Interview with Festival Director Kyia Clayton (The Tasmanian eco Film Festival)

The Tasmanian eco Film Festival  – TeFF was created and founded in 2015 by Kyia Clayton, in Hobart Tasmania. Kyia noticed that most environmental film festivals and film screenings had a deeply “Green” political slant. Having family members that voted Liberal but cared deeply about the natural world she decided it was essential to have a festival that encouraged connection and care of the natural world and was apolitical. TeFF launched in November of 2015 and had 735 attendees that were super excited about this format. In 2016 the festival hosted 1450 festival guests that were even more excited. TeFF has evolved in 2017 to a festival that will run more frequent and smaller events to keep the good ‘eco’ messaging flowing.

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1) What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers? 

Offering a platform for screening innovative and entertaining films about care for the environment and love of nature. And supporting professional development with regular master classes in a variety of film fields.

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

We expect our festival guests to have a really great time and come away thinking a little more about care and connection to the natural world and their part in that without feeling guilty about not having done more to help.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

That they are apolitically presented (we are an apolitical, inclusive film festival), entertaining or thought provoking and well made.

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

Yes. I think that a lot of film festivals follow what’s being screened at other film festivals and don’t take a risk on more innovative and less popular films.

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

Wanting to be a part of protecting the planet and care take it for future generations. This can be done without politics, with humor and definitely with a cocktail in one’s hand.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been? 

Great.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2020? 

With an international reputation as one of the coolest eco film festivals to attend and take part in.

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

Harold and Maude (circa 1971)

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

A good idea (story), good acting (interviews), creative filming and an amazing editor.

10) How is the film scene in your city? 

Alive and well and thriving!

 

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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 Christopher Rohde (Mirror Mountain Film Festival)

Mirror Mountain Film Festival brings the best in independent and alternative cinema to Canada’s capital. Mirror Mountain is an inclusive festival that welcomes all types of films and all types of people to share in the collective cinema experience. In addition to film screenings, our festival features live performances, parties, panel discussions, Q&A sessions and more.

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

Christopher Rohde: I started Mirror Mountain with a philosophy of doing it from a filmmaker’s perspective, including things I think most filmmakers would like to see when they submit to festivals. We keep filmmakers informed of the status of their submission. We refund your submission fee if your work is selected. We play your film in the correct aspect ratio and in high resolution on a big screen with quality projection. We promote the films and filmmakers as much as we can on social media. Even if your film isn’t selected, you still get a complimentary festival pass as a thank you for your hard work as an artist.

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

Some of the most original films from unique creative minds around the world, plus spectacular live performances and great parties. It’s also an opportunity to meet cool like-minded people and talk with the artists about their work.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We look for films to screen at Mirror Mountain that come from a distinct voice. A big part of what makes the festival special is that the audience can experience different points of view, and see something they wouldn’t get at home on Netflix or from a Hollywood movie.

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

As an independent filmmaker who also submits to festivals regularly, I can relate to this dilemma. I think filmmakers want to know that when they send their project in, the people there look at your work carefully and that the festival is run professionally.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Our team is made up of filmmakers, actors, musicians, writers, arts administrators and technicians. But what unites us all is our mutual love for the artistry and creativity of filmmaking, and getting the opportunity to share some amazing films with captivated audiences.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

I still remember sending short films to festivals on VHS tapes through the postal service, so we’re grateful for the convenience to both filmmakers and festivals that online submission platforms give us. They also provide a greater global reach and connect us with filmmakers in many more distant parts of the world.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Hopefully still providing an enjoyable experience for our community!

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

Probably the last short film I directed! It spent several years in post-production and I feel like I saw it a thousand times during colour correction and sound mixing.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Passion, ingenuity, emotion, originality, fun.

How is the film scene in your city?

The Ottawa filmmaking scene is filled with collaboration and a sense of generosity. It’s a community where people support one another, and we’re always proud to feature many locally-produced films each year.
 

