Happy Birthday: Jessica Szohr

jessiaszohr.jpgHappy Birthday Jessica Szohr

Born: Jessica Karen Szohr
March 31, 1985 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

See reviews of their best work:

MOVIE POSTERI DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
dir. Douglas McGrath
Stars:
Sarah Jessica Parker
Pierce Brosnan

FIRED UPFired Up
2009
dir. Will Gluck
Starring
Nicholas D’Agosto
Eric Christian Olsen

 Best of GOSSIP GIRL
Sexy Teen TV SHOW

Piranha 3-D Movie PosterPiranha 3-D
dir. Alexandre Aja
Stars
Elisabeth Shue
Jerry O’Connell

MOVIE POSTERTHE INTERNSHIP
2013
dir. Shawn Levy
Stars:
Owen Wilson
Vince Vaughn

Happy Birthday: Christopher Walken

christopherwalken.jpgHappy Birthday Christopher Walken

Born: Ronald Walken
March 31, 1943 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA

See reviews of their best work:

THE DEER HUNTERThe Deer Hunter
1978
dir. Michael Cimino
starring
Robert DeNiro
Meryl Streep

SwingersHeaven’s Gate
1980
dir. by Michael Cimino
starring
Kris Kristofferson
Walken

A VIEW TO A KILLA View to a Kill
1985
dir. John Glen
Starring
Roger Moore
Walken

THE DEAD ZONEThe Dead Zone
1983
dir. David Cronenberg
Starring
Christopher Walken
Brooke Adams

BATMAN RETURNSBatman Returns
1992
dir. Tim Burton
starring
Pfeiffer
Danny DeVito

PulpFictionPulp Fiction
1994
dir. Tarantino
starring
John Travolta
Samuel L. Jackson

SUICIDE KINGSSuicide Kings
1997
dir. Peter O’Fallon
starring
Christopher Walken
Denis Leary

SLEEPY HOLLOWSleepy Hollow
1999
dir. Burton
Starring
Johnny Depp
Christina Ricci

movie posterTRUE ROMANCE
1993
dir. Tony Scott
Cast:
Christian Slater
Patricia Arquette

MOVIE POSTERCATCH ME IF YOU CAN
2002
dir. Steven Spielberg
Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks

BLAST FROM THE PAST MOVIE POSTERBlast from the Past
1999
dir. Hugh Wilson
Starring
Brendan Fraser
Alicia Silverstone

MAN ON FIREMan on Fire
2004
dir. Tony Scott
Starring
Denzel Washington
Dakota Fanning

HAIRSPRAYHairspray
2007
dir. Adam Shankman
Starring
John Travolta
Michelle Pfeiffer

ROMANCE AND CIGARETTESRomance and Cigarettes
2005
dir. John Turturro
Cast
James Gandolfini
Susan Sarandon

Kill the IrishmanKILL THE IRISHMAN
dir. Jonathan Hensleigh
Stars:
Ray Stevenson
Christopher Walken

movie posterCLICK
2006
dir. Frank Coraci
Starring:
Adam Sandler
Kate Beckinsale

MOVIE POSTERWEDDING CRASHERS
2005
dir. David Dobkin
Stars:
Owen Wilson
Vince Vaughn

MOVIE POSTERSEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
2012
dir. Martin McDonagh
Stars:
Colin Farrell
Woody Harrelson

MOVIE POSTERTHE DEAD ZONE
1983
dir. by David Cronenberg
Stars:
Christopher Walken
Brooke Adams

MOVIE POSTERSTAND UP GUYS
2013
dir. Fisher Stevens
Stars:
Al Pacino
Alan Arkin

MOVIE POSTERMAN OF THE YEAR
2006
dir. Barry Levinson
Stars:
Robin Williams
Laura Linney

MOVIE POSTERJERSEY BOYS
2014
dir. Clint Eastwood
Stars:
Vincent Piazza
Christopher Walken

Happy Birthday: Ewan McGregor

ewanmcgregor.jpgHappy Birthday Ewan McGregor

Born: Ewan Gordon McGregor
March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, UK

See reviews of their best work:

SHALLOW GRAVEShallow Grave
1994
dir. Danny Boyle
Starring
Kerry Fox
McGregor

TRAINSPOTTINGTrainspotting
1996
dir. Danny Boyle
Cast
McGregor
Ewen Bremner

THE PHANTOM MENACEStar Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
1999
dir. George Lucas
Starring
Liam Neeson
McGregor

