February 2019 Filmmaker Interviews

Read interviews with top new filmmakers from around the world.

Interviews conducted by Matthew Toffolo

Interview with Filmmaker Gabriel Galand (HORLA)
Interview with Filmmaker Gabriel Galand (HORLA)

Interview with Filmmaker Danja Politis (ANIMUS PER MACHINA)
Interview with Filmmaker Danja Politis (ANIMUS PER MACHINA)

Interview with Filmmaker Andy Brewster (A PIACERE)
Interview with Filmmaker Andy Brewster (A PIACERE)

Interview with Filmmaker Kayden Phoenix (PENANCE)
Interview with Filmmaker Kayden Phoenix (PENANCE)

Interview with Filmmaker Raghuvir Joshi (YAMAN)
Interview with Filmmaker Raghuvir Joshi (YAMAN)

Interview with Filmmaker Aimiende Negbenebor Sela (UTOPIA)
Interview with Filmmaker Aimiende Negbenebor Sela (UTOPIA)

Interview with Filmmaker Deborah Craig (A GREAT RIDE)
Interview with Filmmaker Deborah Craig (A GREAT RIDE)

Interview with Filmmaker Damien Starr (I’LL BE FINE)
Interview with Filmmaker Damien Starr (I’LL BE FINE)

Interview with Filmmaker Premila Puri (ITSY)
Interview with Filmmaker Premila Puri (ITSY)

Interview with Filmmaker Alessandro Schuster (THE BOY WITH THE TEDDY)
Interview with Filmmaker Alessandro Schuster (THE BOY WITH THE TEDDY)

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February 2019 Screenwriter Interviews

Read interviews with top screenwriters from around the world.

Interviews conducted by Matthew Toffolo

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Gracious Vallarious (VIN AND JILL)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Gracious Vallarious (VIN AND JILL)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Farook Qais (THE PORTAL)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Farook Qais (THE PORTAL)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Robert Tartell (Hard-Hearted Hannah & Funny Boneyard)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Robert Tartell (Hard-Hearted Hannah & Funny Boneyard)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Gregory N. Ranky (GECKO ON-SIGHT)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Gregory N. Ranky (GECKO ON-SIGHT)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Maurizio Caduto (LIKE A BLOODY MONKEY)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Maurizio Caduto (LIKE A BLOODY MONKEY)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Anoop Judge (THE RUMMY CLUB)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Anoop Judge (THE RUMMY CLUB)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter David Hearne (STARFARERS)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter David Hearne (STARFARERS)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Anna Milun Walsh (GIRLS TV Show)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Anna Milun Walsh (GIRLS TV Show)

Interview with Screenwriter Tali Zingman (HEADSTRONG)
Interview with Screenwriter Tali Zingman (HEADSTRONG)

Interview with Screenwriter Marilyn Lee (WOMEN OF STEEL)
Interview with Screenwriter Marilyn Lee (WOMEN OF STEEL)

Interview with Screenwriter Eileen Wilson (GINGER SNAP)
Interview with Screenwriter Eileen Wilson (GINGER SNAP)

Interview with Screenwriter Rodrigo Juatco (ROAR)
Interview with Screenwriter Rodrigo Juatco (ROAR)

Interview with Festival Director Brent Kado (Chicago Independent Film +TV Festival)

The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival supports international and national filmmakers and showcase strong independent work in the city of Chicago.

CIFF fills the overdue need for a quality international independent film festival in Chicago. Ran by filmmakers with a recognized and notable track record, CIFF not only brings quality projects to Chicago but partners with reputable, knowledgeable local film and arts groups. We will use an inside-out approach to championing local creators. After having worked in both Chicago and Los Angeles for nine years we understand the realities of film and video in Chicago and the bulk of the opportunities outside of the region. We see the need to educate and champion local production opportunities but also the actuality of the current industry.

Contact

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

Brent Kado: We are connecting them with strong opportunities to success both in Chicago and in LA. We’re happy to be working in both cities and love connecting the two filmmaking communities together.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend your upcoming festival?

We are doing many co-events with our sister festival Chicago Comedy Film Festival. Between the two festivals we will have over 300 filmmakers, actors, agents and producers in attendance. So it is a great way to network. Obviously you’ll see amazing premieres of films and enjoy talking with those involved in each project.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Chicago premiere and not online or distributed.

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

Not really. There is a gluttony of film festivals right now. So many little towns have them, 100s in LA, so I feel you can get in somewhere. But the really difference maker is getting into the top tier fests.

