Interview with Festival Director Mark Brennan (Exit 6 Film Festival)

Exit 6 Film Festival is an all-day celebration of short films taking place at multiple venues in the heart of Basingstoke, UK, including Vue Cinema and The Anvil.

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

Mark Brennan: What we’re most proud of at Exit 6 is the community spirit generated on the day of the festival as all our selected filmmakers are invited to take part in an on-stage Q&A after their film has shown. The attending filmmakers not only have the oppportunity to share thoughts and experiences on the making of their film to fellow filmmakers, but they can also see exactly who it is they’d like to find in the bar after! Our festival is focussed on making the day all about the filmmakers that have worked so hard to get their project made. We appreciate each and every one and we love providing a welcoming, fun and sociable place for people to share their work. In addition to the festival itself, we also post weekly editorial content online, with interviews and articles covering a range of topics right across the filmmaking spectrum. From composers to concept designers to colourists, we aim to shine a light on every aspect of film production, especially promoting those artists working in independent film.

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

With any luck almost exactly the same as everyone who attended last year! We had a fantastic time welcoming films and filmmakers from around the world, and we’ve been very humbled by the reviews on FilmFreeway since the event that show everyone who came had a great time too. Once again, we will have guest industry speakers throughout the day, covering topics such as crowdfunding and VR filmmaking. We have also added a venue that will host talks aimed at film-lovers rather than filmmakers, so that our programme is more inclusive to our local community.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Our main requirement is that the duration of the film is 15-minutes or less. We accept submissions of any genre as long as they meet the duration requirement and have also been completed since October 2015.

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

The reason that we have a 15-minute limit on our submissions is that we have felt, as filmmakers ourselves, and film over that length will often struggle to get programmed – unless it’s absolutely superb and impossible not to pick. There’s a difficult balance festival programmers can face when choosing between the length of films versus the number of films they’re able to show in a given period of time. Of course, many will still accept the submission fees of hopfeul filmmakers, but we don’t think that’s fair on those who have had to raise the money to make their film in the first place. Festival runs are not cheap! That’s why we decided to be very clear from the beginning that films over 15-minutes would not be considered.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Most of us are filmmakers ourselves, and have travelled a lot to other festivals around the country and the world. We’ve learned an awful lot from attending other festivals what we have enjoyed about some and enjoyed less so about others, and with no similar event near to our hometown, we wanted to create the kind of festival we’d normally have to travel hours to get to! Also, we know how much hard work goes into making a film and we really wanted to create a place where that work and those behind were really celebrated. We were already motivated by this leading up to our first festival last year, and that motivation has only been galvanised since having had that experience of hosting so many new filmmakers, many of whom we now consider friends, to do it all again this year. Everyone on the Exit 6 team is a volunteer.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway was our platform of choice from day one. As mentioned before, many of us on the team are filmmakers so we have had experience in submitting films to other platforms in the past, but for us FilmFreeway is head and shoulders above all others. It’s friendlier to the filmmaker and it’s been great for us to use as a festival. We’re currently still open for submissions for 2017 and already our submissions have almost doubled from last year. We’re very proud to be listed in the FilmFreeway Top 100 Best Reviewed Festival list – last time I looked we were 14th!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020 we would love to be showing feature flms as well as shorts, as well as hosting high-profile industry guests and judges. Exit 6 is currently a one day festival, but that’s something that could expand into a weekend or a few days. We’re very proud currently that the town has been very welcoming and encouraging of our event, and we’d very much like to continue that and make the festival something the whole town gets involved with and looks forward to each year.

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

There’s two answers to this. One is of my own choosing because I love it, and that’s Big Trouble in Little China. The other is not of my own choosing but because my 2-year old daughter insists on watching it 4 times a day, and that’s Wreck-It Ralph. Having said that, it is brilliant. Can’t wait for the sequel.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Kurt Russell.

How is the film scene in your city?

