Interview with the Redline International Film Festival

 

Founded as a passion project by indie filmmakers, Redline’s goal is to shine a light on the films and filmmakers that the mainstream media frequently overlook. As filmmakers ourselves, we have far too often seen quality films being turned away from festivals because they didn’t meet the proper mainstream “criteria”. We strongly believe that film-making is one of the most profound mediums through which art can be created, and should not have to adhere to conventional ideals in order to be celebrated. Which is why, through our monthly festival, we aim to promote those who create art through the medium of film and continue to push the envelope in artistic creation.

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

Redline: One of the things that we take the most pride in is giving as much value to filmmakers who submit as we possibly can. One of the things that we have seldom seen offered by other festivals & competitions, which we offer and believe is very helpful to filmmakers, is promotional reviews written by film critics for some of the winning films we select. As filmmakers ourselves, one of the most valued things we could ever get for one of our new short films is in-depth feedback. There is no greater feeling than hearing directly from someone who’s watched and dissected your film and came to the end having understood what you we’re trying to accomplish with it, and enjoying it in the process.

We also pride ourselves in leaving politics at the door. No film is off-limits when it comes to our selection process. A good film is a good film, whether it’s a tough-to-watch dramatic subject matter, or a fun crude comedy flick, all films are given a fair shot. Many times this leads to us selecting and showcasing films that sometimes get overlooked throughout the festival circuit purely based on subject matter alone. We offer a platform for ALL filmmakers who make quality films to be showcased and promoted without judgement.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

Our in person screenings are monthly, and are exclusively for those who have signed up and registered as jury members. For those members, they should expect a curated selection of some amazing short films from all around the globe! Our main focus is continue improving on quality as well as increasing value to filmmakers.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

In general, we accept films up to 25 minutes in length made within 18 months of the submission period. We accept live-action, documentary and animated shorts from all genres.

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

Absolutely. As we stated before, festivals and competitions are sometimes very political. Whether they are trying to appease to a certain audience, or they have sponsors they need to keep happy – many implications can cause a skew in the selection process. This causes films that may have more offensive or hard-to-watch subject matters to be passed over, regardless of the quality of film. We have always had the mantra that we select the best films, period. We don’t take into consideration what the mainstream media’s opinions would be, and we will never adjust selections to appease sponsors. We simply choose the best films, always.

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

After years of us being on the submitting end of the process, we grew tired of festivals and competitions who either 1. Select nearly every submissions to fill their quota’s and keep filmmakers happy, rendering a selection worthless 2. Offer no value to the filmmakers submitting and 3. Selecting mostly mainstream type films to appease sponsors and a wide audience. We’re not trying to repeat ourselves too much here, but I think you can probably see a trend when it comes to our gripes with the traditional festival circuit. Essentially, we wanted a festival that represented our taste in films, that would choose obscure films that some may not enjoy, but clearly bring value to an audience who is willing to give them a chance. Bringing value to filmmakers that are like us, that have been in our situation, that’s what really keeps us going.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Fantastic. The service is simple to use, extremely responsive when you have an issue, and wonderfully designed. The only issue now is how popular it’s becoming – it’s getting more and more difficult to get promotional spots as more and more festivals flow in to use the platform – which makes sense as they are by far the best submission site we’ve seen, both on the submission and festival end.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

We hope to see it be a widely accepted stamp of quality. We want our laurel to represent filmmaking at its finest. Whether that means having massive screenings and events, or simply being a highly coveted award competition – that is yet to be decided. However, we do know that we want filmmakers to be proud of being selected by our team, and we hope to continue offering them as much value as we possibly can.

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

Titanic, and I have no shame in it. I mean, common, there’s nothing that beats a young Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet! And from historical perspective, it’s just a fantastic, eye-opening film that really puts you in that time and place and connects you to those people living through the disaster – wonderful film. Close second is definitely Schindler’s List though – my all-time favorite film.

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

A great film is one that moves it’s audience – one that strikes a personal chord and makes them feel deep emotion. I’m never happier than when I’m sitting and watching a film – a work of art created by the coming-together of so many talented hands – that makes me completely forget I’m watching a screen and completely transports me and captivates me into this crafted world. A great film takes you on a journey and makes you forget about all your troubles, even for a brief moment.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

For the most part, fantastic. Toronto has a great film scene with so many talented filmmakers, although it’s quite small. It’s common practice that when you make it “big” you leave for either New York or Los Angeles to pursue “bigger” and “better” things. Hopefully this mentality changes in the near future, as there are fantastically talented productions and people working in Toronto all the time whom could benefit greatly if the industry grew. Things like the Toronto International Film Festival are starting to put Toronto on the map more and more within the industry though, which is fantastic! We hope Redline IFF can contribute to growing the industry here as well.

