Interview with Festival Director Pavel Pankov (World International Film Festival)

The World International Film Festival is a global industry event held around the year in the world’s biggest cities:  New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Amsterdam, Reykjavík, and more to come – an around-the-world film festival tour bringing together filmmakers and film fans, auteurs and cineastes, great new independent movies and a global audience.

The around-the-world film festival tour option showcases some of the very best independent films on the scene today, in a truly international event bringing new cinema to audiences on a global scale.  

See more at: http://worldinternationalfilmfestival.com/about

Interview with Pavel Pankov:

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

Pavel Pankov: The very international aspect of WIFF is immediately evident from the great number of “foreign” films we’ve selected — “foreign” if you’re from the U.S.A., not so foreign if you live elsewhere in the world. We’ll be screening exciting work from filmmakers from all over the map.

Of course, we do have a few American movies too, including one picture with real breakout potential, “Near Myth: The Oskar Knight Story,” an award-winning Hollywood biopic about the “legendary” director Oskar Knight, played by Lenny Von Dohlen. It’s a very funny mockumentary, and ultimately, quite touching.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

PP: Our festival jury is a wide-ranging team of industry veterans from about 20 countries. We have a big internal world forum online where we exchange opinions and make decisions on the films.

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

PP: I can’t speak for the decision process at other festivals. But I’ll say, in terms of getting a response when your film actually screens at a festival, because 99.9% of filmmakers don’t have any publicity budget and don’t do a Q&A, that really diminishes your chances of drawing a big crowd. But WIFF itself is promoting its events more and more, and we strongly encourage and assist filmmakers in setting up Q&A’s.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

PP: I can tell you, it’s actually not money.

In the festival business, unless you are Cannes or Sundance or the like, you are just trying to maintain, so you can achieve your goal: discovering and spotlighting great new works of cinema. And helping them find their audience.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

PP: We are changing every day… A year ago we started with one festival. This year we’ll be hosting as many as 25 festivals in 20 different countries.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

PP: In most of the biggest cities and cinema capitals on this lovely cinema planet of ours.

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

PP: “Once Upon a Time in America.”

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

PP: Great buzz…? Or so it seems.

But more seriously: There are many “Great things” which it takes to make a great film: Great idea, great script, great shooting, great producer, great director, great actors, great voice, great cutting, great marketing.

All these great things make one big great cake. If any “great” is missing
— that cake isn’t going to rise.

Even when a film has all these ingredients, just like a cake it needs time to rise. Hopefully, the films we’re getting behind will rise to the attention they deserve this year.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

PP: I’m really never in one city longer then a month, these days, as I need to manage and host up to 25 locations as you know.

But the World International Film Festival has five basic centers now: Los Angeles, Toronto, Brisbane, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and we’ll be showing many films in all of those great cities.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go towww.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Festival Director Stanley Cobos (Action Packed Film Festival)

Action Packed Film Festival, is an event that is solely dedicated to films that are covered under that genre of action. Any project that has stunts, well coordinated fighting scenes and can be easily categorized as an action film can finally find a dedicated home at this film festival.All films that we receive will be viewed by industry professionals, and only a few of the best that we received will be officially selected to screen at the festival.

http://actionpackedfilmfest.weebly.com/
https://www.facebook.com/actionpackedfilmfestival

Interview with Stanley Cobos:

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

Stanley Cobos: We’re setting up for a community of filmmakers that love to make films, more focused on action genre. We’re not opposed to other genres, but this festival in particularly focuses on the action genre. Action packed films are usually the tentpole films of the industry. Blockbuster films, that generate followings and an automatic hit (for the most part) in the box office. Most award ceremonies and film festivals appeal to the comedy,lighthearted and drama films. Regardless of the box office success of the action packed film. The action packed film is pure entertainment. What we intend to do and what is makes it succeeding for our filmmakers, is to focus on them now and push them further in their career. Our festival will showcase two seminars, networking events, and a special award ceremony where we intend to award three individuals (that are not in the festival) that are professionals working and mainly focused in the action film genre as stunt performers.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

SC: I would hope that it will be a complete success and entertaining, but most important, that our filmmakers have an amazing and memorable experience. It’s important that they continue in their path towards this at time difficult journey as a filmmaker. We want to acknowledge them.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

SC: A well executed film that has action and well coordinated stunts. It took a great deal of time and dedication to make these films, especially if they had little to no budget. When we see a project and we like it, and found it truly entertaining, it makes the cut. It wasn’t easy. Our judges viewed hundreds of film. We had to decline a handful of amazing and just plain beautifully shot films that looked so beyond professional, it was hard to say no; but they did not fit our genre – action. So the films have to be considered an action type film. Regardless if it’s action-thriller, or any other type of film; as long as it falls in the action classification (chases, stunts, fighting sequences, etc.) that’s what we’re looking for. As well as the obvious, good story telling.

