Toronto Irish Film Festival

The 8th Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) runs from March 2nd to the 4th.  The festival opens with  “Best Film” winner (A DATE WITH MAD MARY – capsule reviewed below) at the 2017 Irish Film & Television Awards with a gala presentation.  Venue is the TIFF Bell Lightbox, with highlights of a wide range of films from award-winning features, documentaries and family-friendly animated films.  The weekend is jam packed with Irish cinematic treasures, including North American and Canadian premieres, short film and documentary showcases and very special guests.

The Opening Night Gala on Friday, March 2nd features the Toronto premiere of A Date for Mad Mary by director Darren Thornton. Starring Bingham Ray New Talent Award winner Seána Kerslake (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope), Carolyn Bracken and Charleigh Bailey, A Date for Mad Mary is a heartfelt dramedy about a woman recently released from prison seeking a date for her best friend Charlene’s wedding. When Charlene refuses Mary a “plus one” on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess, a lesbian wedding photographer, and everything changes.

“This year, showcased films directly address the pertinent issues of today’s world, including same-sex relationships, mental health and delicate political negotiation.  Framed within the unique Irish perspective, Ireland is shown here to be a nation rich in the art of compelling storytelling”, states Michael Barry, Co-founder & Director of Marketing and Communications.

The full program is outlined below with 3 of the films capsule reviewed:

TIRFF 2018 Film Program

Opening Night Gala Presentation

A DATE FOR MAD MARY (Toronto Premiere)

Friday, March 2nd | 7:00 pm

Director: Darren Thornton

Run time: 72 mins

Winner of the Best Film at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Awards, A Date for Mad Mary is a heartfelt dramedy about a woman recently released from prison seeking a date for her best friend Charlene’s wedding. When Charlene refuses Mary a plus one on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess, a lesbian wedding photographer, and everything changes.

Capsule Review:

A DATE FOR MAD MARY (Ireland 2016) ***1/2

Directed by Darren Thornton

 

A DATE FOR MAD MARY plays like Australia’s MURIEL’S WEDDING, a comedy about an outsider and a wedding to be attended.  Mary has just been released from prison (the reason never mentioned in the film) just in time to attend her best friend, Charlene’s wedding as the maid of honour.  But Mary does not have a date.  Based on the play “6 dates for Mary”, Mary attempts to get a date using various means including dating sites.  She almost lands one but the ‘camp’ hopeful storms out at the last moment.  She finally winds up having feelings for a lesbian photographer which results in chaos when she decides to bring her as her wedding date.  Mad Mary is the perfect film about the underdog who finally makes good.  The film is funny, dramatic and totally winning and believable.  Like Stephen Frears’ classic THE SNAPPER the film shows the spirit of the Irish lasses. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgAkhspus8A

THE BREADWINNER (Toronto Encore Presentation)

Saturday, March 3rd | 2:00 pm

Director: Nora Twomey

Run time: 94 mins

Nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2018 Oscars, The Breadwinner features the beautiful animated work by Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea). This wonderful Ireland/Canada co-production tells the extraordinary story of an 11-year-old Afghan girl who finds strength in the love of her family and the power of storytelling. Co-presented by the Ontario Media Development Centre.

Capsule Review:

THE BREADWINNER (USA 2017) ***1/2

Directed by Nora Twomey

THE BREADWINNER is animated feature created from an innovative mix of 2-D animation with acrylic and digitally painted environments, as well as digital paper cut–out segments.  It is Nora Twomey’s first solo directorial debut after making two other animated features SONG OF THE SEA (2014) and THE STORY OF KELLS (2009).  The story is a current one centred on woman’s rights in a male dominated country.  Based on Deborah Ellis’ award-winning novel, the story centres on an 11-year-old Afghan girl Parvana, born into an ever-changing world of conflict and oppression in Kabul, who finds strength in the love of her family and the power of storytelling.  Kabul is Taliban controlled and Parvana sees her father suddenly whisked to prison for no reason.  Her family – mother, older sister and baby brother are unable to fend for themselves.  Parvana dresses up as a boy in order to go around town to buy food and to work as the family breadwinner.  As in most animation, magic plays a big part in the film’s enchantment.  In THE BREADWINNER, the magic comes from the story she tells her little brother.   The story involves a village that had the village’s seeds for the next year stolen by the jaguars of the evil Elephant King.  The animation is beautifully done as the film’s story is one that matters that needs be told.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQBQw-Bh1pg