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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director ToM Zarzecki (PLANET 9 FILM FEST)

Planet 9 Film Festival is an independent festival that features unique & interesting films made by people from all over the world. The festival will take place in THREE cities this October! In Los Angeles, Detroit & Chicago.

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

So far I think the Planet 9 Fests are bringing together groups of interesting filmmakers from both local communities and from afar. It’s bringing together individuals who could consider themselves artists or filmmakers. It creates exposure for their work in person as well as on the web. A worthwhile experience hopefully to say the least.

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

I intend to attend all the festivals. As long as everyone is having a good time and getting a kick out of it and or learning from the screenings. We aim to keep unique filmmakers motivated at what they’re doing.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Originality, creativity and overall execution are foremost what matters to us. I’ve seen some amazing films made from trash and I’ve seen some trash made from high budgets as well as vice versa. Whether it’s experimental art house or a heroes journey narrative, if we vibe with it and it moves us in some way, it’s in. Of course there is also other aspects we love from music score, acting, directing, and sfx. Creativity and execution are the main factors.

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

Absolutely. That’s one of the main reasons we created the Planet 9 Film Festival. We feel that the main big festivals are too damn expensive and that million dollar budgets should not classify as independent really. We also have a love for some lofi DIY films that never seem to do well in many smaller festivals. PLUS I was growing annoyed at having my own films, which I thought were cool, being denied, so we decided we needed to create a festival that was for more obscure, wacky, outsider types of films.

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

See above answer + it’s part of an artistic compulsion to a degree. I love the experience of going to see films at a theatre type of environment, which seems like a dying culture in terms of quality non big Hollywood films. It’s part of a lifestyle and trying to create a community for weirdos.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It’s been great. The first year, I was surprised to have gotten as many submissions as we did and it was hard to keep up with them all, so this year we brought on some more help. It’s great.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

The growth, stability and more fun activities and such for the screenings would be great. Creating a larger audience and having more collaboration with filmmakers working together would be dope.

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

The Star Wars movies I’m sure. The Child’s Play films probably come pretty close too. Maybe Tim Burton’s Batman.

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

A great film is made with passion, determination and has the viewer entranced.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

That’s a trick question, as I bounce around cities. Los Angeles is obviously still the major film capital of the world, where you have so many communities from it being a business for jobs, the corporate redundant crap that brainwashes people, to the anti-hollywood filmmakers who defy all convention for better and worse and then everyone in between. It’s vibrant, pure, tainted, and the scenery in the shots is over done.

Detroit, which is the area I’m from has a very small scene. I’ve been trying to encourage more filmmakers from Michigan to submit to the fest but, it being more of a hobby or artistic expression, I don’t think most of the filmmakers there even aspire or care to submit to fests. I feel like the best stuff is probably sitting on VHS tapes in someones basement, collecting mildew. It’s a city that’s had some of the most amazing art, music and overall creativity, but everyone is still very isolated from one another, so that’s one of my missions with the fest, I suppose.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Ronald Quigley (PITTSBURGH INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL)

The Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival is Pittsburgh’s own film festival for truly independent films, and a headline event for micro-budget films in the USA and world wide. PIIF offers a fantastic opportunity for undiscovered filmmakers to showcase their achievements, filmmakers who posses an independent vision and operate to create innovative work outside the studio system. Two recent winners of the festival have secured a distribution deal, as a result of entering our festival. Both our 2016 and 2018 winners are now in worldwide distribution. The Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival was founded by Ronald Quigley a Pittsburgh native who now lives and works as an  Actor / Director in Los Angeles.  Ronald, re-located from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles in April 2002.  He is the CEO of Last Act Entertainment a production company with several credits to it’s name.  Ronald acts as the Festival Director while our panel of judges are comprised of industry professionals from different fields within the film making community of Hollywood. The PIFF was created in 2010 and screened 48 films from around the world at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont PA,  a suburb of Pittsburgh.  Although the Hollywood worked well for the first year, Ronald felt a need for a venue that was more conducive to a film festival atmosphere. In 2013 the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival moved to The Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks. For the 2019 season the PIFF is being held at the newly remodeled Parkway Theater. Aaron Stubna has taken an old theater and turned it into a hip modern cafe screening room with a Restaurant and Bar integrated all together to make this one of the coolest places to have a Film festival I have ever seen. We hope to be here for many years to come.    Link   http://communityreelartscenter.org/

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

Ronald Quigley: The competition in the independent film world has become fierce, the quality of films has grown exponentially almost every year over the 9 years of our existence. We give an opportunity to filmmakers to screen their film on the big screen and perhaps secure distribution.

