Interview with Co-Festival Director Mia Davis (Queen City Cinephiles)

Queen City Cinephiles is a an independent film-screening & discussion group based out of Charlotte, NC. The are committed to showcasing short and full length independent features at no cost to the filmmakers, exposing film aficionados to more independent film, and supporting local filmmakers and around the globe.

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

Mia Davis: We build a bridge between filmmakers and film appreciators. For every film we select, we provide the filmmakers with the opportunity to introduce their film, and be present (live or via skype) for our audience discussion. We do not charge entry fees. As part of our Agreements, we ask the filmmakers for social media pages, and we share them online before the event, on our facebook event page, and while we are at the screening. During the Q&A, we encourage the filmmakers to let the audience know where their other works can be found.

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

If you mean our film screenings, you can expect arrangements of indie films in blocks at a convenient location with available refreshments, audience participation in film discussion, and to learn more about the film industry.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The film has to be independently made, and the filmmaker has to sign an Agreement with us, showing they have the rights to the film and sharing our facebook page and event on their social media pages.

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

I think it’s hard to find the right audience, self-promote, and film festivals (mostly) charge entry fees and having contracts preventing a selected film to be shown elsewhere during the festival.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

To clarify, this is not a film festival. We have screenings, roughly once or twice a month. I am motivated by my appreciation for independent film, and everything that goes into it, combining with a genuine interest in pushing local business/industry support.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been great! We have several submissions, and I love how it is organized to help us find the right films for our screenings.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Growth, in terms of more of a variety of events, a few rotating venues, and a stronger community between our Cinephile Members and the filmmakers. It would mean a lot to me if our patrons network and get a film made together.

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

The Lost Boys. I grew up watching that regularly, and as an adult, continue to watch it once or twice each year.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a marriage between the visual expression of a coherent story, accompanying resources, and performances.

How is the film scene in your city?

I think there’s a division between Charlotteans that want to work on film in any capacity they can, and a community of industry professionals that suffered a morale loss from HB2 and film incentives being dropped from our state budget.

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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 Maria Kryvoshchokova & Anna Demianenko (Marhanets International Short Film Festival)

Marhanets International Short Film Festival is the very first film festival created in a small mining city Marhanets which aims to bring film culture to the city and inspire and motivate filmmaking in the region. The festival was founded by daughter and mother Anna Demianenko and Maria Kryvoshchokova, with the aim of helping smaller cities of Ukraine to develop film in their region.

Website: marhanetsfilmfest.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marhanetsfilmfest/

email:  marhanetsfilmfest@gmail.com

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

Maria Kryvoshchokova: Marhanets Film Festival is created to promote Ukrainian and International short films, filmmakers and actors. Our festivals gives opportunity to attract as many cinephiles as possible and lets directors to screen their films to much more viewers getting important feedback.

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

Anna Demianenko: The 2017 edition of Marhanets Film Festival which was held on 6-7 of May was very successful. Therefore we have started getting ready for 2018 edition just after the Award ceremony finished! Every person who will attend our festival will be welcomed by wonderful competition short films from all over the world that inspire, motivate, show new opportunities and solutions. Filmmakers will also be able to take part in workshops and meet young Ukrainian directors.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Maria Kryvoshchokova: We are looking for new and original films showing a unique director’s vision, camera work, acting, sound design. We opt for a strong and genuine story that will capture viewer’s attention from the very beginning and will never let go. We want to see the films that motivate and give people a chance to develop and make themselves better. This year we have decided to expand our maximum running time to 30 minutes as we have discovered that there are many good stories which surpass the time limit we had for submissions last year.

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

Anna Demianenko: I do believe it is true, as there so many films are send to the festivals each year and this great quantity makes it impossible for some selectioners to watch all the films. That is what really important for our festival, no matter how many submissions are sent, we are watching every single one of them, as sometimes the treasures are hidden and only if you are willing to search, that is when you will be rewarded. For example, 2017 Best Short Film Apparition by Denis Dobrovoda (France) was one of the last ones to be watched during the selection process.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Maria Kryvoshchokova: I would say the passion for a good film and opportunity to discover which topics excite, thrill or worry the directors from all over the world. The filmmakers are given a chance to communicate with the audience through their films and the viewers can discuss the films and speak their mind as well. The second and most important motivation is a team work. Our festival team is undeniably helpful and very friendly, people keep joining our team realizing what a wonderful mission our festival entails. We are grateful to every person who was supporting us on our way to creating an incredible event.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Anna Demianenko: We are happy that this year we have much more filmmakers interested in our festival! As it is the second edition we are hoping to receive as many submissions as possible, so that we can show to the festival guests the most quality content. We have a thorough selection process, first the selection committee chooses the best films from submitted, then an expert committee which consists of famous Ukrainian film critics, filmmakers, actors chooses the one that will take part in competition. Members of the expert committee have very different opinions and viewpoints, therefore various films are accepted to the competition.