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Christopher Rohde (b. 1983) is an award-winning filmmaker from Ottawa, Ontario. His video The Pink Ghosts (2006) was screened across Canada and was one of the first four films selected for the inaugural edition of EnRoute, Air Canada’s in-flight film festival. Odd One Out (2014) was screened internationally and won awards for Best Film by an Emerging Filmmaker at the Jasper Short Film and Media Arts Festival and Best Director (Experimental) at the 2015 Ottawa Independent Video Awards. He received his M.A. in Film Studies from Carleton University in 2007. He was a member of Available Light Screening Collective from 2006 to 2013 and curated several programmes for the group including Stellar Regions: Jazz & Avant-Garde Film and Raw Power: Rock & Avant-Garde Film. From 2010 to 2014, he was the Programmer at SAW Video Media Art Centre, a dynamic artist-run-centre in the nation’s capital, where he curated dozens of screenings, installations, exhibitions, performances and other projects with many of Canada’s top media artists.

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 Gabriel Muelle (Bogotá Music Video Festival)

 

ENG: The purpose of the Bogotá Music Video Festival is to celebrate the art of music videos, the joy of music and the passion for filmmaking. We bring the music video art to different screens around Bogotá and top that with live music, exhibitions and academic and industry events.

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

Gabriel Muelle: We’re creating a new space for creators and filmmakers to show their work, see what is happening in the city, the country and the rest of the world and to network. In recent years the production of films and videos has increased drastically, but it’s easy to find that your work gets lost on the immensity of the internet and the exhibition circuits. We curate our selection very carefully trying to find what’s good and relevant, besides things like it’s popularity or present reach.

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

Awesome new music from all over the world and from every style, amazing innovative music videos, mind-blowing films, picnics, parties, great bands live and many creative people like filmmakers, musicians, photographers and designers hanging out and having a good time!

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We like to have a broad and diverse selection, so we can have a big budget production next to a small hand drawn intimate animation. The important thing for us is that every film in the selection tells something to the viewer, connects with spectators in a meaningful way via strong images, breathtaking rhythm, surprising narration or just a good concept and a creative integration with the music.

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

I do believe some jewels can remain undiscovered for a long time. There’s just so many films being produced and distributed right now that is hard to find the right place for your movie and even for programmers it’s hard to find space in a festival or screening for all the good movies that get submitted.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We really enjoy sharing good work. When we find a movie we like we want everyone else to go see it and enjoy it as much as we do. That and having the opportunity to connect people and generate new creative relationships and possible collaborations is all the incentive we need to do our festival.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We are very happy with FilmFreeway, it’s a great platform. It gives good exposure to festivals and is very easy an reliable to use both for festivals and filmmakers sending their projects. It makes possible for us to reach people from far away places and cultures, find some common ground and find great work from all over the world for us to share in our festival.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Every edition of the festival gives us many opportunities to learn and grow, to find our public and meet new people making exciting work and to create new experiences for everyone involved and find new ways to show good films. So, by 2020, we see the festival as an important meeting point in the creative, film and music ecosystems in our country and the latin-american region where people like to come and participate because they already know is gonna be a good time and it’s going to have a very positive impact on their careers.

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

The music video I’ve seen the most in my life is probably Come to daddy by Aphex Twin, directed by Chris Cunningham. I was obsessed with it growing up and had recorded it in a vhs tape from the tv so I could re-watch it every time I wanted. It opened my mind to new images, new possibilities, new works and sounds.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The ability to find a way to move the insides of its audience by any means necessary but in a way that happens to be the only possible way for itself.

How is the film scene in your city?

It’s amazing! We are producing exciting films, we have amazing festivals and a big number of young persistent people doing their best to make movies and show them to every one who wants to see.

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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 Jef Gray (The International Peace & Film Festival (IPFF))

 

The International Peace & Film Festival (IPFF) combines the excitement of independent film with the goodwill of cultural exchange. The impact of blending a peace and film festival brings numerous benefits to audiences through the diversity of talent in cinematic art, fashion, performance and diplomatic representation. IPFF is held annually in Orlando, Florida and features screenings of selected films, an expo of local vendors, fashion show of national costumes and awards for top filmmakers.

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

Jef Gray: We’re very devoted to the filmmaker experience in the festival, we use modern facilities, attract cultural and business crowds and give as much flexibility as possible to filmmakers to accommodate their schedules and travel constraints. We also host a large awards ceremony to recognize the cinematic achievements of both film and content.

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

Our festival occurs in January 2018, and will be in an IMAX level theater, complete with lounge, bar, and enhanced dining menu’s. We are hoping to make it free to the public to draw larger crowds and incorporate vendor booths and a national costume fashion show, Called ‘Izuminka’, during the awards ceremony.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are a peace festival at heart, so films with a base in culture, ecology, quality of life or the human journey are ideal. We only accept digital submissions through FilmFreeway.com as that platform is easier to manage. We have the typical genres of narrative, documentary, shorts, students and video. We’ve had fantastic stories from humor to intense drama screened, but we draw the line on themes that are too political, special interest, or violent.

