Interview with Festival Directors Nick John Whittle & Stuart Wheeldon (9LadiesFilmFestival)

 

9LadiesFilmFestival is a distinguished independent film festival showcasing short films from around the world to an audience of film fans and movie-makers.

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What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

9LadiesFilmFestival brings cinematic exposure for independent filmmakers. That’s what filmmaking is essentially about: getting audiences to see your creation. And with exposure comes possibilities. It isn’t just about letting the common man see your film. There are scores of studios out there watching indie films. If they see something that ticks boxes they’ll grab it. Famous case in point: Paranormal Activity.

There are also the laurel stamps for the winners. Films showing laurel stamps in their credits are proven to be the ones most watched. True, it’s not necessarily the mark of an all-round incredible film but it shows it has been scrutinized by professionals and that one element of it (or several) passes muster. It also proves that the filmmakers have a belief in their product and have put in the man hours (and money) to get it through the festival process.

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

Our finalists this year will enjoy a specific location for their live screening, from historical houses to modern cinemas. We’ve worked hard to secure theatres that in some way add a cultural essence to the screenings. This isn’t just town-hall-and-sandwiches stuff; it’s a festival with a difference. Always has been.

9LadiesFilmFestival promotes the work of inventive, original, free-thinking and independent filmmakers; to raise their profile throughout the web and connect them with established industry professionals around the world. One of the ways we do this is by creating and taking care of your online presence; creating a web page for your winning film and promoting it like hellfire across social media platforms.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

9LadiesFilmFestival accepts short films and documentaries and we take submissions from filmmakers all around the world. We stipulated that the language of the piece has to be in English (or at least subtitled) but we’ve left things very free and easy deliberately. The films are required to be either 9 mins or less or 10-29 minutes long. The whole theme of this year’s festival is “nine” in honour of our parent company’s title.

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

We believe every film gets a fair shake. Film festivals are an essential part of the growth of an indie moviemaker. If the festival is managed correctly and in a just and reasonable way everyone has equal chance of becoming a winner. Festivals open gateways to the Bigger Picture, to distribution possibilities…a festival like ours represents equal opportunity for everyone – from beginner to expert.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

A passion for making great movies and helping others through the process.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have found the FilmFreeway submission process very good, we are already up on the number of entries for the current time of year. With recent tweeks to the way the FilmFreeway program works it is easier to manage the film festival process. And it seems that more and more filmmakers are now using the FilmFreeway Submission process.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We’d like to think the festival will have grown to the point where we can award substantial funding and great distribution opportunities to the winners.  There are a huge number of inspiring and culturally stand-out filmmakers out there and we look forward to viewing their work.

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

Nick: Casino Royale (the good one!)

Stuart. The Red Shoes

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Basically, a great story. A movie is like a book in some ways with scene cuts instead of page turns…if you’re bored by the plot of a book you won’t turn a page. On the other hand, if you love it, you can’t stop turning pages. A movie is also story – whether you pour millions of dollars into a project or not, if the story doesn’t hit the spot it won’t be successful. Add superb characters to your story and plenty of subtext and you have a winner.

There is a technical consideration as well, something we like to look at in the festival. Sound, direction, visuals, lighting, props are all taken into consideration as technical achievements of a movie. After all, they are important aspects of the art.

 How is the film scene in your city?

We are fortunate that in the Midlands the film scene is thriving, there are a number of very good Independent Cinemas that show films that otherwise wouldn’t get a release, the indie film making scene is also very good, with the likes of cities such as Nottingham, Sheffield and Birmingham all  have a thriving Indie scene.

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Nick John Whittle – Producer. Nick is an award winning writer and producer based in Birmingham. His work includes the award winning film Faith, The Adventures of Joshua (TV mini-series), No Way Back (short/horror) Nick’s cinematic influences include Beckett, Hitchcock, Buñuel, Mamet, Allen, Jarmusch, and Bergman. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7825353/. nick is the co- director of the 9ladiesfilmfestival.