MOULIN ROUGEMoulin Rouge
2001
dir. Baz Luhrmann
Starring
Mcgregor
Nicole Kidman

BLACK HAWK DOWNBlack Hawk Down
2001
dir. Ridley Scott
Starring
Ewan McGregor
Josh Harnett

ATTACK OF THE CLONESStar Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
2002
dir. George Lucas
Starring
Natalie Portman

BIG FISHBig Fish
2003
dir. Tim Burton
Starring
McGregor
Albert Finney

REVENGE OF THE SITHStar Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
2005
dir. George Lucas

MOVIE POSTERTHE PHANTOM MENACE 3D
dir. George Lucas
Stars: Ewan McGregor
Liam Neeson

MOVIE POSTERSALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN
dir. Lasse Hallstr m
Stars:
Ewan McGregor
Emily Blunt

STAYStay
2005
dir. Marc Forster
starring
McGregor
Ryan Gosling

THE ISLANDThe Island
2005
dir. Michael Bay
starring
McGregor
Scarlett Johansson
Steve Buscemi

INCENDIARYIncendiary
dir. Sharon Maguire
Starring
Michelle Williams
McGregor

MOVIE POSTERHAYWIRE
dir. Steven Soderbergh
Stars:
Gina Carano
Ewan McGregor

Amelia Movie PosterAmelia
dir. Mira Nair
Stars:
Hilary Swank
Richard Gere
McGregor

The Men Who Stare at Goats Movie PosterThe Men Who Stare at Goats
dir. Grant Heslov
Stars:
McGregor
George Clooney
Kevin Spacey

BEGINNERSBEGINNERS
dir. Mike Mills
Stars:
Ewan McGregor
Christopher Plummer

MOVIE POSTERJACK THE GIANT SLAYER
2013
dir. Bryan Singer
Stars:
Nicholas Hoult
Stanley Tucci

MOVIE POSTERAUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
2013
dir. John Wells
Stars:
Meryl Streep
Julia Roberts

MOVIE POSTERMISS POTTER
2006
dir. Chris Noonan
Stars:
Renee Zellweger
Ewan McGregor

MOVIE POSTERTHE IMPOSSIBLE
2012
dir. Juan Antonio Bayona
Stars:
Naomi Watts
Ewan McGregor

Interview with Executive Director Stefanie Malone (National Film Festival for Talented Youth)

NFFTY is the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors. In 2015, we screened 248 amazing films from the best filmmakers 24 and younger representing 30 states and 25 countries, with over 12,000 in attendance. We provide a first-class festival experience that includes four days of film screenings, parties, networking events and panels. In 2014, MovieMaker Magazine rated NFFTY as one of the top 50 festivals worth the entry fee.

NFFTY 2016 will be held in April 28 – May 1 in Seattle, WA.

http://www.nffty.org/

Interview with Stefanie Malone:

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

Stefanie Malone: NFFTY is the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors. We showcase the best new best new filmmaking talent age 24 and under. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle, Washington and includes over 200 film screenings from talented filmmakers and media artists from around the world. Workshops, panel discussions featuring industry professionals, and contests provide educational and networking opportunities for attendees. Filmmakers submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental, and action sport categories. It has been compared to Sundance and Cannes for young filmmakers, and we take that reputation seriously.

Many festivals tend to overlook the potential of a young filmmaker simply because of their age. NFFTY stands apart from those festivals by recognizing the creative talent these individuals really do have and providing them with a one-of-a-kind, first-class festival experience that they won’t get anywhere else. Not only do they get to screen their films to sold-out audiences of hundreds, they get to network with other young people just like them as well as top industry professionals that could help them jumpstart their careers.

I think Kevin Klauber (NFFTY filmmaker and editor of Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom) put it perfectly when he said, “NFFTY is overwhelmingly positive. NFFTY is a perfect test ground for what it’s like to be a filmmaker in today’s world. It’s the most positive festival I’ve ever been to in terms of encouraging creative work.”

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

SM: For starters, you’ll have a chance to see creative endeavors by the next generation of filmmakers. NFFTY is the opportunity to see the next Martin Scorsese or the next Kathryn Bigelow. At NFFTY 2016, we will feature 227 films from filmmakers in 24 countries and 33 US states. We have a variety of genres and some of the most gripping short documentaries in the world.

Opening Night is our biggest affair, kicking off at the world-renowned Cinerama with a red carpet and five short films from NFFTY filmmakers. We then host a Gala presented by Volvo Car USA at the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Washington state, where the celebration continues.