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

We are filmmakers who understand the festival circuit. We’ve had our own successes (and failures). Our team understands the work and love for independent filmmaking. We’ve also seen a lag in good advise, education and credibility in Chicago’s scene and really try hard to inform and promote our filmmakers to the larger industry in Chicago and LA.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Good overall. The main issues with them is, again, this gluttony of festivals and awards “contests” and needing to do better weeding out the scams and misleading events.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

With Chicago Comedy Film Festival we’ve seen growth happen in areas I never would have thought. Things happened organically and I expect the same for CIFF. I hope we grow as needed and continue to work with Chicago Comedy Film Festival on creating content and having educational initiatives that make a difference.

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

Besides my own, Friday and Gimme Shelter

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

Belief.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Chicago is a great place to create. Cheap, lots of resources and supportive. It’s also a great city to consume art, including film.

 

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November 2018 – Read the best of Screenwriter Interviews

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 22 different interviews with the best of new screenwriters from around the world.

Louric Rankine (SQUAD)
Interview with Screenwriter Louric Rankine (SQUAD)

Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)
Interview with Screenwriter Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)

Stephen Witty (WHITTAKER ALGER AND DICK)
Interview with Screenwriter Stephen Witty (Whittaker, Alger, and Dick)

Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)
Interview with Screenwriter Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)

Michael Preston (INHERIT-LY GAY)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Preston (Inherit-ly Gay)

Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)
Interview with Screenwriter Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)

Joel Stern (THE WAITING ROOM)
Interview with Screenwriter Joel Stern (THE WAITING ROOM)

Chima Idigo (MEAT)
Interview with Screenwriter Chima Idigo (MEAT)

Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)
Interview with Screenwriter Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)

Karen Matthews (PANDORA)
Interview with Screenwriter Karen Matthews (PANDORA)

Suzanne Lutas (THE DEAD RINGER: THE GRAND JURY)
Interview with Screenwriter Suzanne Lutas (The Dead Ringer, The Grand Jury)

Brandon Gillum (CADENCE OF THE BATTLE CRY)
Interview with Screenwriter Brandon Gillum (CADENCE OF THE BATTLE CRY)

James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)
Interview with Screenwriter James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)

Joshua Ashburn (A BRIEF WORD ON HYPERSLEEP)
Interview with Screenwriter Joshua Ashburn (A Brief Word on Hypersleep Studies: Chiliagon)

Connie Corcoran Wilson (CONFESSIONS OF AN APOTEMNOPHILE: I THINK I AM)
Interview with Writer Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (CONFESSIONS OF AN APOTEMNOPHILE: I THINK I AM)

Michael De Sapio (INCREDIBLE LIFE OF JOEY COLETTA)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael De Sapio (Incredible Life of Joey Coletta)

Paul Watkins (KENOBI: A STAR WARS STORY)
Interview with Screenwriter Paul Watkins (Kenobi: A Star Wars Story)

Rodgers Wilson (ELLA WITNESSING)
Interview with Screenwriter Rodgers Wilson (ELLA, WITNESSING)

John Renney (THE CULTISTS)
Interview with Screenwriter John Renney (THE CULTISTS)

Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)
Interview with Screenwriter Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)

Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)
Interview with Screenwriter Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)

Michael Head (LIGHTKEEPERS)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Head (LIGHTKEEPERS)

November 2018 – Read the best of Filmmaker Interviews

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 8 different interviews with the best of new filmmakers from around the world.

Dominic McCafferty (BOONDOGGLE)
Interview with Filmmaker Dominic McCafferty (BOONDOGGLE)

Bevin Hamilton & Rachel Murphy (INCALL)
Interview with Filmmakers Bevin Hamilton, Rachael Murphy (INCALL)

Marvin Nuecklaus (CROSSROADS)
Interview with Filmmaker Marvin Nuecklaus (CROSSROADS)

Max Mortl (ISLAND)
Interview with Filmmaker Max Mörtl & Robert Löbel (ISLAND)

Nick Dolinski (CLOUD COVER)
Interview with Filmmaker Nick Dolinski (CLOUD COVER)

Erik Bloomquist (SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS)
Interview with Filmmaker Erik Bloomquist (SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS)

Mark Howling (OBE: THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE)
Interview with Filmmaker Mark Howling (O.B.E. THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE)

Andres Passoni (3:32)
Interview with Filmmaker Andres Passoni (3:32)

Interview with Festival Director Nina Fiore (ASTORIA FILM FESTIVAL)

The Second Annual Astoria Film Festival will be held May 17-18 2019, in Astoria NY, at the famed Kaufman Astoria Studios. AFFNY2019 will feature short films (under 25 mins) and web series in Comedy, Drama, Documentary, and Experimental genres.

