Interview with Festival Director Carey Westbrook (L.A. Neo Noir, Novel, Film & Script Festival)

Now in it’s fourth year, L.A. Neo Noir Novel, Film and Script Festival has been hailed
by L.A. Weekly as the fest with “The World’s Sexiest, Darkest, Crime Short Films.”
Founder Carey Westbrook has helped many filmmakers find success in Hollywood,
including the Academy Award nominated producers of Blue Valentine and Men of Honor.

For more information about the 2016 season, visit:

I recently sat down with Carey Westbrook to talk more about the festival:

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

Carey Westbrook: We make filmmakers from writers. We fully produce short films based on screenplay / novel submissions and screen those shorts at our festival.

No other film / screenplay festival in the entire universe does that.

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

Carey: You will be astounded by the greatest neo noir films from L.A. and around the world.

You will behold the world’s most spectacular neo noir writers’ visions coming to life on the silver screen.

You shall witness the incredible live burlesque dancer performances and finest L.A. cuisine L.A. has to offer.

Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Carey: Be sexy, be dark, and be crime filled with a dash of film noir. The sexier, the darker, more criminal and film noir-ish you are, the better your chances of being in this festival. If your film can’t be all of those things, you better be one of those things very well.

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

Carey: Because celebrity films are getting circle jerked by everyone at the festival for their well known stars, celebrity producers, and overall big money campaigns. Politics stink up the festivals the way politics stink up politics. Not us. Our festival is funky, but not foul stench exclusionary Hollywood elite big wigs mucking up the joint funky.

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

Carey: Anger. Discontent. There was no L.A. Neo Noir Festival when we started…only film noir festivals…only an idol worship ritual of L.A.’s prehistoric white dead famous
cinematic hero carcasses. We love film noir. There would be no neo noir without film noir, but we are today’s independent cinematic guerillas yearning to tell our own sexy dark crime tales. This is our time. This is our town. This is L.A. Neo Noir.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Carey: We were originally L.A. Neo Noir Erotic Film Festival. People kept confusing erotic with porn. We realized we could bring sexy back stronger and reach broader audiences longer if we took the ‘erotic’ out and just focused on neo noir. Now we’ve brought scripts, novels, and monologues in, and we’re three times better for it.

Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Carey: In L.A.’s Grammy Museum.

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

Carey: Every three months since the age of 14 I have watched the classic film, Under The Cherry Moon.

Matthew: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Carey: An ugly meek guy telling a hot greedy girl to buzz off.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?

Carey: Great, if your city is Canada. If it’s L.A., the scene is what’s it’s always been: unknown indie visionary no budget filmmakers making something out of nothing…the kind who are featured at the L.A. Neo Noir Novel, Film and Script Festival.


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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