programs, and our HQ (CIMMcity) always includes a Music Video Lounge.

A signature feature of our festival is our live scored films. Last year we did 6 in our four-day run. Often these are one-off events created just for CIMMfest. Last year one highlight was Mary Shelly (Members of Smashing Pumpkins and Local H) performing a live score to Battleship Potemkin. Additionally we featured concerts by over 75 bands, as well as 25 Industry related panels, workshops and interviews.

MT: Can you give us a sneak peak of what to except for the 2015 Festival?

Carmine: It’s a little early to make any announcements, those will begin in January. But we will feature music docs and features from a wide variety of genres and countries, plus a multi-venue concert series, industry events and lots of great parties for the musicians, filmmakers and attendees alike. And of course, our partnership with the City of Chicago in the first “Lake FX Summit and Expo”, which will run concurrently with CIMMfest. It is a creative industries conference that brings together the film/media, music, fashion and culinary arts for showcases, keynotes, panels and exhibitions. It is an exciting expansion of what CIMMfest is all about and a great opportunity for expanding the audience for our filmmakers and musical artists.

MT: What type of music do you like to showcase at your festival? Is there a genre theme?

Carmine: One of my favorite things about our programming is that we span the globe of musical genres. Last year our Best Feature Fiction award-winner was a great film from Iceland called Metalhead, and our Best Feature Doc was an American film about a brass band festival in Serbia. We expect more of the same this year with lots of rock-centric films and then a bunch of films featuring music form all over the world.

MT: Is there going to be an overall theme for the 2015 festival?

Carmine: Last year our dates included May 1st, so we were all about revolution and power to the people. This year’s theme is about taking action. One of Chicago’s mottos is “The City That Works”. Creatives are all about the hustle. In 2015 CIMMfest is about Getting It Done!

MT: Where do you see your festival in 5 years?

Carmine: We see CIMMfest as a regional hub for the film and music industry to gather, celebrate, and create. CIMMcon will grow to be the premier center for resources and education for the creative industries. We’re on the leading edge of helping filmmakers and musicians to collaborate and succeed.

MT: What’s the current status of the Film Scene in your city?

Carmine: Chicago has always been a film city– from Essanay Studios and Charlie Chaplin, to John Hughes, the Wachowski’s and Steve James. Chicago is long established as a documentary town– and today is one of the busiest cities in the country for feature film and television production. Independent productions are stronger than ever in Chicago, which is also the home of one of the most successful independent distributors, Music Box Films, which again this year will have multiple titles nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards– and an Oscar nomination.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Carmine: You’ve cleverly sidestepped asking a filmmaker what his favorite movie is– but the question is still not easy to answer. Ilko Davidov and I have made many music-themed films before creating CIMMfest. I feel I should restrict my answer to a music-based film (or can I name 5?) Stop Making Sense and Spinal Tap are always go-to movies. Amadeus is one of my all-time favorites. But I’ve also lost count of how many times I’ve seen the Chicago-produced films, The Blues Brothers and John Cusack’s High Fidelity. Now, watching films and programming for CIMMfest, that list continues to grow; always discovering new, great music-centric movies, like The Winding Stream about the Carter and Cash families, Player Hating: A Love Story, a candid, insightful look at a Brooklyn housing project rapper on the verge of stardom, and Control Tower a universal story from Japan about disaffected youth connecting through music.

CARMINE CERVI, has produced and directed documentaries and short fiction films in both the United States and Italy. A professional actor since the age ten, and alumnus of Chicago’s improv scene, Cervi graduated from Columbia College before relocating to Rome. In Italy he co-wrote and starred in a weekly TV series, as well as appearing in commercials and voice work at the famed Cinecittà. He went on to produce and edit short background docs for DueA Film and directed his first feature documentary, Sacred Sounds, in Morocco. Upon returning to Chicago, he partnered with Ilko Davidov at BulletProof Film to produce and direct fiction and non-fiction films. BulletProof Film’s William S. Burroughs: A Man Within was shown on Independent Lens, enjoyed world-wide theatrical release and is available on home video. Their forthcoming feature documentary, Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All will be released in 2015. Cervi co-founded CIMMfest in 2008 with Ilko Davidov and Josh Chicoine.

