Happy Birthday: Victoria Smurfit

WILDsound Festival

Victoria Smurfit.jpgVictoria Smurfit

Born: March 31, 1974 in Dublin, Ireland

[on training for Dracula (2013)] I learned to repel down caves, I learned broad swords, birka knives, backflips. I learned boxing, unarmed combat, how to fall off swords. I loved it. Then you get stunts like being naked in a bath with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and a crew of seventy. That’s a different kind of stunt!

 

 

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Happy Birthday: Alejandro Amenábar

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Alejandro Amenábar.jpgAlejandro Amenábar

Born: March 31, 1972 in Santiago de Chile, Chile

[on Vanilla Sky (2001)] I felt very honored and very excited. It’s been weird because watching the same story done with a completely different tone, it was so weird. I remember when I saw the film for the first time, I kept thinking, “Well, I would have done this differently.” But then I realized, “Well, of course, I’ve already done it!” So that’s the point that’s interesting to me. He [Cameron Crowe] really made his film. It’s like the same song with two different voices. That’s what I appreciate about it. Plus the buttload of money.

[on Open Your Eyes (1997)] I started developing the idea in the middle of a fever. I had a cold and spent a few days in bed and it was there that I started developing the idea.

I don’t dream too much, or…

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Happy Birthday: Shirley Jones

WILDsound Festival

Shirley Jones.jpgShirley Jones

Born: March 31, 1934 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, USA

Married to:
Marty Ingels (13 November 1977 – 21 October 2015) (his death)
Jack Cassidy (6 August 1956 – 26 May 1975) (divorced) (3 children)

[Of James Garner]: Not only was he a great actor, but he didn’t hit on me. He didn’t have that reputation, like a lot of actors I worked with. He was very married, a family man. And a real straight-on guy.

[on the death of James Garner]: I see this gorgeous man and I said, ‘Oh, my!’
He was very sweet. We went to this little restaurant and I told him, ‘You’re gonna be a giant star.’ He said, ‘How? I’m not sure I know how to act.’

[Discussing about David Cassidy’s lack of contact with her real-life family]: David has not had a relationship with anyone in the family for years. We are sick…

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Happy Birthday: Gabe Kaplan

WILDsound Festival

Gabe Kaplan.jpgGabe Kaplan

Born: March 31, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

His experiences as a student in an under-achieving class (like the Sweathogs) in the early 1960s was the basis for Welcome Back, Kotter (1975).

Was a broadcaster for the only outdoor World Series of Poker along with Phil Hellmuth in 1997 on ESPN. The event took place outside of Binion’s in the middle of the Fremont Street Experience.

Working with the original creator of Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) to create a new movie musical. [1998]

 

 

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Happy Birthday: Melissa Ordway

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Melissa Ordway.jpgMelissa Ordway

Born: March 31, 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Married to: Justin Gaston (22 September 2012 – present) (1 child)

Is an only child.

(September 22, 2012) Married her boyfriend of a year Justin Gaston.

She and husband Justin Gaston have an adopted daughter named Olivia Christine Gaston, who was born on April 30, 2016.

 

 

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Interview with Festival Director Nicholas Marchese (Monmouth Film Festival)

Monmouth Film Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to promote and connect filmmakers from all over the state and country. The festival is more than an opportunity for artists to have their work showcased, it is a forum for educational opportunities through workshops, networking, Q&As and special panels with industry guests; that provide insight, growth and inspiration. Our unique platform strives to create an atmosphere where filmmakers of all levels, including high and low budget works, can be seen, heard and interact with movie-goers, promoters and other artists.

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

Our primary mission is to promote, connect and educate filmmakers. For promotion, we work with companies such as iPitch.TV, who helps filmmakers pitch their films to the major studios; thus opening up distribution opportunities for the films that win at our festival. For connecting/networking, each year we hold an Industry Networking event, featuring special industry guests, press, artists and even reps from our partnered companies such as Backstage who all come together in Red Bank to meet and greet during the event. As a non-profit, education is one of our biggest focuses. We offer many different forums for education including workshops, Q&As, Internships for students and our annual Industry Film Panel; featuring a panel of esteemed industry professionals who take the stage to discuss their careers and offer insight and inspiration for the filmmakers in attendance. There’s much value in attending Monmouth Film Festival as both a featured filmmaker and aspiring filmmaker or artist. There’s something for everyone.

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

Something fresh, exciting; the finest, top-quality independent cinema around. We’re different than most festivals around. We like to call ourselves ‘By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers’, meaning that as filmmakers ourselves, we understand the struggles and difficulties that go into making a film. So those who submit can be sure their films are receiving a fair shot when being judged for selections and awards. We are always reaching wider for films; looking for hidden filmmakers and talents across our state, country, and the world (as we are an international film festival). At Monmouth, there are no favorites, no special treatments, and no ‘good old boys club’. Every film gets the same fair opportunity to be chosen.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The story is above all in our selection process. Specifically, with independent cinema, your film should be an extension of yourself. We love to feel the voice of the filmmaker behind their film, especially when they come for a Q&A and can speak about the motivations behind it. We are open to all styles and techniques; which is why we have a diverse screening committee, all having niches in different categories including documentary, narrative, international art cinema etc…