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

SC: I really do. It’s a lot of based on who you know and if you have the right amount of funding backing your project. There are amazing films that exist, but don’t get the full amount of recognition because there wasn’t enough money to place it in-front of enough eyes. That’s why web content is starting to gain momentum. Also, it’s difficult to succeed without a name talent. It’s not easy to have someone watch a film if there is no “attachment” to it. It’s unfortunate because there are a lot of great actors out there that will act and do a stellar performance without the need of hassling through the red tape of managers and agents and payment that at times is more than the films project, especially if it’s independently made.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

SC: We’re filmmakers ourselves and know that feeling of making it. Even if it’s just for one day. We want to spread that. Spread the hope and allow for a great networking opportunity, it’s key in this industry.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

SC: Well, this is our first year and so far, it’s been doing great. We focused on a good genre and have been able to watch some great films and are looking forward to showcasing it for all to see! August 20-21, 2016!

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

SC: It will be a milestone, and we hope to see the growth of it and the expansion of it become something that filmmakers will look forward to seeing and being a part of. We hope that generate a good community and be able to assist in funding other projects.

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

SC: The Fifth Element, it’s one of those films that I can’t ever get enough of. I also enjoy Total Recall, The Professional and V for Vandetta.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

SC: Great story with an amazingly talented cast and crew.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

SC: Well we’re based in Los Angeles, so it’s a thriving scene, I’m just glad the tax incentive’s are starting to catch-up.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go towww.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Umberto Santacroce (The Gulf of Naples Film Festival)

The aim of the Festival is to promote and circulate cinema and cutting-edge films, foster discussion between various branches of learning, and provide a space for the cinematic arts and other disciplines to engage with each other and grow.

Go to Website

Interview with Umberto Santacroce:

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

Umberto Santacroce: GoN IFF is a new festival, the result of the encounter of three filmmakers with different experiences in cinema, television and theatre. The difficulties we have experienced in distributing our works led us to create a new opportunity for all lo-to-no budget producers; thanks to this opportunity, all those who make low cost yet valuable films, like we do, have the chance to promote their artwork and exchange ideas and expertise.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

US: This is the second edition of the GoN IFF. Thanks to the serious approach shown in the first edition, our Festival is getting more and more popular and prestigious day by day. There has been an increase in the number of films submitted and of media interested in our Festival. Accordingly, the better the quality of the Festival, the greater the attention given by media to the participants who will enjoy the opportunity to show their works to increasingly wider audiences. And, last but not least, films will be awarded based on their quality.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

US: Although we have decided to select indie films which are not promoted and distributed through the main channels, our Festival is actually open to everyone, but definitely, the films that benefit from a strong budget will not be evaluated from a technical point of view, but only for their concepts and scripts.

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

US: I believe that in the main festivals the awards usually go to the filmmakers who simply had the chance to spend more money on their production, so, they could hire popular actors, as well as skillful technicians and professionals. Moreover, for the support of their high investments, producers and distributors launch massive – at times even deceptive – campaigns, overrating the films and attracting huge audiences. While low budget films usually do not get the success they deserve.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

US: The fact that different people from different countries with different cultures, sharing the love for this form of art, may gather and become a source of mutual inspiration, getting beyond all borders and potential prejudices.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

US: Now it is too early to talk about a proper change; anyway, since the first year, many more participants have joined our festival and public institutions have started giving us some attention. We are now considering implementing new sections, in order to enhance the cultural value of the festival.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

US: In Naples, of course. With key partners in the national and international institutions. People need quality and we want to continue what we started last year, growing year after year, promoting new awards and turning our festival into the true celebration of top quality films, involving a bigger audience. We also hope to extend the festival’s calendar from 3 days, which is the period set now, to 10 or 15 days. We are well aware that this is very challenging, but there are good conditions and encouraging signs for improvement!

