Interview with Festival Director Chris Grigsby (Cinevision Film Festival)

Cinevision Film Festival is an international competition for short filmmakers located in Santa Fe, NM at the heart of the city.  We aim to help amateur filmmakers make the professional leap.  This year’s competition is a little bit different than in the past.  We’re focusing more on shorter films to allow more directors the opportunity to be seen.  This year’s festival is directed by Chris Grigsby who is partnering with film4change and this is our film to help create the best program we’ve had yet.

Interview with Chris Grigsby:

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

Chris Grigsby: Cinevision Film Festival is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For those who don’t know, Santa Fe, Nm is indeed a real place and it happens to be a film and artist hub. Independence Day 2, Seth Rogan’s new project, “Preacher” and the ever popular Netflix show, “Longmire,” are just some of the recent project that are taking place here. With the film Festival, we like to give the opportunity for Filmmakers to showcase their work to an audience that is very involved in the business, and hopefully be a bridge between the amateur and professional realm.

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

CG: Laughing. Crying. Puking. Walk-outs and the occasional standing ovation is what I’m praying for. This year we had over 700 submissions from around the world and the program is shaping into one of the best showcases I’ve seen, but then again I’m biased.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

CG: Cinevision is an International Short Film Festival, so fifteen minutes or less is kind of our style. If you think punk-rock teen angst meets ballroom reception with a splash of comedy, this would be our qualifications. You won’t see to many heart felt documentaries this year.

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

CG: I can’t say with any certainty but I’m sure you could make a case for it. The beautiful thing about today, is that there are film festivals springing up all around the world that gives filmmakers an even greater chance to be seen and heard. So I would say try your chance and if it doesn’t work out, try again.

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

CG: Cinevision is part of a weekend art festival held at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Were right in between Outdoor Vision Festival, which is an art instillation and projection exhibit, and Quadstock Music Festival. Their always seems to be a friendly rivalry between the events, and we want to win that rivalry. There is always a large crowd that comes out every year and we want them to come for the art, stay for the film and relax on the music.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

CG: We’ve shifted the program to focus on shorter works and opened up the competition more internationally, just to give the opportunity for more filmmakers to show their work. The competition abroad was really strong this season and I know the audience will appreciate that. If you’ve ever been to Santa Fe, then you’ll understand just how worldly the community is.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

CG: I’d like for the festival to keep its small town feel, and still support major competition. The great thing about being in Santa Fe, is that the filmmaker never gets lost in the shuffle and has the opportunities that any major film market could provide.

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

CG: Probably John Carpenters, Halloween. I started watching that around the age when I wasn’t supposed to and feel in love with it. And because of that, I’ll never get the soundtrack outta my head.

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

CG: A great film breaths life from pictures.


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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