THE ITALIAN CONTEMPORARY FILM FESTIVAL (ICFF) 2017

Interview with Festival Director George Gänaeaard (Short Film Breaks)

Short Film Breaks is the only film festival taking place in private companies.

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

Our main goal is to promote the independent filmmakers from all around the world. We love to screen films from different cultures and different backgrounds to our audience and we love to see how they react to them. For big chunks of time we accept submissions of films under no fees and when we charge fees, it’s only to transform them into prizes for the filmmakers. All in all, our main mission is to bring the films in front of our audience as easy as we possibly can, for both the filmmakers and the audience.

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

Short Film Breaks is a special festival, because it’s the only festival taking place in private companies. That means that we are showing films to employees of private companies, right where they are working. As we like to say it, SHORT FILM BREAKS is the only film festival taking place in private companies, for an audience formed exclusively by employees, in a bid to offer smart break opportunities while promoting the independent movie industry around the world.

That means that to be able to attend the festival you’d need to be an employee of the companies that are our partners.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Last year we only had two categories, Best International Film and Best Romanian Film and we were expecting films under 30 minutes. But starting with 2017 we’ve expanded to many more categories, for different genres, types and styles. It’s best to check the platforms we have added Short Film Breaks on. At the moment we’re present on the following:
FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/festival/ShortFilmBreaks
FestHome: https://festhome.com/f/sfb
Reelport: https://reelport.com/festivals/8575
Click For Festivals: https://www.clickforfestivals.com/short-film-breaks
Submissions for next year’s edition will start on September 18, 2017.

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

I couldn’t answer about other festivals. I am part of a Facebook group with many other festival organizers and we all take great care of the films we receive.

At Short Film Breaks, for example, we now have two selection phases. In phase one each film is watched by three judges and only the films with top ratings advance to the second phase. In the second phase, a committee made of four judges watch them and decide who is selected for our festival. That means that before being shows in the festival a film will be watched by seven different judges. And even the ones that do not get selected have been watched by at least three.

Starting with next year we plan to introduce the Extended Deadline. This will be the final deadline, with the highest fees, but all the films that are sent to us during this deadline will receive the judging forms.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Seeing our audience enjoy the films we bring in front of them, discovering new filmmakers and films, those are the best parts of our job.

But something that can’t be compared with anything else is the projections we organized in the remote parts of Nepal and Indonesia. Witnessing your children, or even adults, watch a film for the first time in their life is the highest motivation one could ask for.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We totally love FilmFreeway. It’s the platform we started with, last year, when we received just a bit under 2000 submissions. This year we’ve received 2066 films on FilmFreeway alone. Even if we also joined FestHome and Reelport, we’re received over 90% of our submissions on FilmFreeway. Amazing!!

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We’d love to have screenings in more and more companies, to reach a wider audience. And we’d also love to continue with the special events and screenings we’re organizing in remote parts of the world. We’re in discussions now to also hold screenings in the favelas in Rio.

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

Uhm… I don’t really watch the same film too often. Fight Club and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, each about 3-4 times. But I’ve watched in excess of 4000 films, many of them made before the 70’s, many from Europe, Asia, Latin America. Watching eclectic films, from different cultures and production years, that’s the goal.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A film that succeeds in conveying an emotion, or a film that succeeds in changing your perception about something you were taking for granted.

How is the film scene in your city?

We have a few film festivals in Bucharest, but not the biggest in Romania, TIFF, which is taking place in Cluj-Napoca. But we have the biggest film festival for short films here, NexT International Film Festival, a partner of ours, the festival we started our projections with, back in 2014.

There are a dozen cinemas, though not as many as we’d want them to be, especially as the most of them are multiplexes, inside the malls. For a city as big as Bucharest is, we could have more places where films are shown.
 

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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.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Interview with Festival Director Karen Ndumia (The Cump Film Festival)

CUMP is an upcoming independent documentary and film festival drawn from Colleges and Universities that offer Film and Electronic Media studies in East Africa, and the only independent film festival in Nairobi. CUMP shall screen in Nairobi -Kenya and other East African cities and shall premiere local and international films and documentaries.