Some of the highlights of NFFTY 2016 include an incredible selection of documentaries that explore human race, culture and relationship in a screening called “The Human Race” and a closing night screening that (in honor of our tenth festival) explores the power of story through diverse stories called “Around the World in Ten Films”.

Additionally, we have panel discussions like “Get Real: Filmmaking in VR” and a masterclass by Oscar-nominated director Christian Christiansen on navigating the world of independent filmmaking.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

SM: This year we received over 1,000 submissions from around the world, and I can say that there were many wonderful films that we had to pass over this year. We have an amazing Selection Committee that screens all of the films and provides feedback. Those films then go on to the Programming Committee who reviews comments and films and works from there.

I would say that the biggest factor in getting selected is story. We place higher value on this than on the production quality. With the advancement in accessibility to technology and camera, many people are making films. But what is the story? Where do you take the audience?

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

SM: I know that we would love to show more films at our festival, and based on the quality of the work that was submitted we had to turn away some really good films this year. We simply have limitations in terms of time and space. This year we had to pass on a lot of quality work and, honestly, it hurts to send those rejection emails. It’s a competitive landscape out there and we do our best to represent great films from around the world.

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

SM: This is a unique festival that treats these young, creative filmmakers like the VIPs that they are. There is something remarkable about being around young, creative spirits. NFFTY’s filmmakers are supportive, collaborative, and give me hope for the future of film and storytelling. I feel lucky to be surrounded by them, which leaves me feeling refreshed and energized with a renewed spirit of creativity.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

SM: NFFTY grew from a one-day festival in 2007 founded by three teenagers that were hoping to connect young media artists. Today it stands as the world’s largest film festival for young filmmakers (24 and under) that spans four days and has supported over 2,000 filmmakers in its ten years.

Over the years, we have embarked on initiatives to support particular needs in the film community. In 2014, NFFTY created its Young Women in Film initiative, a year-round effort to support young female filmmakers around the world. NFFTY also launched an in-house production company known as NFFTY Creative with the mission of connecting sponsors and brands with the festival’s most promising alumni to work on original branded content projects. The first major project, A Supporting Role, a short documentary earns multiple accolades including ADDY Awards and a Telly Award. These projects and initiatives have allowed the festival to grow a year-round presence with a focus on supporting our young filmmakers.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

SM: I hope it continues to grow through year round programming, partnerships and a larger global footprint. I would love to see it build upon its educational offerings and unique ways that we can continue to bridge opportunities for filmmakers as they make the leap to the professional world.

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

SM: It would probably be a tie between Annie Hall or Duck Soup. Comedy is good for the soul and I can’t think of anyone funnier than Woody Allen or the Marx Brothers.

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

SM: I think a good film ultimately wrestles with the dilemma: what makes a good life? It can be through the tenderness of a man’s final moments as he grasps onto the cherished memory of Rosebud or through Rick bidding farewell to Ilsa.

This doesn’t mean that every film has to be so grand as Citizen Kane or Casablanca, but that we can experience and share in the human condition and plight — even for a moment — in a film.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

SM: The film scene in Seattle is growing. We are fortunate to have a strong contingent of talented female filmmakers that rivals the traditional landscape. We are home to two very talented independent directors – Lynn Shelton (Laggies, Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday) and Megan Griffiths (Lucky Them, Eden) and their excellent producers Mel Eslyn and Lacey Leavitt. There is a strong documentary scene in the town as well. There is a host of organizations like NFFTY, Northwest Film Forum, SIFF, Grand Illusion and Three Dollar Bill Cinema that continue to create a thoughtful community for filmmakers and support independent film.

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 tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Justin Timms (Brooklyn Horror Film Festival)

The 2016 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (BHFF) will be held the weekend of October 14, 2016. The BHFF is a must for established and up-and-coming filmmakers who have created short and feature films that instill fright, dread, panic and all around weirdness. In addition to the screenings, we will have Q&A’s with filmmakers, panels, games, food & drinks and more. The directors of the BHFF are committed to celebrating the art of horror filmmaking.

Go to the website: http://brooklynhorrorfest.com/

Interview with Justin Timms:

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

Justin Timms: Well, this is actually the first year of the BHFF so I can speak to our goals as a festival and give filmmakers and idea of what they can expect. Aside from having a space for filmmakers to show their work to an audience, we’re also striving to build a creative, social and fun event that is unlike your standard regional film festival.

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

JT: Filmmakers & audience members can expect to see nothing short of the best in independent genre film. In addition to these screenings we’ll have a lot of fun events and parties. We haven’t officially announced these just yet but stay tuned!

