Interview with Festival Director Gregory Kelly (SIMPLY SHORTS)

Simply Shorts was designed to encourage more regular screenings of both local and international short form content in Brisbane, Australia. Since 2015, we have held Simply Shorts 2-3 times a year, changing genres or themes every edition and opening the door to many different areas of filmmaking. Our screenings go for one night only. The editions of Simply Shorts so far have been: The Queensland Edition, Halloween Special, Skits & Giggles, World Cinema, Women in Film and coming in July we’ll have Sci-Fi or Die.

Simply Shorts was created by Gregory Kelly. Greg’s background in the film industry started in 2009 when he entered film school at the Queensland School of Film & Television. Graduating in 2011, Greg co-founded the Brisbane Backyard Film Festival with Morgan MacKay in 2012, which this year celebrated it’s 6th edition. Pernell Marsden joined Simply Shorts full time in 2016 as festival director and was instrumental in making the Women in Film screening one of the most successful editions yet.

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

Gregory Kelly: We hope that Simply Shorts is providing another valuable screen for filmmakers to screen their work. Especially our local filmmakers in Brisbane who don’t get much of a chance to have their work screened locally because of the lack of festivals and screenings.

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

We’ve had one edition of Simply Shorts already in 2017 which was our Women in Film screening. We screened short form content from Australian female filmmakers which was great. A fantastic mix of drama, thriller, animation and comedy. In July we’ll be having our Sci-Fi or Die edition which will focus on local and international sci-fi short films, as well as music videos & trailers.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Audience enjoyment and technical merit. We have a pre-screening with a group who give us feedback on what films they enjoyed and why. Technical competency usually also falls into the enjoyment side of things as well, because if you can’t hear or see the film properly you wouldn’t enjoy it.

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

That’s a hard question. Each film festival is different. There are a lot of film festivals now, and a lot of them cater for different things. Putting together a program for a festival is extremely hard. We’ve had to leave out good films just to keep our lineup varied.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We love film. We love bringing people together through film.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Since we’ve been using FilmFreeway it has been extremely easy. There’s an abundance of films out there.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We don’t see Simply Shorts getting much bigger than what it is. We enjoy the small and relaxed feel.

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

Pulp Fiction.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great story.

How is the film scene in your city?

Unfortunately we don’t have the film scene in Brisbane that we should have for a first world city. There’s a lot of potential here but a lot of it is unrealised. It’s both social and political.

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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 Shawn P. Greene (Great Lakes Christian Film Festival)

Christian Filmmakers are on the rise, and as technology advances and is more accessible to more and more people, new outlets are necessary to meet the demand of new Christian Films. The third festival in 2017 will be located in Buffalo, NY, the gateway to the Great Lakes. Buffalo has a rich history, and many stories to tell.

Interview with Lindsey Paricio (Lights, Camera, Take Action Film Festival)

A film festival highlighting food insecurity and poverty in the Fort Collins community. Sponsored by the FoCo Cafe and The Downtown Fort Collins Business Association (DBA), the festival is intended to bring together the network of food insecurity organizations that span the Fort Collins community. Additionally, the festival aims to raise awareness about food insecurity, food justice, poverty, homelessness, food equality, access to healthy eating, etc. There will be a panel discussion following the showing of the films featuring representatives from local hunger and poverty prevention organizations.

Contact
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  • 225 Maple Street
    Fort Collins, CO 80521
    United States
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    Matthew Tofolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

    This festival is providing an opportunity for filmmakers to explore a range of issues surrounding food insecurity. These problems – homelessness, hunger, nutrition, food access, etc- are often hard to describe and put into words, but this festival is allowing filmmakers to be able to capture the issues in a real way. We are helping to celebrate the creativity and artistry of film makers in their expressions of little documented issues, and we are allowing them a chance to share any of their personal experiences with food insecurity in a way that can and will actively be viewed and discussed by others in an attempt to help.

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

    Attendees may expect the unveiling and premier of the winning film in each category – youth, college, community, and photography. Following this, a screening of the feature documentary ‘The Starfish Throwers’ will occur, and then the community in attendance will have the opportunity to ask panelists from local food security organizations and the filmmakers questions about food insecurity and the surrounding issues. This will help create a discussion about the issue and steps to alleviate it, and all attendees are encouraged to participate!