Better and growing now we’re here!

 

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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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Interview with Festival Director Grant Slater (SBE’s Hamilton (New York) International Film Festival)

“SBE’s Hamilton International Film Festival presents an incredible opportunity to network with other ambitious filmmakers, exchange ideas and fundraising strategies while experiencing the charm of Hamilton, New York. The Hamilton Theater is a gorgeous venue and Grant Slater has put together a 5 star festival with a great selection of film, food and local beers. This is a must-attend festival that offers more than just frivolous laurels to it’s filmmakers… one could say that you leave Hamilton with a new group of friends that offer a different perspective on making and watching movies!”
-D.J. Higgins Director, Writer/Producer Meet Mario

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

Grant Slater: When we started SBE’s Hamilton (New York) International Film Festival in 2009, we were looking to create an event where the filmmakers would get an opportunity to not only showcase their work, but also have a chance to hangout with each other and do some networking. The nice things about Hamilton is that once you are in the village everything is walking distance so the filmmakers kind of move around town in a group showing support at each others screenings and then meeting up at one of the local bars or restaurants after the screenings. Over the years there have been some great collaborations between filmmakers, but if nothing else some new friendships in a tough industry are developed at SBE’s Hamilton (New York) International Film Festival.

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

First of all Hamilton, New York is a really nice place and and was recently named one of the friendliest towns in the USA and Colgate University in the village is regularly named one of the prettiest campuses in the USA. So it is a good place to be in July. But we also always have a great group of film enthusiasts in attendance at our screenings. That is probably the biggest thing I hear from visiting filmmakers.

During the Festival week, especially Thursday to Sunday it is not uncommon to see a group of filmmakers and film fans moving around the village. It is nice to see. I always felt it was boring when you go to a screening, the filmmaker does a Q & A after the screening and then that was it. We keep the conversations going in the restaurants and bars after we leave the theaters and it gives the film fans and filmmakers a chance to get to know each other. The Hamilton community has been really supportive of the Festival.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

This is always the most difficult part from our end. We try to have something for everyone and set up our programming so there is always a wide range of genres. The experience levels of our filmmakers range from student filmmaker to Emmy award winners. After nine years and some good reviews the number of submissions has gone way up. That makes our job more difficult on several levels. One, we want to make sure to watch every film and discuss every film. We owe it to the filmmakers. There are quite a few festival options so we want filmmakers to know we appreciate them choosing us. There is never a perfect formula in the selection process, but we try to rely on a wide range of people inside and outside the industry to help us with the decision making.

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

As filmmakers ourselves, we are very sympathetic to that notion. The thing I hear most from filmmakers is that they never really know if their film was even watched during the process. So in that regard we try to communicate with the filmmakers throughout the process. We want them to now that we received their submission, plan to to watch and give feedback. That goes for both films that we accept and do not accept.

I should note that we hit a point where we were seeing so many terrific films but we only had so much screen time so we moved to a seven day format a couple year ago so that we could accommodate more films. It still bothers us when we run into a great film but just don’t have the room to fit it into the Festival. There have been times where we did not accept a film one year, but we kept it on on radar and reached out the following year. I hope other festivals are doing the same.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

First of all you better love watching films. We do and it is so cool when you bring all these filmmakers together to share their work with the community. It is also super cool when you see filmmakers that attended our festival and then decide to work together down the road. That happens pretty much every year. Putting on a quality and caring Festival is hard work and very time consuming, but at the end of the day it great when it comes together. The actual Festival days are really fun. It is the stuff leading up to the Festival that is the work.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway is so well designed. It makes life so much easier for the filmmakers and the film festivals. After about our third year, the number of submissions has really gone up. Every year we get more than the last. I think the key for us has been showing the filmmakers you care and don’t forget about them once the Festival is over. I have so many friendships that started during the festival.The Filmmakers are really our best promotors. I have always believed that since filmmakers have thousands of festival options, we better show some appreciation when they decide to submit to SBE’s Hamilton (New York) International Film Festival.