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

Nina Fiore: The Astoria Film Festival (Astoria NY) is bringing emerging filmmakers together, highlighting their work, and helping them to network with one another to collaborate on future projects. We are especially conscious of reaching out for submissions from various groups of filmmakers who are historically under-represented in the film industry such as PoC, women, LGBTQ, and disabled filmmakers. We also wanted to bring film industry insiders to local youth who have an interest in filmmaking, and we are able to do that with our filmmaking workshops.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend your upcoming festival?

We aim to create an intimate atmosphere with a warm caring vibe. We want everyone to feel welcome and we want the filmmakers to feel appreciated and cared for. We take a lot of care in selecting the films we screen and grow very attached to them and to their creators/actors in the process. I think our genuine respect and awe at the quality of the work comes through in how we present the films and how we treat the filmmakers.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The quality of production, the quality of the acting, the quality of the plot and screenwriting, the uniqueness of the material — all of these go into the selection qualifications. We also have at least 2 meetings with all the judges after judging ends where we discuss which films will make the selections. Sometimes those meetings get heated, as there are only so many slots and so many very strong projects, and different judges have different favorite projects.

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

We are motivated to bring the filmmaking community here in Astoria NY together. It’s a very diverse community and there are many filmmakers, actors, directors, and other artists living here. I have also spent a lot of time the past few years working with local after school programs. In doing so, I encountered a lot of middle schoolers who were very interested in filmmaking, but did not have any affordable resources for learning more about it. So bringing local filmmakers together to help us bring filmmaking workshops to local students was also a large motivation for creating and continuing to develop this festival.

5) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway is a great platform and handles so many different aspects of the festival, it’s been a lifesaver. There are tiny tweaks here and there I’d love to make to it (especially since I have a background in UI/UX Design and digital platform development), but in general, we are extremely happy with it.

6) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

By 2023, it would be wonderful if the Festival was well-regarded for its unique selections and its intimate setting, well-sponsored and financially able to provide funding for under-represented filmmakers, able to provide filmmakers connections to distribution outlets for their films, hosting film events and indie film premieres throughout the year, and containing a robust Education Department with filmmaker workshops in at least 50 local schools.

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

Lol. Well, I am a mom of a 10 year old, so over the past 10 years, I’ve watched his favorite movies (currently Coco – which is wonderful!) more times than I’ve ever watched my own favorite movies.

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

I think that when all the elements of a film – from story and script, to acting, to production, to music, to editing, come together to make you feel something emotional and to cause the film to stick in your thoughts over time, growing in meaning and appreciation, then that makes it a great film.

9) How is the film scene in your city?

The American Film Industry had many of its beginnings here in Astoria NY. Kaufman Astoria Studios was the Paramount Pictures Lot before Paramount moved out to Hollywood in the 1920s. So there is such a rich filmmaking history here. As a kid, growing up here, I remember walking by the Kaufman lots when they were filming The Wiz and seeing all the tiny taxis from the “Emerald City” set. I’d come out of grade school and run into Sly Stallone, Tom Hanks, Woody Allen — so it was a great place to grow up. However, the Studios aren’t always accessible to the public and the indie film scene here isn’t very strong (although it is of course strong in Manhattan). I enjoy helping the community here connect personally with Kaufman Astoria Studios, and I’d love to bring a more consistent indie film presence here in Astoria. We’d love to host more film events throughout the year, such as indie film premieres and retrospectives, but we are thrilled to contribute to the film industry here today with our film festival and filmmaking workshops.

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October 2018 – Read Interviews with the best of NEW Poetry and Writers

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 9 different interviews with the best of new writers and poets from around the world.

Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)
Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)

Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)
Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)

Interview with Poet Sam Allen (Viola’s Rebellion)
Interview with Poet Sam Allen (Viola’s Rebellion)

Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)
Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)

Interview with Writer Peter Inson (HATS OFF TO THE TEACHERS, SMASHED)
Interview with Writer Peter Inson (HATS OFF TO THE TEACHERS, SMASHED)

Interview with Writer Diane Elliott (Remembering Momma)
Interview with Writer Diane Elliott (Remembering Momma)

Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)
Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)

Interview with Novelist James Charles (Spirit Of The Amaroq)
Interview with Novelist James Charles (Spirit Of The Amaroq)

Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)
Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)