Stuart Wheeldon. Writer/Director Stuart is an award winning writer and director and founder of Nine Ladies Film. Stuart’s work as included theatrical plays, radio and film shown and featured around the world. His work includes In Limbo, The Telephone, The Collector (Pre-Production)and The Wasteland.  Stuart was also the founder of 9ladiesfilmfestival which in it’s first year attracted over 200 entries from around the world. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7240661

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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 Vanna Nauk (Fresno’s State Asian Pacific Film Festival)

The Asian Pacific Islander Programs and Services will be hosting the 1ST EVER Asian Pacific Islander Film Fest at Fresno State! They will be hosting this event along with CineCulture! It’s a two day event beginning on Friday, October 20, 2017 to Saturday, October 21, 2107.

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What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

We are providing them a space to display their work in Fresno, which is the fifth largest city in California, so we were definitely due for an Asian Pacific Islander Film Festival of our own.

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

I hope that I see a sense of solidarity amongst the Asian Pacific Islander groups here in the Central Valley, and I hope that this can be an opportunity for others outside of our group to see that Asian Pacific Islanders are actually very talented in film. Overall, I hope to feel a sense of pride amongst my peers.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Sense it is an Asian Pacific Islander Film Festival, the films have to have some sort of Asian Pacific Islander element in there or involved in the making.

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

I do, I think that some ethnic groups are overlooked, which is why we are trying to promote Southeast Asian films as much as possible because their visibility tend to go silent.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

You do not see very many Asians on screen, so we decided to create a space for ourselves.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been extremely helpful and the submissions are pouring in quite rapidly.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

I hope that the festival becomes an annual event that will connect the university with the community. I see a lot of potential in our greater Asian Pacific Islander community here in the Central Valley, and I hope that this Festival will grow into something that they can take pride.

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

Hercules [laugh out loud]
In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The theme/plot!

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in our city is most renowned for the Reel Pride Film Festival, which is one of the largest, if not the largest, LGBTQ Film Festival in the west coast. We also have Filmworks and Cineculture, which are great film organization here in Fresno. However, there are definitely room for the film scene to grow 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 Directors Betsy Uhler Colombo & Alexa Roman (LA Dance Film Festival)

The LA Dance Film Festival aims to provide a supportive and enriching environment for both emerging and established dance filmmakers. The festival is open to filmmakers from around the world. LADFF accepts films from a variety of genres as long as dance is the main storytelling component.

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What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Our film festival has been successful at fulfilling our mission, which is twofold: 1) to create opportunities and exposure for dance films from around the world, and 2) to unite the Los Angeles dance and film communities.

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

Attendees to our festival in January 2018 should expect to see a wide variety of short dance films from around the world. We have some fantastic submissions coming in across all styles and genres of dance, and are looking forward to sharing a selection of them with our local community of dance film lovers.

 What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Qualifying films are under 30 minutes in length, and incorporate dance as a core narrative component. We have two categories: fiction and nonfiction.

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

It’s hard for us to speak to other festivals but we take a lot of steps to ensure we are as objective as possible in how we assess films. We have a submissions team comprised of dancers, filmmakers and dance filmmakers. Our team watches every film and scores it against a multi-point rubric. We use the scores to determine the final selections for the festival. Separately, we have both a Jury Award and an Audience Award. Those awards are determined by people who are independent from the festival staff.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by our desire to provide opportunities and exposure for dance films from around the world as well as unite the dance and film communities here in Los Angeles. Dance film offers something different than traditional films and it’s not a commonly known genre. We wanted to make Los Angeles a place where dance filmmaking and dance film viewership thrive.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Great! We love FilmFreeway. We also use WithoutaBox and we offer an extended deadline on WithoutaBox.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We’d love to be able to expand to a bigger venue and offer multiple days of programming so we can reach a wider audience and offer screening opportunities to a greater number films.

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

Beverly Hills Cop. Maybe Beverly Hills Cop III.

If we’re talking dance films, I’ve seen Confrontation (dir. Shannon Janet Smith and Steven Butler) the most as it has played at three festivals I’ve attended, was part of a StandardVision Showcase and we screened it at our festival. Thomas Freundlich’s film Cold Storageis a close second. [Alexa]

 In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great dance film uses the art of dance to tell a compelling story in a unique and entertaining way. It leaves the audience asking questions, entertaining new thoughts or discovering untapped emotions.

  How is the film scene in your city?

Los Angeles is the film capitol of the world, so… pretty good!