All that being said, Filmfreeway has exposed SBE’s Hamilton (New York) International Film Festival to a world of filmmakers and has played a significant role in our growth.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Our goal is to continue to grow. Continue to showcase a wide range of experience levels. Continue to be responsive to the filmmakers. The reality is that the bigger we get the more expensive the Festival is to produce, so as long as we can provide the quality that we are offering now, but on a larger scale, I will be happy.

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

Waking Ned Devine. Love it. Makes me laugh every time.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film should always touch your emotions.

How is the film scene in your city?

Very strong. The village of Hamilton is not a big place, but we seem to attract film enthusiasts from all over the region. We have visitors from Boston, New York, Ottawa, Toronto and quite a few other locations. Hamilton and all of Madison County is a great place to visit, but now after nine years the Festival has become a major attraction.
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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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Interview with Festival Director Ann Cabano (The Just Be Love Project)

The JUST BE LOVE Project is dedicated to education, awareness, and inspiring action for social justice and human rights issues through educational events and socially conscious films. Change begins with education and it is their hope to start the difficult conversations and to inspire action in the hearts of those attending this event.

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

Ann Cabano: The JUST BE LOVE Project is dedicated to education, awareness, and inspiring action for social justice and human rights issues through educational events and socially conscious films. It is my hope that this event inspires filmmakers to use their platform to bring awareness to social issues, to give a voice to the tough conversations, to advocate for the injustices humanity faces.

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

Attendees can expect to have the opportunity to acquire a new lens of perception. Beyond that, it is my hope awareness, change and healing can be a lasting result.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Official selections will have any social justice theme or sub-theme that can become a educational discussion.

We hope to have the filmmakers present to answer questions and when not possible we hope to have subject matter experts offer some insight.

We accept any genre of film.

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

Art in any form is personal and therefore subjective and surely the impetus behind the intention of the different festivals.

And I can only speak for my festival where every entry gets screened and judged equally.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

I was personally motivated to create this event because I am an advocate for humanity at heart. My background in non-profit, my personal life experiences and my passion as an educator naturally forged a path to this very moment in my life. I imagine my team is motivated by similar reasons.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

The process has been smooth and steady an right in line with my vision and projected pace.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

As a new venture, I have decided to let The Just Be Love Project organically shape and grow.

We are focused on social justice and education awareness and already had the honor of being asked to work with a group of 56 high school youth that wanted to learn about human trafficking. Our partner Shanna Parker, trafficking survivor and founder of AngelsGoToWork.com helped us educate the young adults at a three hour gathering where the participants also helped us make three powerful videos by lending their voice to the topics of homelessness, trafficking and bullying.

This fall we are mentoring and collaborating with another youth group that will be making a film we will screen at a future event.

We will also be launching a non-profit leg that will do educational outreach around social justice and human rights issues.

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

I will admit that it is a tie between ‘While You Were Sleeping’, ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘My Cousin Vinny’ and ‘Braveheart’.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Human connection, emotional intelligence, a quirky protagonist and a slight sense of the unreal.

How is the film scene in your city?

I would love to the film community in my city expand and grow.

We just acquired a film commissioner and hope to see an impact on our community.

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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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Interview with Festival Director Joe Sanchez (Catch & Release Showcase Festival)

The showcase is a meeting point among artists, innovators and media consumers. We aim to spark creativity for both beginners and professionals. Grab your phone and create. Together we can make this world more beautiful with our artistry.

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

Joe Sanchez: We are all about distribution. Right now our focus is for the filmmakers to find a way to stream their films to a wider audience and be able to make revenue.

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

Our goal is a traditional one given this is our first year, just aiming for a good time and that people find us memorable. And for the content to be good.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

As long as the material is shot on an cellphone and under 20 minutes, we will consider it.

