Interview with Festival Director Lisa Diersen (EQUUS Film Festival)

The EQUUS Film Festival is the world’s premier showcase for domestic and international Equestrian Content feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training and educational materials, art and literature.

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

Lisa Dierse: The EQUUS Film Festival is the only Equestrian themed film festival that includes equestrian art, literature and music. We also have an On Demand platform for our content that gives filmmakers access to audiences after the festival. We are a touring film festival, after our main fest in December where our WINNIE awards are distributed we spend the following year

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

A wonderful introduction into the world of equestrian films and documentaries.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Must be horse content.

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

For sure, horse themed film and documentaries get looked over all of the time! That’s why the EQUUS Film Festival was created, to give these filmmakers the respect they deserve.

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

Love of horses and being able to show the world their beauty through film.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Wonderful, it has made my job as festival director a whole lot less stressful!

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

We will be expanding our Global reach through more international Tour Stops

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

The Black Stallion

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

A film that has the ability to bring tears to your eyes one minute and make you laugh out loud the next.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Great, it’s Chicago!

May 2019 – Read the best of SCREENWRITER Interviews

Scroll, click, and read 18 Screenwriter interviews for May 2019 conducted by Matthew Toffolo:

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Nurkowski (CETACEANS)
Interview with Screenwriter Paul Nurkowski (CETACEANS)

Interview with Screenwriter Julia Sauder (DR. NEVES)
Interview with Screenwriter Julia Sauder (DR. NEVES)

Interview Screenwriter George M. Johnson (THE WONDER)
Interview Screenwriter George M. Johnson (THE WONDER)

Interview with Screenwriter Montgomery Burt (THE GIRL ON THE SKYTRAIN)
Interview with Screenwriter Montgomery Burt (THE GIRL ON THE SKYTRAIN)

Interview with Screenwriter Andrew Fisk (GEEKS: A LOVE STORY)
Interview with Screenwriter Andrew Fisk (GEEKS: A LOVE STORY)

Interview with Screenwriter Michael D’Ambrosio (Princess Pain)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael D’Ambrosio (Princess Pain)

Interview with Screenwriter Sean Sullivan (THE UPSIDE DOWNINGS)
Interview with Screenwriter Sean Sullivan (THE UPSIDE DOWNINGS)

Interview with Screenwriter Neal Doran (CHANGES)
Interview with Screenwriter Neal Doran (CHANGES)

Interview with Screenwriter James Greasley (THE EMERGENCE)
Interview with Screenwriter James Greasley (THE EMERGENCE)

Interview with Screenwriter Alice L. Lee (Purgatory: A Love Story)
Interview with Screenwriter Alice L. Lee (Purgatory: A Love Story)

Interview with Screenwriter Devone Jones (Pen and Pencil: Spring Break)
Interview with Screenwriter Devone Jones (Pen and Pencil: Spring Break)

Interview with Screenwriter Fujio Torikai (TO LIVE BEYOND HIS MEANS)
Interview with Screenwriter Fujio Torikai (TO LIVE BEYOND HIS MEANS)

Interview with Screenwriters Hank Biro & Kai Biro (Must Escape from the Slaughtercity)
Interview with Screenwriters Hank Biro & Kai Biro (Must Escape from the Slaughtercity)

Interview with Screenwriter Renate Grassmugg (FREE FALLING)
Interview with Screenwriter Renate Grassmugg (FREE FALLING)

Interview with Screenwriter James C. Peters (Soccer Babe)
Interview with Screenwriter James C. Peters (Soccer Babe)

Interview with Screenwriters Vicki Cargill, Adam Cargill (STEVE & OLIVIA)
Interview with Screenwriters Vicki Cargill, Adam Cargill (STEVE & OLIVIA)

Interview with Screenwriter Patrick Langille (BEYOND THEIR YEARS)
Interview with Screenwriter Patrick Langille (BEYOND THEIR YEARS)

Interview with Screenwriter Nick Perlman (A PORTRAIT)
Interview with Screenwriter Nick Perlman (A PORTRAIT)

Interview with PR Director Suzanne Curry (RIDGEWOOD GUILD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL)

Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival is in its ninth year of celebrating excellence in US and International independent films.