 

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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 Georges Chamchoum (Asian World Film Festival)

The Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region’s wealth of filmmakers, strengthening ties between the Asian and Hollywood film industries. Uniting through cross-cultural collaboration, our festival champions films from  over 50 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India. All films that participate in the Festival will have a unique chance to be guided through the challenging awards season, showcasing their foreign films to the Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and all Guilds for enhanced exposure, media attention and awards consideration.*

The Social Links are:

https://twitter.com/asianworldff

https://www.facebook.com/AsianWorldFilmFest

https://www.instagram.com/asianworldff/

http://www.asianworldfilmfest.org/

 
  • What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

We pride ourselves on being at the service of the film and the filmmakers. We feel that we are their gateway to the Oscars and Golden Globes during the award season. We give them PR opportunities, which saves the filmmakers a lot of money during their marketing period.

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

We like to think of the Asian World Film Festival as being the window to dreams. Besides screening the Oscar and Golden Globes submitted movies, we also have a Signature Screening Series. 

Our opening night film is Ayla: The Daughter of War, which is Turkeys official Oscar entry.

We screen movies from unchartered territories, little known countries like the Republic of Sakha, Buryatia, and this year a movie called Salt from North Korea.

This is the first time Salt is being screened in the U.S.  The film is directed by the controversial South Korean filmmaker Sheen Sang-ok during his period of filmmaking in North Korea, so we are excited to have it in our schedule.

We also screen Asian American movies. This year we have the 25th anniversary screening of The Joy Luck Club, which was a ground-breaking movie. Several of the cast members will be in attendance for the Q & A.  Our closing night film is George Takei’s Allegiance. We will be honoring George with our Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • What are the qualifications for the selected films?

First and foremost, any movie submitted to the Oscars and Golden Globes for Foreign Language selection from Asian Countries is automatically selected. Then we choose films from countries that often get overlooked but we feel would be interesting to an audience.

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

It’s a matter of perspective and taste, which of course depends upon the individual.  Each movie is perceived in differently.  The Jury sees a film in a certain way, probably different from how the press sees it, and the audience tastes differs most of the time from the Jury or the Press. So, it boils down to one thing: not everyone sees a movie with same outlook.

  • What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

The love and passion for the Asian Cinema.  When we say Asia, we mean from the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean to Japan, from Russia by way of Turkey to India and China. Fifty plus strong countries with a wealth of talent.

We want the Asian Cinema to find its rightful place in Hollywood, a place in the sun. After seventy-one years and only six Oscars, that’s what motivates us.

  • How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We do not have a submission process. After the Oscar and Golden Globe submissions, we have a selection team throughout Asia that makes recommendations, based upon our criteria. Our Los Angeles programming team makes the final selections.

  • Where do you see the festival by 2020?

On the level of the Cannes, Venice and Berlin Film Festivals. We aspire to being a major festival, that will keep the spirit of the art of cinema and not focus on the business side.  It’s the films and filmmakers who are our key focus.

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

Andrei Tarkovski’s ANDREI RUBLEV; Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER TRILOGY; Clint Eastwood’s THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES and Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The Screenplay. The Screenplay. The Screenplay!

How is the film scene in your city?

How can you describe the film scene in the cinema capital of the world, and for that matter Culver City, the heart of screenland and home of the Asian World Film Festival.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood, Culver City we breath cinema, we eat cinema, we dream cinema – we are surrounded by everything that suggests cinema!

Look left, right, front and center and you see films that defines my City: Sunset Boulevard, Rebel Without a Cause, Chinatown, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Alice’s Restaurant, The Day of the Locust, LA Story, The Player, Boyz ‘n the Hood, La La Land and I could go on….

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GEORGES N. CHAMCHOUM, EXECUTIVE & PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Georges Chamchoum is an Emmy and multiple award-winning Film Director and Producer, born in Niger West Africa of Lebanese origin. He was educated in France, Germany and Wales and entered the film industry in 1968 after graduating from the Conservatoire du Cinema Francais in Paris.

Georges has directed and produced over 35 features in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Canada and the USA, with many screened at various International Film Festivals and Universities.

He has also organized numerous film festivals since 1982, most notably as Jury Delegate for the Festival du Film Fantastique et de Science Fiction de Paris (France) and as the Executive and Program Director of the Monaco Charity Film Festival.