TIRFF 2018 Short Film Showcase

Saturday, March 3rd | 5:00 pm

Run time: 82 mins

In keeping with tradition, the Irish Short Film Showcase features the work of Ireland’s up-and-coming directors. Showcasing a mix of documentary, drama and animated short films, this year’s showcase highlights the powerful visions of Irish female directors with six exceptional short films.

DEPARTURE | Directed by Aoife Doyle | 10 mins | Canadian Premiere

THE CLIMB | Directed by Lynne Davison | 10 mins | Canadian Premiere

HOMECOMING | Directed by Sinéad O’Loughlin | 14 mins | Canadian Premiere

THROWLINE | Directed by Mia Mullarkey | 14 mins | Canadian Premiere

THE DATE | Directed by Selina Cartmell | 16 mins | Canadian Premiere

THE WIDOW’S LAST | Directed by Vanessa Perdriau | 28 mins | Canadian Premiere

MAZE (Canadian Premiere)

Saturday, March 3rd | 8:00 pm

Director: Stephen Burke

Run time: 92 mins

Inspired by the true events of the historic 1983 prison breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from the infamous Maze prison in Northern Ireland. With an excellent lead performance by “Peaky Blinders” star, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, this powerful drama captures the quiet tension behind what would become the biggest prison escape in Europe since World War II.

ZOO (Canadian Premiere)

Sunday, March 4th | 1:30 pm

Director: Colin McIver

Run time: 97 mins

Based on a true story, this heartwarming drama follows the story of 12-year-old Tom and his misfit friends as they fight to save Buster the baby elephant during the air raids on Belfast during World War II. With “Game of Thrones” star, Art Parkinson. Co-presented with TIFF Kids International Film Festival.

GEORGE BEST: ALL BY HIMSELF (Theatrical Premiere)

Sunday, March 4th | 4:00 pm

Director: Daniel Gordon

Run time: 92 mins

He was the Beatles of soccer – a handsome, charismatic lad from Belfast, Northern Ireland who worked wonders with the ball and thrilled Great Britain. But George Best was also the lead in a Shakespearean tragedy fueled by drink and excess. With never-before-seen footage and interviews, this captivating documentary traces the life of a true Belfast hero.

GEORGE BEST: ALL BY HIMSELF (Ireland 2017) ***1/2

Directed by Daniel Gordon

 

The film opens with a woman driving her sick baby in her car during pouring rain.  She passes a hunched man soaking wet crossing the road.  She pities him before realizing that the man is George Best, her husband, drunk as a skunk.  The film documents the rise and fall of one of Great Britain’s greatest footballers.  Arriving as a kid to Manchester for an audition, this Belfast lad proved to be the world’s best footballer.  But this handsome lad’s drinking to excess led to his downfall.  At his best, George let Manchester United to win the European cup.  At his worst, he got suspended two months for slinging mud at a referee.  Director Gordon has assembled an impressive cast of interviewees that include his best friend, the Manchester United Manager Matt Busby, his mum and past girlfriends whose words paint a true picture of the man in detail.  Lots of archive football footage adds to the excitement of the game and the glory of the man.  Very, very entertaining even though on might not be interested in the sport, as this is a very human story.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvU3xW1QjCY

Closing Night Film 

IN THE NAME OF PEACE: JOHN HUME IN AMERICA (Canadian Premiere)

Sunday March 4th | 7:00 pm

Director: Maurice Fitzpatrick

Run time: 90 mins

Narrated by Liam Neeson, In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America is a compelling feature documentary about one of the most historic times in Irish politics. Dramatic, archival footage from The Troubles is paired with insightful interviews by Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Bono and Tony Blair, to capture the brave moment when Derry politician, John Hume, united both sides of the political landscape to carve out a lasting Peace for the people of Northern Ireland. Co-presented by the Irish Embassy of Canada.

