Interview with Festival Director Shari Carlson (Best Actors Film Festival)

Held in the San Francisco, California Union Square District. A tribute to the performers and directors of your film. Best Actors Film Festival is created to entice film makers to reward the performers in their film in a way that truly acknowledges their work.

Interview with Festival Director Shari Carlson:

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

Shari Carlson: The Best Actors Film Festival, established in 2010, rewards Actors in Independent Films. Every filmmaker works hard at casting their project, directing the actors, and relies on the actor to portray their vision to the audience. An Actors’ performance determines the effect your film will have on an audience and how well it will be received. With hard working, talented performers your film is successful. Rewarding the Talent s an overlooked experience in the Film Festival circuit. Film festivals traditionally reward the film and its crew, and the director. By acknowledging the contribution that the Actors make we are insuring great quality filmmaking continues to excel.

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

SC: A heartwarming experience seeing new and seasoned Actors accepting awards for their work. We have become known as the festival that really knows the Actors and Filmmakers personally. A win here means you really did your job, and did it well.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

SC: Great acting!. Your film goes through several stages of screenings by judges and must rise to the level of excellence in the craft of acting. You must have a believable presence onscreen and create a believable relationship in your scenes.

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

SC: My goal is to insure that every film that is submitted to our Festival is watched in its entirety. No exceptions. That is our commitment. That way we are sure we are awarding fairly and without prejudice.

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

SC: The Best Actors Film Festival was created to acknowledge Actors. As an Actor and a Filmmaker myself, I understand how difficult it is to be acknowledged for really great work.

We are motivated by the talent we see around us.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

SC: Mostly the poster has changed. We have Cityscape Artist Veerakeat do our posters now and we are so proud of them. We are also better at giving the awards. Last year we periscoped our ceremony and plan to do the same this year. We are also going to hold a screening in LA, in addition to SF.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

SC: Bigger, better screening rooms, better appetizers.

Jeff Carlson is the Director of the Festival, and Larry Mahaffey is our Advisor. We have a staff that screens films and volunteers who help us put on our Festival.

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

SC: The Girl In The Cafe. As a filmmaker, I would love to create something that excellent. Shari Carlson, Film Festival Creative Director.

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

SC: A great story, script, and Actors who can create relationship.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

SC: San Francisco seems to be the Independent Film Capital in the US. This city loves independent Films.

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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