Georges is currently the International Director of the Yakutsk International Film Festival (Yakutia, Sakha Republic) and International Relations Executive for Notre Dame University International Film Festival (Lebanon). In addition, he is Co-founder of Film Festivals Cinergy, a union of film festivals around the world to promote and champion talent in filmmaking.

Georges has lived in Los Angeles for the past 28 years. Most recently, in 2017, he was named one of the 100 most influential Lebanese in the world and has been   honored in a special commemorative publication to mark the occasion.

 

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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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Interview with Festival Director Alessandro Cassa (FICMAN/INSFF)

What is FICMAN/INSFF in a few words ? 12 months. 12 finalists. 1 great winner! Filmmakers, get noticed! FICMAN / INSFF is an international film festival and LIVE screening for Short film. Be part of this one of a kind festival for shorts lovers, and give your film and your talent a chance to be shown and noticed by the right people from all over the world.  FICMAN / INSFF is produced by Productions du 3 juin, a company from Québec (Canada) recognized internationally. Since 2007,Productions du 3 juin has focused on production (videos, short films and promotional documentaries) for various renowned clients. This creative company is recognized internationally and followed by people from 47 countries on its WEBTV (P3J.TV) and VIMÉO PRODUCTIONS DU 3 JUIN channel. To celebrate its 15 years in 2017, it has founded the FICMAN International Short Film Festival, in which it excels, and WEBTV by P3J.TV which offers an immersion in emotion, its production line.

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What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers? 

All filmmakers work hard to realise and produce their Short… and FICMAN/INSFF wants to give author’s film a chance to be seen and to be discovered all around the world. This is why FICMAN/INSFF is a monthly international competition that offers the opportunity to be selected for a live screening in Québec (Canada) at the end of the year: a great night of short to present and choose the best of the best. But all year round it is also a moment to be discovered by an international jury from the industry, and most of all, to have its trailer (for monthly winners) relayed on P3J.TV, a cultural WebTV followed by people from 47 countries. And because we all need recognitions in this industry, our Festival will give official Laurels, review on a professional cinema blog (LE PETIT SEPTIÈME) and much more to winners. Prizes of more than $ 15,000 in visibility and recognition will be awarded.

We create this one of a kind festival for short films lovers, to give to filmmakers a chance to be shown and noticed by the right people from all over the world. So, each month, for a year, a winner will be chosen in a monthly competition from the submissions received during the past month, what means we will have more than 12 Films Finalists. The trailer of this Finalist Short Winner will be shown on P3J.TV with a bio of the Director, the poster of the Film and a description of the Short. FICMAN/INSFF offers international visibility, recognitions, and a chance to be discovered!

What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

FICMAN/INSFF is really a simple and friendly user Short Film Festival for author’s film. Shorts submitted must have a trailer that will be shown on the international cultural WebTV called P3J.TV. Short must have been made for 5 years or less, and our festival is also open to first films and student films. Of course, the film will not be shown online, but on the yearly live screening. The following categories of fiction films are eligible: author’s film, narrative film, silent film, art film, animated film, experimental film, student film, first work, documentary fiction, video clip, web series. Short films must be under 15 minutes and all Submissions must be subtitled in English (for non-French speaking films). Silent films are also accepted. All the details are on our website (www.ficman-insff.com) and FILMREEWAY.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival? 

The FICMAN/INSFF team simply loved Short film! Our motivation is simple, we want to help promote inspiring, honest short films that focus on the director’s vision and reflect their personality. Whether the films are poetic, intimate, touching, funny or political, we want to put the spotlight on high-quality works that reflect the personality of the director who wrote and created them from a single idea, a vision of the story they wanted to tell, the universe they wanted to share. As a festival and platform for discovery, FICMAN-INSFF, also wants to help highlight short films in the current cinematographic landscape that were written and directed by the same person. Works that present their own universe. And we simply want to celebrate the many independent shorts from all over.

In one sentence, what makes a great film? 

We believe that all great film begins with a great idea, a flash of genius, and the desire to bring a personal universe to life.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been? 

From the beginning of the process, and from the beginning of the adventure, the FilmFreeway Team has been there to help us with all the steps for creating our Festival page’s. And we must say that the submission processes each month, of our monthly competition, is easy and friendly user. For us, to manage, and for the Jury. All this offers an great opening and a great opportunity to connect with Filmmakers from all the world, and must of all, with FilmFreeway, we are able to do it the right way.