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

I’m not sure how to answer this question. I believe in general film festivals are always looking to showcase some of the best and finest in the market to be. I do believe the bigger ones; TRIBECA, SUNDANCE, SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST have monopolize. No longer about what’s next, more so what’s going to bring more celebrities. I remember when CLERKS was the biggest thing at SUNDANCE. Now, that’s not so much the case. This is why smaller festivals are needed. People forget that even film festivals have their roots.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

For me, personally, it has always been about helping filmmakers spread their voice. As a writer / producer myself I know that most filmmakers, if not all of them, are simply wanting to be heard. This is why creating is an outlet / a way to coop with the world. And right now that outlet is needed the most. Our festival is just another way for them to speak.

And, on a personal mission, I’m aiming to bring more social awareness about a greater cause, human trafficking. This is why we teamed up with A21. As a fighter against this global monstrosity, it’s my way to give back while implementing change.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

It’s been fair, first year festival have a lot to overcome. So just getting people to submit is an accomplishment on its own. And having the FilmFreeway brand behind us does give us some type of credibility.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020 I anticipate for us to be globally recognizable and a higher attendance, just kidding. But seriously isn’t the goal always the same, it’s all about longevity. Whether this festival is still around, that’s without question. Ultimately the goal for us is to be trusted. To be one of the go to festivals where you, a. get some validity and b. be handed a distribution deal. We plan to expand to feature film submissions, at some point.

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

El Mariachi, is one of my all time favorite flicks, as Robert Rodriguez likes to refer them as. I can watch it over and over again. From a filmmakers perspective I can appreciate it for what it is, a film that visually accomplish what it set out to do with it’s minimal budget. As a writer, it’s mind blowing how he took a simple story and gave it a creative spin. And now that I’m a film festival director, I can see it’s charm. But then again, I probably always saw that, ha.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Simply the story. A good story can go along way.

How is the film scene in your city?

I’m in Los Angeles, so my scene is thee scene. I’m joking but I will say this though, I’ve lived in a few cities and an each one there are pockets of people doing film. And even L.A. has it’s own local scene but regardless it’s all part of the same spectrum. The struggle is very real but as long as you do your part, you take solace in knowing that you’re partaking in making your dreams come true.

 

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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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Interview with Festival Director Omar McClinton (Various Artists independent Film Festival)

The VAiFF (Various Artists independent Film Festival) has succeeded in joining two 21st century opportunities together for filmmakers to get their films released and screened by as many people as possible.

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

Omar McClinton: First, we have eliminated the 2-year expiration policy. In most festivals if your project is older than 2 years from its completion, it is no longer eligible for the festival circuit. This is not the case with VAiFF. Blood, sweat, tears and talent don’t expire. If your film was good 10 years ago, it’s still good today. Matter of fact, we received a submission in the winter submission season that had to be transferred from VHS tape. It was submitted, and actually won its nomination in its category. It is one of the finalists this year!

The other way we succeed in creating accomplishments for filmmakers, both novice and experienced, is by giving them an opportunity to raise their fan base and social following by allowing their projects to be screened and voted for on social media, ‘liked’ and shared with a global audience that may not otherwise be able to attend the festival in person, but could eventually become a fan for life.

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

A filmmaker would expect to experience ‘opportunity’. There are no excuses as to why you shouldn’t take one more shot at getting your project out there. We’ve removed any rule hindering a filmmaker and they should take this opportunity and run with it.

We’re a first year festival. It will take time to earn the trust of other filmmakers and it will take time for us to gain the following of many of the other festivals. But we are confident that when someone, filmmaker or audience member, attends our festival they will appreciate our PROFESSIONALISM, identify with our ENTREPRENURIAL SPIRIT and respect our TENACITY in making sure we help nurture the next generation of successful filmmakers while concurrently raising our own bar each and every quarter to provide the best festival and competition experience for all involved. Those whose projects are on the screen, those who will eventually be sitting in theater seats and those working behind the scenes. We’re all lovers of film. We have to respect the art and the artists. VAiFF will do just that.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

√ Films should be no longer than 45 minutes long (not including end credits)
√ Should fit in either category: Animation (Short), Children / Family (Short), Comedy (Short), Documentary (Short), Drama (Short), Foreign Film (Short), Horror / Thriller (Short), Music Video and TV/ Web Series Pilot.

