Interview with Festival Director David W. King (FLATHEAD INTERNATIONAL CINEMAFEST (FLIC))


Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC), runs the weekend of January 26-28, 2018.

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

David W. King: FLIC is giving professional-grade and novice filmmakers a venue at which to present their work. A smaller festival like ours gives more filmmakers the opportunity to have their work screened for an audience. It’s also proving to be a reputable screening venue for international filmmakers. For some reason, FLIC is now a favorite destination for Iranian filmmakers, with dozens submitting films each year.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival in January, 2018?

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest is a wonderful weekend celebration of cinema. Filmmaker discussions following screenings are popular. Social gatherings at local establishments. A quality presentation of films, with the popular FLIC sizzle reel introducing each screening block. Standing ovations. Great audience enthusiasm. And awards celebration wraps up the weekend, with encore screenings presented the following week.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

FLIC film fair ranges from 1-minute shorts to 2-hour features, covering a broad array of topics and genres. FLIC has some content guideline that prohibit extreme violence and adult content, while making some exceptions for compelling storylines. The bottom-line is how interesting is a film? How watchable is it? Does it tell its story effectively? It is good?

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

I do think some films don’t get a fair shake from film festivals. I think it’s easy for festival runners to get a bit snooty about what they’ll show; if a film isn’t practically perfect, it might be put aside, when many in the audience might have overlooked its flaws and seen it beauty of spirit or other intangible qualities. Some people aren’t particularly good filmmakers, but they might be very passionate about their subject matter. As a judge, I think it’s important to look for the heart of a film as much as its production value.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We love movies and we see how much it means to filmmakers to have their work screened. We also see how our community embraces the film arts every January. FLIC has become a destination for some and a welcome respite from winter’s chill for others. Cinema has that power.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We love FilmFreeway. It’s a very easy site to use and gives you all the data you need in a well organized, logical manner. I’m a big fan.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Hopefully FLIC will have grown in size and quality over these next two years. We want this film festival to become more and more of a destination for filmmaker and an audience that appreciates cinema from across the globe.

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

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film tells a story so effectively that the viewer gets lost in that story for its duration.

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in Polson, Montana is quite limited 51 weeks out of the year. However, in January, the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest presents films from the far reaches of the world to this little community — and Polson, Montana becomes its own unassuming center of the cinema universe!

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David W. King’s film and television career spans 30 years and many facets of live-action and animation production. He has 124 IMDB credits dating back to his first days as a production assistant on an obscure 1980 Peter Fonda film called Rough Riders. David’s subsequent positions and credits have included Vice President of Production, Supervising Producer, Producer, Director, Associate Producer, Production Manager, Post-Production Supervisor, Executive in Charge of Production, Writer, Cinematographer and Editor. He’s worked for major studios like Universal, Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera and 20th Century Fox. At Disney and Universal, David produced feature-length projects like Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure and Balto 2 and 3. David also wrote or co-wrote 8 feature screenplays, most of which were optioned. David moved to Polson, Montana in 2012, where he set up his own production company, David W. King Pictures. Samples of his work are available at his website,

As a judge, David finds it great fun to discover little gems as he and his fellow judges review scores of FLIC entries each year. There are always surprises and spirited discussions on the part of the judges, whose tastes vary much like those found around water-coolers the world over.

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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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