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Interview with Festival Director Elena Altman (BASH- Bay Area Short Film Festival)

BASH – Bay Area Shorts Film Festival takes place at the ROXIE Historical Theater in San Francisco, CA- Each year, the Annual BASH Film Festival will continue its tradition of showcasing a diverse sampling of BAY AREA made shorts and mini features, award-winning directors along with amateurs breaking in the industry and blowing everyone away..

https://filmfreeway.com/BASHBayAreaShortFilmsFestival8

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

Elena Altman: Providing an Excellent Platform for Bay Area Filmmakers to Showcase their Work.

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

Expect to see the Top Selected Bay Area Made Short Films Showcasing and Vote for Your Favorite Bay Area Film of 2018!

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

They must be Bay Area Made to Qualify

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

I think that there are so many movies being submitted these days, that it is hard to get chosen.

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

We want to continue to provide Bay Area filmmakers with a place to showcase their work.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Very easy

7) Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We hope to run in more often and in more theaters around the Bay.

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

I would have to say Beetlejuice – lol

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

Good story, great acting, and amazing camera work!

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Very much alive and thriving! /

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February 2018: FilmFreeway Testimonials from Filmmakers & Screenwriters

Read 18 testimonials this month given by award winning filmmakers and screenwriters. How this submission platform has helped out their career and work:

11 Filmmaker Testimonials:

Interview with directors Natalie Neagle & Sally Samad (TOO SOON?)
Interview with directors Natalie Neagle & Sally Samad (TOO SOON?)

It’s a fast and easy way to enter international film festivals and we only have positive feedback for, and experiences with, FilmFreeway.

Interview with director Gonzalo Cotelo (MAMMA)
Interview with director Gonzalo Cotelo (MAMMA)

It is indeed very useful, particularly now with the number of films being made and film festivals being held everywhere across the world. The structure and layout of the website simplifies the whole process.

Interview with director Jelle Bleyenbergh (THE FLOW)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2018/02/04/interview-with-director-jelle-bleyenbergh-the-flow/

It’s such a handy platform, with an easy search function and a clear overview of your film details. I can’t think of a better nor faster way to spread your work across the globe.

Interview with director Imelda O’Reilly (EGGS & SOLDIERS)
Interview with director Imelda O’Reilly (EGGS & SOLDIERS)

Film freeway makes it easy to submit your films to many festivals. Frankly it makes it easier for me to upload all the information on one site and submit the film. It’s convenient and saves time.

Interview with director CJ Colando (JAKE & JULIA)
Interview with director CJ Colando (JAKE & JULIA)

Love it. FilmFreeway not only makes submissions easy and intuitive, they do a great job at how they present the individual festival pages.

Interview with director Hank Isaac (LILAC)
Interview with director Hank Isaac (LILAC)

FilmFreeway is fabulous. As well, their staff is responsive and open to suggestions.

Interview with director Dinh Thai (MONDAY)
Interview with director Dinh Thai (MONDAY)

FF is simply the best. Their website is far superior to the rest. They properly catalog your submissions with all the right details and provide reviews and ratings for many of the best festivals. I highly recommend FilmFreeway. Sometimes I won’t submit to a festival if it’s not on FF. I just don’t want to deal with the other sites’ lack of detail and usability.

Interview with director Emma Jackson (CONVERSATIONS)
Interview with director Emma Jackson (CONVERSATIONS)

FilmFreeway is absolutely fantastic. The platform offers so much – a list of all your submissions, it is constantly promoting new festivals and gives stats on how your film is doing. It’s so slick and fast too!

Interview with director Lisa Baron & Writer/Actor Malin Barr (HEDDA NEEDS HELP)
Interview with director Lisa Baron & Writer/Actor Malin Barr (HEDDA NEEDS HELP)

We liked FilmFreeway a lot, as new filmmakers, we felt it was easy, tracked our submissions well and you can upload everything you’d send to any festival right there. We’d use it again.