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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
 

Bio:
 
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.

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April 2019 – Read SCREENWRITER Interviews

24 screenplay writer interviews conducted by Matthew Toffolo:

Interview with Screenwriter Jerry Nield (CATCH!)
Interview with Screenwriter Jerry Nield (CATCH!)

Interview with Screenwriter Mark Thiru (BLACK LIVES MATTER)
Interview with Screenwriter Mark Thiru (BLACK LIVES MATTER)

Interview with Screenwriter Daniel Fishbayn (Adventure Time)
Interview with Screenwriter Daniel Fishbayn (Adventure Time)

Interview with Screenwriter Alex Alvarez (WILL)
Interview with Screenwriter Alex Alvarez (WILL)

Interview with Screenwriter Michael Gavino (The Adorables)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Gavino (The Adorables)

Interview with Screenwriter Paige Brien (Burden of the Blood Moon)
Interview with Screenwriter Paige Brien (Burden of the Blood Moon)

Interview with Screenwriter Susie Schecter (REAR-ENDED)
Interview with Screenwriter Susie Schecter (REAR-ENDED)

Interview with Screenwriter Thomas Clary (The Switch)
Interview with Screenwriter Thomas Clary (The Switch)

Interview with Screenwriter Stan Barton (Moon Over the Hill)
Interview with Screenwriter Stan Barton (Moon Over the Hill)

Interview with Screenwriter Giselle DaMier (ASHPODEL)
Interview with Screenwriter Giselle DaMier (ASHPODEL)

Interview with Screenwriter Justin Lamar Petty (The Immortal King Jesus)
Interview with Screenwriter Justin Lamar Petty (The Immortal King Jesus)

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Weidknecht (Paying the Night Differential)
Interview with Screenwriter Paul Weidknecht (Paying the Night Differential)

Interview with Screenwriter Renee Rubio (VIVA!!)
Interview with Screenwriter Renee Rubio (VIVA!!)

Interview with Screenwriter Grace Nguyen (MESSS)
Interview with Screenwriter Grace Nguyen (MESSS)

Interview with Screenwriter Nehemiah Russell (ODE)
Interview with Screenwriter Nehemiah Russell (ODE)

Interview with Screenwriter Christopher Santos (The Caregiver)
Interview with Screenwriter Christopher Santos (The Caregiver)

Interview with Screenwriter Alex Theo Giannoulis (STASIS*)
Interview with Screenwriter Alex Theo Giannoulis (STASIS*)

Interview with Screenwriter Haley Isleib (DRONES & DRIVERS)
Interview with Screenwriter Haley Isleib (DRONES & DRIVERS)

Interview with Screenwriter Beth Rehman (Pain in the A–)
Interview with Screenwriter Beth Rehman (Pain in the A–)

Interview with Screenwriter Shelly Paino (UNHOOKED)
Interview with Screenwriter Shelly Paino (UNHOOKED)

Interview with Screenwriter Kathryn L. Scurry (TEXAS SHIELDS)
Interview with Screenwriter Kathryn L. Scurry (TEXAS SHIELDS)

Interview with Screenwriter Randall Talton (DREAM)
Interview with Screenwriter Randall Talton (DREAM)

Interview with Screenwriter Eylem Sayman (THE SEVEN CIRCLES)
Interview with Screenwriter Eylem Sayman (THE SEVEN CIRCLES)

Interview with Screenwriter Ellen Winburn (WORTH WAITING FOR)
Interview with Screenwriter Ellen Winburn (WORTH WAITING FOR)

Interview with Screenwriter Travis Darkow (SERVILE?)
Interview with Screenwriter Travis Darkow (SERVILE?)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katy Erin (STUCK)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katy Erin (STUCK)

Interview with Screenwriter Roderick Sloan (HERO FAMILY)
Interview with Screenwriter Roderick Sloan (HERO FAMILY)

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)

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.

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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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