Interview with Festival Director Gregory Kelly (SIMPLY SHORTS)

Simply Shorts was designed to encourage more regular screenings of both local and international short form content in Brisbane, Australia. Since 2015, we have held Simply Shorts 2-3 times a year, changing genres or themes every edition and opening the door to many different areas of filmmaking. Our screenings go for one night only. The editions of Simply Shorts so far have been: The Queensland Edition, Halloween Special, Skits & Giggles, World Cinema, Women in Film and coming in July we’ll have Sci-Fi or Die.

Simply Shorts was created by Gregory Kelly. Greg’s background in the film industry started in 2009 when he entered film school at the Queensland School of Film & Television. Graduating in 2011, Greg co-founded the Brisbane Backyard Film Festival with Morgan MacKay in 2012, which this year celebrated it’s 6th edition. Pernell Marsden joined Simply Shorts full time in 2016 as festival director and was instrumental in making the Women in Film screening one of the most successful editions yet.



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

Gregory Kelly: We hope that Simply Shorts is providing another valuable screen for filmmakers to screen their work. Especially our local filmmakers in Brisbane who don’t get much of a chance to have their work screened locally because of the lack of festivals and screenings.

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

We’ve had one edition of Simply Shorts already in 2017 which was our Women in Film screening. We screened short form content from Australian female filmmakers which was great. A fantastic mix of drama, thriller, animation and comedy. In July we’ll be having our Sci-Fi or Die edition which will focus on local and international sci-fi short films, as well as music videos & trailers.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Audience enjoyment and technical merit. We have a pre-screening with a group who give us feedback on what films they enjoyed and why. Technical competency usually also falls into the enjoyment side of things as well, because if you can’t hear or see the film properly you wouldn’t enjoy it.

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

That’s a hard question. Each film festival is different. There are a lot of film festivals now, and a lot of them cater for different things. Putting together a program for a festival is extremely hard. We’ve had to leave out good films just to keep our lineup varied.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We love film. We love bringing people together through film.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Since we’ve been using FilmFreeway it has been extremely easy. There’s an abundance of films out there.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We don’t see Simply Shorts getting much bigger than what it is. We enjoy the small and relaxed feel.

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

Pulp Fiction.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great story.

How is the film scene in your city?

Unfortunately we don’t have the film scene in Brisbane that we should have for a first world city. There’s a lot of potential here but a lot of it is unrealised. It’s both social and political.



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
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