Interview with director Jon Glassberg (FREEDOM OF THE WHEELS)
Interview with director Jon Glassberg (FREEDOM OF THE WHEELS)

It’s amazing and easy.

Interview with documentary filmmaker Jenna Gartlan (MISSING PEACE)
Interview with documentary filmmaker Jenna Gartlan (MISSING PEACE)

I think Filmfreeway helps a lot of emerging artists by simplifying the submission process and clearly explaining what needs to be done.

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7 Screenwriter Testimonials:

Interview with Winning Feature Screenplay Writer Brooke Elowe (BLACK WIDOW: FUGTIVE)
Interview with Winning Feature Screenplay Writer Brooke Elowe (BLACK WIDOW: FUGTIVE)

It was a very seamless process. I had no trouble submitting my script or payment.

Interview with Winning Screenwriters Kristy Leigh Lussier & Lee Vander Boegh (THE WRECKERS)
Interview with Winning Screenwriters Kristy Leigh Lussier & Lee Vander Boegh (THE WRECKERS)

WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE Film Freeway! I find it very user friendly, really well organized and easy to search out different festivals and contests specific for what you want. I’ve had nothing but great experience with Film Freeway. 🙂

Interview with Winning Screenwriter A.K.A. SMITH (ZOMBIE CRUIZE)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter A.K.A. SMITH (ZOMBIE CRUIZE)

So far I’ve found the submission platform very smooth and user-friendly, and I’ll be using it a good deal more in the future.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Dempsey Tillman and Ted Dewberry (RED LIGHT)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Dempsey Tillman and Ted Dewberry (RED LIGHT)

We enter all of our projects through FilmFreeway. They have streamlined the process and it makes it easy for us to find festivals that work for us.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Ricardo M. Fleshman (KILLING MOSES)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Ricardo M. Fleshman (KILLING MOSES)

FilmFreeway has been such a wonderful platform to work with and I am glad that it exists. I will use it for many of my future submissions.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katie L. Marshall (FALLING STAR)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katie L. Marshall (FALLING STAR)

I find the interface of FilmFreeway so easy to use and navigation is quick and easy. I regularly receive email updates on similar festivals to my niche which is super useful  and it allows me to remember upcoming deadlines. I’d recommend the site to anyone who wishes to get their work out there. There’s nothing quite like an ‘award winning’ script.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Richard M. Kjeldgaard (PREY FOR THE DAY)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Richard M. Kjeldgaard (PREY FOR THE DAY)

Great. In October 2017 a Spec I’d written (Nowhere-Ville) won the Action/Adventure feature script and got a table reading on YouTube which was really a kick. My first experience in the rewrite and “Production” phase of screenwriting. Truly exciting to see actors performing your written material.

Interview with Festival Director Joshua Trigg (THUNDERDANCE Film Festival)

Thunderdance film festival is a bi-annual event set in the heart of Hackney. TFF focuses on independent fiction, fashion, music and experimental films. Winning films will be screened in local cinemas followed by meet and greets and afterparties. Thunderdance is a festival for the ultimate in new wave London film culture.

https://www.thunderdancefilmfestival.com/

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

Thunderdance is a film festival that creates a platform for independent film makers to submit an array of different types of work from fashion, fiction to music videos and experimental films. Something we wanted to bring to the table was a diverse judging panel. From cultural influencers like Sue Tilly, to Colin Salmon (James Bond) judging certain categories. We always want to have exciting and recognisable names for the film makers to feel eager about. So not just limiting judges to those within our own industry, but broadening the spectrum of people who are involved. We want to make sure we are connecting amazing film makers with amazing people from all corners of the industry at the event.

