Interview with Festival Director Dr. James Rowlins (Brighton Rocks Film Festival)

Brighton Rocks International Film Festival (BRIFF) was established in 2017 by a group of filmmakers, academics and creatives who love cinema and live in Brighton. The first annual screening event was held in May 2018, followed by an awards ceremony presided over by local actor Patrick Bergin. In addition to screening events throughout the year, we are preparing our second festival in June 2019.

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

Connecting fearless, like-minded creatives and giving them a platform to promote and celebrate their work.

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

Buzz. Excitement in the discovery that there people out there, just like you. To kick things off, there will be workshops for filmmakers, followed by screenings of winning films. There will be an awards ceremony with statutory afterparty.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Our selection embraces films that embody the Brighton ethos – a state of mind, an attitude, a spirit that dares to be itself. Above all the filmmaker should impart a vision and express something personal of him/herself.

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

Sadly yes. Festivals are often afraid of going out on a limb to support films that don’t yet have the big laurels. We pledge to look first and foremost at the film, not a long list of stickers.

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

To do better. Experiencing the festival circuit from the other side, as a filmmaker, we’ve seen flaws aplenty – poor communication, bad organisation, etc., not to mention all those that you can’t be sure if they are bona fide. There are some good ones too, of course, but we want to be smarter than the average bear.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

“Gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh, wonder of wonders, like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship” (A Clockwork Orange). So pretty good.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

This will be our 5th anniversary. We hope to have made good on our pledge to become one of the UK’s main festivals for indie and underground cinema. We will host big screening events – across the city and beyond. We will be collaborating with likeminded international festivals.

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

Godard’s A bout de souffle (Breathless), as I wrote a doctoral thesis on it. Next would be Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

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

“In one word, emotion!,” to quote Samuel Fuller in Pierrot le fou.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Brighton offers an amazing range of settings that have been used to great effect in classic films such as Quadrophenia (1979) and our namesake, Brighton Rocks (1947). Scores of talented writers and actors live in Brighton and there is a frenetic arts scene. The city often appears in television series, but it has to be said that Brighton doesn’t always punch above its weight in terms of being a prime location for feature films. One of Brighton Rocks’ missions is to raise awareness of the merits of Brighton as a place to make movies.

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James Rowlins left his native England for Paris, France, to study French cinema. His passion for visual culture subsequently took him to Los Angeles, where he earned a doctorate at the University of Southern California while learning the ropes of filmmaking. He has published articles on the French New Wave and film noir. After serving as Head of Film Studies at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, he now dedicates himself to the full-time running of Brighton Rocks Film Festival.

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Interview with Festival Director Cato ML Ekrene (The Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival)

The Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival is a Film Festival with live screening, the festival also have a Live streamed award show. The Main host for 2019 is International Award winner Hector Luis Bustamante from Hollywood. They accept films/animations/documentary under 60 min. We also have a category called Best International Game.

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

Our film festival stands out that we are a festival for everyone, and the jury is made up of the best people that have the experience required to evaluate a movie. Not least because at our festival we have trophies that are specially made in pure Alleminum, which has a value of almost 800 Euro as all the winners receive.

What’s great with this festival is that we accept all movies within 60 minutes. We do not want to stop filmmakers to submit movies just because they break the game time because you can watch the festivals that have a limit of 15, 25, 35, 45 min. We also have a masterclass too that is free for the filmmakers under 18.

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

They will experience a completely different festival, but lots of people who come to views, professionals who get to know, annotated personalities from all over the world as well as Oscar winner they can talked with. We have stands, concerts and a film program that is may the best the best in the world. and we must not forget that we have live award show with main host from USA.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We search for all movies, it is the jury who decides which movie is on the program. We recommend everyone to send, but you should know that it a strong competition and the film must have a high level in production, acting and story. But in the end we want the best films, we don’t care if you have filmed it with a Red or a 8 mm Camera, just make sure you have a strong story. In the 2018 festival we had over 1200 films but only 150 were chosen.

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

Yes, I think there are many in the jury at different film festival that have too little experience and are too noisy. That’s why it was so important to bring a jury and a host who is recognized and can stand for what they have done. That the professionals can actually go in to read about them and what they’ve done. To me as a festival director, it was very important to find out that this is a festival where the jury stands for it and that it is different nationality so those who submit their movie see that we have a strong maneuver.