    What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    Films (and photos) must be shorter than 8 minutes in length, and must represent some issue surrounding food insecurity. The filmmaker must identify in one of four categories: youth, college, community, or photo.

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

    Many films that address unpleasant issues, or even just issues that are currently popular to showcase, don’t get a fair chance at film festivals. Food Insecurity is one of those issues that is not easy to showcase and not in style to talk about. Thus, our festival is hoping to provide a platform for these films to receive a chance at recognition.

    What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    My team and I are very passionate about addressing food security ikn our local communities. All of us are interns at the FoCo café, the first non-profit café located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Because of our experiences working at the café and seeing the impacts of hunger and the power a good meal and welcoming community on a daily basis, we know that every person has the ability to contribute to solving this issue. One of the first steps to do this is to educate people about food insecurity.

    People learn in different ways and have different skillsets to contribute, and so we are motivated to instigate this festival because it is a way for people to learn and contribute in a new way.

    How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

    FilmFreeway has been a wonderful tool for this process, though we did have an issue with artists submitting videos that had nothing to do with out topic. It has taken quite a bit of sorting to narrow down the entries to applicable films for our judges to evaluate.

    Where do you see the festival by 2020?

    This is the first year of Lights, Camera, Take Action, and we definitely hope to make this an annual event. By 2020 we hope to have expanded this festival to include both a larger audience and a larger entry pool. We also hope to have developed partnership with community organizations to be able to use the films and photos created to help educate the community in a scope that goes beyond the festival.

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

    I have seen Lord of the Rings the most in my life time (all of them!). They were my favorite books when I was younger, and the beauty in them keeps me watching!

    In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    A great film is one that captures the heart of the audience and inspires them to stand up and do something.

    How is the film scene in your city?

    Fort Collins is a great city for an aspiring film maker. There are many film festivals, at both large and small platforms, throughout the year, often sponsored by local theaters or
    brewery’s.

    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 the American Youth Film Festival

The American Youth Film Festival™ is an opportunity for the youth to showcase their movie making skills. Many young people regularly produce movies that are then posted on websites such as YouTube and Facebook. We want to capture that interest and channel it to understand the “love of film or film making” through the eyes of youth filmmakers.

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  • Atlanta, GA
    United States
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  • Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

    The American Youth Film Festival succeeds at providing a platform for student filmmakers to showcase their talents as writers, storytellers and directors.

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

    Attendees can expect screenings from up-and-coming student filmmakers from around the world. You can also expect workshops and panel discussions featuring some of the leading actors, producers, and industry professionals.

    What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    All “Official Selections” will be chosen based on originality/creativity, cinematography, sound, direction, length, and ability to capture its audience.

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

    No, I think most films are judged based on how well they follow the rules set forth by the festival.

    What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    After working with thousands of children in after-school programs since 2006, the American Youth Film Festival was developed to give student filmmakers an opportunity to express their creative writing, directing and storytelling skills on film, plus the festival is an extension of traditional arts programs.

    How has your Film Freeway subm ission process been?

    The Film Freeway submission process has been great for our festival, it’s simple and easy to use, which is very appealing to our filmmakers.

    Where do you see the festival by 2020?

    Our goal for The American Youth Film Festival is to be the premiere student film festival in the country, a Cannes-type festival for student filmmakers that is the “top destination” event to showcase their films and network with industry professionals.

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

    Silver Streak, with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, arguably the greatest comedy duo in the history of film.

    In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    The ability to connect with the audience through laughter and make them forget about the pressure and/or problems they may be facing makes a film great.

    How is the film scene in your city?

    Over the last few years the film scene in Atlanta has grown rapidly to become the third largest producer of movies in the country with over 125 movies being shot in and around the metropolitan area yearly.

    Inspiring Positive Youth Expression thru Film and Photography!
    The American Youth Film Festival…

    Launched in Columbus, GA on June 12, 2015 at the Columbus State University Center for International Studies after three years of market research. The festival launch screened film from ten states and one foreign country, it also included an awards ceremony, panel discussions and workshops featuring industry professionals such as, actress and film maker Stacy Cunningham (StacyCunningham.com), whose credits includes over 40 stage and screen productions including an upcoming episode of Tyler Perry’s ” If Loving You Is Wrong,” discussed her experiences in the entertainment industry and moderated the panel discussion. Also facilitating a workshop was actress, image consultant, multi-media producer Alima Albari (AlimaIndustries.com ) and (www.StudioNinetyTwo.com) whose industry experience includes film, music video & event production, talent booking & model representation, conducted a talent workshop and explained to the students the importance of image in the entertainment industry.