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

Absolutely, Yes! The idea of independent film should focus on the undiscovered or up and coming filmmakers, in my opinion. Yet there are studio backed indy films with multi-million dollar budgets competing with entry level filmmakers? That creates a tremendous divide where the beginner cannot get their craft in front of audiences, while a studio ‘uses’ the festivals to build market share. I feel it violates the idea of the beginner artist trying to make his or her mark.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Simply, the love of film and culture. An international film festival is like a crash course in diplomacy, awareness of world issues and amazing talent without borders. Each event creates amazing friendships that last long after the crowds go home.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Awesome, they make it so easy for us. I looked around when I first began trying to set up the submission platform, and their system is the best.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Ideally, running for a week, rather than 3-4 days, more sponsors to support longer knowledge sharing sessions and a venue where international cuisine can be incorporated. I’d also like to add more international performing and visual arts in the program. Definitely have the Festival Channel in full throttle on Roku/Amazon.

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

The Fifth Element, it’s a family favorite that is quoted way too much at home 🙂

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a journey that leaves you inspired in such a way that you have a new perspective at the end.

How is the film scene in your city?

Dismal, we are changing that 😉

Links: http://peacefestival.us
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/internationalpeacefestival/
Video: https://youtu.be/VHgL5De_9Oc

Director Bio:
Jef Gray is the founder and director of the International Peace & Film Festival. Gray is an accomplished publisher, technologist and public speaker with a background in philanthropic work on children’s charities and the Russian Speaking Community in the USA. He holds two associate of science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from the University of the State of New York.

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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 Hermoine Macura (WORLD OF WOMEN FILM FAIR MIDDLE EAST)

 

The World of Women’s Cinema – WOW Film Fair Middle East is the first women’s short film fair that promotes and awards the talents of women directors, producers, writers, editors and cinematographers in the film industry internationally. It is an event that offers emerging and established filmmakers the opportunity to screen short works giving a thematic perspective of … “seeing the world through the eyes of women”.

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

Hermoine Macura: We are the first and only women’s film festival across the Middle East’s 22 Arab countries.

We offer a platform to recognize women of excellence in film as well as offer a platform for new and upcoming women film makers as well as men who direct films with a strong female narrative. We source, promote, educate and support women filmmakers in our region most of all.

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

We have 2 full days of screenings, workshops and panel discussions as well as a gala dinner to recognize our winners as well as other leading women in our community. There is something for everyone. We are community event.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

You can find out more about submissions here:
http://wowmiddleeast.com/submissions

We select the finalists based on a variety of facets including style, script, content and creativity. We also like to support young people with an award especially for up and coming directors.

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

Yes – it’s tough out there and there are so many entries so sometimes you can be
overlooked. It’s even worse if you’re a woman – just look at the statistics.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

As a woman in leadership, I believe it is a divine responsibly to give back and due to my success in the media I felt this was the best way to do so. When I reached the top in my career, I realized there was hardly any women there which is why I felt a deep need to launch our project. Also the greatest breakthroughs in society happen first in media and arts and in the expression of those who dare to dream.

How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

Amazing – as a non-profit project. They make things so much easier and are so
professional.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

A major part of Expo 2020 – to be held in Dubai. A leading festival globally. A platform for local talent.

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

All the mafia ones – they inspire me and anything Pacino or directed by a woman.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The script and story-telling style as well as unique direction etc.

How is the film scene in your city?

It’s developing and growing year on year. It’s really exciting to watch the new
generation open up and express themselves as well as share it with the world! We
have a wonderful ruler here – His Highness, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, the Vice President and ruler of Dubai – who is a major supporter of the
youth and women. There has never been a better time than now to be in our part of the Middle East.

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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 Mark Lyminster (RAINBOW UMBRELLA FILM FESTIVAL)

 

Following the success of UNRESTRICTED VIEW FILM FESTIVAL and UNRESTRICTED VIEW HORROR FILM FESTIVAL, we are delighted to announce our first LGBT Film Festival, RAINBOW UMBRELLA, which will take place at THE HEN & CHICKENS THEATRE on 12th – 14th January 2018. The programme will be announced in December 2017 and tickets will go on sale at unrestrictedview.co.uk

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

Mark Lyminster: The Rainbow umbrella film festival is I believe succeeding in giving a voice to independent LGBT film makers, a chance for their work to be seen and aired as well as meeting like minded film makers once the festival is up and running.