We are welcome every filmmaker to submit his/her short film following this link! https://filmfreeway.com/festival/MarhanetsFilmFestival
Be the one to be chosen into Marhanets Film Festival Competition!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Maria Kryvoshchokova: We hope to enlarge the festival by making more competition programs and conducting more workshops. One of our aims is to make screenings not only of best Ukrainian short films of the year, but films of other countries as well. We are searching for cooperation with other festivals so that we can exchange experiences and screen the films in out-of-competition programs. By all means, we are expecting for more visitors from all over the world and more viewers to come and experience our remarkable event.

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

Anna Demianenko: I personally watch films every single day of different countries and year of production. I guess my favourite features are directed by Paolo Sorrentino, I found his films Youth and The Great Beauty as a great contemplation and admiration of life in its true existence. Those films aspire me to search for greatness in every moment of our life. Regarding short films, I watch them every day, I am currently a Programmer for two Dutch film festivals Shift Film Festival and Euregion Film Festival, and it gives me opportunity to watch completely different films. My favourite short film by far is Everything Will Be Ok by Patrick Vollrath. I hope to see more of such films at our festival.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Maria Kryvoshchokova: The one that makes you talk about it and leaves nobody cold.

How is the film scene in your city?

Anna Demianenko: Marhanets Film Festival is actually a huge and incredible event for our small city. Sadly, Ukrainian film business is mostly focused in big cities, and inhabitants of small ones are usually left out. That was our initial aim: to bring cinema back to small cities, make it real and in demand. We do believe that with this festival we can bring big films to small cities no matter where it is a short or a feature. So we welcome everyone to submit their films and to visit our festival in May 2018! Be the one to develop film in small regions!

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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 Roger and Shelley Gillespie (COPA SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL)

COPA SHORTS FILM FEST, INC. launched its first film festival in February 2017.  It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that focuses on creating a great learning and entertainment experience for filmmakers, screenwriters and film lovers locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide. The festival takes places at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa, Arizona about 35 miles from downtown Phoenix.

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

Roger and Shelley Gillespie: Copa Shorts Film Fest, now starting its second year of programming, has succeeded in highlighting talented filmmakers of short films and screenplays. In a state-of-the-art digital venue, we showed 56 short films in our first festival this February. The films were from around the world and the U.S.

In addition to showcasing films, we provided four screenwriters the opportunity to have table reads of their short screenplays. Each of the four finalists, from four different states, could see their name on the screen and their words voiced by actors.

We also are succeeding at offering workshops to provide hands-on learning experiences for new and upcoming filmmakers for free.

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

Our 2017 festival was held in February of this year. For 2018, attendees can expect more experiences to learn and enjoy film and screenplays. We’re doubling the festival workshops so attendees can have an opportunity to learn from professionals about above and below the line skills. Attendees can also relax in our fabulous location, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, to see the films and experience the screenplay table reads.

We’re in our submission period through October 13, so we don’t know all of the films and screenplays that could be featured in February.

However, we have added a category for military veteran films and we’re seeing some excellent early entries. We’ve also added a separate category for high school filmmakers, as well as college filmmakers.

At our VIP and Wrap Award parties, we’ll be showcasing award-winning Native American musical performers, Native Spirit and Arvel Bird. The parties will be a chance for film attendees, filmmakers, and screenwriters to network.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

CSFF accepts films that are from two to twenty minutes (including credits) in the following categories: Native American, high school student, college student, military veteran and in genres of animation, comedy, documentary, drama, horror, and sci-fi.