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

Well plan the festival for 4 years and stated it up in 2017. the planing was all, because i need the right person in the jury as the main host. But it all fall on place that we needed a festival that was for films under 60 min but with a high level of professional in the board, jury and host. So i think the best was when we found out that it was not that much festival for films up to 60 min, but now it is, but it’s a festival of a high level with a low submit cost.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It have been great, we have a great page, a lot of submitter and it comes in film from all over the world. We are very proud and happy for all submitter. For the festival in 2019 we have submissions from over 69 different nations.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

That we have a big festival for films up to 60 min and that we have a program full of stands, films, and professional courses. Like we are today but a bigger program with films, concerts and stand and a lot of master class for the professional and guest.

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

Well there are a lot of films I like but I think my top 3 will be Aliens, Predator and The Untouchables

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

It`s all about the story, a story that touch my feelings, joy, sad, happy and pain.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

We are very proud of our city, because we do not only have short festival, we also have Norway’s biggest film festival for feature films. Our city has The Norwegian International Film Festival, known worldwide, where they award “Amanda” award. The city is called “The Film City of Norway»

 

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Interview with Festival Director Aleksander Sakowski (THE VISION FEAST)

The Vision Feast has returned with a vendetta; to showcase the world’s finest visual media. Their third year features all new awards with a lineup of world renowned Judges.

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

Our main objective is to celebrate and promote visually stunning and experimental films, and to acknowledge the hard work and talent behind those projects.

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

We are currently an online based festival, our goal within the next 2 years will be to expand into a physical screening festival that will follow our philosophy of making the experience visually interesting. As for now viewers can visit our website which we have endeavor to make it a visual experience.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Our qualifications range but in particular we look for films that make your eyes go pop, this does not mean we over look story, quite the opposite, we want the visuals to match the stories and display the film makers understanding of how the 2 complement each other.

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

I my self am a film maker and have gone to the festival market with multiple projects. I founded The Vision Feast out of frustration with other festival not really meeting my expectations, that and at the time, New Zealand did not really have anything like this. As a film maker, I felt that I was entering festivals like I was gambling. I might pay exorbitant amounts to enter a festival only to receive a email saying “thanks but no thanks” and even if I won sometimes in the festivals I entered, I wouldn’t really get anything accept a digital laurel. We are striving to move away from this culture. Having run the festival for 3 years now it is clear that programming is not easy. This year we have made it a priority to give a prize for most award. The prizes vary from Cash Prizes to Rental Prizes and others. Our entry fees are low so when you enter its like buying into a prize pool worth $10’000 nzd.

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

My original goal was to promote New Zealand projects around the world, and that still is one of my priorities but since most of our entries are from over seas Its inspiring to be inspired by the amazing artistry of the Vision Feast Submissions and celebrate the blood sweat and tears that go into each and every project.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Quite smooth, film freeways platform makes it easy to manage entries from all over the planet.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

In the top 50 festivals, screening in LA & NZ, showcasing the best of the best brain melting visuals, I would like to expand into categories that are not usually celebrated like concept art and poster design.

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

I’m a animation geek, I also work in animation, so Id say Ghost in the Shell (1995) that movie blew my mind in more ways than one.

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

The rubix cube of arts, science, engineering and nature and how the film makers has woven those ingredients together.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Its great, the Film crews here are world class and the infrastructure gets stronger every year.

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Interview with Festival Director Sally Bloom (LONGLEAF FILM FESTIVAL)

A free-to-attend film festival that highlights the best short- and feature-length documentary and narrative films in a place that recognizes that filmmakers and film fans DO make history—this is Longleaf. This weekend festival screens films that demonstrate a Tar Heel State connection, through the people involved in making them or through their subject. Of course, we hold near and dear all (current and former) Longleaf Official Selection filmmakers.

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 What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Longleaf offers filmmakers the opportunity to screen at a free-to-attend festival, which allows them access to audiences who might be new to independent film. We also host panels and workshops for filmmakers that are free to attend. Finally, we work to support filmmakers throughout the year—with events, gatherings, and more, like providing meeting and collaboration space!

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

Folks attending Longleaf have choices! We screen in three spaces, so folks can review the program and select what films they want to see—for Longleaf 2018, our 73 options included narrative and documentary shorts and features, animated films, music videos, and student-made films. Attendees will also meet friendly staff and volunteers, they’ll have opportunities to talk with filmmakers, and they’ll always enjoy free popcorn.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Longleaf has eight categories for entries, including narrative and documentary shorts and features, animated films, music videos, a history-related theme, and middle and high school student-made films. Films must have a North Carolina connection of some sort, through the people who make them, their location, or their subject matter.

