Interview with Festival Director William Strang-Moya (OCEAN CITY FILM FESTIVAL)

The Ocean City Film Festival was founded in January, 2017. Hosted by the Art League of Ocean City, this festival is a regional affair that allows both community engagement and networking for artists.

http://oceancityfilmfestival.weebly.com/

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

William Strang-Moya: This film festival is ultimately going to expand the demographic of these filmmakers. It is truly providing them an opportunity to lay the groundwork for an emerging film culture within the Delmarva region.

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

This is the inaugural year for the Ocean City Film Festival. A person attending can expect mainly an incredibly diverse selection and the chance to personally engage the filmmakers that will be showing their work.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The qualifications are few for this year’s festival. We have an animation category, short film category, feature length category, and youth category. We seek work based on its uniqueness, diversity, and its coherent purpose for being a film. However, we do offer various awards for films. Such as a judge’s choice and audience choice. Then there is the “Pink Flamingo” Award for the film that most uniquely represents Maryland life. The “Celluloid Crab” award goes to the film with the best use of analog equipment or practical effects. And last we have the “Inky Tentacle” award for the best screenplay.

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

I don’t think that films will always get a fair shake anywhere, really. As film, to us, is ultimately viewed as an art, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. As someone who is fresh out of film school, I can say that for the longest time I have had to craft my films in a way that would appease my professors as opposed to my artistic inclinations. It is truly shameful that as a collective, film cannot be approached with a more open mind as Hollywood has set such specific standards for how films should be executed. When it comes to festivals, films have a lot of opportunities for due recognition, but as a whole, I do not feel too much at liberty to speak on behalf of how complicated the relationship can be between filmmakers and festivals.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

We are motivated by a number of things. My partner Kristin Helf(Festival Co-director) and I have been shooting films in the area for a while now, and even as a native, I am constantly amazed by how readily the community embraces film-making and allows for individuals such as ourselves to come in and work on our films. So we are really motivated by the idea of establishing a culture for filmmakers in the region and awaken the local artists so that a network can be established.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The process was intimidating at first, but we are fortunate to have gotten a good committee of judges and a coherent color-coded flagging system to sort through the entries.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

By 2020, I see the festival at its third year, with larger venues, and bigger names attending.

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

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a film that is both personal and purposeful to the filmmaker and its audience.

How is the film scene in your city?

I currently live in Baltimore and with the Maryland Film Fest going on, the film scene is present and active. Ocean City however has no film scene. The closest film scene can be found about an hour away in Rehoboth.
 

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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 Jennifer De Carolis (RedCorner Film Festival)

RedCorner FilmFestival is an event not to be missed for international filmmakers. There is the opportunity to compete with the best emerging and famous artists, making you achieve a higher level of international filmography. They decided to encourage filmmakers that use film. A wide area of the event will be dedicated to all those who make films with 35 mm and 16 mm camera. Section 35 mm will also have special prizes.

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

Jennifer De Carolis: The RedCorner Film Festival was created with the intention and ambition to promote the works of filmmakers in a historical and international context, giving the possibility of securing international awards and certificates of merit on the part of a multi ethnic jury. The major developments concerning the possibility to compete in the category of films in 16 -35 mm. We have divided the festival into two six-month sessions, each of them with a live screening appropriate, in order to facilitate the promotion of the submitted work, guaranteeing the filmmakers of the more chance than other festivals.

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

JD: First of all I expect professional success and that the filmmakers can feel pleased to have participated. What I am learning is that most every movie / script entered has its own soul, this makes me proud and is giving me extensive experience to make the tough eligibility decisions.I also hope that the synergistic relationship that is being created between the staff and the filmmakers become increasingly close.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

JD: The difficult process of selection of films is very complex and in several stages. Initially there is a visual assessment, evaluating the quality of the film (do not accept low-resolution film). Subsequently evaluating the audio quality and finally the average level of acting. are frequent cases in which, improvised filmmakers, have of the work which are too far apart from acting and look like small movies filmed in the family. Then our judges (are from 8 varying number 10) viewing the film and give a 1-5 rating, this is called “preliminary report”. Usually the next step is to relate the film a second time to confirm or deny the assigned rating. different however is done for scripts. The judges are chosen from a week earlier in odd numbers and attribute in a first phase a pass, or a YES / NO on the script. When the majority of the judges expressed positive assessment the script passes the evaluation phase, otherwise it is excluded from the festival.

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

JD: I think that not all festivals are equal. Many festivals tend to a more economic aspect not valuing the filmmakers and their films. The RCFF is a partner and supporter of filmmakers, promoting their initiatives and acting much on social networks. We think that the small productions also in this way can have their spaces.

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

JD: I have always loved the cinema. Ever since I was a little girl. The reasons arise independently. I carefully chose my staff, element by element, working with my partner Alexandre Di Martini (director and stunt). Alexandre, thanks to his experience, he helped me a lot to manage the different directors who have signed up at the festival. Actually RCFF cooperate with USA Directors, Producers and actors.

