Interview with Festival Director Diana Ringo (Prague Independent Film Festival)

Prague Independent Film Festival (PIFF), established in 2016, is an annual event held in August which focuses on international independent cinema. Its purpose is to recognize and support new filmmakers and to present their films to the Czech audience. The festival includes screenings and an award ceremony where The Golden Eagle is given as the Grand Prix.
http://prague-film-festival.com/

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

Diana Ringo: Prague Independent Film Festival gives an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their films, to network, find important contacts and to become part of an elite cultural circle of cinematography. Our film awards are significant and respected; many of our winners have received substantial press coverage from many major press outlets concerning their triumph. Our festival is IMDB qualified event.

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

To see great new films presented by the filmmakers themselves, to participate in discussions and parties.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We expect highly artistic films made with different budgets, widely ranging in genres and made in the last two years. At PIFF we screen feature films, short films, experimental films, documentaries and music videos.

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

Yes, I do think that some films do not receive the recognition they deserve at film festivals. Many large-scale festivals have become so politicized that if a picture does not have a suitable thematic subject it might become lost at the festival circuit. Huge festivals which heavily rely on government funding cannot be fully independent; they are forced to coordinate everything with the powers-that-be which causes the festivals to mirror local political tendencies. Because of this it is important for independent film festivals to exist.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our immense interest in cinema and desire to create an impact on the cultural scene in Prague.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

I expect more participants and that we successfully continue our traditions without betraying our core essence.

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

I have seen “À bout de souffle” many times and find it inspiring because it is an important and influential picture made by a young independent director on a limited budget.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film should be able to make a deep impression and linger in the viewer’s heart and mind.

How is the film scene in your city?

Many beautiful historical cinemas are located in Prague, for example Kino Lucerna which is one of our venues. Cultural life of Czechia is mostly concentrated in Prague, so it was especially important to create a festival here with its rich cultural traditions.

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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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