The selected films are reviewed by Arizona State University film students and film professionals. We examine story, technical, acting, and overall impact of the film.
For screenplays, we expect screenplays to be no longer than 15 pages and also examine dialogue as one of the major criteria.v

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

Potentially, some film reviewers may not have expertise in reviewing films. This could lead to personal bias.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our team offers this festival because we love films and we want to provide opportunities for talent to be encouraged and showcased. We offer educational workshops to help filmmakers improve their skills. And, in our growing city, we like the idea of providing a major cultural artistic event to attract people.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have had an extremely positive experience working exclusively with FilmFreeway. Their staff has been responsive when we had questions (We were a first-time festival this year) and everything worked smoothly.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020, we expect that the festival will be at least a day longer to provide more workshops, more submissions, more attendees, and really strong repeat business.

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

I’m a romantic. I’ve probably seen Pretty Woman tied with Dirty Dancing the most times in my life.

Roger has seen High Plains Drifter the most.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is one that makes you think, has a memorable premise, characters, and technical aspects that all work together to create something you want to see repeatedly and talk about with others.

How is the film scene in your city?

Maricopa is a new city that has grown exponentially in the last 14 years. Our festival location, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, was built almost five years ago. Films shown tend to favor blockbusters. We typically have to travel out of town to see art films, indie films and shorts programs.

In our community, there is an avid following for films from school students through senior citizens. Maricopa is home to several current and former filmmakers, screenwriters, Hollywood film professionals and actors. Several worthy locally-made films were shown in our festival.
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BIOS:

Roger and Shelley Gillespie are co-founders of Copa Shorts Film Fest, which began as a desire to create an event focused around film for our community of Maricopa, Arizona.

Roger Gillespie is a screenwriter, producer, film critic and host of the monthly “3-Hour Movie Critic” event at UltraStar, who has been involved in film, broadcasting and journalism since high school.

He has independently written and co-written over 10 screenplays including quarter-finalist for his full-length feature, Saving Liberty, in Francis Ford Coppola’s annual, internationally-renowned American Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest.

An alumni member of Ball State University’s Film and Broadcasting School, and Hal Croasmun’s Screenwriting U, Roger is the first to tell anyone that he can teach you how to format a screenplay in a few minutes, but “it’s the story that matters, and that takes a little more time.”

Shelley Gillespie multi-faceted background includes years as an award-winning journalist (The Communicator, Arizona Republic, Times Publications), an educator and adjunct professor (CAC, NAU), writing coach, marketing consultant and author. (Hiking for the Couch Potato: A Guide for the Exercise-Challenged.) Shelley also shares writing credit for Saving Liberty with Roger.

She has raised millions for not-for-profits, managed training programs and events, and created marketing programs for a shopping mall and corporations.

Shelley holds a BA in English from Vassar College and an MS in Educational Administration from State University of NY at Albany.

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 Michael Kamel (DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival)

Founded in 2011, the annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DCPFAF) is a 501c3 nonprofit, volunteer-run enterprise that showcases the work of Palestinian filmmakers and artists around the world to audiences in the Washington DC metro area.

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

Michael Kamel: The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DCPFAF) prides itself on creating a space for Palestinian subjectivity.We highlight the voices and stories of Palestinian artists from around the world. Filmmakers show audiences their debilitating morning commutes to Jerusalem through the infamous Qalandiya checkpoint, the horrors faced during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza, and life as a refugee in Greece. These are all stories that need to be heard.

But Palestinian subjectivity is also just that – life from the eyes of a Palestinian. One of our founders, Noura Erakat, describes it as not a Palestine festival, but a Palestinian festival. We’ve featured a short film about personal nostalgia and loss, a fictional animation on a street artist, and even a 1-minute fashion film. No Palestinian story is off the table!

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

You should expect to laugh, cry, and move! The experience this year is loosely centered on Palestinian innovation in all forms, brought to the audience through several artistic mediums. Festival goers will be treated to a carefully curated selection of films that tackle topics from Palestinian image-making to Palestinian political prisoners, a live storytelling event featuring local DC Palestinian talent in partnership with the Boston-based Palestinians Podcast, the Hollywood writer-director-producer-actor extraordinaire Cherien Dabis, a new twist on the dabke (Palestinian folk dance), and more! There is truly something for everyone.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

All of our films must be written, directed and/or produced by someone who identifies as Palestinian. We then evaluate them based on three criteria: production value, entertainment value, and creativity. Our programming team discusses each film, their position and impact in the festival lineup, and what we would want the audience to walk away with.