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

I can’t really speak for other festivals selection process only because each are so different and of course, filmmaking itself is very subjective. What a story means or how it gets received can and usually is different from one person to another. What I can say, knowing from collaborating with many different programmers from different respected film festivals is that each has a different taste. Sometimes a film may be submitted that was technically perfect but doesn’t fit in with the vision for that particular festival. So the moral of the story is if your film doesn’t get accepted to a festival, it doesn’t mean it’s not good, it’s just not the right festival for that film. It’s difficult even for our festival that we only have a certain number of slots each year for films, so sometimes films that we very much enjoy get cut due to the tight time slots we have for programming. What I can comment on though in addition is that as a Filmmaker, and I have done this myself, do some research into the festivals you are submitting to. See what they’re all about. Who’s running them, who they work with and what value there is for you and your film being a part of it. Submission fees add up, so make wise choices when submitting. Eight out of ten times a not for profit festival like Monmouth Film Festival will always give you a better return for your money because we are here for you, the filmmaker, not ourselves and our interests.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We love film. If I said nothing more, that should say it all! Along our own journey as filmmakers, having won many awards myself across multiple festivals, I have come to appreciate the opportunity to network with filmmakers and meet many important and distinguished guests across the industry who have always reached a handout. With that being said, not every festival I have attended lived up to its expectations. That’s what I wanted to change. I wanted to take the best aspects of all these festivals I attended and put them all into one. Together with a diverse team of artists from all interests and backgrounds, we are able to passionately drive forward to raise the bar each year higher and wider. I would like to say we have already made a bold mark after year one – having received rave reviews from critics and audiences along with top ratings – and next year, it will be ever bolder.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Submissions have been great. This year we are working with Withoutabox as well, trying to open our submissions to as many filmmakers as possible. We’ve been very happy with the submission numbers so far and already have a handful of films we are interested in screening August 2017. Submissions are open through June so don’t forget to submit! Feature, Shorts, Student Films, Trailers, Screenplays, TV Pilots and Web series; this year we have a category for every artist!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020 I see Monmouth rising higher and brighter to a festival that filmmakers will call a “must submit” along the festival circuit. By that point we’ll have many more companies working with us, expanding our opportunities for filmmakers even further. Our community and tri-state area will recognize us for being an asset for artists all over and look forward to each year’s program. I would like to see us at that point operating as a year-round company, offering seminars, special screenings and educational workshops throughout the year. This is definitely a direction we are already moving in fast.

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

That’s a tough one! Being that I write a lot of comedy, I am a fan of the older Adam Sandler movies, so I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen “Happy Gilmore”. But next to that “My Cousin Vinny” and “The Graduate” aren’t too far behind!

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Before the lights, camera, editing, locations and all of that, the characters are the single most important element to any film. Whether we like them, hate them, love them, they make us laugh or cry, we need to know these people so well, and invest in what they are trying to tell us; that’s why we keep watching. That’s why when they’re alone, we’re alone. When they’re scared, we are too. Characters well developed with much depth sell a film every time (same for documentaries too).

How is the film scene in your city?

Red Bank, NJ is the arts mecca of Monmouth County, New Jersey. For the past decade, Red Bank has been growing its way back to the top due to great venues such as Count Basie Theater and Two River Theater, where we hold our festival. We are glad to be a part of revitalizing the arts community and life within our County and State. It’s really an amazing sight when you can stand in the middle of a beautiful glass wall lobby and see so many passion artists travel into Red Bank from all over, coming together for one main purpose, film.

 

monmouth2

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 www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Festival Director Darrell Holmes (Barnstorm Film + TV Script Fest)

Barnstorm is not just a screenplay competition, its focus is on helping you develop your script for production. Every submission receives script analysis from an industry professional and winners receive consultations from producers at Barnstorm Media.

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

Barnstorm helps screenwriters turn their scripts into films. We offer free coverage on every submission. We offer production consultations to our finalists. And Barnstorm offers writer/directors the chance to submit a script to our FILMMAKER category for a chance to win the financing, equipment, production assistance, production design, costume design, music composition, and film editing to help make their film a reality.

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

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are looking for original voices and stories.

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

Independent film has become a genre. Festivals are looking for films that fit the genre and/or have names attached. The same films play every festival throughout the season. Independent film is stale. Barnstorm is here to breathe some life into it.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Barnstorm’s ultimate goal is to find and provide an avenue for overlooked filmmakers.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been great to us.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Since the goal of Barnstorm Fest is turn submitters’ scripts into films, by 2020 we would like have a fully formed distribution platform that features theatrical tours with our winning films and our own integrated online distribution platform. By 2020 we would like for Barnstorm to be a place for unique writer/directors to submit their work to see it taken from production to distribution.

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

Growing up, I had three VHS to choose from: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Drop Dead Fred and The Empire Strikes Back. The number of times I watched those films cannot be surpassed.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Disciplined expression.

How is the film scene in your city?

We’re based in Los Angeles where 90% of conversations are about film. That said, Los Angeles is one of the most expensive and most difficult cities in the country to make an independent film.

barnstorm2.jpg

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 www.wildsound.ca 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
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Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an