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

If you’re asking if I’ve heard horror stories and claims of people being cheated out of their time and money when entering other festivals, yes I’ve heard of it. If you’re asking if I’ve personally been a victim of this myself as a filmmaker when I tried to enter a film festival years ago, yes, I have been. But honestly, that’s not enough to warrant a blanket statement over the entire film festival community. A few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the whole bunch. I’m not qualified to judge what does or does not happen at other festivals. I am qualified to speak to what I know. VAiFF will WATCH EVERY SUBMISSION. The board members will vote as honestly and truthfully for every submission. VAiFF will post EVERY SUBMISSION FOR ONLINE VOTING BY THE PUBLIC and provide FAIR and ACCURATE RECORDING OF VOTES. Our INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL JUDGES will vote for who they feel is the best picture in their categories and VAIFF will honor that decision.

So many people work hard on their projects. It’s terrible to not give them the fair chance they deserve to either fail or succeed.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

I’ve been in the film / television industry for over 20 years. I’ve had scripts stolen from me, opportunities that should have been afforded to me based on my knowledge, hard work and effort given to someone else. I’ve learned a lot about the industry and about life. I want to share this knowledge with the next generation in the hopes that they can learn from my mistakes and shortcomings.

As one of the organizers and program directors I can’t join the festival, but I know that there are people out there like me that wish they had a ‘mentor’ or advisor. I, with the Various Artists Board members, Zernul Shackelford Jr., Zohra Hasta and Robert Parsons II, have given every opportunity we can to artists out there so the ones my age can turn back the clock, and the filmmakers of this younger generation can speed pass my missteps, and experience the career they were born to have, make movies.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

Film freeway has been nothing but great. I’ve had absolutely no problems with them. I hope our artists submitting feel the same. I’ve heard of no complaints. VAiFF will be using them again and for as long as we can.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020 VAiFF will be one of the top festivals in the country. Having earned the respect of the global film community, both independent and otherwise, we will have not only afforded the opportunity to many filmmakers that had once given up hope, but we will have introduced the world to the next great filmmakers and artists and the world will be a better place because of it.

2020 will be great, but VAiFF will make sure we enjoy the journey of 2017, 2018, and 2019 just as much. We have a lot of work to do, and we’re doing it with everything we’ve got.

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

Omar’s Reply: ‘Superman, The Movie’ (1978). This is the film that made me become a filmmaker. After seeing it I had no doubt in my mind that a man could fly. When I found out that it was just ‘movie magic’. I knew I’d have to be one of the ‘magicians’ for the rest of my life.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film must be great from start to finish, not total running time, but from concept and development to sound mixing and color correction to theatrical sound systems and the smell of popcorn and comfortable seats.

How is the film scene in your city?

Chicago has dipped its toe in the film community for many years. It comes and goes in waves. Right now things are going very well in Chicago and the very talented and special crew and actors continue to make me very proud. Things are great in Chicago and I hope it stays that way for a long time.
 

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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.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Film Review: THE BIG SICK (USA 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

the big sickA couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.

Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter

Review by Gilbert Seah
 
When Kumail sees the girl he is dating, Emily in a coma in the hospital, he tells himself that if she ever gets out of this, he would marry her. It would be difficult for one not to feel for this romantic affair, especially when the incident is true. This is what differentiates THE BIG SICK from most romantic comedies. THE BIG SICK is based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and his now-wife, Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani plays himself using the same first name in the film while Emily is played by Zoe Kazan. Hi real wife co-wrote the screenplay with her husband for the film.
The film project began when producer Judd Apatow (KNOCKED UP) met Nanjiani after he did his stand-up comic routine. So, there are a lot of stand-up routines in the film. In fact, a lot of the dialogue spoken during the film would be typical of what comes out of the mouths of a stand-up comic. This is here a good thing, as the film is pleasantly funny from start to end – dialogue-wise.