Matthew Toffolo, Interviewer BIO

Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival . He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes. Took over full reins of the WILDsound Festival in May 2013. From then to the end of 2014, he’s presented over 90 movies at the monthly FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto, plus has had over 60 screenplays and stories performed by professional actors at the bi-monthly Writing Festival.

www.thefilmfestivalhome.com – Interviews the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

WILDsound Festival

We are a feedback festival, so each film that plays gets a Q&A moderation video as the Toronto audience talks about each film screened. It’s not a judgmental thing where people have their thumbs up or down for example about each film. It’s really a discussion on the themes of each film and how they made us feel. There are so many amazing short films being made around the world these days and Toronto is the perfect multicultural city to have this type of festival. The art of the conversation is to not talk about negative things. We are living in an era where judgement talk is rampant. All you need to do is go on your facebook or twitter account to see it. So what we try to do is talk about the grey areas of life within the context of these stories without being wanky about it. Each…

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BIRDS FLY SOUTH – November 2014 Film Festival

WILDsound Festival

As a film maker its always amazing to have you film screened and to add to that hearing peoples thoughts on your work (at the WILDsound Festival) is great and invaluable. I opened your email late after a hard day and was touched by the openness and observations of the audience. The film at its heart is about love and hope and so people might talk easily about hard subjects and feel less isolated. Its magic what people pick up from seeing the movie. One of the specific comments about the tap being left running in the early scene was great because Robin and I deliberated over that on more than a few occasions.

– Birds Fly South Director Wade Bayliss, on his reactions from the WILDsound Film Festival (Review)

Birds Fly South was the WILDsound November 2014 Film Festival winner for Best Performances, and Best Cinematography in a film…

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London Short Film Festival, Q&A with the Artistic Director

“This is a festival not afraid to take creative risks and nurture new talent, something rarely seen in this age of austerity and conformity.”

– i-D Magazine,

 
The London Short Film Festival, now in its 12th year, has been recognized as the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge UK independent film. For the January 2015 Festival (from the 8 -19th), they are opening to international filmmakers.
Renowned for daring cross-arts programming, we have showcased the very best of the country’s raw talent for 11 years.

The London Short Film Festival is a Mecca for the UK’s young creative talent and a significant date in the UK film calender.

Go to the festival website and learn more about the festival for January and a brief history:
http://shortfilms.org.uk

Matthew Toffolo recently chatted with Artistic Director Philip Ilson
 
MT: What is the goal of your film festival?
 
Philip: It’s to create an exciting platform to champion new talent and challenging film work. Since it started 12 years ago, the plan has always been to show the stuff that we like and should be seen, away from mainstream cinema. Short film is hard to see on the big screen in front of an audience, as it’s rarely programmed outside of film clubs, but by using reputable venues such as the ICA and Picturehouse, it’s a chance for new and young filmmakers to see their work where they intended it to be. We also love to showcase filmmakers who we love, in a series of retrospectives and special events.
 
MT: How has the festival changed since is began 12 years ago until now?
 
Philip: It’s organic-style growth has been amazing. From 4 days in one tiny venue in 2004, to 10 days in 20 venues across London in 2014 has been an amazing journey (although for the January 2015 we have decided to focus the who;le Festival in just 2 venues to create hubs, even though the overall programme is bigger thanlast year). And of course, submission numbers go up every year, with an incredible 1500 entries this year, including our first time open to international submissions. But the remit of LSFF remains the same as year one, to really show what’s out there.
 
MT: How many films are you showcasing at your January 2015 Film Festival?
 
Philip: We actually accepted 370 short films this year (from the 1500 submissions), screening across 34 programmes in all genres from comedy to horror, experimental to documentary. Of course, there are the additional films that we ask for to make up our special events and retrospectives, so even I’m not too sure of the total number. But it’s a lot!
 
MT: Can you give us a sneak peak of what to except for the 2015 Festival?
 
Philip: You will definately see a cross section of what’s happen in the world of UK film, whether that be people doing it themselves with low budget gems, to more established funded work. Despite now being open to international filmmakers, we are still really shining a spotlight on UK based talent to really show what is out there.
 
MT: What kind of live music will be playing at the 2015 festival?
 
Philip: Film and music are instringincly linked, so even from out first festival, we’ve taken a look at what’s out there as regards music. Our cross-arts events mix live music and film & projection, and at the next Festival we’ve commissioned a live score by up-and-coming electronica artiste Gazelle Twin to perform alongside animtion by Carla MacKinnon. We also have a strong relationship with Domino Records who’s publishing arm works closely with the film industry, and they’ve been a great help providing lives acts for our summer fundraiser and our c;losing night party.
 
MT: Where do you see your festival in 5 years?
 
Philip: When I look at the success of what were once ‘arthouse cinemas’ such as Picturehouses and Curzon, and how these cinemas are now pulling in such big crowds for independent and foreign language film and creating friendly enviroments not just in the cinema screens but in the bars and cafes attached, where there is a real buzz about what’s on, I see festivals becoming even more attractive to audiences. We plan to position ourselves as a world class Festival and can only grow more.
 
MT: What’s the current status of the London Independent Film Scene?
 
Philip: Cinema is in an incredibly healthy position right now. I wouldn’t call the aforementioned Picturehouse and Curzon chains independent anymore, but away from these hubs there’s still a strong independent cinema circuit from the Rio Dalston to the Genesis Whitechapel to the Prince Charles Leicester Square, while film clubs showing short films or cult movies always attract good audiences in bars and alternative venues.
 
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
 
Philip: A tough question to answer, as this would probably be a different film to what are my favourites. My favourites are films I saw as a tenager when discovering cinema, at placs like the Scala in King Cross or BFI Southbank, such as work by Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Eraserhead); I’ve seen these films many times, but off the top of my head, I’d be happy to sit throughGhost World again!
 
Matthew Toffolo, Interviewer BIO
 
Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.
 
Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes. Took over full reins of the WILDsound Festival in May 2013. From then to the end of 2014, he’s presented over 90 movies at the monthly FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto, plus has had over 60 screenplays and stories performed by professional actors at the bi-monthly Writing Festival.

AUSTIN REVOLUTION FILM FESTIVAL, Q&A with the Festival Director

“Soon to be one of the best ‘true’ independent film festivals in the world”
– Jason Tostevin, TIL’ DEATH HANDS OFF PRODUCTIONS

Bringing true indie films to Austin! The AUSTIN REVOLUTION FILM FESTIVAL was started by filmmakers who realized many festivals were only programming films with big stars. So they started their own fest, building a brand based on screening films and creating excellent networking opportunities for true indie filmmakers.

This festival, in its 4th year, captures the indie film vibe of Austin by screening some of the coolest indies from the world over in some of the coolest venues in Austin.

Go to http://www.austinrevolution.com and submit your film.

Matthew Toffolo recently chatted with James Christopher, Festival Director.

MT: What was the inspiration to start this festival?

James: We’ve been on the film festival circuit ourselves for years, playing all kinds of festivals all over the country. But the thing is, we hadn’t broken through in our hometown yet. We’d submitted to SXSW or Austin Film Festival several years in a row, but nothing. So, we’re on the circuit and we’d been exposed to all kinds of great films that also we’re being seen. So we started our own festival. We finally broke through into the Austin Film Festival, but we still felt like we should try to offer a real independent voice into this town. So we love AFF and SXSW. We’re not trying to be them. We’re trying to get this audience that loves in Indie film in Austin and get them in front of a different breed of indie film..true indies, if you will.

MT: How has the festival changed since it began to how it is today?

James: It’s night and day. It actually started as a Halloween party in my backyard and quickly grew from there. It morphed into a horror only festival before we made it a multi genre event. Now it’s 3 days at some of the best venues in Austin Texas including the Alamo Drafthouse and the Blue Starlite Drive In theater.

MT: What’s the current pulse of the Austin Film Scene?

James: It’s thriving at all levels. There are micro budget films like what we at Twitchy Dolphin Flix do and then there are indies and studio films going on. And the best thing about this town is the lack of ego. People are willing to help each other out just to get things moving. It’s very inspiring.

MT: How many films will you be showcasing at this year’s festival?

James: We’re going to show anywhere between 60-75 films. We’ve actually announced a few projects already. We really want to build a great program and continue with making it the most filmmaker friendly film festival around.

MT: Will there be a theme at the 2015 Festival?

We won’t have a theme. We actually don’t do themes. But every year, we honor a different filmmaker who has made an impact in truly independent films. This year, and this is breaking news, not announced anywhere else, our filmmaker of the year will be Ya’Ke Smith. He’s the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film at University of Texas at Arlington. In his film career his short films and feature Wolf have received a wide variety of acclaim. We’re honored to have him as he’s meant so much to filmmakers in Texas and honestly, to my career as well.

MT: Of the films from all over the world that submit to your festival, what country stands out in terms of talent and overall strength in their Independent films?

I’m always shocked at all the good work we get from all over the country, not just the US and Canada where most of our films come from. We do our best to highlight films from all over the world.

MT: Where do you see your festival going in the next 5 years?

Just continuing to grow, but in a way that makes sense. We want its core to stay unchanged: an environment ideal for collaboration by filmmakers. We true indies have to stay and understand that, the last thing Hollywood wants is for us to realize we don’t need them. So we’re just continuing to work to keep this train moving.

MT: What is your personal all-time favorite film?

Jaws. Hands down. It’s perfect.

Read Festival Testimonials:

“…Is a breath of fresh air. A festival that focuses on the filmmakers as well as educating audiences to what a film festival is all about… Seeing great indie films…you can tell a lot of love went into this festival.”
– KYLE ROBERTS, THE POST HUMAN PROJECT

“If you are seriously about making a mark on the indie scene you should definitely enter the Austin Revolution Film Fest”
– TOMMY FAIRCLOTH, DORCHESTER’S REVENGE

“One of the most satisfying screening and festival experiences of my career. Peers become colleagues become friends become family. I can not recommend submitting to this any higher.”
– MIKE DONIS, “PETE WINNING & THE PIRATES”

“The mix of talented film makers, diverse films and stellar networking make it a rarity in a sea of subpar film festivals.”
– BRETT BENTMAN, ”ASH”

Excited to have the following sponsors:

Final Draft: All writing winners win a download of the best screenwriting program on the planet.