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

US: Well, it happened many times. Every film expresses emotions and fortunately, every film is very different. I love many genres but I am particularly keen on those which are milestones in the story of this art, I mean, the films produced in the 50’s and the 60’s both in Italy and in the U.S.A. Each film represents a step forward in the growth of this sector. For example, just compare “Clash of the Titans” – the 1981 epic film by Desmond Davis, featuring an all-star cast, with well done animated scenes – with its 2010 remake. Even if I prefer the original film, its remake represents the natural evolution of filmmaking with special effects and animations which are light years ahead of the first production. And I could go on indefinitely…

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

US: The depiction of universal values, such as justice, equality, solidarity, and the ability to communicate emotions.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

US: There was a time when Naples was a sort of capital city of the film industry. The famous Galleria Umberto arcade and its lively cafés were the meeting area of people from different backgrounds and the birthplace of hundreds of new production companies. This happened in the years between the 19th and 20th century, a time of intense film production, and implementation of new techniques and art styles.

However, after Cinecittà was built, Rome attracted the whole world of film industry.

Nowadays, the new digital techniques have greatly reduced the costs of film making allowing everyone to easily record a video. The young generations are definitely showing a growing involvement in this art. Cinema schools and training courses are now becoming increasingly popular, and I believe that there are some talented artists among the emergent filmmakers, who will be successful in the next future. However, the national institutions still do not acknowledge and support cinema with adequate fundings.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Connie Spielberg (Creative Arts Film Festival)

The Creative Arts Film Festival is an annual international film festival that is designed to showcase and promote short films and filmmakers. CAFF runs throughout the entire month of December and we offer worldwide exposure, free promotional listings, international audiences, and the prestigious “Perfect Spirit Film Awards”. And, yes, we do accept Music Videos in any of the genres.

December 1-31, 2016
http://www.creativeartsfilmfestival.com/

Interview with Connie Spielberg:

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

Getting them noticed in the industry, getting them fans, and getting them to believe in themselves.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

Well, we’re online, so attendance is quite different. But, generally, as always, we expect excitement and rabid curiosity for the films and filmmakers.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Under 60 minutes and some kind of mind-blowing moment that isn’t a slick trick or a bourgeois attempt at being smarter than the audience. That’s it.

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals?

Of course. I want to say most, but I won’t, so…some film fests won’t even watch our film unless there’s something alluring attached, like a star, a celeb, a writer, etc. Something that says money or influence. To be quite honest, almost every star vehicle we’ve ever received, we’ve denied. They can get very boring, very fast, and everyone expects the star to carry the project. Most times, no. Not that it’s the star’s fault. Mostly it’s the producer or director’s fault for just bad filmmaking. RULE OF THUMB — Spend your money on making awesome moments happen, not on celebrities. Or mix it up somehow…think Slingblade. Or get a star that CAN act. What we really like is finding some diamond in the rough that has real story-telling power. Something that excites the viewer with fresh new ideas.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Discovering True Talent.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

It hasn’t. We were a pain in the ass when we started, and we still are. If the film is great, we can’t stop talking about it. If the film sucks, we can’t stop talking about it.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Exactly the same. Offering up really great new films by really great new filmmakers.

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

“Robocop” (Verhoeven). It’s SO much more than just a superhero movie and it told so many stories within it’s 90 minute frame.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

In one sentence? …if it doesn’t suck? No, no…seriously, this is a tough one. I mean, why was “Kick-Ass” so awesome, and “Kick-Ass 2” so lame? Why did “Legends of the Fall” make me cry like a little child, and “The English Patient” make me want to blow my brains out from boredom? Plus, there’s esoteric, and there’s practical. Okay, I think I have it. Here it is…What makes a great film, esoterically? Everybody knowing, and doing, their job passionately. AND, what makes a great film, practically — tell the story honestly. Don’t be clever or slick. Just tell the story honestly. Actually, swap those two answers and I think that nails it.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene is always abuzz with everything from sucky to savvy. ut the movie scene is completely jaded and stale.
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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Loren W. Lepre (Freedom Shorts Philadelphia)