Interview with Film Festival Director Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe (British Urban Film Festival)

BUFF wants to change the face of British film. They want it to reflect all of us, not just some of us. They have made great strides in the right direction for over a decade. There’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue for a decade more. Across the film & TV industry, Britain’s filmmakers are much less diverse than Britain itself. And that can sometimes mean it’s much more of an effort to make films and TV programmes diverse, because they have to make an effort. This, in turn, is understandable.

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

Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe: In the last few years, over 20 filmmakers have won an award through having their work showcased by the festival. Also, since 2012, over 20 festival films have been acquired for broadcast on Channel 4, BBC i-player, Community Channel and London Live.

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

We’re only as good as our last festival and so for this year we have really pushed the boat out for filmmakers and audiences in general. For the first time ever, BUFF will be in attendance at Cannes to announce details about this year’s film festival and awards. Once again, the festival will run for a whole week in Central London in September. In terms of what to expect experience wise – we are planning the most audacious and memorable experience yet.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We don’t have specific qualifications for the films which get selected for the festival. When i’m asked what an urban film is, my response remains the same: it’s whatever you perceive the word ‘urban’ to be. It’s important that writers and directors retain the one power that they have over all of us – telling us a story that we’ll give a damn about – and not the other way round.

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

It depends on what you mean by fair shake. For a film festival like BUFF, the main work starts after the premiere as we believe in extending the commercial and PR shelf life for a film for as long as possible. It’s the primary reason why we established the BUFF Awards to provide further incentive for filmmakers to enter their films into our festival.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

For as long as I can remember, I have always cared about how I am represented. This is moreso in an industry which is rapidly having to deal with such an existential issue as diversity. Films are the lifeblood for any festival and with each passing year, me and my team, along with our esteemed patrons are able to see firsthand just how passionate other people are about diversity and representation. We have a duty to serve these filmmakers and audiences in general.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We offer great value for money therefore we’re not surprised by the phenomenal response from filmmakers and scriptwriters since submissions opened last November, moreso than ever before. We have also seen a greater number of countries enter submissions to our festival. It is heartening to know that our brand of diversity is universally acknowledged in places like Canada, Germany, Russia, Australia, Israel and Taiwan.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

As the leading film festival for diversity in the world, we would like to take our brand of diversity to other countries. From a national perspective, there’s work to be done across the UK also and this will become one of our key objectives by the time we host what would be our 15th annual festival and 5th annual awards.

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

I could give you 10 as it’s a close run thing. Men In Black.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Attention to detail, on-screen chemistry, psychologically tortured characters.

How is the film scene in your city?

I am passionate about my city as a home for creative talent to firmly establish themselves. London is home to the UK’s biggest film and TV companies and there’s a wide variety of film festivals for audiences to attend. Its’ iconic locations are the envy of the world and continues to attract film studios and production companies from far and wide.
 

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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.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Interview with Festival Director Len Gibson (Peachtree Village International Film Festival)

PVIFF is hosted by Gipp. Museums, Inc. PVIFF attracts 3,000+ people each year from around the world. PVIFF was created in 2006 under the previous name (Sweet Auburn International Film Festival) and have served as the launching pad for many successful filmmakers and other artists alike in the film & entertainment industry. This dynamic international film festival showcases feature length films, shorts, music videos, documentaries, and screenplays from around the globe. PVIFF also feature celebrity attractions, innovative workshops, panels, parties, and much more. PVIFF is one of the most celebrated film events through dynamic programming and a dedication to helping filmmakers excel in their careers. PVIFF’s brand is entrenched in the old saying “It Takes A Village.”

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

    Len Gibson: We succeed at connecting filmmakers with the resources they need to advance their careers. Over the years we have garnered numerous international relationships to include financiers, distributors, executives and more. We succeed at pairing our filmmakers with these relationships in a non threatening manner.

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

    You can expect to meet some really cool exciting people that are doing great things in film, television and technology. You can also expect to experience some great films, panels and workshops.

    What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    The films just have to speak to our audience. Our audience is multi-cultural with diverse backgrounds. We attempt to select quality films with great themes that speak to a broad audience.

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

    In some cases I do. In some cases you can see the talent in a young filmmaker that may not be there yet but they have all the tools to be successful. We try to give young filmmakers an opportunity to share their work if we feel that they are the tools to become a solid filmmaker. Not all festivals do this and I can understand why but we try to because you never know who is going to blossom into a great filmmaker.