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

This year we have found a newly remodeled hip little theater in Pittsburgh The Parkway Theater. Aaron Stubna the owner, has taken an old theater and turned it into a hip modern cafe screening room with a Restaurant and Bar integrated all together to make this one of the coolest places to have a Film festival I have ever seen. We hope to be here for many years to come. In addition to our already one of a kind official submission plaque that is presented to every selected submission. We are the only festival in the world that does this.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The only qualification is that they be good. They must be shot on a very high level sound, picture and color all have to be great. I have said that you will be judged by your lowest common denominator not only by my festival but that holds true for your audience you wont be remembered as getting it pretty good your will be remembered as the film with bad sound or color whatever the worst part of your film is is what they remember.

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

I don’t know about any other festival but at our festival every film is reviewed very carefully.

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

The love of film. We are all filmmakers in one way or another. Our team is comprised of directors, producers, sound people, and just plain old filmmakers. We don’t make money from this the festival barely breaks even every year. We are a smaller festival because of where we are located,.but don’t get me wrong Pittsburgh is a great place to have a festival.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway is now our main portal for submissions we get most of our submissions through them. They have come on like gangbusters and have done everything for the better.I love Filmfreeway.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

That’s a good question. We have grown every year and now that we have a hip new venue I think we could have like a little Sundance where everyone can’t wait to come. Anyhow that’s my dream.

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

The Wizzard of OZ still to me the greatest film ever made. No one disagrees with me when I say that, but they may have a different favorite. I vever miss it when it comes on TV.

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

A great film takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride you don’t think about anything else you are invested and engaged and you forget about the real world.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Well that’s kind of a loaded question I live in Hollywood but my festival is in Pittsburgh. But the Pittsburgh film scene has been pretty vibrant Pittsburgh gets about 8 to 10 Major motion pictures a year made there.

These are multi -million dollar productions. Pittsburgh is a very cinematic city and many top rate filmmakers have no problem coming there to shoot 

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Programmer Aaron Leventman (Santa Fe Film Festival)

The initial idea for a Santa Fe Film Festival was first introduced in May, 1980 when Bill and Stella Pence, founders of Taos Talking Picture and Telluride Film festivals, started an event with a New Directors/New Film program, co-sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Pences led a festival for four years, with such notable guests as Francis Ford Coppola, Charlton Heston, Sam Peckinpah, and Lillian Gish.  The current form of the Santa Fe Film Festival was inaugurated in 1999 as a nonprofit and began showing films in the year 2000. Festival awards varied over the years. Initial categories included: Best Short, Best Documentary, Best Feature, Best Native American, and Best Latino Film. By 2006 the awards became the Milagro Award (best American independent film), the Independent Spirit Award, and the Audience Award, Honorable Mention in the Creative Spirit Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.The Film Festival has now continued for 16 consecutive years. The special setting of the festival in the unique and historic City of Santa Fe allows filmmakers, journalists, industry leaders and audiences from around the world to gather together in celebration of film. The festival’s annual program includes curated selections of over 40 film programs including narrative and documentary features, shorts of all types, tributes to world-renowned film artists and industry professionals as well as a spotlight on local, New Mexican filmmakers and crew. Embracing the full spectrum of cinematic arts, the Santa Fe Film Festival extends beyond screenings in theaters to panels, workshops, art exhibitions and fabulous parties. Come experience the beauty of Santa Fe and join us for our upcoming celebration of cinematic arts.

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

Aaron Leventman: Our festival has provided an opportunity for filmmakers to screen their work for a film savvy audience of both locals and international attendees. There is also the opportunity to educate oneself on industry related topics with experts and celebrities at high-powered panels. They have the chance to make both industry and personal connections that in some cases has resulted in distribution deals and the development of new projects particularly for our festival award winners.

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

You will be able to see a variety of shorts, documentaries, and narrative films for both mainstream and underserved audiences in a beautiful southwestern environment with many great historic and cultural tourist attractions.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

They must tell a good story, whether fiction or documentary, with high quality filmmaking. Locally made films are also given special attention.