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

Because of scheduling constraints, perhaps it is harder for feature-length films at some festivals? We’re glad we have the space and time to include feature-length works.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Longleaf Film Festival is a program of the North Carolina Museum of History, a free-to-attend public museum. We know that making films is making history; in fact, films have been made here since at least 1912 with The Heart of Esmerelda, and they have been made in all of the state’s 100 counties. The art and craft of filmmaking is part of North Carolina’s past, present, and future.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Submitting to Longleaf has changed over our five years. We began accepting submissions on WithoutABox and FilmFreeway and have moved to using FilmFreeway exclusively. We have rolling submission deadlines until March 1; we opened for this year’s festival in July 2018. Official Selections will be announced on April 12, 2019, and the 2019 festival will be held at the museum on May 10–11, 2019.

Where do you see the festival by 2023?

Nice question! By 2023, Longleaf will have outgrown the Museum of History (although it will always be our home base) and we’ll have expanded to other venues that are within walking distance. We’re located in the heart of downtown Raleigh and are fortunate to have terrific spaces nearby.

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

Hmmm . . . well, I have four children, so, probably, I’ve watched all the Toy Story films more times than I can count. Otherwise, I watch Harold and Maude (1971) and The Princess Bride (1987) on a regularly rotating basis!

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film has a compelling story—whatever the type of film—and allows us to experience something more than the story, without knowing it until it’s over.

How is the film scene in your city?

Raleigh-—and by extension, the state of North Carolina—has a HAPPENING film scene. From the 1980s through 2014, many commercial films and television shows were made in the area. When the tax incentives changed, however, the state lost much of that industry; but, at the same time, the growth of independent film has been explosive. With film schools at our public universities and community colleges, varied and beautiful settings, and an experienced population of filmmakers and folks with film-related talents, North Carolina is a great place to make movies.

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Sally Bloom bio: Sally is a co-organizer of Longleaf Film Festival and believes in the power of independent film to make connections, to entertain, and to form community. Sally finds many connections between her “other” work for the North Carolina Museum of History and her work with Longleaf because “everything has history!” Her other work includes writing and producing videos for the museum’s website and YouTube channel, reaching students through live-streaming classes, and, oh, you know, making history cool. A native North Carolinian, Sally attended UNC and has an MA in history, along with a husband, four kids, and a lot of laundry.
 

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Interview with Festival Director Pierre Cialdella (San Francisco LGBTQ Coming of Age Short Film Festival)

FIRST FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVELY DEDICATED TO MOVIES DEALING WITH THE COMING OF AGE OF THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUEER COMMUNITIES.

3 days short film festival with 100 movies, selected out of 2000, about the COMING OF AGE of the LGBTQ community.

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

The purpose of all Film Festival is to offer film-makers a way to show their work to professionals, while it helps the general public to discover great movies to which he would not have had access otherwise. And it often also help professionals discover the talent of new film-makers.

It is indeed the case for the San Francisco LGBTQ Coming of Age Short Film festival. But what differentiates us from other festivals is our will to show the public, no matter their sexual orientation, origin, age or religion, what LGBTQ+ youths go through at the time of their coming of age, because this specific period of life is the most important in everybody’s life all around the world (LGBT or not). It is a subject to which every single person can relate to.

The message is thus as important to us as the festival itself or the films and the film-makers.

One could think that our festival is too specific or rather limited: LGBTQ+ and COMING OF AGE. You’d be surprised to see how many movies we received from all around the world. And none of them are saying the same thing, yet they all speak about LGBTQ+ and COMING OF AGE. And of love of course because in the end it all comes to that. But there are not 2 movies alike in our selection of 100 movies this first edition of our Festival.

That being said, we obviously hope for our film-makers to get the success they deserve (from both the public and the professionals).

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

If you attend the festival, you will enjoy 3 days of nonstop screenings of short films (100 movies selected from 50 countries), about the COMING OF AGE of the LGBTQ community.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We made sure to offer the audience a fair mix of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender love stories. All films are original and were produced between 2017 and 2018.

We have included a variety of genres such as comedies, dramas, music videos, documentaries, cartoons, etc.

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

I can only speak for my experience with the LGBTQ Coming Of Age Short-Film Festival, for which each entry received a fair judgement…

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

Our intention is to bring light to the discrimination and bullying often directed towards the LGBTQ+ community, but in an entertaining, positive and creative way.

No voyeurism, no exhibitionism, no vindication: just the recognition of love for what it is, because love doesn’t need multiple labels. Everyone should be free to love and to pursue their happiness.