Where do you see the festival by 2020? 

Our vision is to be, in 2020, one the recognized international Festival, dedicated to narratives Shorts. And we wish that through the years, we will give a chance to Filmmakers to get noticed… to encourage them to continue and to create more shorts. As a Director myself, I know that first of all, we have to believe in us, and to believe in the potential of our film. Our festival is there, simply for that: to help creators to believed in their ideas, by getting visibility and recognitions with FICMAN. And we wish for FICMAN, to be recognized that way in 2020. We have three years do to so!

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

I must confess to be honest, that one of the first movie I saw, and the one I am always trilled to see again and again, is Signing in the rain with Gene Kelly. For a lot of reasons (quality of actors, music, script, dance numbers of course…) but for one reason in particular. It was the first time I saw, behind the scene. And that day I knew for sure, what I was going to do in my life: filmmaking !

SHORT BIO OF THE DIRECTOR

Vice-President of Productions du 3 juin and Festival Director, Alessandro Cassa is a versatile creator whose works have been selected at various festivals in recent years, recognizing his creativity and sensitive approach. He is an author, chronicler and director and passionate about image and creation.  In 2006 and 2007 he represented Quebec at the Cannes Festival Short Film Corner, with two short films. He was decorated in 2013 with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for all his achievements in culture, literature and film. His most recent short film that was inspired by his youth series has been screened in 10 countries around the world where he has won several awards: ACARUS DUMDELL OU LA THÉORIE DE LA FICTION is in official selections at 21 international festivals: India, Great Britain, United States, France, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Spain. He hopes that the FICMAN/INSFF will offer the opportunity to highlight and showcase various auteur cinema productions throughout the world.

BANDE ANNONCE ANGLAIS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh3epbkPo08

SITE FILMFREEWAY : https://filmfreeway.com/festival/FICMAN-INSFF

SITE FICMAN : www.ficman-insff.com

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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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Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Film Reviews: CINEFRANCO 2017 (from October 6th)

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CINEFRANCO 2017 (from October 6th)

Now in its 20th year, Cinefranco is one of the longest running film festivals in Toronto.  One must give praise and credit to the ever cheerful and tireless directrice of the festival, Marcelle Lean who is always present to say ‘bonjour’ to Cinefranco fans.  It is hard to survive in this festival eats festival world, but Cinefranco has got a loyal base of sponsors that come back year after year not to mention a good selection of films from France, Quebec, Belgium and Africa.

Last Year’s Cinefranco was in a bit of trouble because of lack of sponsorship.  Things appear improved and the fete du film has now been pushed to the late part of the year/

The films are screened at the smaller Carlton Cinemas but the good news is that it is in a very central location, right in the City Centre.  The other difference is that ‘comedy’ is the subject for the year, so expect plenty of light entertainment.

For complete program information, ticket pricing and bookings, please check the Cinefranco website at:

http://2017.cinefranco.com/en/

This site is grateful to Cinefranco and Virginia Kelly Publicity for providing screeners for the capsule reviews below:-

And don’t forget to say ‘Bonjour’ to Marcelle.

Bon Cinema!

CAPSULE REVIEWS:

(Trailer links provided at the end of each review)

BIENVENUE AU GONDWANA (WELCOME TO GONDWANA) (France 2016) ***

Directed by Mamane

A comedy of manic proportions set in the fictitious African country of very, very democratic Gondwana.  Manic because it contains too many characters who all are half crazy most of the time.  There is the young French idealist plunged into African reality which are the controversial presidential elections, a dictator determined to remain in power by cheating, two sidekicks adept at geopolitics, a French congressman determined to sell asparagus to Africans and a young and pretty revolutionary.  The purpose of the landing of all these characters in Gondwana is to oversee the elections to make sure that they are unit rigged.  The film works well in the first third with superior laugh-out loud jokes but when it tries to get serious with a few messages and romance, the comedic momentum is lost.  One might quiver at the way black African governments are stereotyped and the way Africans act and dance (as in the Gondwana welcome ceremonies) but these jokes still pack quite the punch.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjSDwiv9JuY