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

Each festival has their own broad mission and yearly vision; sometimes, a phenomenal film just may not fit into the festival’s scope for that year. However, within Palestinian cinema, good films tend to receive their recognition because filmmakers and audiences realize that’s their chance of success. We must support our own artists because that’s how they succeed both within Palestinian cinema and beyond.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

A volunteer-run festival is truly a labor of love. Everyone on our team truly believes in and supports Palestinian artists, and is passionate about creating a space for them to share their work. We want to ensure that Palestinian art is getting the reach it deserves, and that people in our region aren’t missing out.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been a blessing for our festival, streamlining the process and ultimately making it easier and more accessible.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

2020 will be the tenth year of the DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival. I see our festival celebrating the past decade of Palestinian art, and building a platform for the next decade. We love to push boundaries. In 2016, for example, we teamed up with Shared Studios, Mercy Corps, and Gaza Sky Geeks on an audiovisual portal that connected artists, musicians, performers, and festival attendees in DC to their peers in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. It was amazing to see people dancing, singing, and talking literally across oceans and borders. We’re all about pushing the envelope like that, and we intend on continuing that trend into our tenth annual run and beyond!

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

I can’t lie, I’m not a person who watches movies more than twice (even if I love a film). Still, at the moment, the film I’ve seen the most times in my life has to be Moonlight. I can never get enough of that movie.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film shakes you to your core.

How is the film scene in your city?

The DC film scene tends to focus on documentary filmmaking (usually political), given the fact that we are the nation’s capital. Several Hollywood productions have even shot in DC—Jackie, VEEP, and House of Cards amongst others. You see how those three productions alone deal with politics in some way, shape or form?

There is also an amazing independent film scene. Howard University alone is a pioneer in the area, with professors like Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and Haile Gerima (Sankofa). I’ve had the privilege to work alongside some amazing filmmakers from Howard.

American University’s acclaimed film program is home to remarkable filmmakers, including the Palestinian filmmaker Najwa Najjar (Eyes of a Thief).

And, of course, I have to mention my alma mater, George Mason University. Our film program has also been pushing cutting-edge filmmakers and works to the forefront. Shout out to the amazing faculty, including Giovanna Chesler, Lisa Thrasher and the Emmy-nominated Hans Charles (Director of Photography on the Oscar-nominated 13th).

I’ve often encountered people who think that DC filmmakers are only churning out documentaries about the White House. In actuality, our artists create so much more!

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ABOUT MICHAEL KAMEL
Michael Kamel is a local filmmaker and the Curator and Co-Director of the DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival. His film work often explores themes of identity, loss, and relationships. Subjectivity fuels his content, and he strives to provide a nuanced platform and voice for often unheard subjects. You can view more of his work at michaelkamel.com.

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 Sina Dolati (TORONTO NEW WAVE)

The Labyrinth Pictures was founded in 2016 by Sina Dolati, Emmanuel McBride and Shaq Hosein as a multi-purpose production company, producing independent film (fiction and commercial), as well as hosting events and other services under The Labyrinth umbrella with the aim of cultivating the Toronto filmmaking scene. Our summer Events Coordinator Farah Mannan has also had a large role in helping this event come to life, as well as Rangga Luksatrio who has helped us in reaching out to Toronto musicians.

The 2017 rendition of the Toronto New Wave showcase is the first public event hosted by the company, screening a multitude of short films from independent Toronto filmmakers, as well as including performances from Toronto indie bands. The event takes place at 7 PM, Saturday August 5th, at Cinecycle.

Interview with Festival Director Conor Armstrong Sanfey (ELEVATION INDIE FILM AWARDS)

The Elevation Indie Film Awards has been set up by Indie Film makers for Indie Film makers. We understand the difficulties of gaining recognition for your work and want to shine a light on the vast talent of Independent filmmakers from around the world.

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

Conor Armstrong Sanfey: At elevation, we endeavour to give filmmakers feedback on all submissions, weather they are accepted or not to screen. We ensure that all films are watched, and filmmakers go away with constructive feedback. We specifically support indie filmmakers, by providing them a platform for showcasing their work.

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

To view a wide diverse programme of innovative independent films.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

To view a wide diverse programme of innovative independent films.

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

No we feel a lot of the major festivals do not give enough attention to independent films. With some not even watching entries at times.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our motivation comes from our experience as indie filmmakers ourselves. We want to provide a support system for independent filmmakers, and provide them with constructive feedback and a platform to showcase their fantastic work.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have been getting films from all around the world. The standard has been fantastic, and we can’t wait to see for.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We hope to continue expanding the festival, and hopefully hold more live screenings.

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

. Shawshank Redemption.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A film that transports you into another world, and most importantly entertains.

