Interview with Festival Director Ivan Wiener (Albuquerque Film & Music Experience)

AFME brings award-winning filmmakers, screenwriters, musicians, artists, distributors, industry experts, producers, casting directors and visionaries together from around the world to celebrate the art of storytelling and collaborate into the future.

Their Mission:
The AFME Foundation brings together world-renowned and local filmmakers and musicians with high school and college students to provide educational and cultural opportunities. We support Albuquerque becoming an epicenter for film, music and the arts.

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

Ivan Wiener: Providing a platform to share their work with a vast audience including distributors, other filmmakers and industry members. Introducing filmmakers to other attendees where future collaboration, either personally or professionally, goes from a possibility to a reality.

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

Attendees will experience an amazing blend of movies, music and the arts throughout the week where celebrity and industry professionals are just a smile and a handshake away. The cool thing about AFME is the access everyone has to one another. Attendees also experience some of the top hospitality of any film festival in the world. Our staff treats everyone like family throughout AFME.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Out of hundreds of films submitted to our festival, the selected films have to stand out with production value and story line and leave the audience wanting more. We take pride in screening the best films that come our way through the submission process and supporting the filmmaker’s desire to screen their project in front of an intelligent, hip and appreciative audience.

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

I think there are many festivals that are known to hand pick movies that they know will draw distributors immediately. Our screening team takes great pride in watching every movie submitted and having open discussions about the quality of movies. With 45-50 films selected for our program, we take great care in selecting movies with the top production value.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by our non-profit’s mission and vision of bringing together world renowned and local filmmakers and musicians with high school and college students to provide educational and cultural opportunities. The more success we have at the festival, the more scholarships we offer to students of film, music and the arts. We are always happy to have celebrities who believe in our mission come along for the ride each June. This year, T Bone Burnett, Jeff Bridges and many others will be in attendance.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been a wonderful submission platform. Easy to use, with tools that give great exposure to our event.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We see AFME expanding to more areas of the city and offering a summer institute for talented high school and college students of film, music and the arts.

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

Jaws. Every time it is on television, I can’t help but watch it.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a unique and engaging story that evokes emotion from beginning to end.

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in Albuquerque is one of the best in the world. Being one of the top production destinations due to the State incentive, there are weekly events throughout the city that focus on film. Local and international filmmakers love Albuquerque because of its unique vibe and focus on film.


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.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

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