Interview with Festival Director Cato ML Ekrene (The Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival)

The Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival is a Film Festival with live screening, the festival also have a Live streamed award show. The Main host for 2019 is International Award winner Hector Luis Bustamante from Hollywood. They accept films/animations/documentary under 60 min. We also have a category called Best International Game.


1) What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Our film festival stands out that we are a festival for everyone, and the jury is made up of the best people that have the experience required to evaluate a movie. Not least because at our festival we have trophies that are specially made in pure Alleminum, which has a value of almost 800 Euro as all the winners receive.

What’s great with this festival is that we accept all movies within 60 minutes. We do not want to stop filmmakers to submit movies just because they break the game time because you can watch the festivals that have a limit of 15, 25, 35, 45 min. We also have a masterclass too that is free for the filmmakers under 18.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend your upcoming festival?

They will experience a completely different festival, but lots of people who come to views, professionals who get to know, annotated personalities from all over the world as well as Oscar winner they can talked with. We have stands, concerts and a film program that is may the best the best in the world. and we must not forget that we have live award show with main host from USA.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We search for all movies, it is the jury who decides which movie is on the program. We recommend everyone to send, but you should know that it a strong competition and the film must have a high level in production, acting and story. But in the end we want the best films, we don’t care if you have filmed it with a Red or a 8 mm Camera, just make sure you have a strong story. In the 2018 festival we had over 1200 films but only 150 were chosen.

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

Yes, I think there are many in the jury at different film festival that have too little experience and are too noisy. That’s why it was so important to bring a jury and a host who is recognized and can stand for what they have done. That the professionals can actually go in to read about them and what they’ve done. To me as a festival director, it was very important to find out that this is a festival where the jury stands for it and that it is different nationality so those who submit their movie see that we have a strong maneuver.

5) What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Well plan the festival for 4 years and stated it up in 2017. the planing was all, because i need the right person in the jury as the main host. But it all fall on place that we needed a festival that was for films under 60 min but with a high level of professional in the board, jury and host. So i think the best was when we found out that it was not that much festival for films up to 60 min, but now it is, but it’s a festival of a high level with a low submit cost.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It have been great, we have a great page, a lot of submitter and it comes in film from all over the world. We are very proud and happy for all submitter. For the festival in 2019 we have submissions from over 69 different nations.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

That we have a big festival for films up to 60 min and that we have a program full of stands, films, and professional courses. Like we are today but a bigger program with films, concerts and stand and a lot of master class for the professional and guest.

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

Well there are a lot of films I like but I think my top 3 will be Aliens, Predator and The Untouchables

9) In one sentence, what makes a great film?

It`s all about the story, a story that touch my feelings, joy, sad, happy and pain.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

We are very proud of our city, because we do not only have short festival, we also have Norway’s biggest film festival for feature films. Our city has The Norwegian International Film Festival, known worldwide, where they award “Amanda” award. The city is called “The Film City of Norway»




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