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

Sometimes a submitted film with a similar theme from a major release comes out in the same year. Those films are often not selected because festival programmers are afraid that they won’t have an audience. For example, the year the 12 Years a Slave came out, other films with a similar topic had a hard time getting into festivals.

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

I love the chance to showcase important works by lesser known artists and to provide additional opportunities for them. I also appreciate the chance to celebrate the life of seasoned filmmakers that have contributed to the industry for many decades.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We appreciate receiving submissions by both first time and famous filmmakers on FilmFreeway. We receive many shorts but would love to receive more features.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

We will have more international attention because of the increase in popularity of the community of Santa Fe. Cross promotion with other film festivals will result in more recognition. I think we will receive more sponsors from major companies because of the increased interest in our film industry which will allow us to show more major titles and be able to bring in more filmmakers to present their work from around the world.

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

Annie Hall

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

Good structure, a well paced narrative, relatable themes, identifable characters, and strong visual storytelling makes a great film.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

We have a thriving film and TV industry where many Netflix and other major networks are shooting in New Mexico in additional to Hollywood films, independent features, and shorts. Local theatres are committed to showing both commercial and foreign cinema supported by our diverse audiences.

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  Bio for Head of Programming, Aaron Leventman

Aaron Leventman was previously the producer of the Bioneers Moving Image Festival, part of the Bioneers Conference. and previously worked for the Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, he was the Director of Programming for Santa Fe Film Festival and the premiere event of the Albuquerque Film and Media Experience. Aaron has also given presentations with the Popular Culture Association Conferences around the country and has been on the awards jury for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, CA. He has an M.F.A. from Columbia University’s film program, and is an actor who has appeared in many feature films, shorts, commercials, and industrials as well as theatrical productions in Santa Fe, San Francisco, Boston, and Provincetown, MA. He is also a published playwright (https://tinyurl.com/y9btfqen) whose works have been performed all over the U.S., most recently in New York City. Aaron is currently a writing coach and film and acting instructor at the Santa Fe Community College and Renesan for Lifelong Learning.


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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Actor Miranda Millar

Interview by Kierston Drier:

KD: Tell me a little about yourself? What inspired you to pursue a career in acting and performance?

MM: I don’t remember first time I was on stage because I was three years old! At four I started dance. You may have guessed, my parents are actor/writer/directors. They never pushed me, but gave me the opportunity to try it out to see if I enjoyed it. I obviously did.

KD: To date, what has been the defining role of your career. Why?

MM: This is a tough one.. I would have to go with my film Perfect for a few reasons; In this film, I play twins. It’s a unique challenge, playing two different people opposite each other. It’s a silent film, which means everything has to be communicated in the eyes, facial expressions, and body language. Also, the twins are violinists. I’ve played violin since I was a little kid, so being able to marry two of my passions in one project was especially gratifying!

KD: What are some of the most exciting projects you are working on right now?

MM: I have a couple projects in the works- one that films in Italy, and another in the states, and hopefully I can share more on those soon! I recently wrapped the first season of Six City. At the moment, I’m filming the horror series Raveage. Imagine Mr. Robot went on a Purge- lots of scary stuff ahead!

KD: Tell me more about Six city- what’s the most engaging thing about it?

MM: I’ve always really liked six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon type of films. I love seeing the small and not-so-small ways lives are intertwined and affect each other. Six City is exactly that, using the backdrop of Toronto to explore the intersecting nightlife, crime, and police force. My character Serena is a bisexual club go-er who may seem all fun and parties on the outside, but has a whole separate private life that her friends don’t know about yet…

KD: What are you most looking forward to with these new projects? What excites you most about Six City? About Raveage?

MM: I’m excited to delve deeper into Serena’s story, and for the audience to get to see just how far her story expands. Much like Six City, the world Courtney and Jennifer James have created is also connected to Raveage. Raveage is cool because it expands on the set up of Six City- it takes place in the same world. Serena is an even bigger lead in this next chapter, following her steep emotional journey and her ties to the worlds of politics, crime, and of course, love.

KD: Where can we find these new projects?

MM: Six City will be permiere in November on Facebook, and other media platforms after that. You can follow along for Six City here: https://www.facebook.com/sixcityseries/ and here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8205962/

Raveage is currently in production, but to stay up to date you can follow on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/raveagefilm/ and here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6267818/

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Six City stills of Serena- Admit One Productions

KD: Describe your process. How do you get into the headspace of a really difficult character?