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

JT: We don’t have any specific criteria that we’re looking for. We are going to put together a cohesive program that showcases the best independent talent. We’re looking at horror films, sure, but we’re also looking at documentaries, weird comedies and really any kind of fantastic indie film.

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

JT: Hard to say, but at BHFF we’re currently accepting submissions and there’s so much time and thought that goes into programming and we’re absolutely taking every submission into consideration.

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

JT: It sounds cliche but we love horror films, it just doesn’t feel like work for us. Every time something falls into place for the festival it’s exciting.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

JT: This is our first time around, we’ll let you know next year.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

JT: We want this to grow into the premier east coast industry event for any genre filmmaker. We love watching movies, but come on, let’s move past sitting in the theater for 10 hours and doing q&a’s all day, we want to show films but also have a great time. Let’s check out some rad films and then get together and discuss them over a nice cocktail.

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

JT: That’s a good question. I’m not the type of person who re-watches films a lot. Usually I’ll watch a film in theaters and if I really loved it I’ll buy the Blu-Ray. But honestly I think I might have seen Rocky 4-5 times, that might be the winner right there.

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

JT: I can do it in a word – story.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

JT: Brooklyn is one of the top markets for artists to share their work. We have some of the best audiences in the country, people that really appreciate the art of filmmaking.

****

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 tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director JoAnn Thomas (FANtastic Horror Film Festival)

The FANtastic Horror Film Festival in San Diego, CA is dedicated to bringing the latest and cutting edge Indie Horror films to the local community, It is a 3 day festival over Halloween and shows 30 + Indie Horror Short and Feature films. Following the Fest we have an Award Ceremony to celebrate our award nominees and winners. We are an official event on IMDb.

For more information please go to their website: http://www.fhffsd.org

Interview with JoAnn Thomas

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

JoAnn Thomas: Our approach to the festival is that the filmmakers are also fans of Indie Horror films as well as being filmmakers. Being close to LA, we provide many networking opportunities as well. We are also an approved film festival on IMDb where we recognise our nominees and award winners.

We give out approximately 30 awards.ten for feature film, ten for short films, and 10 miscellaneous specialty awards. Of special interest is our LON CHANEY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN INDEPENDENT HORROR FILMS, which is given to an individual in any capacity (i.e. actor, director, DP, etc) who in the past 5 to 10 years has exhibited multiple achievements in the horror genre.

We feel that providing a place to show films that might otherwise be overlooked by the public is important and we provide continuous support for our filmmakers. film, and the actors who are in those films we select. We are a family.

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

JT: Two and a half days of fun, followed by an award ceremony recognising their work.

As a filmmaker ~ obviously a lot of networking opportunities and the opportunity to acknowledge the works of other filmmakers by participating in our Award Ceremony. Participating filmmakers, producers, and actors present the awards which also shows the family aspects of our festival.

As a Fan ~ a lot of great films to see and a lot of up and coming actors to meet.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

JT: Our Official Selections are obviously horror films and sub genres. We prefer to show films that are finished within the most recent 3 years, although exceptions have been made.

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

JT: My personal feeling is that many festivals forget the filmmakers and their films once the fest is over,and given the fact that most of our films are made on a shoestring budget, it behoves us to continue to promote them even after the fest is over.

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

JT: Our initial motivation came from going to other fest that were disorganised and where films rarely started on time, and we were left to sit and wait. So, we decided to treat everyone like a movie going fan. To date most of our filmmakers find this a refreshing change.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

JT: Our fest only continues to grow each year. Many of our filmmakers keep returning and giving us praise. Our filmmakers not only come back, they recommend us to their colleagues.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

JT: We reached one of our goals our first year when we received our first international film submission. So, now it is on to a much bigger goal which is to become the festival that every Indie Horror filmmaker wants to attend.

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

JT: I know this is going to sound strange, but I come from a musical theatre background and I am an avid reader, so it begs the question. I am a big Stephen King fan and create my own movies in my head for the most part. I am also a big Criminal Minds fan as well. Putting these things together makes me a representative for the closet horror fan.

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

JT: A great story which is not predictable with good character development.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

JT: San Diego is a great place for a film festival. Unfortunately we haven’t been around for long enough to get a big local following as our fest is not regional. We are better known at a national and international level but that is about to change.

You may find any festival information and pictures on our website at http://www.fhffsd.org/ as far as my bio is concerned I would have to get back to you on that if it is necessary.

****

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 tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.