MT: How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

JD: Through the site FilmFreeway, one of the best in terms of promotion and filmmakers, we assign our judges some categories of registration. Some will have films and documentaries, other scripts and other trailers. Alexandre Di Martini has its film category in 16-35mm he cares a lot and we are honored to be one of the few to have this category Festival. The selection process is quite difficult. 70% of judges must agree on the choice of the film. In this way we avoid that the value of a film is only linked to an arithmetical average

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

JD: I hope with all my heart that the RCFF can aspire to great international stages. Our goal is to organize the festival in the most important cities in the world.

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

JD: Resident Evil. I love Milla Jovovich in action films

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

JD: The plot, the acting level of the cast and what is transmitted to the viewer. In one sentence: the soul of a movie!

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

JD: Generally they shoot films that have themes those linked to the Mafia. Not infrequently, we witness some detective film. Although our local producers, such as the Unconventional Movies, produced by years of quality indie horror themes and action. I myself am making a short film on violence against women entitled “Unloved” and is due out in March.

 

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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.

Interview with Leslie-Ann Coles (Founder & Executive Director Female Eye Film Festival)

14th Annual Female Eye Film Festival – “Always Honest, Not Always Pretty June 14th – June 19th, 2016

The FEMALE EYE VOTED TOP FIFTY FILM FESTIVALS FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS (2013, 2014, 2015) by MovieMaker Magazine. 

Interview with Leslie-Ann Coles:

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

Leslie-Ann Coles: The Female Eye Film Festival celebrates its 14th annual edition June 14th – June 19th, 2016 (Toronto, Canada) in which we showcase independent films directed by women. We are known for our excellence in film programming, our professional development and industry sessions, and provide formal and informal networking opportunities to our filmmakers. *I think our most notable success is that we introduce films directed by women to the general public, industry members and stakeholders, and by doing this we help to dispel the myth that women create films for a femme centric audience. In other words, we help break the stereotype that women make “chick flicks”. Also although we present films directed by women, our script development program is open to both men and women. Script must feature a female protagonist.

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

LAC: Attendees will see an eclectic selection of features and shorts in all genres directed by women from around the globe. Independent auteur films that they will not often find in mainstream cinema, or in blockbuster theatres.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

LAC: Films must be compelling and of high production value. Films must also be directed by women.

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

LAC: With the plethora of women’s film festivals being birthed around the world, I think there is a strong need to provide a forum in which to showcase films by women directors. Women are making films. Therefore, I do not feel women filmmakers are being represented adequately yet in the international film festival circuit outside of festivals dedicated to female filmmakers.

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

LAC: Passion. Dedication, and a strong compulsion to represent women filmmakers until there is gender equity in the industry at large.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

LAC: In the early years we received under 200 submissions per year. Now, we receive over 400 submissions annually. Hence, the festival has grown from a four day event to a 6 day festival to accommodate more films. Our industry programs have also evolved and we have been recognized in the “Top Fifty Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” for four consecutive years by Movie Maker magazine!

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

LAC: I hope to see the festival expand to ten days.

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

LAC: I tend not to watch the same movie over and over again but if there was a movie that I’ve watched multiple times, it would be The Godfather.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film? Feel free to use any of these…sorry can’t keep this to one sentence 🙂

LAC: A great films starts with a great story and it manifests in character, picture, and sound. It is an immersive experience where everything comes together, frame by frame.

A great film is defined by the audience. The audience make a film great. Filmmakers know when their experiencing a great film when their minds don’t wander off into directions of their own filmmaking, ha. And the audience know when they’re experiencing a great film when they are subsumed by the experience and the outer world disappears.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

LAC: Toronto, Ontario, Canada boasts the most film festivals per capita in the world now. Toronto is rich with film festivals, there’a every week of the year. I believe this is reflective of our innate appreciation for multiculturalism coupled with a deep appreciation for cinema.

 

 

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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 Fesival 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 Brennan Tilley (Calgary Underground Film Festival)

Founded in 2003, the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is dedicated to programming films that defy convention. Through the screening of contemporary works in various categories that include: feature, documentary, animation and shorts – CUFF brings Calgarians a unique roster of films rarely seen in North American theatres. CUFF currently has two annual festivals. The main Calgary Underground Film Festival runs for 7-days in mid-April; CUFF.Docs International Documentary Festival is in November. In addition, CUFF showcases special event screenings throughout the year.

Interview with the Festival Director Brennan Tilley:

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

Brennan Tilley: The Calgary Underground Film Festival has always highlighted underseen films and helped filmmakers get their work in front of an audience. As new distribution models have been introduced it is easier for filmmakers to get their films seen, but we are still providing one of a limited number of ways to properly experience a film with an audience. We maintain a casual environment and are a great opportunity for visiting filmmakers to connect with each other.

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

Brennan: An engaged audience that trusts us to bring in the best films. It is an opportunity to watch these films with people that love the films we screen. We enhance the experience through an arcade featuring new games from independent developers, DJs and VJs between films, a themed bar, and plenty of pop-up surprises

Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Brennan: The main criterion is that a film defies convention or breaks boundaries. These films in some way depart from what we have seen before.

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

Brennan: By and large, festivals want to screen the best films possible. If a film is good and made available to festivals, a film will likely get a fair shake.

