Interview with Festival Director Loren W. Lepre (Freedom Shorts Philadelphia)

Welcome to FREEDOM SHORTS! The largest and most active short film fest in Philadelphia! This is the ONLY game in town when it comes to short films! This is the FORMER (A Night of Short Films) event. YES the name just changed same great event and the same fun that comes with it!! This event is really a great place to have your film shown and at this event all of our hard work pays off! This event has grown at a rapid rate. This event draws 200-400 people each time. Trailers are welcome! The event is followed up by an award show! YES WE LIKE TO GIVE OUT AWARDS! ALL awards and selections are picked by jury. These events are known for plenty of surprises. Filmmakers this is your night!

Interview with Loren W. Lepre

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

Loren W. Lepre: It gives the filmmakers from around the world a BIG stage to shine on. It’s a full size theatre with a full size screen, a $60,000 sound system, and seats 600 people.

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

LL: This is for somebody attending right? They would get to see a professional event on a major stage in one of the biggest cities in The US.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

LL: The films are selected by what is the best of the best submitted. We also like to channel surf when it comes to Freedom Shorts. if we had some dark thriller we like to bring it back up with a comedy afterward. We believe in balance

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

LL: And if so, why? YES! We believe that on this giving night that the filmmaker should shine. We also have a webseries where we talk with the filmmakers and show the world what our event is all about. These video help MARKET the films the way they should be.

Video link.

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

LL: Here in Philadelphia we had no spot for to screen short films actively. I had ties to The Trocadero and stepped up to the plate and here we are 4 years later.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

LL: At first we screened anything! Anything to stay alive I (Loren W. Lepre) did this event solo but as time went on help came a lot of help. Than the films started getting better and better. We really do our best to put together a solid show every time.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

LL: Being in the top 20 fests in the world. Yup we aim that high.

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

LL: Lost Boys still my favorite movie and Rumble Fish a close 2nd.

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

LL: A great story with great lighting, audio and to the point!

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

LL: Philadelphia I would like to praise but I can’t the indie filmmakers need a major kick in the ass. To much self praise with every baby step and NONE of them think with worldwide eyes. Films being made with to many short cuts are killing films. Directors NOT pushing their films to get them out of the Philly area. To many films being made for their mantle and not going the distance.

Loren W. Lepre was born and raised in Carbondale Pennsylvania. Moved to Philadelphia in 1999 to work in the wrestling business. Loren has been training in martial arts since 1995. As time went on Loren was drawn away from wrestling and into MMA where he trained with Daddis Fight Camps. One day he was asked to be an extra as a zombie in a indie film called The Reunion. From that day forward Loren jumped into acting where he studied at Walnut Street Theater. Loren has been in over 75 projects since 2011. He is the owner of Average Superstar Films and runs the largest and most active short film fest in Philadelphia.
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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