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in Dublin it thriving, especially in the independent film scene.

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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
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Interview with Festival Directors Lee Marohn & Paul Salzer (NORTHEAST WISCONSIN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL)

This film festival is part of the Northeast Wisconsin Horror Festival (NeW Horror Fest), whose goal for our second year is to continue bringing together fright enthusiasts and attract new audiences to the wonderful joys of horror fiction and cinema. The film festival owes its beginnings to the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival (OHFF).

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

[Lee] Our primary goal is to get people to watch independent horror films. Our feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

[Paul] Our festival also helps filmmakers by offering different types of horror films (from dark comedy to gore to supernatural thrillers). I hope that exposing audiences to diverse films creates an audience base that is more receptive to different types of films. This gives filmmakers the freedom to make stories they want to tell, rather than the ones that fit the commercial trends.

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

[Lee] More of the same from 2016! Great independent horror films in a huge variety of styles. Everything from 2-minute shorts to full-length feature films.

[Paul] We also try to bring filmmakers and the audience together. We hope to expand on our question-and-answer segments between films blocks.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

[Paul] Submissions should recognizably be horror-based (which we define as having the capacity to scare, disgust, and frighten audiences). Film should be completed works. “Work-in-Progress” screening requests will be handled separately and on a case-by-case basis. Films that contain significant non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles as the audience will primarily be English speaking. There is also the standard copyright related qualifications regarding films. Basically, submitted films need to be submitted by copyright owners or authorized representatives.

[Lee] We also PREFER films with a Wisconsin connection.

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

[Lee] At some festivals? Definitely. We give EVERYONE a chance. Films are judged on their own merit. We don’t compare films to each other.

[Paul] For me, I don’t think student films get the attention they deserve outside of the college system. It probably because of the economics of things. It’s really hard for me to say for sure why though.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

[Lee] We love horror films. I helped with a previous film festival at the same venue for 5 years. The organizer gave it up in favor of actually MAKING movies, so we saw the void and jumped at the opportunity.

[Paul] Like Lee said, we love horror films. And I like people that like horror films. So the festival is a great why for us to get together, watch horror films, and talk about the things that make us like them so much.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

[Lee] Almost effortless.

[Paul] We had a few hiccups our first year, because we didn’t quite have the notification process figured out yet. The process should be basically automatic this year though. We are also using more of FilmFreeway’s features this year to speed up our selection process.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Lee] Hopefully, inspiring more local filmmakers to make films. We’ll continue to showcase Wisconsin-made horror and show great films from all over.

[Paul] My plan had always been to expand festival beyond just films. I would like to see the horror festival be a citywide (and even regional state) event to promote horror.

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

[Lee] Star Wars. Well over 600 times. In terms of horror? Jaws. Probably 200-300 times.

[Paul] The Exorcist.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

[Lee] To me, no matter how bad or cheesy it is, a film is great if it entertains me.

[Paul] Like anything involving art, a great film needs to make me feel.

How is the film scene in your city?

[Lee] Almost non-existent, sadly. There are a few filmmakers (some with multiple awards), but FUNDING is the big missing factor. I personally know of at least a half dozen films that could be made if funding was available.

[Paul] It’s growing though.

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Lee Marohn

A lifelong Wisconsin resident, his first exposure to horror was a midnight showing of The Thing from Outer Space on TV.  Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, his love of horror films blossomed with the arrival of Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.  His favorite horror movies of all time are Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Jaws.  His non-horror obsessions are Star Wars, Firefly/Serenity and Lego.  In addition to a full-time job, he has worked part time at a comic shop for 22 years.  As a volunteer at the Time Community Theater, he worked during the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival and was part of the movie selection process.  After 5 years of the OHFF, the organizer needed to give it up.  After a year without a horror film festival in Oshkosh, co-organizer Paul Salzer approached him about organizing a new fest. The rest is history. Lee has acted in several local film projects and produced two locally-made horror films.  He prefers to work behind the scenes and hopes to produce more.

Paul Salzer

A resident of Oshkosh since the late 80s, Paul’s love of films came from renting VHS tapes from the local video store in Palmyra, WI.  He enjoys science fiction, horror, and comic book films.  He maintains a film review blog and podcast called Forsaken Film Reviews.  He is also the co-host of a monthly film discussion podcast titled The Film Jerks.  He’s current goals include being more active in independent filmmaking.

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
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed