Interview with Festival Director Onur Yayla (Around International Film Festival)

Onur Yayla is a Berlin-Istanbul based commercial, music video director & indie filmmaker who runs the Around International Film Festival ( ARFF Berlin ) with the guidance of Around Films Network. Our statement is to provide homes to group of film enthusiasts who are committed in creating spaces for film industry and devoted to spreading of the knowledge of the modern visual art form to all interested for all around the globe to present it all on one single platform.” Please visit for further information.

around_films.jpgMatthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Onur Yayla: Well, the idea of film festivals is that they’re about moviegoing. And how people choose what they see is informed by what experience they want to get from a piece.

But we always rush to add that there’s still a lot of great intellectual integrity to it.

Matthew: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival?

Onur: I’d expect that my movie to be discovered by the relevant crowd and it should lead us to meet the right people for my new project.

Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Onur: In a sense, anyone who watches a film is instantly a film critic. Therefore, everyone will have their own choices, or other criteria for selection of the greatest films, and some may disagree with at least some of the selections below. These crucial film selections provide a common ground and foundation for the study of film.

Matthew: What makes a great independent film?

Onur: It should have the power to enchant, entertain, inform, and move us emotionally – and change our perceptions of things.

Matthew: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Onur: In the matter of fact, we are all aware that Sundance can not accept the huge amount of the great creations and its still one of our ”bestest” also.

Yet, filmmakers often have better audiences in regional festivals that embrace the film. Better to premiere at Around Film Festival than be lost in a larger event.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Onur: We got 3 times higher application rate when we compare with the previous year.

Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Onur: Our main purpose to dignify our festival Around the World as its name. Right now our network has people from 7 countries and even the weekly expanding is quite suprising for us.

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

Onur: Synecdoche, New York 2008. I’m a great fan of Charlie Kaufman’s vision.

Matthew: What country (or countries) seem to make the best short films year after year?

Onur: Well I can tell that, U.S. has the best opportunities, Middle East & Asia has the great source of ”stories”, Europe has the taste.

Our participants will give us the best answer it seems.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?

Onur: Depends on the storyline, because we are Around!

Thank you for the interview, lets keep it rolling:)


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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