Interview with Festival Director Tim Baldwin (Studio 35 Cinema Film Festival)

Get ready for the second annual Studio 35 Cinema Comedy Film Festival (S35CCFF) taking place at Columbus’ oldest independent movie theater. Located in the heart of Clintonville, the S35CCFF features the newest and funniest independent film and shorts from around the country. What goes better together than comedy and a beer! A whole weekend is dedicated to showing the best independent comedy features and shorts, while drinking the best draft beers of the Midwest.


Interview with Tim Baldwin:

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

Tim Baldwin: We’re able to show their shorts and features on a big screen in DCP format. Not on a pull up screen in a hotel auditorium, or something like that. We’re an independent theater in Columbus, and we can show what we want. You make a movie to see on the big screen, and we will do that. I wish we had some panels for filmmakers, but we will do a Q&A. And since we’re small, there’s a lot of opportunities to just hang out and discuss films. We love supporting films after they’re been here as well.

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

TB: Some funny international short films. We’ve had a great submission year for international shorts. This sounds ridiculous, but we have a swag bag this year that I think is great for filmmakers. Great draft beer. A Ghostbusters pinball game.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

TB: Since we’re a comedy film fest, it’s as easy as make us laugh. We’ve received a lot of shorts and features that are good, but not funny. They would play great at a film festival, but not at a COMEDY film festival. And the regular technical aspects like make sure we can hear the film, and see it. The judges and I struggle with shorts that are technically not good, but maybe humorous. It needs to look good, maybe not polished or too polished, but look like it wasn’t shot with a camcorder. And the story has to be great. That’s the least expensive thing about a film you can do. Make a good story that we care about. All the best equipment in the world won’t make an unfunny story funny.

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

TB: If you mean, why don’t films get selected, it could be a lot of reasons. As a filmmaker who has submitted to over hundreds of festivals, I wonder the same. And I’ve found out that it’s just subjective to some extent. Some movies don’t fit the program, or some are too long to be included, or just not the genre they were looking for. But a lot of it comes down to, someone didn’t like it or get it. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t good or anything, just didn’t fit.

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

TB: I wanted to create a festival to show shorts and features that our community would not normally see. I wanted to create a fun atmosphere of filmmakers and moviegoers. And I wanted to meet filmmakers. Good film motivates me.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

TB: Well, it’s only our second year, so not a lot. We shortened the festival to three days this year. Since our attendance wasn’t as great as I hoped, we don’t have an awards ceremony or anything. I hope to have something more substantial in future years.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

TB: If we’re still doing it, lol, I’d like to have more shorts and films from well known artists but below the radar studio pictures. I’d like to have it be a cool location for filmmakers to come see their films. I’d like to have more of the community to attend, and in return give something back to local groups and events. I hope to make it more of an event for our community. We’re finding our footing now, seeing where we fit.

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

TB: Easy. Star Wars. I’m a small filmmaker as well, producing and making short films for twenty years. So Star Wars was a huge inspiration and influence in my life.

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

TB: A great film makes me care about the characters and what will happen to them.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

TB: We have a nice little film production community here in Columbus. Many people help out with other people’s productions. Columbus is working hard to bring the bigger budgeted movie here. Many of the professional crew work on these, and national spots. Columbus, also, has tons of international companies headquartered here that do production work. For viewing films, we have the Ohio State’s Wexner Center, which is second to none in programming films. The Gateway Film Center is also amazing in programming films and having special events that the people can get involved with. Our little single screen theater is great for community events, and watching movies with a great crowd as well.

Tim Baldwin BIO: Loving movies all his life, Tim entered Bowling Green State University with an emphasis of film production and studies. After taking an internship in Columbus, Ohio, Tim moved there in 1994. Tim worked at a production house for four year, moving from grip/production assistant to online editor. As a second job, he was a projectionist at three movie theaters in town, watching movies all the time. Wanting something more, he moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to expand his career and fulfill a dream of working in movies. After working on six films, including “The Heist”, “Buddy Boy” and “Way of the Gun” as a post production assistant, Tim wanted to try a different avenue to get his films made. So he moved back to Ohio and has worked as an AVID editor and video producer since 2000. He loves watching movies with his young son and spending time with his Key Make-up Artist wife.

Tim has wrote, directed and edited six short films, one feature length film “Garage Sale” and a documentary about Studio35, the longest running single screen movie theater in Ohio. He also is program director for the Studio35 Comedy Film Festival, now in it’s second year.


Studio 35 Film Festival FB_2016-01

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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