Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival is in its ninth year of celebrating excellence in US and International independent films.
Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
Suzanne Curry: We offer an atmosphere of comraderie and personal service. Our committee members strive to meet with every filmmaker. In many cases, we establish personal relationships with them. Some of them come back year and year, and we really enjoy watching them grow.
2) What would you expect to experience if you attend your upcoming festival?
Whether you are a filmmaker or a patron, you will get the opportunity to meet with the filmmakers. You’ll get to see a lot of great films at the cost of one regular movie ticket. You’ll see films you may not have had the opportunity to see elsewhere. For instance, this year we are showing Oscar-nominated Roma for free. We also have shorts that are premiering. We also have the premiere of a new movie called Hollywould, by Joshua Coates. It stars Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actor Eric Roberts, who will be coming to the festival and the After-Party. Every year we attract Hollywould talent.
Oh, and anyone can pose on the Red Carpet!
3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?
We take the time to review every film that is submitted through Film Freeway. We judge each on it’s own merit, using the overall qualities that make a good film. Subjects do not matter, we strive to take a variety of genres and cover different subjects. Some years we wind up with films that have the same message. This year it seems several of our films have messages about the new social aspects of today’s society.
4) Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
We had more submissions than ever before. I think that every film festival looks for certain things. We wish we could have selected more but for a smaller festival like ours – and the big ones have this problem also – there is only so much screen time available! We like to take a variety of genres, and we also like to showcase local talent, especially students. I find it very enjoyable watching all of the films that are submitted. I get to hear new voices, experience new views and see what’s on the cutting edge of videography and cinematography.
5) What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
Our committee members are all volunteers. What we all have in common is that we love film. We love being a part of this world. We love giving new filmmakers a theater to show their work in.
6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?
It’s an excellent platform.
7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?
Hmmm… well we are in our 9th year this year, and we are already planning our 10th. Each year we get more and more films and more people. By 2023, I hope we are still doing what we are doing and that more people look forward to the festival each year, without us having to spread the word so much! It would also be great if we went a third day at the theater, as we have more films than screen time. Sponsorships would help that, so by 2023 I hope we have added to our list of continuing sponsors.
8) What film have you seen the most times in your life?
Oh that’s an easy one, Love Actually followed by Home Alone. Actually – I think Home Alone may be the tops just because it is a movie I can watch with my whole family at the holidays. I am currently co-producer of a new film, A Case of Blue, that is being Executive Produced by Scott Rosenfelt, who produced Home Alone. So happy to be able to work with him. That film puts a smile on my face each time I watch it and is synonymous with the holidays with me family.
Rom coms are my favorite genre. I have my summer rom com viewing list and my winter/holiday list. I like to escape with movies and laugh. There’s enough bad news on every other channel these days. days.
9) In one sentence, what makes a great film?
What makes a great film? A film that you are so engrossed in, you don’t want to get up to go to the bathroom or get a snack (or that you put on pause even for a few seconds to get up), one that you can’t figure out the ending, get so emotionally involved in that you forget you’re not in the movie, and then, one that you want to watch again. I remember the first time I saw La La Land. I didn’t want to leave the theater… I couldn’t believe the ending. So I sat there with the girls half my age who were balling their eyes out and not getting up. I recall one Gen Z saying “That is the best movie I have ever seen.” A great film just hits you in your gut.
10) How is the film scene in your city?
We are near NYC, that will always be the the hub but many students at NYC schools live in Ridgewood and the surrounding towns, so there is a lot of talent here.
Link to our site: http://www.RidgewoodGuildFilmFest.com
Suzanne Ordas Curry has owned her own PR firm but as of late has been in show biz, producing and marketing independent films and series. Because of her love of film, she volunteers as PR Director and a judge for the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival. She also owns a site which covers films and young filmmakers, www.BehindtheScenezz.com.