Interview with the Brooklyn Short Film Festival

Brooklyn Short Film Festival brings together the world’s best short films in an engaging atmosphere for the purpose of developing connections and building new relationships in the film industry.

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

Showcasing the world’s best short films.  We consider ourselves New York’s premiere short film festival.

Matthew: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)? 

A high profile short film festival in some of Brooklyn’s premiere cinema venues.  We break our festival up into short film programs, each very unique and diverse with a wide breadth of short films.  We try to pair more local and independent short films together with high budget fare to make for a diverse experience.

Matthew:  What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

The films must be short.  Nothing longer than 45 minutes.  We tend to program mostly in the 8-12 minute range.

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

I would say there are at least 400+ legitimate festivals in the world.  The onus lies on the filmmakers for selecting which festival is best suited to the strengths of their films.  The only festival I am able to speak for is the Brooklyn Short Film Festival, and we give films of all stripes and persuasions “a fair shake”.  We watch each film entry multiple times.  We attempt to program at least 60% from direct submissions to the festival.  The other 40% is alumni and invitations. Once a film has been accepted into a festival, most filmmakers believe their work is finished, but this is far from the case.  Again, the onus lies on the filmmakers to fully utilize what a festival provides, and they should be prepared with a press agent, a marketing campaign, social media, etc. to create their own “shake” and momentum from the festival.

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

We like short films.  We enjoy watching filmmakers develop in their trade, going onto creating features or film/television work.  Short films are a great way to connect and the format is very broad in terms of what can be done.  Features are much more limited by the very nature of the scope.  A concept can be very funny at 5 minutes, or very engaging.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception? 

We have had a very focused mission and our festival has stayed on point from inception to current versions.

Matthew:  Where do you see the festival by 2020? 

We hope to be Academy Award eligible for our filmmakers.

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

Casablanca or Don Hertzfeld

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

An appropriate length to concept ratio.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city? 

New York is world class.  Brooklyn is a powerhouse and has a brilliant scene.  I would like to give a shout out to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Videology for maintaining a high calibre program of diverse films.  Many of the world’s foremost directors, actors, producers, crew, editors and fans live in New York and Brooklyn.



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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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