MM: It begins with text analysis. Getting everything I can from the pages provided to me. If the character has a specific job, or past, it helps to research if I’m unfamiliar with being, say, a surgeon. What are the hours like? What are the success rates of the types of surgery I do? How does that affect me, my mental state, my relationships? Even if my character is never at work on screen, the job will affect my home life. Knowing everything I can about my character makes it easier to be them in a believable way.

KD: What has been your most challenging role?

MM: My role on the hit Canadian show Murdoch Mysteries was challenging in a number of ways. It was exhausting because Amy MacFarlane (my character) experiences a lot of panic- and panic is draining on the performer. At one point in the season 7 premiere, I had my arms tied behind my back, I was gagged, and wearing a woolen dress – all under rushing water. It’s a lot going on.

KD: What has been the hardest part of being a professional actress? What is the most rewarding?

MM: The hardest part is the sometimes uncontrollable schedule. Over the span of two weeks, I was working on a movie full-time at night, and filming IRL: The Series during the day. On the weekends, I had scheduled a few other shoots. None of it could be moved. One ‘day,’ I was up for 40 hours working on three different projects. Sometimes it would be nice to be able to space things out, and give every project the time it deserves. But, you just have to plow ahead and do your best. When it rains, it pours. There are so many rewarding aspects. Like, finishing the two weeks mentioned above. And watching your finished product come to life, with everyone else’s work coming together. It’s a very bonding experience.

KD: Apart from performance, what else are you passionate about?

MM: I have a very deep love for fantasy novels. There’s nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a really great novel. It’s one of my favourite forms of escapism. I love being able to bring a world in my bag, and jump into it whenever I can. I’m passionate about the environment- finding ways to keep and reuse materials I have, upcycling and recycling. I can’t wait until plastic is a thing of the past.

KD: What is next on the books for you, Miranda?

MM: After I finish filming Raveage, I’ll be heading down to LA next year for pilot season. I’m so excited for this next adventure!

KD: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in this industry, looking to be a professional performer as well?

MM: If you want to work on set, become a PA or work as an extra. It’s not just about the performance aspect, you need to know if you actually enjoy the environment you’ll be spending 12-17 hours a day in. Learn by helping. If you want to make your own projects, make connections by helping other filmmakers first. You can’t call in a favor you haven’t earned. Take classes, and don’t be afraid to suck. You will probably suck. But knowing what not to do is just as important as learning what you can be doing. And if you want it badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

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headshot credit- Denise Grant Photography

Interview with Festival Director Alecs Nastoiu (SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) )

SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) is an international network of distribution, broadcast and promotion of short films. Since 2009, SHORT TO THE POINT has gone through several steps and right now it has gathered some awesome projects under its umbrella.

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

Alecs Nastoiu: The most important thing I guess is that we screen films every month. The classic annual festivals usually screen few shorts, one time per year. And the next important thing is that we screen short films in unconventional spaces like pubs, bars, museums, theatres or terraces. We try to bring short films to the audience, not the audience to cinemas. And another good thing is that we screen short films simultaneous in over 30 cities from Romania and Moldova. And very soon we will start doing this all over the world.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

We are a monthly festival, with monthly awards and screenings. But we have an annual event as well. Each year we change the host city. This year we will organize the annual edition of the festival in Bacau, Romania at the end of July. We are screening all winner films of the monthly awards editions from past year. So we offer the opportunity to the filmmakers to discover new cities each year and to meet with filmmakers from all over the world. Every time we have new audience, and new locations. So I think the experience of Short to the Point Film Festival is continuous and you will never get enough of it.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We accept any kind of short films in our festival. We have a lot of categories. And each category has it’s own selections and winners. So the qualifications are different from category to category. But our jury is looking for good stories and good filmmaking all the way.

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

There are a lot of film festivals in the world so I think each film has its opportunity to make it to the big screen. It’s all about filmmakers. They have to know where to submit their films.

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

First of all we are filmmakers. So we like films. And Short to the Point offer us the opportunity to meet people from industry, to find good ideas that maybe will inspire us in the future and of course to understand what is the trend in cinematography at the moment.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

In my opinion FilmFreeway is the best thing in film festival industry that has happened in last 3 years. It’s the best film submission platform on the market. It’s easy to use and it has a lot of options that makes our job as a festival much more easier.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

In 2023 Short to the Point will have screenings in unconventional spaces all over the world.

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

Because I edit my first feature length movie (Billion Star Hotel) for over 6 months, I can say that I saw it the most times. But If we speak about other directors, I can say that I saw over 30 times ‘The man who wasn’t there’, directed by Coen brothers.