Ink Tip: InkTip helps writers sell their scripts and get representation. Producers have made more than 200 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip. All screenplay winners win a listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you.

Underdogs.com: A distribution company for true indies. All film winners win placement with his nonexclusive distribution company.

November 2014 Short Film Winner – CYCLE

Great film and festival.

WILDsound Festival

Thank you so much! We are thrilled to hear our film won! The festival was awesome. We will definitely be back.

– Mariah MacDonald, Producer Short Film Cycle

The November 2014 Film Festival was a giant success with a sold out crowd and an amazing lineup of diverse and eloquent films.

The short film CYCLE was the audience winner for Best Overall Film at the Festival.

    Watch the Audience Feedback Video from the Festival:

Get to know more about the film here:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/cycle.html

The Cycle is a story of revenge that touches on current world issues. Aslam’s entire family was gunned down by an American soldier named Hudson during a battle in Afghanistan.

Let’s get to know Producer Mariah MacDonald, and Director Ali Akbar Akbar Kamal

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Mariah: Ali heard a similar story on the news and was inspired to write a…

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7 Questions with FilmFreeway.com Founder Zachary Jones

Today we are in conversation with Zachary Jones, the Founder of FilmFreeway.com, the new alternative submission center for Film Festivals and Filmmakers/Screenwriters. A startup from Canada that launched in February 2014 that is already becoming stiff competition to the dominance of withoutabox for over 15 years.

Matthew Toffolo – First off, congrats on announcing 1250 Film Festivals in your database as of this interview. That’s amazing in such a short time. What has been the key to your success so far?

Zachary – Thank you so much! The secret is really quite simple. We set out to re-invent festival submissions with modern technology and a fair business model. FilmFreeway offers a simple, user-friendly service that is always 100% free to filmmakers and writers. We back that up with friendly, reliable customer service from real people who care and are happy to assist our customers anytime.

MT – What motivated you to begin this start up?

Zachary – Festival submissions have been dominated for far too long by a company with grossly outdated technology, a miserable user experience, excessive fees and an overall predatory business model. It was about time somebody changed that.

MT – There have been many other startups attempting to compete with the competition, but almost all have failed. Why do you think your company has succeeded so far over the rest?

Zachary – We created FilmFreeway to be incredible simple and easy to use for both filmmakers and festivals. We added to that by offering the service 100% free to filmmakers. Our mandate when building FilmFreeway was to make it fair and simple. That seems to be the magic formula that has resonated with over 85,000 filmmakers and counting so far!

MT – Bottom-line, why is your site better than the competition?

Zachary – FilmFreeway is lightyears ahead of Withoutabox when it comes to the user experience we offer. Our online screeners play in beautiful, crystal-clear HD. We also integrate with Vimeo and YouTube. The days of paying $3 each time to submit a pixelated, standard definition online screener are over. With FilmFreeway, filmmakers can have their project added and ready to submit in under 5 minutes. Also, our search engine for discovering amazing festivals is powerful and fast. It’s a night and day experience when compared to Withoutabox. Here what filmmakers are saying on Twitter: https://filmfreeway.com/pages/love

MT – The main issue with film festivals is that you were forced to use the main submission source in order to succeed because that’s where all the filmmakers were submitting their films. But, because the company took so much commission from the festivals, it was impossible for most of them to not to lose money and therefore many festivals have been forced to shut down. Or, they were forced to raise their submission fees to stay in the black, which takes more money from the filmmakers themselves, which in the end forces them to submit to less festivals than they want and therefore gives them less opportunity to get their film out there. It has been a vicious cycle. How are you going to be different while still being profitable for your own company and site?

Zachary – You’re exactly right! We’ve already heard from many festivals that have told us that thanks to FilmFreeway they can once again afford to operate their festivals and stay in business. We are actually helping the industry thrive, rather than suck the blood out of it like Withoutabox. We offer optional paid marketing services for festivals which helps to pay our overhead and make sure that FilmFreeway will always remain 100% free for filmmakers and writers.

MT – What was the first film festival to sign up to your website?

Zachary – The wonderful Food & Farm Film Festival was the very first to sign up:https://filmfreeway.com/festival/foodfarmfilmfestival

MT – What is FilmFreeway’s ultimate goal?

Zachary – To simply provide the best film festival submissions experience in the world for filmmakers and festivals alike. You can expect to see continued improvement and added features as we grow and develop as well. We’re always listening to the feedback of the community to make FilmFreeway even better. Thank you again for all of your support!