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

Sadly, the tickets are all sold out this time around! However, you can expect a varied arrangement of screening material. A diverse set of films from all over the globe. Something that is integral to what we want to do with this festival is to support independent cinema. We hope to always have the events in small, art house, boutique cinemas. This year starting around the East London area, broadening this in the next few years. Our first screening for the festival will be taking place at the Castle Cinema, which has an amazing history and been re opened via a kickstater programme. This is a really beautiful, almost 20’s style bar cinema. Here we will be screening and holding the afterparty which gives the film makers the best opportunities to network.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

Really there are no qualifications needed. Just good film making. There are a bunch of categories, and we want all film makers to be able to submit their work. In the future we would like to be able to expand this to a student category to help support getting people into the industry. To be honest, we are just curious about the artistic voice of the individuals.

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

No I don’t think films get a fair shake from festivals all the time. For us the most important thing is that if it’s a good film we’re going to champion it. Doesn’t matter where its from, who’s made it. If it’s great it’s great and we want to show it. In the future we would love to get good, interesting, important professionals from the industry to give critical feedback if film makers desired when submitting their film. This could at least give the film maker the opportunity to understand why they may not have been selected. We want to help film makers not discourage them.

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

We are genuinely excited to create something new, fresh and different from anything else we have seen in the circuit. Being a director myself, it’s a similar feeling when I feel I’ve nailed it with a script and we start moving into production. It’s that excitement of knowing you are about to make something really cool and that pre-anticipation is how we feel about this project. It’s that feeling of creating something. I know film makers can relate to that. Within that excitement, we are driven to connect film makers and support artistic communities.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been? 

Film freeway has always been a very useful tool for submitters as it is simple and easy to use, there was a gap in the market and they filled it. Kudos to Film Freeway.
 
7) Where do you see the festival by 2020? 

By 2020, we’d like to have moved from cities further then Europe. But we want to take our time, as its important to us that we find cultural and artistic hubs where local curators can bring to the table the same sort of elements that make Thunderdance London different and exciting.
 

 

thunderdance film festival

21ST TORONTO REEL ASIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

The (21st) ReelAsian International Film Festival runs from November the 9th to the 18th, 2017 in downtown Toronto and North York. 

Capsule reviews of selected films (as recommended by the ReelAsian publicist) follows below this article.

For more information and a full schedule of screenings, please check its website at:

http://www.reelasian.com/festival/

Capsule Reviews of Selected Films

BAD GENIUS (Thailand 2017) ****
Directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya

BAD GENIUS belongs to the category of good movies with poor titles like the recent BABY DRIVER.   From Thailand, BAD GENIUS is a feel good teen B-movie from B-country Thailand, but from the first few segments, one is immediately impressed by director’s ingenuity and ability to entertain.  Lynne helps her friend Grace to cheat during an exam in a scene that is both comical and suspenseful.  Also when Grace remarks that she needs a 3.25 GPA to be in  school play, Lynn replies that it is harder to act in a play than to study.  Lynn is a genius high school student who makes money by cheating tests, receives a new task that leads her to set foot on Sydney, Australia.  In order to complete the millions-Baht task, Lynn and her classmates have to finish the international STIC (known as SAT internationally) exam and deliver the answers back to her friends in Thailand before the exam takes place once again in her home country.   Director Poonpiriya nows how to make a feel good movie by making all the characters likeable (and performed by good looking actors), ending every scene on a high note and having a pompous wealthy school and strict (and corrupt) authoritarians as the common enemy.  The film also covers relevant Asian issues like being filial, the attraction of studying abroad and international exams.  A discrete message tied in too about life not being fair, so that one has to help oneself.  Totally enjoyable from start to finish, with the time flying fast (as in not having enough time to complete an examination) despite its bad title.
Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6788942/videoplayer/vi970373401?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_1

BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES II: THE INFERNAL BATTLEFIELD (China 2017) ***
Directed by Lu Yang

The sequel to the original BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES, number II, the sequel has already done much better at the box-office as of date, than the first film owing to better marketing.  Lu Yang returns in the director’s chair with a solid sword fighting saga like the better ones Shaw Brothers used to make in the good old days.  Set in Northeast China, AD 1619, during the late Ming dynasty,  the film centres on a captain of the Imeprial Guard, Shen Lian (Zhang Zhen) who when the film begins rescues a couple of Ming soldiers from certain death, including Lu Wenzhao (Zhang Yi), who is eternally grateful.  The film moves forward 8 years later, in the summer of AD 1627, encounters intrigue and corruption in the higher ranks.  There is a bit too much plot to follow that audiences might to be used to for films in this genre.  The battle scenes are well done with good martial-arts choreography and fights on horses with the climatic battle taking place at a gorge for additional excitement.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB7Q290d8ck

