Interview with Festival Director Alecs Nastoiu (SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) )

SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) is an international network of distribution, broadcast and promotion of short films. Since 2009, SHORT TO THE POINT has gone through several steps and right now it has gathered some awesome projects under its umbrella.

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

Alecs Nastoiu: The most important thing I guess is that we screen films every month. The classic annual festivals usually screen few shorts, one time per year. And the next important thing is that we screen short films in unconventional spaces like pubs, bars, museums, theatres or terraces. We try to bring short films to the audience, not the audience to cinemas. And another good thing is that we screen short films simultaneous in over 30 cities from Romania and Moldova. And very soon we will start doing this all over the world.

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

We are a monthly festival, with monthly awards and screenings. But we have an annual event as well. Each year we change the host city. This year we will organize the annual edition of the festival in Bacau, Romania at the end of July. We are screening all winner films of the monthly awards editions from past year. So we offer the opportunity to the filmmakers to discover new cities each year and to meet with filmmakers from all over the world. Every time we have new audience, and new locations. So I think the experience of Short to the Point Film Festival is continuous and you will never get enough of it.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We accept any kind of short films in our festival. We have a lot of categories. And each category has it’s own selections and winners. So the qualifications are different from category to category. But our jury is looking for good stories and good filmmaking all the way.

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

There are a lot of film festivals in the world so I think each film has its opportunity to make it to the big screen. It’s all about filmmakers. They have to know where to submit their films.

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

First of all we are filmmakers. So we like films. And Short to the Point offer us the opportunity to meet people from industry, to find good ideas that maybe will inspire us in the future and of course to understand what is the trend in cinematography at the moment.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

In my opinion FilmFreeway is the best thing in film festival industry that has happened in last 3 years. It’s the best film submission platform on the market. It’s easy to use and it has a lot of options that makes our job as a festival much more easier.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

In 2023 Short to the Point will have screenings in unconventional spaces all over the world.

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

Because I edit my first feature length movie (Billion Star Hotel) for over 6 months, I can say that I saw it the most times. But If we speak about other directors, I can say that I saw over 30 times ‘The man who wasn’t there’, directed by Coen brothers.

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

A great film is a product that combines perfectly all ingredients: script, directing, cinematography, editing, acting etc

10) How is the film scene in your city?

I was born in Bucharest but for 6 years I live in a small city from Transylvania called Targu Mures. Here I started with some friends the first film production company in the history of the city. And I made 2 feature films. First of them Billion Star Hotel has 19 awards at festivals around the world and the second one is in post production. Short to the point is screening short films here every month, so I can say that the film scene is animated for the moment by my team.

 

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Stephen Byrne (WATERFORD FILM FESTIVAL)

The Waterford Film Festival was established in 2007 by local filmmaker Stephen Byrne. His objective was to bring something new to Waterford’s arts and cultural scene, promoting local, national filmmakers and writers, but in particular independent film.

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

The Waterford Film Festival is a big supporter of short films and especially independent films. We screen a mixture from 1st time filmmakers to award winning films and have done so since our foundation in 2007. We also hold a short screenplay competition and this part of the festival is to support the writers.

Since the foundation of the festival, we have screened 500+ films from filmmakers around the world as well promoting writers with the short screenplay competition. Filmmakers from across Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Holland and as far as Canada and USA have attended the festival.
The festival has awarded prizes worth in excess of €35,000 with our partners at FilmLab, since 2007.

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

This years festival we are in a new venue for us called Central Arts, which caters for a lot of different events throughout the year. This years event will be an intimate setting but we are also trying something new. The venue itself allows alcohol in the screening room so we want to bring that element into the festival.

The idea of seeing a wide range of national and international short films of different themes and genres while you sit back and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine, we feel will be a very enjoyable experience for all whom attend. We are currently working on our plans but we aim to put on a series of different events over the course of the 3 day festival.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

There are a number of different reasons. We get several 100 submissions every year and the decision is never easy as there is a great body of work out there. We aim to have a variety of national films, foreign films from professional filmmakers to student and 1st time director/writer/producers. A strong story and well written script would be a big factor. We consider all films up to 20 minutes.

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

As an independent filmmaker myself I have had my work both accepted and rejected from film festivals, so I do have experience from being on the under end of things as well. There are many legitimate reasons that a film may get rejected from a festival. However I do think some film festivals and especially the big ones in, may be biased in certain cases. For example a big film festival may have influence from powerful producers and distribution companies.