We do not intend to trivialize the issues faced by the fringes of society who, as a result of their culture, religious beliefs, or a lack of education, still judge violently the different ways of loving. However, if we can at least create a space where people are made aware of and can reflect on the mockeries and inequalities that some people must endure because of who they love, then our festival will have fulfilled its purpose.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We were happy to get 280 submissions from FilmFreeway, which is more than we thought we would get from the platform. The submission process was both efficient and fluid, and we received a lot of great movies through them.

But we received 2000 movies altogether. Through many platforms. We have also contacted some production companies and film-makers directly ourselves.

Some films were also sent to us spontaneously by email (mostly from countries where being Gay is a crime, because they couldn’t submit their film online; it would have been too risky for them).

Submissions platforms were a great help to us obviously, but they also have a bad side effect for festivals because film-makers often send their film to as many festivals as they can, most of the time without making sure that their film would be appropriate. We thus received a lot of films {sometime very good} that we had to refuse because they were not even LGBTQ…

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

What matters is our 2018 edition. Let’s go one edition at a time. Anything can happen in 5 years…

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

Tooooooo many to say which one. Here are a few titles of films (non exhaustive) I’ve seen too many times to count:

– Travels with My Aunt by George Cukor, 1972 | Maggie Smith & Alec McCowen

– Torch Song Trilogy by Paul Bogart, 1988 | Harvey Fierstein & Matthew Broderick

– Roman Holiday by William Wyler, 1953 | Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn

– My Own Private Idaho by Gus Van Sant, 1991 | River Phoenix & Keanu Reeves

– ‘night, Mother by Tom Moore, 1986 | Sissy Spacek & Anne Bancroft

– Woman Times Seven by Vittorio De Sica, 1967 | Shirley MacLaine x 7

– Charade by Stanley Donen, 1963 | Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn

– Maurice by James Ivory, 1987 | James Wilby & Rupert Graves

– Indiscreet by Stanley Donen, 1958 | Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman

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

To make a great film I would say that you need a great story, good actors and a generous film-maker. These are for me the fundamentals. If we want the public to get out of a theater saying “aww, that movie really touched me”, we need to make sure he forgets he is watching a film. Too many young film-makers concentrate on the technical aspect. Those who don’t put as much passion on the direction of actors and story-telling, often end up making a bad film.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

I currently live in San Francisco. Unlike the rest of the USA, a lot is being made in California to help film-makers, and to offer the public (all the publics) a great “cinematic diversity”.
 

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Interview with Festival Director Avery Cohen (Macoproject Film Festival)

The Macoproject Film Festival is a New York City based festival open internationally to all filmmakers and screenwriters who understand that film is much more than expensive equipment with impractical budgets.

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

The Macoproject Film Festival has had the pleasure of awarding over 200 Filmmakers & Screening over 50 short films from all across the world, as well as being recognized by HBO, Backstage, FilmDaily and many others. Our objective is to deduct adversities that many film festivals place on their artists. Our films and screenplays are judged based on the factors that make them come to life. If a student or first time filmmaker releases something truly special, who’s to say they don’t deserve a chance to be acknowledged?

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

Expect to be treated like a professional. Whether your work has been selected by us, or If you’re a film lover exploring the heart of what we do, or if you’re in New York and want to try something different, here you will be treated with the utmost respect and proficiency. Guest’s are able to come, relax, and forget about the world for a few hours. Our audience is also joined with special guests including HBO producers, news outlets, and other filmmakers. Our selections are able to watch a live audience perceive their message, while our screenwriters are able see us breakdown their work to the crowd. The top 3 Filmmakers and Screenwriters will both receive official Macoproject plaques.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Our judges are checking for many factors. This includes direction, cinematography (for films), the chemistry between characters, inclusive dialogue, etcetera. We leave the creativity to you, however, we do ask that our submitters considers that this will be in front of a live audience in New York City. If you show us professionalism you will receive it in return.

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

One of the very reasons I created The Macoproject Film Festival was due to the negligence that many filmmakers are subject to in our industry. If you take a look at the grand scheme of things, Hollywood is doing everything in their power to keep corporate multiplexes afloat. Due to the success of Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, recognition for quality works have practically been overlooked. With theaters releasing A-list actors with D- minus story telling, of course indie films won’t get their fair shake! We must remember that filmmaking is also a business, not just an art. With that being said, film festivals must remember that filmmaking is an art, not just a business.