DEAR ETRANGER (Japan 2017) ***

Directed by Yukiko Mishima

The etranger (French of stranger) here, is Makoto Tanaka (Tadanobu Asano), divorced from his first wife, Yuka (Shinobu Terajima), four years ago and now married the younger Nanae (Rena Tanaka), who herself is divorced).  Nanae left her husband, the alcoholic, dissolute Sawada (Kankuro Kudo), because he beat her and her young daughter.  Makoto and Yuka split when they couldn’t agree on a second child:  He wanted one, she didn’t.  Makoto continues to see his daughter, Saori (Raiju Kamata), who lives with her mother and new stepfather, while he tries to be a good parent to Nanae’s two daughters, Eriko (Miu Arai) and sullen sixth-grader Kaoru (Sara Minami).  Kaoru says her stepfather Makoto is a stranger and insists on meeting her real father.  The film is real family drama, one that affects the modern family whee separation and divorce are common.  Real tensions are on display without the characteristic Hollywood melodrama or cheap theatrics.  Running a bit long at 2 hours, DEAR ETRANGER is an emotional ride, nevertheless.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-FPd35FqAY

STAND UP MAN (Canada 2017) ***
Directed by Aram Collier

STAND UP MAN opens with the only Korean in the town of Windsor performing a hard to get comedy gig in Toronto. Moses Kim (Daniel Jun) does well, getting the laughs he deserves besides dishing out rather bad dick jokes.  At this time, he is happily just married to Yoojin (Rosalina Lee) and landed with a Korean restaurant from his missionary parents who have left for Mali.  There are lots of fun poked at the Korean community and the Canadian town of Windsor and actor Daniel Jun is appropriately lively as the lead character.  The plot takes a turn with the arrival of Kim’s younger cousin Joon-Ho (Daegun Daniel Lee) form Korea who he has to babysit.  The film is sufficiently entertaining with a message of a different kind.  It is not one of ‘chasing ones dreams’ like Kim being a successful standup that is important, but something else (not revealed in this review).

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

 

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Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

Interview with Artistic Director Maeve McGrath (KERRY FILM FESTIVAL)

 

KFF is renowned for celebrating the work of young filmmaking talent through a well established and lively short film competition that has been supported and endorsed by luminaries from the world of film such as Cillian Murphy, director Paul Greengrass, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, and Gabriel Byrne. Over the past 17 years KFF has become a vital element of Kerry’s cultural landscape offering a unique film experience to the local community as well as creating a ‘must attend’ cultural tourism event for visitors to the county.

Contact

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

Maeve McGrath: We hope that we are providing a platform for new and emerging film makers while also screening established film makers. We really want to being an industry experience to the festival so that the film maker can network with like-minded people and also see some incredible films. All our film makers get access to all screenings for free.

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

We have a really varied selection of short film this year, we also have our Discovery Features which is a platform for First time feature film makers. we have quality music documentary along with premieres and an industry day event with in conversations and panel discussions

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

They have to be 20 minutes or less for Shorts and made in the previous year. Features have to be 60 minutes +

Films selected for the programme are then are in consideration for 7 x awards and a shortlist are selected by a Jury Panel. KFF doesn’t have an audience award.

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

I know that at Kerry Film Festival, each film is seen by up to 6 people as they are viewed. We view every film from start to finish and every film will be discussed and appraised before selection. We are rigorous in our selection. We have to be. We get hundreds and hundreds of films submitted but at the end of the day it is our Jury panel that select winners.

I understand that some festivals may not be as meticulous as we are but we can stand over every film selected. We have limited space for films to screen so it can be very difficult to shortlist when we fall in love with a film and can’t fit it in the schedule and that can happen frequently.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

I love film, especially short film and also, music documentary. My masters thesis followed the route of the Irish short film to the Oscars so I researched that to pieces!