    Participating via SKYPE was Los Angeles, CA-based producer Ian Mallahan, an Emmy nominated producer whose past credits include Survivor, Undercover Boss, American Chopper and he is currently the Executive Producer of HGTV”s “Ellen’s Design Challenge” with Ellen DeGeneres.

    The 2016 American Youth Film Festival was hosted in July 2016 at The Conference Center at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in Atlanta, GA and screened film from twenty-seven states and eight foreign countries. The opening night meet & greet at the Microsoft store at Lenox Mall was attended by over forty industry professionals and student filmmakers and screened four “Official Selection” shorts. Festival workshops were conducted by VH1 Reality star David Dees, actress and image consultant Alima Albari, actress and storyteller Roxann Remekie, director and producer Paul Fant and a photography workshop by TWR Photography.

    The 2017 American Youth Film Festival, to be held June 8 – 10, 2017 at The Conference Center at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, promises to be the largest, most exciting festival ever with many of the most fascinating industry professionals the Atlanta entertainment film scene has to offer.

    Since inception, the American Youth Film Festival has worked closely with the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA and Girls Inc . to introduce their respective members to filmmaking. This is a family event and parents, students, and educators from around the country attend the festival to support the film makers.

     

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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 Jayson Simba (KEW GARDENS FESTIVAL OF CINEMA)

Already being hailed by The Wall Street Journal as New York City’s next major film event, and as mentioned on The Huffington Post, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a non-profit organization established to support the development of and help expand the audiences for independent cinema from around the globe. The inaugural festival will take place Aug. 4-13, 2017.

http://www.kewgardensfestivalofcinema.com/

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

Jayson Simba: Simply, our festival is succeeding in getting filmmakers films in front of the right people at the right location. We wanted to make sure we were able to present films in an actual theater, giving them the proper environment in addition to optimal sound and visuals. We are also working extremely hard to have audiences attend and have a very active campaign on social media as well as various print outlets. Finally, we want to assure that filmmakers are comfortable and confident with their submissions, so along with obtaining great sponsors that are offering amazing opportunities, we guarantee that every film is watched by a board member in its entirety.

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

Attendees and participants can expect to experience an event, not just a film festival. We are not only concentrating on the Films, but we want to offer filmmakers and attendees a great time, so you can expect Movie Trivia Night, Happy Hours Specials at various Bars and Restaurants throughout the area. We also will be having an outdoor screening in Flushing Meadow Park under the famous Unisphere presented by The Queens Museum!

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The ONLY qualification is that the film isn’t backed by a major studio. Other than that, anything and everything goes! We have already received over 350 amazing films which include subjects and genres such as Horror, Drama, Fantasy, Noir, Thriller, Action, LGBT, Docs, Animation and Experimentation.

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

Absolutely without question. With the rise in popularity in ‘independent film’ A lot of major studios have developed divisions that fund and produce these films, usually with a budget of $10 million plus. It’s become unfortunate that film festivals which have gone on to become some of the biggest in the world, seem to have forgotten the true purpose of a film festival and generally seem to cater to films with multimillion dollar budgets and A list actors – something that the truly independent film rarely if at all has access to. There are some amazing films out there (as our festival is setting out to prove) that do an amazing job without the large budget and A list celebrities.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Honestly it’s the love of film. Our festival was formed by filmmakers who have the experience of creating content that has been rejected by major festivals for the very same reasons as others. Knowing at the end of the day that we are providing an great service, presenting great material and allowing everyone to fully enjoy this festival as an event, makes it all worth doing.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway is only one of the five platforms where we are accepting films. But FilmFreeway is #1. Alone we have surpassed 200 submissions!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

My personal vision is to have this event become a NYC staple. An event that people plan and book in advance because its “THE” place to be in August.

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

Oh wow. That’s tough. I’m a huge cinephile and have been since as long as I can remember! (As a kid, my mom and I would go to the local videostore and rent 5 movies at time!) …..But If I must claim ONE – I’d say its probably the original Clash of the Titans and/or Star Wars – I knew both films VERBATIM.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

goosebumps

How is the film scene in your city?

