Interview with Festival Director Joshua Trigg (THUNDERDANCE Film Festival)

Thunderdance film festival is a bi-annual event set in the heart of Hackney. TFF focuses on independent fiction, fashion, music and experimental films. Winning films will be screened in local cinemas followed by meet and greets and afterparties. Thunderdance is a festival for the ultimate in new wave London film culture.

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

Thunderdance is a film festival that creates a platform for independent film makers to submit an array of different types of work from fashion, fiction to music videos and experimental films. Something we wanted to bring to the table was a diverse judging panel. From cultural influencers like Sue Tilly, to Colin Salmon (James Bond) judging certain categories. We always want to have exciting and recognisable names for the film makers to feel eager about. So not just limiting judges to those within our own industry, but broadening the spectrum of people who are involved. We want to make sure we are connecting amazing film makers with amazing people from all corners of the industry at the event.

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

Sadly, the tickets are all sold out this time around! However, you can expect a varied arrangement of screening material. A diverse set of films from all over the globe. Something that is integral to what we want to do with this festival is to support independent cinema. We hope to always have the events in small, art house, boutique cinemas. This year starting around the East London area, broadening this in the next few years. Our first screening for the festival will be taking place at the Castle Cinema, which has an amazing history and been re opened via a kickstater programme. This is a really beautiful, almost 20’s style bar cinema. Here we will be screening and holding the afterparty which gives the film makers the best opportunities to network.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films? 

Really there are no qualifications needed. Just good film making. There are a bunch of categories, and we want all film makers to be able to submit their work. In the future we would like to be able to expand this to a student category to help support getting people into the industry. To be honest, we are just curious about the artistic voice of the individuals.

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

No I don’t think films get a fair shake from festivals all the time. For us the most important thing is that if it’s a good film we’re going to champion it. Doesn’t matter where its from, who’s made it. If it’s great it’s great and we want to show it. In the future we would love to get good, interesting, important professionals from the industry to give critical feedback if film makers desired when submitting their film. This could at least give the film maker the opportunity to understand why they may not have been selected. We want to help film makers not discourage them.

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

We are genuinely excited to create something new, fresh and different from anything else we have seen in the circuit. Being a director myself, it’s a similar feeling when I feel I’ve nailed it with a script and we start moving into production. It’s that excitement of knowing you are about to make something really cool and that pre-anticipation is how we feel about this project. It’s that feeling of creating something. I know film makers can relate to that. Within that excitement, we are driven to connect film makers and support artistic communities.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been? 

Film freeway has always been a very useful tool for submitters as it is simple and easy to use, there was a gap in the market and they filled it. Kudos to Film Freeway.
7) Where do you see the festival by 2020? 

By 2020, we’d like to have moved from cities further then Europe. But we want to take our time, as its important to us that we find cultural and artistic hubs where local curators can bring to the table the same sort of elements that make Thunderdance London different and exciting.


thunderdance film festival