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

My judges have a vast background and interest in film which places them perfectly in the position they’re in. I feel that (career speaking) there comes a point in everyone’s life where they ask themselves what they’d like to do, not only themselves, but for the community. Some venture into medicine, because they want to help people. Others become politicians do try and help their community. I run The Macoproject Film Festival because I’d like to turn an artist’s passion into something more than just a fantasy.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been a great help in the success of Macoproject. I began the festival on FilmFreeway, so I don’t have any intentions on leaving them, However, what I do plan on is having two seperate submission platforms, either on filmfreeway or through our website.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

Two close friend of mine (who also happens to be judges) joined me at FestForums, a convention for Film Festivals to meet and connect with one another. We were happily greeted by several notable faces and were introduced to some of the most notable men and women of our industry. While introducing ourselves to people, we sparked a conversation with a gentleman representing The Sierra Nevada brewing company. I had asked him what his expectations were for Sierra Nevada when it first began its journey. He said to me that Ken Grossman (the current CEO of Sierra Nevada) would commonly say that Sierra Nevada would grow as large as it needed to. At first you might believe this mindset to be selfish. The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has a current net worth of 2.6 billion dollars. In 5 years I believe The Macoproject Film Festival will grow as large as it needs to, and I have no intentions of stopping.

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

That’s a real tough one…I’m split between The Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump. These were always very easy films to catch my interest. Not to mention that before the Netflix-era, we were lucky to find our favorite films airing. Something that I enjoy about these films is the more you watch it, the more smaller details you’ll begin to notice.

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

A great film is the ability to rewatch as if it were your first time.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

Anyone who has been to New York City knows there is no other place like it. Creativity and acceptance is practically airborne, giving filmmakers and other artists a breath of fresh air. The big apple is an absolute goldmine for people looking to show themselves, and express themselves. Every single person you ask will have a different way to describe this wonderful place, and I wish these sentences could do it justice. If you’re willing to push your dreams into a reality, come find us in the center of the universe.

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Interview with Festival Director Gian Smith (The Black Film Festival of New Orleans)

From Gian Smith: The Black Film Festival of New Orleans, in it’s inaugural year, has been created with the intention of highlighting American film makers, and content creators of color. While we personally enjoy movies of all types, by all types, we wish to highlight films and content more relatable to our experiences. As a film maker, often times I feel like the nuance, importance and brilliance of my own film making and the films of my black colleagues has been lost on audiences and evaluators who simply don’t relate to our personal experiences as black people in the United States. Through my festival experience I have found that my best results have come from audiences catered to me by festival directors and teams who could understand my content. So in that vein I felt it important to give yet another outlet for the black filmmaker to be recognized.

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

Our goal is to provide a great platform for filmmakers to celebrate their film. We want filmmakers to have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the labor of making a movie. A large welcoming audience, a festival director who communicates directly with the filmmaker and lots of events that show how great New Orleans is as well as make the filmmaker feel like the star (s)he is.

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

The first thing we’re going to make sure the filmmaker does is have a good time. New Orleans is typically not too chilly in our winters so the weather will allow the filmmakers to enjoy the town with no restrictions. And we’re going to do our part making sure they have plenty of opportunities and places to experience. Several parties held by the festival including our jazz brunch awards ceremony. All topped off with a warm welcoming audience.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The Black Film Festival of New Orleans prides itself in making sure the spotlight is squarely placed on black Americans. Wether behind the camera, in front, or both we are curating a space where the black voice is recognized and appreciated. Which leads into question #4

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

As a black filmmaker I understand that my voice is sometimes lost in the shuffle. Relatability can be a very important factor in being recognized. But when the people making the decisions don’t or won’t relate to your voice it’s easy for the talent to not be recognized. That won’t be the case with BFFNO. Just as importantly. As festival director I personally put eyes on every single submission that comes through. If a film deserves to be recognized it will. Even if it doesn’t suit my taste, if the effort and quality are there you will screen at BFFNO.

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

As a filmmaker of color I have been looked over man times myself by bigger festivals, and festivals that give more volume to non-voices of color. New Orleans is a town that needs a festival like this one, and as one of the best filmmakers here, who better to do it than I and my team?

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway has been an easy transition for me, both as a filmmaker and a festival director.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

In five years I believe we’ll have some of the brightest filmmakers as alums. Hopefully they will come bak and hold master classes, and bring their movies to BFFNO for premieres. By that time I hope we will have grown to be recognized as not only one of the best black film festivals but one of the best overall, and most importantly, the filmmakers favorite festival.

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

Besides my won films during editing… I probably have watched “The Color Purple” more than any other movie. That being said I’ve also watched “The Wire” from episode 1-60 about a dozen times over.

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

A great film needs a team of people who all care about doing their part in telling a great story.

10) How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in New Orleans is certainly robust. Both for the big budget productions as well as the indie scene. There’s always a production being done down here. Who doesn’t want to be in New Orleans?!