Interview with Festival Director Gabbar Punjabi (Lake View International Film Festival)

Lake View Film Festival aims to inspire, motivate and award the true innovative and artistic geniuses of our time. Every independent artist hopes to one day emerge from the underground scene and share their talents with the masses.

Interview with the Festival Director:

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

Gabbar Punjabi: Lake View International Film Festival gives opportunity to independent filmmakers to show their work at a new platform.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

GP: High-Quality Independent films across all genres, from around the world.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

GP: Our platform is designed for independent filmmakers. We accept films from independent filmmakers with strong storytelling, All genre with high-quality films are acceptable.

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

GP: Film Festivals receive thousands of entries and out of them only a few films are acceptable. Many of the films face rejection because I think, sometimes filmmakers do not read rules and regulations before submitting their films to
festivals. Also, it is difficult for festivals to show each and every film because of a limited number of screenings, limited time and so many other factors vary from festival to festival. ​

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

GP: Cinema of Punjab is still under a big change, recently one of the Punjabi films was officially selected at Cannes. Our team’s passion toward films motivates us to present a good platform for independent filmmakers to show their work.

MT: How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

GP: FilmFreeway is really an awesome platform for both filmmakers as well as festivals. This is very easy to access, easy to manage your entries, and so many features which other platforms not yet provide.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

GP: It will become better and better, more numbers of screenings and there is soo many things which we want to do.

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

GP: Malena, Thelma and Louise, Water and Qissa

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

GP: A great way of storytelling makes a great film.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

GP: The Punjabi film industry is stuck in film mafias. A very low number of theatres, very few independent venues. But I was told it is under a big change so we still have hopes every year new good independent productions.


Gabbar Punjabi is a small town boy with loads of ambition. He completed his graduation in life science after which he joined film school and started learning filmmaking. During film course, he wrote and directed three short films. After successfully completing filmmaking course, he moved to Mumbai where he starts working as an assistant director in the television and film industries. In 2014, he started his banner script factory production and started working as an independent filmmaker. He also the Director of Independent film festival Lake View International film Festival.

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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