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

Brennan: We strive to connect with the filmmakers whose films we screen. Those connections and the appreciation the filmmakers show for it is a big driver for us. Cultivating the best audience experience and the response we get from that is also a huge motivator.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Brennan: The spirit and the intentions of the festival have remained consistent. The main change is the size. We have moved from a single, small non-theatrical venue over a few days to a full week with two dedicated screens at an arthouse cinema. At times, attendance figures increased at levels that made us certain we were miscalculating and then increased more the following year. Also, CUFF has become a yearround presence with an offshoot documentary festival in November and events year round.

Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Brennan: We have several initiatives on deck to be added over the next five years. Nothing we are revealing right now 😉

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

Brennan: In my life, probably GHOSTBUSTERS or WIZARD OF OZ, two films I started watching young and continue to watch. In the last 10-15 years, I would like to think it is Noah Baumbach’s KICKING AND SCREAMING. I also lost count of how many times I saw the Mandy Moore vehicle HOW TO DEAL in theatres; the summer of 2003 was a weird time.

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

Brennan: A great film is engaging while watching it and sticks with a viewer long after.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?

Brennan: Movie watching in Calgary is heavily weighted in multiplexes and home theatres. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in audience attendance and engagement with film festivals and events. Also, cultural groups and arts organizations are highly supportive of related film screenings and events. The film scene is supported by a burgeoning film production community.

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Interview Subject Brennan Tilley holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business Process Management. He serves as Lead Programmer and Administrative Manager of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, President and Programming Chair of the Calgary Cinematheque and Shorts Programmer for the Calgary International Film Festival. He can count to ten (diez) in Spanish with assistance on only eight (ocho) of the numbers. Contrary to rumours, he has not recently watched his VHS copy of the Chevy Chase classic Funny Farm.

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 Fesival 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 Jeff Ross (SF IndieFest // SF DocFest // Another Hole in the Head)

Jeff Ross was the Operations Manager at San Francisco International Film Festival in the mid 90s and realized American indies had no venue in San Francisco at the time. He started the SF Independent Film Festival in 1998, which expanded to include the SF Documentary Festival in 2001 and the Another Hole in the Head horror/sci fi festival in 2003.

sfindie.com

Get to know Jeff Ross:

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

Jeff Ross: We provide great audiences, great press coverage and a fun time in San Francisco.

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

Jeff: A full show at the historic Roxie Theater (the old movie house west of the Mississippi). Insightful QA interactions. Fun parties.

Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Jeff: We look for uniqueness and competent filmmaking.

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

Jeff: No, I think each festival knows its audience and curates accordingly.

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

Jeff: I love getting people together for shared experiences and the opportunity to introduce people to films they would not have found on their own.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Jeff: We’ve grown from a 4 day event with 3000 attendees to three two-week festivals and a year round attendance of about 21,000.

Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Jeff: Not much different than today, or 18 years ago. We are motivated to find good films and bring out good audiences to view them, that wont change.

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

Jeff: Blade Runner, Casablanca, Fury Road.

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

Jeff: Uniqueness either in story or execution.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?

Jeff: The audience for arts and culture in San Francisco is stronger than ever.

Watch the September 2015 Feature Screenplay Winner. Submit your own script by Sept. 15th

DEADLINE September 15th: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

FEATURE SCRIPT Reading of LEGACY
September 2015 Reading
Written by Marc W. Johnson

Interview with the writer:
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/08/31/feature-script-reading-legacy-by-marc-w-johnson/

SYNOPSIS:

After a werewolf slaughters the family of a pregnant newlywed and she loses her child, she becomes a cold-hearted hunter and uncovers it’s her best friend.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
ROSE – Erynn Brook
VIRGINIA – Pip Dwyer
GILES – Neil Kulin
BETH – Alissa DeGrazia
VINCE/MULDANO – Ryan Anning
TALBOT – Steve Rizzo

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Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review

Watch the September 2015 Winning Stage Play. Submit your own Play – Deadline TODAY

Deadline TODAY: #STAGE #PLAY #Festival. Get play performed by #actors. FULL FEEDBACK
http://www.wildsound.ca/play_contest.html

Stage Play Reading of GLUTTONY & LUST are FRIENDS
September 2015 Reading
Written by Matthew Weaver

SYNOPSIS:

Two deadly sins, Lust and Gluttony, are bored with their daily routine. So they decide to mix things up by switching places, which means a sudden glut of erotic bakeries and a Japanese sumo wrestler being named the equivalent of People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Creatively restored by the switch, Lust and Gluttony talk the other sins into following suit, which throws the world out of balance and attracts the attentions of the virtues. Who are nobody’s idea of a picnic.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
GLUTTONY – Steve Rizzo
LUST – Alissa DeGrazia
HANNAH/CHARITY – Erynn Brook
PRIDE/SLOTH – Neil Kulin
TONY/WRATH – Ryan Anning
ENVY/GREED – Pip Dwyer

WINNERS get their stageplay read at the Writing Festival.

WATCH the recent WINNING STAGEPLAY Readings –
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/stageplay_readings.html