Interview with Festival Director Anastasia Cazabon (GRRL HAUS CINEMA)

 GRRL HAUS CINEMA is an ongoing program of short films and video art made by women. A mix of local, national, and international artists present work from a variety of disciplines: narrative, documentary, experimental, and conceptual. With an emphasis on low budget and DIY, GRRL HAUS is a space for underrepresented voices in the arts today.

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

Anastasia Cazabon: GRRL HAUS CINEMA began as a way to showcase short films and video art by women directors. We show films by emerging filmmakers, many who have just started their journey into filmmaking.

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

We put on multiple events throughout the year. We have screenings every other month at IL KINO Berlin. End of the year screenings at The Brattle theatre in Cambridge MA, USA. And then many other screenings dispersed through the year. Some past venues include, The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers, WORM Rotterdam, Oblomov Kreuzkolln, Loophole Berlin and Dorchester Art Project.

Some events are more traditional movie-going events in cinemas, and others are in DIY spaces. We have had events that have included art exhibitions, bands, vendors, performance art, dancers and DJ’s.

So every event is different, but they all have a common theme in celebrating women filmmakers and artists.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The qualifications is that the film must have been directed by a women (female identifying) . And the film must be less than 30 min.

We try to select films without distribution and lower budget.

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

I think it’s pretty hard for many low budget films to compete with higher budget and distributed films. Which is unfortunate because lower budget doesn’t mean lower quality – this is one of the reasons that GRRL HAUS exists, to give an audience to these amazing films.

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

GRRL HAUS events are really fun to put on, and seeing the filmmakers at the events is a great experience. Many of the filmmakers we feature are just starting out and have never shown their films to a public audience, so giving them this opportunity really motivates us.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The FilmFreeway process as been great. It’s a really great platform to view films and super user friendly.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

I see the festival expanding to different locations and growing as a community of filmmakers.

In Berlin, we have recently began short-term residencies for filmmakers. Where we will be showcasing 2-3 international filmmakers at a time, with three opportunities for public screenings.

So I hope to continue with different events and ways of giving female filmmakers a platform.

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

That’s really hard to say- I’ve watched a lot of movies, and I re-watch a lot of movies. Let’s say Mulholland Drive, Daisies, Vertigo and Dazed and Confused.

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

When every element involved – cinematography, screenplay, sound, acting, editing, etc- comes together seamlessly, for the same artistic purpose.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

GRRL HAUS is currently located in Berlin. The film and art scene is incredible here and thriving.




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