Despite the film based on true events and a real life Kumail, the romantic comedy falls into the same trap that most fall into. THE BIG STICK is a predictable Harlequin romance paperback type story complete with awkward first meeting, the necessary obstacles, in this case Emily finding out about Kumail’s other dates from the photographs in his box, not to mention her coma and his objecting parents. These obstacles are conveniently overcome for the couple to live happily ever after.

The film’s story is simple enough. While Kumail is performing stand-up comedy on stage, he is heckled (though she insists is a good heckle) by Emily, there as a spectator. An affair slowly develops. Meanwhile Kumail’s mother keeps setting him up for a Muslim bride. Kumail keeps this from Emily, though she finds out. Emily goes into a coma due to a rare decease and Kumail meets her parents forming a bond with them. It does not take a genius to figure out what happens in the end.

The film’s funniest parts come from Kumail’s Muslim parents. The mother is constantly trying to matchmake her son to marry a Muslim girl. The father is more tolerant but no less funny. Emil’s parents are funny too but they bring a more serious side to the film. The unexpected bonding between Emily’s parents and Kumail add a nice unexpected twist to the story.

The film’s humour is also heightened by having several other standup comics deliver their stand-up acts during throughout the film.

The film ends with shots of the real couple Kumail and the real Emily during the closing credits. THE BIG SICK is one of the better romantic comedies, credit to producer Apatow who seems to have the knack of discovering new comedy talent.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcD0Daqc3Yw
 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

 

 

 

 

 

FILM PREVIEW OF COCO (Opening November 2017)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

cocoCoco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Writers: Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich (based on an original idea by)
Stars: Alanna Ubach, Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal

Review by Gilbert Seah

This morning (Friday 23rd June, 2017) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, film critics were treated to a delicious breakfast and presentation preview of Disney Pixar’s latest animated feature COCO to open coming November.

Coco is a 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich. The film is directed by Unkrich, and co-directed and written by Adrian Molina.

The plot involves a 12-year old Miguel (voiced by newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) whose family has banned music as his great, great grandfather had left his family to become a great musician. Despite his family’s generation-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. The Festival of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico for the time when the dead crosses the border to be with the living. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

The presentation was supposed to be presented by the film’s two directors and Academy Award-winning producer Darla K. Anderson. But Lee Unkrich had to stay behind to finish the film, so co-director Molina and Anderson were left, but they did deliver an awesome presentation.

The presentation began by showing the first 10 minutes of COCO’s opening, where the history of his family and the ban of music originated. The last part of the piece is still not coloured and shown in storyboard form. But one cannot mistake the magic of Disney, present throughout the 10 minutes. The finished product will undoubtedly be something unforgettable.

Other clips include Coco at the singing competition and another with Coco and his pal, Hector in the Land of the Dead. The common thread in all of these is the magnificent colour palette that makes COCO standout among other Pixar features.

Besides clips from the film, there is a clip that showed Disney staff surprising Anthony Gonzalez that he got the part for voicing Miguel. This clip shows the family atmosphere of Disney that makes the Studio great.

Co-director Molina’s mother is Mexican, so he bring a lot of his own heritage into the film. A troupe of COCO’s filmmakers also travelled and stayed in Mexico for a time, according to what was said during he presentation.

The presentation concluded with a Question and Answer section with the critics – nothing to write home about, since us critics are not the most imaginative people alive, questions or what not.

COCO opens in November and is certainly going to be an event to watch out for. Do click on the link below to watch the trailer for COCO.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlnPHQ3TLX8

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