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


I think you would expect to experience a warm and welcoming environment filled with positive film makers actors crew and audience, the feeling of belonging and a chance to share ideas and experiences of life and of film making.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The qualifications for the films are that they are made with a elements of truth, a journey for the characters and stories we can all connect and relate too.


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

Our aim is be open minded and as fair as we can be to give all films a chance to be seen and shared with a wider audience.

There are so many elements that go into making films and I think sometimes films are not given a chance if they are not firing on all cylinders so to speak.


What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by the passion people have to tell stories and to share these experiences, we have a good range of selectors for the festival all of whom bring their own energy and passion to the process.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The submissions have been very interesting, from the very slick and polished to the more rough and ready,it has been good too see a wide range of topics and from all around the world.


Where do you see the festival by 2020?

 
It would be amazing for the festival to extend to a week, a real celebration of wonderful LGBT film making, a must see event in peoples diaries would be great and playing in a lovely modern cinema complex, maybe even in several cinemas simultaneously.

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

The film I have seen the most times is Clue staring Tim Curry, a fab cast a three different endings to a wonderful colourful and camp who-dun-it


In one sentence, what makes a great film?

  Peoples stories

How is the film scene in your city?

 
We are very very lucky with the film scene here in London,so much going on and catering for everyone.

 

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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 President Sabine Mondestin (OPEN WORLD TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL)

At OWTFF we welcome filmmakers and artists from all walks of life. We also welcome productions from any countries and years. The Open World Toronto Film Festival is a 3 days Glamorous event with Red Carpets, Winners Award Acceptance Speech, Networking and Masterpiece Screenings.

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

Sabine Mondestin: Open World Toronto Film Festival(OWTFF) is succeeding at giving exposure to new talent and unknown talent. We give a special attention to every submission. We know how hard it is to create a project that you are proud of so we treat it with respect. We try to share the promotional materials of most of our submissions in our social medias. We watch all submissions with a sense of respect and admiration toward the filmmakers, because we really love what we do. ​

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

This year is all about glitz and glamour. We have at least 10 photographers per
night to capture the event. We also will have Rain Cosmetic and Hollywood Eye
Magic to do some makeup touch up before having your pictures on the Red
Carpet…But before everything you will have the chance to discover some amazing
talented filmmakers from Toronto and all over the world.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

OWTFF provides an equal chance of winning for all entrants, regardless of size
and budget. Entries are judged on quality of craft and creativity. Our main goal
is to help artists gain publicity, media exposure, and momentum, as well as pay
tribute to their ingenuity.

At OWTFF we welcome filmmakers and artists from all walks of life. We also
welcome productions from any countries and years.


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

It really depends on the Festival…I feel that some of them are too focus on who’s in the projects and who did the project. It’s hard for new talents to get
recognition in those conditions. ​

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are film lovers are we really respect and admire new filmmakers. We pride ourselves on being good marketers and good event planners. We knew we will be able to give the exposure the news filmmakers deserve.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It’s been amazing year we received lots of submissions from all over the world
and the choice was so hard due to the abundance of marvelous projects.​

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We still going to follow our mission to introduce new talents from Toronto and
from all over the world and we will keep screening films from new talent even if
it’s a student film.

We are working hard to collaborate with new partners to bring the light on some
of the most remarkable talents and yet unknow filmmakers. We also want to
introduce new technology to the OWTFF. ​

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

I personally love films with an underlying message, like Equilibrium from Kurt
Wimmer with Christian Bale, Revolver from Guy Ritchie, The Nines from John
August with Ryan Reynold …But I also love most of the film of Quentin Tarantino
and Ava Duvernay. I think the one I watched most is Equilibrium and V for
Vendetta.​

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A film needs to make you feel something …If you don’t care about the story or
the characters in my mind it’s not a great film.​

How is the film scene in your city?

Toronto is great! We create some local show that are commercially viable
worldwide, “Orphan Black” for example.

The talents are very diverse and the scene is open minded. It is exhilarating
and inspiring. For sure we always hope for more funding but if you are ready to
work there is help for filmmakers if you are willing to do the work to find it.

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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