Interview with Festival Director Lynn M. Holley (Fine Arts Film Festival Santa Barbara)

The Fine Arts Film Festival premiered in Santa Barbara, California in 2010; it then occurred as a film festival in Venice, CA in 2015. In 2016 it will explode as an International Fine Arts Film Festival full of shorts plus a few full length features back in fabulous Santa Barbara, California! It will screen at more than one venue, including an outdoor night-time extravaganza. Originally conceived as a festival of films about the fine arts, it now incorporates dance and experimental art forms and approaches.

Interview with Lynn M. Holley:

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

Lynn M. Holley: Exposure they might not get in major, all-purpose festivals.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

LMH: Diversity of place, thought and disciplines. We will screen films from around the world.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

LMH: Made within the last 3 years; related to the visual arts or dance and have some importance to the field.

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

LMH: All-purpose film festivals often ignore the disciplines in the arts: visual, dance, music, science and technology collaborations, etc..

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

LMH: The love film and the love of arts.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

LMH: We now take in entries through http://www.Filmfreeway and focus on more genres in the arts.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

LMH: A larger, more international scene in Santa Barbara CA, which helps promote other film festivals here including the main one SBFF and the Jewish Film Festival.

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

LMH: Caught-In-Paint by Rita Blitt (6 min); and numerous spy films over decades.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

LMH: There is an importance, a purpose for viewing it that does not require long narratives or dialogue.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

LMH: Incredible; we are, after all, Santa Barbara, CA, home to Hollywood and the world.


Lynn M. Holley is an executive consultant to the arts, a resident curator at the new center in Santa Barbara, CA for art, science and technology ( She was initiated into film as a young film reviewer for a daily newspaper, and then as a journalist and director of galleries and an art center. She is a former journalist, narrative writer and filmmaker for promotions in the arts. She has a B.S. in Communications and an MA in Museum Studies. Ms Holley just returned from giving a presentation to a Global Conference in England on Museums, titled: The Dance of the Muses from Las Vegas to the Louvre.

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


COMMFFEST Toronto – Interview with the Festival Director

COMMFFEST mission statement: To advance education by raising the cultural, artistic and aesthetic expression of the community. And to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts through related artistic workshops and panel discussions, while promoting the works of filmmakers and artists alike.

10th COMMFFEST celebrates great cinema , the power of global community and cultural heritage

The 2015 COMMFFEST (Community Film Festival) celebrates its 10th anniversary from September 23 to 30, screening in movie theatres and exhibition spaces, presented yearly by a group of dedicated volunteers. COMMFFEST a non-profit charitable corporation makes its home in one of Toronto’s most fast growing, economically diverse neighbourhood, Old Town Toronto, where many languages are spoken and where memorable films were made.

Go to the website and learn more about the upcoming 2015 festival:

Matthew Toffolo recently chatted with the Festival Director Sandie de freitas:

MT: What is the goal of your film festival?

Sandie: It‘s main objective is to bring communities together in a global cultural exchange under one or more venues to share in their differences and similarities educating them in their struggles and finding their common bonds through film and other artistic disciplines. A place where filmmakers can connect with their audience and network with their peers

MT: How has the festival changed since is began until now?

Sandie: The festival began with 20 films over a three day period from mostly Canada and has now grown into a week long event showcasing over 60 international films with panel discussions as well as a kids film fest attended by schools from across Toronto. It now includes an international art exhibition of renown painters, photographers, mixed media artists. and The festival has an award show called (MADA) the making a difference award presented at our filmmaker’s brunch to filmmakers whose work champions’ social good and community enrichment.

MT: Can you give us a sneak peak of what to except for the 2015 Festival?

Sandie: Celebration of COMMFFEST’s first ten years combining film with art and music with panel discussions/forums with guest speakers. Special guest appearances TBA.

MT: Is there going to be a theme for the 2015 festival?

Sandie: The general theme of socially oriented cinema

MT: Where do you see your festival in 5 years?

Sandie: A world class media event that showcases socially relevant films alongside multiple panel discuss intertwined with art and music

MT: What’s the current status of the Film Scene in your city?

Sandie: A very thriving mecca for film festivals and filmmakers

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Sandie: The Color Purple

Matthew Toffolo, Interviewer BIO

Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival . He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes. Took over full reins of the WILDsound Festival in May 2013. From then to the end of 2014, he’s presented over 90 movies at the monthly FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto, plus has had over 60 screenplays and stories performed by professional actors at the bi-monthly Writing Festival.