Sat-Sun, March 5-6
Promenade Playhouse, Santa Monica CA
I recently sat down with the Festival Director Mark Mos to chat more about the festival.
Matthew Toffolo: What is the Los Angeles Short Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
Mark Mos: We invite specialists from Industry. They see potential dreaming in hearts of filmmakers. For sure they have great audience and if we screen web episode for example, same audience go online and follow rest of the episodes.
Matthew: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?
Mark: We have short film with James Franco, called Walk in the Winter, but also 30+ films, directors, producers, actors at Q and A we organize after each block/program.
Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?
Mark: Quality of the story. You don’t have to rent or purchase great camera if you want to tell what is inside you. Just invite your friends, shoot something, practice. One of your films maybe good, another not, but let judges of the festival decide. Each judge is different, so you never know what they will pick up. But please…place credits at the end of the film. We do not want to see your sponsors, or whole bunch of names at the beginning. We want to see first scene of yours…not bunch of letters and who sponsored you. This may wait, when we select your film.
Matthew: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
Mark: First 2 minutes of the film is very important. I guess festivals want to see some professional skills, even if film is submitted by student. If your actress reads script in her mind and her work is terrible, festival judges will not suffer for rest of the film. Directing might be good, cinematography brilliant, but if you actor is terrible then whole project you may considered trash. I know it’s heavy, but you do the same while watching TV…you skip channels to see something interesting. I guess judges go to another film if yours is not interesting or not well done.
Matthew: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
Mark: Helping each other. We like to see smiling faces when they get award or certificate. There is nothing more beautiful then happiness of another person.
Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?
Mark: Oh it changes constantly. We have more films for screenings, Q and As are longer and venue is upgraded with bigger screen with new seats.
Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?
Mark: Bigger, better, nicer
Matthew: What film have you seen the most times in your life?
Mark: I’m a fan of Die Hard, so when it’s on TV it’s not easy for me to switch channel for something else.
Matthew: In one sentence, what makes a great film?
Mark: Having soul in it.
Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?
Mark: Well… Santa Monica is a film city. Bay Watch was shooting here and many…I mean many, many more.
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 Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.