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Great, the judging panel is very handy and accessible and you vote in areas of the film from cinematography to direction so it gives you a good reading of the film when scores are combined.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We are 18 years old this year so we will have passed our 20th Film Festival by then. I am hoping it will continue to grow and provide a screening space for film makers.

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

Twelve Angry Men

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Simple storytelling brought to the screen with honesty.

How is the film scene in your city?

In Kerry there is a real surge in film making. Creative Kerry and Film Kerry are building on the desire to film in the beautiful locations in Kerry, think Star Wars and Skellig Michael. Feature films are being made by innovative, creative local film makers. A very vibrant county.

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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 David W. King (FLATHEAD INTERNATIONAL CINEMAFEST (FLIC))

 

Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC), runs the weekend of January 26-28, 2018.

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

David W. King: FLIC is giving professional-grade and novice filmmakers a venue at which to present their work. A smaller festival like ours gives more filmmakers the opportunity to have their work screened for an audience. It’s also proving to be a reputable screening venue for international filmmakers. For some reason, FLIC is now a favorite destination for Iranian filmmakers, with dozens submitting films each year.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival in January, 2018?

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest is a wonderful weekend celebration of cinema. Filmmaker discussions following screenings are popular. Social gatherings at local establishments. A quality presentation of films, with the popular FLIC sizzle reel introducing each screening block. Standing ovations. Great audience enthusiasm. And awards celebration wraps up the weekend, with encore screenings presented the following week.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

FLIC film fair ranges from 1-minute shorts to 2-hour features, covering a broad array of topics and genres. FLIC has some content guideline that prohibit extreme violence and adult content, while making some exceptions for compelling storylines. The bottom-line is how interesting is a film? How watchable is it? Does it tell its story effectively? It is good?

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

I do think some films don’t get a fair shake from film festivals. I think it’s easy for festival runners to get a bit snooty about what they’ll show; if a film isn’t practically perfect, it might be put aside, when many in the audience might have overlooked its flaws and seen it beauty of spirit or other intangible qualities. Some people aren’t particularly good filmmakers, but they might be very passionate about their subject matter. As a judge, I think it’s important to look for the heart of a film as much as its production value.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We love movies and we see how much it means to filmmakers to have their work screened. We also see how our community embraces the film arts every January. FLIC has become a destination for some and a welcome respite from winter’s chill for others. Cinema has that power.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We love FilmFreeway. It’s a very easy site to use and gives you all the data you need in a well organized, logical manner. I’m a big fan.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Hopefully FLIC will have grown in size and quality over these next two years. We want this film festival to become more and more of a destination for filmmaker and an audience that appreciates cinema from across the globe.

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

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film tells a story so effectively that the viewer gets lost in that story for its duration.

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in Polson, Montana is quite limited 51 weeks out of the year. However, in January, the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest presents films from the far reaches of the world to this little community — and Polson, Montana becomes its own unassuming center of the cinema universe!

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David W. King’s film and television career spans 30 years and many facets of live-action and animation production. He has 124 IMDB credits dating back to his first days as a production assistant on an obscure 1980 Peter Fonda film called Rough Riders. David’s subsequent positions and credits have included Vice President of Production, Supervising Producer, Producer, Director, Associate Producer, Production Manager, Post-Production Supervisor, Executive in Charge of Production, Writer, Cinematographer and Editor. He’s worked for major studios like Universal, Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera and 20th Century Fox. At Disney and Universal, David produced feature-length projects like Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure and Balto 2 and 3. David also wrote or co-wrote 8 feature screenplays, most of which were optioned. David moved to Polson, Montana in 2012, where he set up his own production company, David W. King Pictures. Samples of his work are available at his website, DavidWKing.com.

As a judge, David finds it great fun to discover little gems as he and his fellow judges review scores of FLIC entries each year. There are always surprises and spirited discussions on the part of the judges, whose tastes vary much like those found around water-coolers the world over.

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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