    What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    Helping young artists succeed.

    How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

    Our process with Film Freeway has been great.

    Where do you see the festival by 2020?

    By 2020 we expect to be about 3 times the size we are now. We are focused on infusing more music and more technology into what we offer at our festival.

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

    Probably Shawshank Redemption.

    In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    A great story that makes a broad impact on the viewers that see it told with believable acting and solid cinematic value.

    How is the film scene in your city?

    The film scene is great is Atlanta. This city has truly become the place to shoot film and television. Atlanta has the look of many places around the U.S. and the weather is good here so shooting in this city is great.

     

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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.

    SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
    Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
    Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
    FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed

Interview with Lindsey Paricio (Lights, Camera, Take Action Film Festival)

A film festival highlighting food insecurity and poverty in the Fort Collins community. Sponsored by the FoCo Cafe and The Downtown Fort Collins Business Association (DBA), the festival is intended to bring together the network of food insecurity organizations that span the Fort Collins community. Additionally, the festival aims to raise awareness about food insecurity, food justice, poverty, homelessness, food equality, access to healthy eating, etc. There will be a panel discussion following the showing of the films featuring representatives from local hunger and poverty prevention organizations.

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  • 225 Maple Street
    Fort Collins, CO 80521
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    Matthew Tofolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

    This festival is providing an opportunity for filmmakers to explore a range of issues surrounding food insecurity. These problems – homelessness, hunger, nutrition, food access, etc- are often hard to describe and put into words, but this festival is allowing filmmakers to be able to capture the issues in a real way. We are helping to celebrate the creativity and artistry of film makers in their expressions of little documented issues, and we are allowing them a chance to share any of their personal experiences with food insecurity in a way that can and will actively be viewed and discussed by others in an attempt to help.

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

    Attendees may expect the unveiling and premier of the winning film in each category – youth, college, community, and photography. Following this, a screening of the feature documentary ‘The Starfish Throwers’ will occur, and then the community in attendance will have the opportunity to ask panelists from local food security organizations and the filmmakers questions about food insecurity and the surrounding issues. This will help create a discussion about the issue and steps to alleviate it, and all attendees are encouraged to participate!

    What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    Films (and photos) must be shorter than 8 minutes in length, and must represent some issue surrounding food insecurity. The filmmaker must identify in one of four categories: youth, college, community, or photo.

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

    Many films that address unpleasant issues, or even just issues that are currently popular to showcase, don’t get a fair chance at film festivals. Food Insecurity is one of those issues that is not easy to showcase and not in style to talk about. Thus, our festival is hoping to provide a platform for these films to receive a chance at recognition.

    What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    My team and I are very passionate about addressing food security ikn our local communities. All of us are interns at the FoCo café, the first non-profit café located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Because of our experiences working at the café and seeing the impacts of hunger and the power a good meal and welcoming community on a daily basis, we know that every person has the ability to contribute to solving this issue. One of the first steps to do this is to educate people about food insecurity.

    People learn in different ways and have different skillsets to contribute, and so we are motivated to instigate this festival because it is a way for people to learn and contribute in a new way.

    How has your Film Freeway submission process been?

    FilmFreeway has been a wonderful tool for this process, though we did have an issue with artists submitting videos that had nothing to do with out topic. It has taken quite a bit of sorting to narrow down the entries to applicable films for our judges to evaluate.

    Where do you see the festival by 2020?

    This is the first year of Lights, Camera, Take Action, and we definitely hope to make this an annual event. By 2020 we hope to have expanded this festival to include both a larger audience and a larger entry pool. We also hope to have developed partnership with community organizations to be able to use the films and photos created to help educate the community in a scope that goes beyond the festival.

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

    I have seen Lord of the Rings the most in my life time (all of them!). They were my favorite books when I was younger, and the beauty in them keeps me watching!

    In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    A great film is one that captures the heart of the audience and inspires them to stand up and do something.

    How is the film scene in your city?

    Fort Collins is a great city for an aspiring film maker. There are many film festivals, at both large and small platforms, throughout the year, often sponsored by local theaters or
    brewery’s.

    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.

    SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
    Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
    Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
    FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
    Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
    Submit the first stages of your film an

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.

SUBMIT your TV PILOT Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film an