In our CITY – the film scene is intense. Besides all the multiplexes and over 200 film festivals, I’d say NYC has one of, if not the largest film going population in the world….Now if you ask me about the film scene in QUEENS? That’s another story – and we are about to change that!
 

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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 Warren Workman (Family Film Festival)

The Family Film Festival will take place this summer at the Covey Center for the Arts. They will be screening films and producing 3 short films the week prior to the award program. Come join in the fun with the entire family in Provo, Utah.

http://www.familyfilmfest.org/

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

Warren Workman: At the Family Film Festival we are cultivating an environment for young filmmakers to learn the skills it takes to tell great stories through cinema. By providing a venue for them to learn the skills and watch films by great filmmakers, we provide a well rounded experience to help anyone dive into the family friendly filmmaking genre.

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

Expect a different vibe at the Family Film Festival than you are used to. You will see a lot of young children running around in the lobbies and cheering and laughing along with your film. We provide a relaxed atmosphere while showcasing films in our posh theater to audiences of all ages.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are looking for family friendly films so if it would fall in the G-PG or TV-G to TV-14 area then we are the festival for you. The films are selected by a committee of parents and kids that are looking for films that entertain, inspire, and educate audiences without alienating younger viewers.

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

Not at all. We work with several festivals and see that each film is viewed by multiple members of a selection committee. However some films just don’t make sense for all film festival. A film probably wont get accepted to a horror genre film festival if it is a feel good family comedy. Filmmakers would see a higher acceptance rate if they submitted their projects based of what the festival is looking for. Its always a good idea to see if the festival is a good match for the film before submitting.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Provo City asked us to help bring a film festival that would resonate with their younger family demographic. Having young children ourselves we have found it difficult find events that cater to the entire family. We are excited to present and event that is fun for everyone no matter their age.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have had a tremendous response! We had 50 submissions come through in our first week since we opened our call for submissions. Almost every single one of the films and screenplays submitted is exactly what we are looking for and we are excited to start programing a wonderful first year.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We would love to see the event grow into a week long festival tradition bringing grandkids and grandparents into the same theater to provide a unique educational experience.

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

Other than the annual watching of “It’s a Wonderful Life” I have probably seen “Sound of Music” more than any other film.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

If a film can connect with me on an emotional level, thats what makes a great film to me.

How is the film scene in your city?

We currently have 21 films/series being filmed in Utah County right now. It’s super busy here if you in the film business.

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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 Diana Ringo (Prague Independent Film Festival)

Prague Independent Film Festival (PIFF), established in 2016, is an annual event held in August which focuses on international independent cinema. Its purpose is to recognize and support new filmmakers and to present their films to the Czech audience. The festival includes screenings and an award ceremony where The Golden Eagle is given as the Grand Prix.
http://prague-film-festival.com/

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

Diana Ringo: Prague Independent Film Festival gives an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their films, to network, find important contacts and to become part of an elite cultural circle of cinematography. Our film awards are significant and respected; many of our winners have received substantial press coverage from many major press outlets concerning their triumph. Our festival is IMDB qualified event.

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

To see great new films presented by the filmmakers themselves, to participate in discussions and parties.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We expect highly artistic films made with different budgets, widely ranging in genres and made in the last two years. At PIFF we screen feature films, short films, experimental films, documentaries and music videos.

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

Yes, I do think that some films do not receive the recognition they deserve at film festivals. Many large-scale festivals have become so politicized that if a picture does not have a suitable thematic subject it might become lost at the festival circuit. Huge festivals which heavily rely on government funding cannot be fully independent; they are forced to coordinate everything with the powers-that-be which causes the festivals to mirror local political tendencies. Because of this it is important for independent film festivals to exist.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our immense interest in cinema and desire to create an impact on the cultural scene in Prague.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

I expect more participants and that we successfully continue our traditions without betraying our core essence.

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

I have seen “À bout de souffle” many times and find it inspiring because it is an important and influential picture made by a young independent director on a limited budget.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film should be able to make a deep impression and linger in the viewer’s heart and mind.

How is the film scene in your city?

Many beautiful historical cinemas are located in Prague, for example Kino Lucerna which is one of our venues. Cultural life of Czechia is mostly concentrated in Prague, so it was especially important to create a festival here with its rich cultural traditions.

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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
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an