RAID DINGUE (France 2016) ****

Directed by Nicolas Benamou

After the Boston marathon bombing, the U.S. made PATRIOT  DAY about the hunting down of the bombers and STRONGER about the survival of a victim who lost his leg.  It takes the French to make a comedy after their terrorist attacks.  RAID DINGUE is an action comedy featuring two very funny actors. Alice Pol and Dany Boon (WELCOME TO THE STICKS).  The excuse to bring them together?  Johanna Pasquali (Pol) is a female cop unlike any other. Distracted, dreamy, and clumsy, from a purely policewoman point of view she is awfully nice but totally useless.  Although endowed with real skills (shooting, hand-to-hand combat, police intuition, etc.), her clumsiness makes her a danger for criminals, the greater public, and her colleagues.  Her father (Michel Blanc) wants her to be accepted for RAID training but kicked out.  So, she finds herself in the hands of officer Eugène Froissard (Boon), the most misogynist and vulgar of all the RAID officers.  Together they go after the Leopards.   The film is current with the recent terrorist attacks and also deals with issues like women in a male dominated work force.   Director Benamou and his two leads have perfect comedic timing.  Laugh-out loud humour all the way.  The impressive cast includes veteran actors like Michel Blanc, Sabine Azeman and Yvan Attal.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05qHBDBuxrY

 

UN PETIT BOULOT (France/Belgium 2016) ***
Directed by Pascal Chaumeil

Another comedy but a darker (and serious) one at that.  The setting is a small French town where jobs are slowly lost and the inhabitants get poorer.  The protagonist is Jacques (Romain Duris sporting a beard but still recognizable).  Dead broke with gambling debts, he reluctantly takes a job from a local gangster, Gardot (Michel Blanc) to kill his wife.  One killing is easy enough for Jacques and that leads him to do more.  Blanc wrote the dialogue and script for the film.  Gardot arranges for Jacques to do more killings for a 70-30 split.  One of these takes place in Brussels as the film is a Belge French co-production.  The awkward romance pops up with no warning at the 40 minute mark with Jacques suddenly meeting a girl he had not see for a while.  An all right comedy aided by the performances of its to lead veteran an actors Duris and Blanc.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_W4PPldtkw

cinefranco

Interview with Festival Director Auregan (ANIMATION STUDIO FESTIVAL)

 

Our selection is based on love, emotion, and great talent. The movies we chose to select are creative, sincere and powerful. They drive you somewhere else, or deep inside so you can feel, learn, be surprise, laugh, discover a new perspective.

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

Auregan: We have exclusive categories such as Best Story and Best Design. This way we want to reward the most sensitive films even if they didn’t have the budget for specific animation, and we also want to pick some of the best animators and animation designers. On a general perspective I have always been in love with animated films and by making these festival I want to select the new generation of talented and passionate filmmakers.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

We are planning for high quality screening event involving the filmmakers by sharing and showing their craft and amazing expertise.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We have eight categories, for short and feature films, for 2D, 3D, traditional, digital animation and even stop motion. Shorts must be less than 30 minutes and features over 40 minutes. For the rest we are expected moving and entertaining and funny films from all over the world !

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

There is some truth in that. Sometimes the bigger festival becomes the more the selection goes to some kind of etablished names, talents and films. It is up to the filmmakers to carrefuly chose the festivals they submit to. At the Animation Studio Festival, we are fully transparent, you can check our website and we answer each and every email. We are looking for the most sincere and involved filmmakers regardless of their status.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We really love animated films. We watch them all the time. We noticed that there is so much more originality in animated films than in other films’ genres. The imagination of the animators and the authors seems unlimited !

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

There is a fisrt selection made by our team, then the selection is sent to the jury members who decide who the winners will be for each category. Nowadays the submission process is made really easy thanks to the platforms. We are on FilmFreeway but also on WithoutaBox, Click for Festivals and Festhome. So far the response as been great from the filmmakers !

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

There are so many artists, animators, screenwriters we would love to have as jury members… Also I guess I want the festival to grow but I also want to keep it close to the audience and the submitters.

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

Probably The Lion King. I know all the dialogues and the songs by heart.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great story. Definitively.

How is the film scene in your city?

You know, films are what Los Angeles is about. The city lives with movies, breathes films, everyday. There is a lot of competition but judging by the response we have to the Animation Studio Festival, we already are standing out.

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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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