My advice would be to do your research before submitting to a festival and the type of films that they have screened there in the past but also keep in mind there is a lot of competition out there. Certain festivals have mixed themes while others have a theme that may suit their project.

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

When I founded the festival it was may objective to bring a world of film to the Waterford scene, to support independent film and it still is. The love of film and being apart of something where we get to view and screen films from all walks of life with different themes and to provide a platform for filmmakers is a major motivator for us. We enjoy the process of seeing so much talent and meeting a lot of great people during the event itself.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

The festival is new to FilmFreeway and so far it is great. The system for us is very easy to use , to manage and judge the projects. Since we opened for submissions we have had entires from Ireland, UK, USA, Japan, Australia , Germany, France, Italy, Lithuania and surprisingly Iraq which is fantastic to see. The festival does get international films every year, however so far we have seen an increase from them and from more countries this year. We are looking forward to watching the projects and providing a wide variety of national and international film screenings at this years event.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

Honestly hard to tell. Even though the festival is successful in many ways in the terms of the amount of submissions we get and we always get a good audience, our funding is very limited. We take one year at a time. It is my hope that we can keep it going, build it up and expand the series of events that put on.

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

Ha tough one! I have watched a lot of films many times over the years. Up there would be Shawshank Redemption, the Godfather, Back to the Future trilogy

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

A well written story with strong developed characters, performed by excellent actors.

10) How is the film scene in your city

Waterford has many beautiful spots for filming in the City and County. There is a lot of talent out there in the short film scene but in terms of funding for films it would be behind other cities in Ireland. There are people in the filming community who are working together to try and improve this and encourage filmmakers to use Waterford as a location, which is great to see. However In my opinion more investment is needed but I think within 5-10 years the overall scene will be bigger and hopefully we will see more filmmakers using Waterford as a filming location in the future.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Nicole Manoochehri (Los Angeles Dance Short Film Festival)

Los Angeles Dance Shorts Film Festival is a festival featuring dance films that are under ten minutes. The 2nd annual festival is taking place on June, 23rd 2018 and features a night of dance film, networking and a filmmakers Q&A.

 Website: http://www.ladanceshortsfilmfest.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ladanceshortsfilmfest/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ladanceshortsfilmfest/

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

Nicole Manoochehri: Giving filmmakers and dancers the opportunity to share their films in front of an audience, making connections and having the chance to speak about their films and the genre of screendance. 

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

A relaxed environment where you can grab a hot beverage and pastry from the cafe, watch dance films in the adjacent screening room, hopefully have a great time, learn something and bond with other dance film lovers. 

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

Simply, dance under ten minutes. 

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

Since becoming a festival director, I have realized that there are so many factors to take into account when considering a film for the festival’s program. We only have a limited amount of time available and we try our best to fit as many films in that slot as possible. I know how much goes into filmmaking and I really wish we could screen every single film that we receive. Especially with dance films, you are looking at art. Art is subjective. When it comes down to it, everything is just an opinion and as an artist myself you always have to remember to take nothing personal and just keep doing what you do best “Create”.   

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

When we start receiving submissions from around the world and I see these amazing films. I want to promote the films and the artist to the best of my ability and spread an awareness of dance films. It really can be a powerful and beautiful form of storytelling. 

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been? 

FilmFreeway is great! We use it exclusively for our festival. I like to have everything in one place. It is my submission site of preference when submitting as well so I’m a huge fan here! 

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023? 

Hopefully, still around! Seriously though, I hope that in five years we have grown as a festival but still have the same vibe as when we first started. The goal would to be able to create more opportunities for the filmmakers and dancers. I would love to have multiple screenings with a full house in every single one! 

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

 “Amélie”. Love that film! 

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

A film that is thought provoking. 

10) How is the film scene in your city? 

We are located in Los Angeles so the film scene is pretty popping! As far as the dance film scene goes, we are one of only four dance film festivals. Three (including us) have started in the last couple of years so I feel like the screendance scene is definitely growing here! 

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Warren Workman (Feature Film Festival)

With a history of excellence in selecting the best films Feature Film Festival delivers a reputation that will draw attention to your film. Every submission is screened by no less than three committee members. All nominees are then viewed by the entire jury. The winner in each category will receive a beautifully engraved trophy.