Welcome to FREEDOM SHORTS! The largest and most active short film fest in Philadelphia! This is the ONLY game in town when it comes to short films! This is the FORMER (A Night of Short Films) event. YES the name just changed same great event and the same fun that comes with it!! This event is really a great place to have your film shown and at this event all of our hard work pays off! This event has grown at a rapid rate. This event draws 200-400 people each time. Trailers are welcome! The event is followed up by an award show! YES WE LIKE TO GIVE OUT AWARDS! ALL awards and selections are picked by jury. These events are known for plenty of surprises. Filmmakers this is your night!

http://averagesuperstarfilms.com/

Interview with Loren W. Lepre

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

Loren W. Lepre: It gives the filmmakers from around the world a BIG stage to shine on. It’s a full size theatre with a full size screen, a $60,000 sound system, and seats 600 people.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

LL: This is for somebody attending right? They would get to see a professional event on a major stage in one of the biggest cities in The US.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

LL: The films are selected by what is the best of the best submitted. We also like to channel surf when it comes to Freedom Shorts. if we had some dark thriller we like to bring it back up with a comedy afterward. We believe in balance

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals?

LL: And if so, why? YES! We believe that on this giving night that the filmmaker should shine. We also have a webseries where we talk with the filmmakers and show the world what our event is all about. These video help MARKET the films the way they should be.

Video link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH5oAX-ZF68

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

LL: Here in Philadelphia we had no spot for to screen short films actively. I had ties to The Trocadero and stepped up to the plate and here we are 4 years later.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

LL: At first we screened anything! Anything to stay alive I (Loren W. Lepre) did this event solo but as time went on help came a lot of help. Than the films started getting better and better. We really do our best to put together a solid show every time.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

LL: Being in the top 20 fests in the world. Yup we aim that high.

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

LL: Lost Boys still my favorite movie and Rumble Fish a close 2nd.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

LL: A great story with great lighting, audio and to the point!

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

LL: Philadelphia I would like to praise but I can’t the indie filmmakers need a major kick in the ass. To much self praise with every baby step and NONE of them think with worldwide eyes. Films being made with to many short cuts are killing films. Directors NOT pushing their films to get them out of the Philly area. To many films being made for their mantle and not going the distance.

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Loren W. Lepre was born and raised in Carbondale Pennsylvania. Moved to Philadelphia in 1999 to work in the wrestling business. Loren has been training in martial arts since 1995. As time went on Loren was drawn away from wrestling and into MMA where he trained with Daddis Fight Camps. One day he was asked to be an extra as a zombie in a indie film called The Reunion. From that day forward Loren jumped into acting where he studied at Walnut Street Theater. Loren has been in over 75 projects since 2011. He is the owner of Average Superstar Films and runs the largest and most active short film fest in Philadelphia.
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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with the Festival Director of Cinema Camp

Cinema Camp Film Festival is a festival connected to the Cinema Camp film course, in wich teenagers from 13 to 17 spend a week learning the process of filmmaking. The Film Festival has a double purpose, on one hand it seeks to give visibility to the short film as a whole, on the other it wants to serve the students of the film course as a formative tool that may be inspiring by its original ideas or unique techniques.

Interview with the Festival Director: 

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

We’re a very special festival, because we’re part of a summer film academy called “Cinema Camp” (http://cinemacamp.es/), so we’re screening shortfilms to aspiring filmmakers. This way, Cinema Camp students can appreciate the works that filmmakers create from a full perspective, as well as obtain inspiration in order to create their own films. There’s a complete recognition to the filmmakers whose works are screened.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?  

A great selection of works from all around the world, really, I’m quite surprised about how easy is to get a piece of almost any important cinematography in the world. Great stories that are told in an original way.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?  

They must be less than 15 minutes, and they should be in spanish or have subtitles in spanish or in english. We also appreciate that they’re not older than 2014.

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

Maybe. The problem I think, is that there are thousands of films outhere, so sometimes is hard for a film festival that has recieved hundreds of submissions to value properly each film. In Cinema Camp Film Festival, we’re doing pretty well with this, our selection comitee is working really hard and, don’t know why, we still haven’t recieved many submissions, (I think we’re around 50), so filmmakers, there’s a high probability of getting a selection if you send us your work!

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?  

Two things, creating new points of exhibition for fantastic pieces that otherwise would be difficult to watch, and give the Cinema Camp Students a great lesson about how many ways there are in order to create a story.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?  

Not very much, we’re still a young festival, however there are little changes, this year for example, we’re becoming a competitive festival with a 100$ cash for the best film, and also special mentions.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?  

