Interview with Festival Director Amanda Perry (Cutting Edge Film Festival)

The Cutting Edge Festival is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization which endeavors to promote the best filmmakers and their films to an ever-growing worldwide audience as a powerful medium that inspires creativity, encourages introspection, and compels the exploration of the senses, and expands the imagination.

The festival uses the monies raised from film submission fees to promote and expand the world of Independent Filmmaking as an ever increasing endeavor.

Interview with Amanda Perry:

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

We feel that in the two years since we established our Festival that we have offered hundreds of Filmmakers from around the world a lot of additional exposure for their work to countless lovers of Independent Film the world over. As I’m sure that you know, for an Independent Filmmaker, exposure of their films is everything.

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

First, our festival is produced strictly through a virtual film screening platform, and there really isn’t a physical event to attend. However, what a Filmmaker who is screening at the CEIFF could expect is not only a great deal of exposure for their film, but additionally they should expect the potential for their film to come to the attention of Distributors, and a Filmmaker should most certainly expect that the audiences for their film will be of the warmest kind. What a virtual attendee of our festival should expect should be films of all genres that are among the highest caliber in the world.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Like most Festivals in the world, ours makes it’s film selections based on the quality of Directing, cinematography, story line, script plot, writing, acting, production values, and lighting along with many other elements of the film. Most importantly though, we think that a film overall should be entertaining and should capture the viewer’s attention from start to finish.

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

I think that most Festival, ours included, try their best to offer every Filmmaker who submits their film an equal opportunity to be selected and screened. However, I also think that there are a few Festivals out there that seem to focus more on the big budget films which have celebrities attached to them, and less on the smaller budget films with no celebrity involvement. Though this is not the case with the majority of Festivals, there are a few with this focus, and I feel that it is unfortunate because there are countless films that are produced with little or nearly no budget that would rival those larger budget films.

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

Very simply, a love of film, a great respect for the Independent Filmmaker, and our passion for the art of Filmmaking.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

The Fest hasn’t really changed, though we have learned quite a bit and have refined many of our systems and processes as to allow for what we feel is a better overall experience for the Filmmaker from the submission process all the way through to the end of the Festival.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Hopefully still producing Festivals that are much better, and much more well attended each year.

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

That is really hard to answer because I have seen so very many, both Independent and “Hollywood” films.

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

As I said above, what I think makes a great film is for the film to have the ability to capture the viewer’s attention from start to finish, drawing the viewer into a new reality created by the Filmmaker to the point that the viewer forgets that it’s a movie.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

As with many cities around this Country, I think the the demand for Independent Film has grown, and will continue to do so over the coming years.


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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


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