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

A great film is a product that combines perfectly all ingredients: script, directing, cinematography, editing, acting etc

10) How is the film scene in your city?

I was born in Bucharest but for 6 years I live in a small city from Transylvania called Targu Mures. Here I started with some friends the first film production company in the history of the city. And I made 2 feature films. First of them Billion Star Hotel has 19 awards at festivals around the world and the second one is in post production. Short to the point is screening short films here every month, so I can say that the film scene is animated for the moment by my team.

 

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Daniel Wesseik (Pannen op Het Dak)

Pannen op het Dak is Breda’s first and real roof-top festival and it will take place between 22nd of June – 1st of July. Come enjoy the various culinary options, cultural programs and of course a summary view of the entire Breda city. The festival is free and is for both the young and the older.

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

    Daniel Wesseik: Pannen op het Dak is a festival for culture and culinary and attract various audiences. Thus, the filmmakers’ work is shared with audience that don’t often get exposed to independent animation filmmaking. I think that this is special.

    2) What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

    Pannen op het Dak is a rooftop festival, and visitors can expect an ideal experience of good food, beer and animation. Can it get better that that?
    The audience will be able to enjoy our two screening programs –
    1. Afternoon program with films created by young talents from Belgium and NL, that gives a beautiful overview of the films that were created here lately.
    2. An evening main program with films that are made by professionals and that are currently on their festival route, swiping awards.

    3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    For the young talent – Must be Belgian or Dutch.

    For the professional films – Outstanding artistic voice.

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

    Asian and arabic films. They are so different from European standards, but there is obviously a simmering creative community in many of these countries.

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

    Love for animation and a will to expose more audience to the medium.

    6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

    Easy and convenient.

    7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

    By 2023 I hope to have 6 years of successful programs, at some point with a competition as well.

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

    Animated feature film – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    Animated short film – Choir Tour

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

    Three P’s: Practice, Planning and passion.

    10) How is the film scene in your city?

    The city hosts the great Playgrounds Festival that focuses on various disciplines, but Pannen op het Dak is the only festival that aims to focus on animation exclusively.
     

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Alex Gardner (PHILADELPHIA UNNAMED FILM FESTIVAL)

It’s year three of the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival! Last year’s PUFF brought an eclectic mix of horror, science fiction, and bizarre films to the genre fans at the beautiful Proscenium Theater at The Drake in Philadelphia.

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

Alex Gardner: PUFF is not an awards farm like some film festivals. We succeed at promoting great films and connecting them to distributors. Almost every single feature film we have screened has gone on to find distribution.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

PUFF is four days of film, food and fun! We don’t want the festival to be where you see one film and go home. We want people to come to Philadelphia and have a great time. We try to make PUFF an experience the minute you walk in the door. This year we hope to have more of an interactive experience in the lobby, and there is always plenty of booze floating around. We hope people not only see a bunch of great films, but that they stick around, have a beer and talk to each other about what they just saw. Then they can go out and enjoy the great nightlife our city has to offer.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are an alternative film festival. We are looking for great, unreleased films that are typically ignored by mainstream film festivals. This includes horror, sci-fi, experimental and so on.

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

Depends on the film festival. While I think some type of films get ignored by more mainstream festivals, there are plenty of genre and alternative film festivals to accommodate most films.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Fun. There’s no point in doing this unless we’re having fun.

Where do you see the festival by 2023?

Hopefully I’m just alive by 2023, but if we make it that far I want PUFF to be a multimedia experience that is a destination for film fanatics. The aim of PUFF is to not only bring great films to Philadelphia, but to incorporate the city nightlife. Philadelphia is an up and coming city that offers our own culture, history, art, great food, beer and more.

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

Unfortunately, Look Who’s Talking. I feel like that film was on television every second on my teenage years, but if you mean on purpose it has to be Congo. Congo is an underappreciated master piece of comedy, action and horror.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The ability entertain.

How is the film scene in your city?

To be honest, not so great, and that’s why we created PUFF. Philly is a sports town first, and it always will be, but it has grown so much over the last few years. We hope to be the driving force behind making the film scene better in Philadelphia.

 

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Directors Lisa Wisely & James Felix McKenney (GREAT WESTERN CATSKILLS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL)

The first ever Great Western Catskills International Film Festival will be held in town of Andes, New York for one weekend this fall. Come experience the best in independent film from all over the world, sample local food & drink at our screening venues and mix with the filmmakers at nightly parties.