We’d like to become bigger, givving more awards, having a bigger budget and inviting some filmmakers to present their works

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

Mmm, It’s difficult to answer that one, dont really know, there are lots of films, as diverse as The Godfather or Star Wars, that I’ve seen lots of times

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?  

A great story told from an original point of view.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?  

Honestly not very good… But we’re working on that 😉

cinemacamp

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Artistic Director Kate Kaminski (Bluestocking Film Series)

Bluestocking Film Series celebrates and amplifies women’s voices and stories on-screen and promotes talented, emerging and established filmmakers who take the creative risk of placing female characters front and center. Founded in 2010, Bluestocking focuses exclusively on female-driven films that pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test (a film with at least two female characters speaking to each other about something other than men). The only women in film event in Maine, Bluestocking was also the first U.S. film event to receive Sweden’s A-Rating (informing consumers that the festival passes the Bechdel-Wallace Test).

Interview with Kate Kaminski

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

Bluestocking Film Series is a dedicated space for celebrating films that center female characters. We have a vested interest in finding, promoting and nurturing those filmmakers we believe have the chops to succeed in the commercial marketplace, and to influence the future of female representation on-screen. Our relationships with filmmakers extend beyond the annual screenings and, after six years, we’ve connected to an incredibly diverse, global network of people committed to changing the ratio and making great movies.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?  

This year is a total immersive experience of female-driven cinema in every genre. We’ve got wacko comedies, moving dramas, sharp satirical scifi and horror films, and road movies that radically reinterpret a narrative often exclusively male. And we’re also dubbing our 6th annual fest as The Year of The Bad Girls, so people can expect women behaving badly too.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?  

We specifically seek out well-produced films that offer an alternative, more complicated view of what women and girls are capable of. We’re always interested in seeing stories that offer insight into the complex relationships we have with each other. With our focus exclusively on fiction films, good acting is probably the most important qualification for any selected film.

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

Considering that people pay for that consideration, film festivals, by definition, should be giving every filmmaker a fair shake. Does every programmer to an extent have their own taste that drives selection curation? Speaking for myself, yes. There are certain types of characters and situations that especially excite my interest, but I’m open to an extremely wide range of cinematic expression.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?  

We’re driven by a desire to see (and nurture) films that provoke new thinking about the possibilities for female-driven stories. Bluestocking screenings are an exciting experience for the audience. We also feel like we’re part of the greater movement toward gender equality in the world of cinema and in general. Of course, we’re motivated by love of the art. Movies have the ability to transport audiences, move them emotionally, and even change them — which is the point of it all.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?  

We started as a biannual showcase and have evolved into an annual celebration of female protagonists. We’re also expanding to 3 days of programming in 2016, opening the festival with an all-star panel of women in film talking about the state of female representation on- and off-screen. We remain committed to the art of the short film, but we are also open to the possibilities of eventually screening features and running a screenwriting competition.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?  

That will be Bluestocking’s 10th anniversary! Hopefully, by then, Bluestocking is a destination for film lovers who are as fascinated by complex female protagonists as we are, and they’re making an annual trek to see what cinematic riches we have in store for them.

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

This is probably the hardest question of all! I’ve seen so many movies multiple times. If I’m pressed, I admit that I re-watch “Jaws” every year so it probably wins for most times. Plus, shark-driven films are perhaps my second favorite genre. But I’ve also watched (and taught) Barbara Loden’s film “Wanda” enough times that it’s a close second.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?  

My notion of a great film might be somebody else’s trash, but I know it when I see it.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?  

I’ve been making films in Portland since the early 1990s when there were only a few of us, so I’ve seen the scene grow exponentially in the last 15-20 years. Now there’s a very active indie scene for sure. The beauty of being a low-budget, indie filmmaker in Portland (and Maine, in general) is that you really have your pick of locations. You can shoot urban or rural scenes, seaside or mountain, and do so with very little travel time. So that’s pretty sweet.

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Kate Kaminski is an independent filmmaker whose films have screened all over the world. As Gitgo Productions, she and partner Betsy Carson have produced more than 30 films, including 4 feature films and numerous short fiction and non-fiction films. Gitgo’s 53-episode improvised Willard Beach was the first web series produced in Maine. In 2010, Kaminski founded the Bluestocking Film Series.

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.