Interview with Co-Festival Director Mia Davis (Queen City Cinephiles)

Queen City Cinephiles is a an independent film-screening & discussion group based out of Charlotte, NC. The are committed to showcasing short and full length independent features at no cost to the filmmakers, exposing film aficionados to more independent film, and supporting local filmmakers and around the globe.

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

Mia Davis: We build a bridge between filmmakers and film appreciators. For every film we select, we provide the filmmakers with the opportunity to introduce their film, and be present (live or via skype) for our audience discussion. We do not charge entry fees. As part of our Agreements, we ask the filmmakers for social media pages, and we share them online before the event, on our facebook event page, and while we are at the screening. During the Q&A, we encourage the filmmakers to let the audience know where their other works can be found.

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

If you mean our film screenings, you can expect arrangements of indie films in blocks at a convenient location with available refreshments, audience participation in film discussion, and to learn more about the film industry.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The film has to be independently made, and the filmmaker has to sign an Agreement with us, showing they have the rights to the film and sharing our facebook page and event on their social media pages.

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

I think it’s hard to find the right audience, self-promote, and film festivals (mostly) charge entry fees and having contracts preventing a selected film to be shown elsewhere during the festival.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

To clarify, this is not a film festival. We have screenings, roughly once or twice a month. I am motivated by my appreciation for independent film, and everything that goes into it, combining with a genuine interest in pushing local business/industry support.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been great! We have several submissions, and I love how it is organized to help us find the right films for our screenings.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Growth, in terms of more of a variety of events, a few rotating venues, and a stronger community between our Cinephile Members and the filmmakers. It would mean a lot to me if our patrons network and get a film made together.

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

The Lost Boys. I grew up watching that regularly, and as an adult, continue to watch it once or twice each year.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a marriage between the visual expression of a coherent story, accompanying resources, and performances.

How is the film scene in your city?

I think there’s a division between Charlotteans that want to work on film in any capacity they can, and a community of industry professionals that suffered a morale loss from HB2 and film incentives being dropped from our state budget.

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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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