Women in Comedy Festival is thrilled to partner with HBO, NBC and Showtime’s Frankie Shaw to work towards closing the gender gap in the film and television industry. The festival will feature original comedic content created by filmmakers and screenwriters from all over the world.
Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
Christine Cannavo & Eafat Newton: We are succeeding in connecting filmmakers with decision makers in the industry. For example, we were fortunate to have director, writer, producer Paul Feig mentor our Best of Fest winner last year. Throughout the festival weekend, we also have industry executives who were generous with their time, feedback and advice. Our filmmakers walk away from the experience feeling a sense of community and collaboration.
2) What would you expect to experience if you attend your upcoming festival?
From panels to parties, it really comes down to the people. The feedback we consistently get is that participants are grateful to find each other and form a community that lasts long after the festival is finished.
3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?
We look for female-driven short comedy films that go beyond the typical tropes. All films must be written, produced or directed by a woman. And because we’re a comedy festival, we love films that make us laugh!
4) Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
We can only speak to our own process of finding original voices from all over the world. Our goal is to balance cinematography, originality and humor. We are always delighted when we come across that gem of a film that we’re excited to share with our audience.
5) What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
WICF Film Festival is hell-bent on paving the way for more unconventional female characters and storylines to be written, directed, and produced by women. Because of the size and scope of our festival, we know every film and every filmmaker we invite. Getting to interact with the filmmakers and seeing them form a community is our motivation.
6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?
FilmFreeway has developed a great tool and we’re proud to work with them exclusively. We communicate with applicants, market the festival, and judge our submissions through FilmFreeway.
7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?
Each year we work to expand the festival based on the feedback from participants. This year we added the HBO Pitch Your First 5 Pages contest because we heard that writers and filmmakers want the opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of industry. We’ll continue to get feedback every year. So, much of our future direction will be driven by our participants. And because we want to continue to help launch careers for women in comedy, our festival will always attempt to track where the greatest need exists.
8) What film have you seen the most times in your life?
Thelma & Louise!
9) In one sentence, what makes a great film?
A great film balances humor with heart and visually captures a memorable truth.
10) How is the film scene in your city?
We have a vibrant film scene in Boston with many different film festivals. Some notable film festivals that we love include Independent Film Festival of Boston, The Irish Film Festival, The Boston Jewish Film Festival, Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival, and the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival. The historic Brattle Theatre, which serves as our film festival venue, showcases cutting edge films as well as the classics. We’re proud to partner with them and highlight our city’s history.