Interview with Festival Director Kirill Proskura (MIND THE INDIE FILM FESTIVAL (MTIFF))

Mind the Indie Film Festival is an independent international film festival. It was established with the idea to showcase the best indie films twice a year in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Our mission is to give filmmakers a chance to present their films, shine a light on the value of non-studio productions, and educate audiences of the quality and importance of independent cinema.

https://www.mtiff.org/

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

Kirill Proskura: Mind the Indie Film Festival gives a platform for talented film artists, who create meaningful films that are worth seeing and sharing, but lack the backing of studios, expensive marketing campaigns or famous personas.

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

You’d be able to see our selection of the best short and feature films, thought-provoking documentaries, high quality animation and student films from around the world.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

They need to have a great story, great acting and great sound.

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

I think so, yes. At the moment, the film festival scene worldwide is like a massive lottery, and productions with known cast and big P&A get a free pass to most festivals. So it comes to the point that independent filmmakers, who make great films outside of studios and companies with deep pockets, have little to no chance of getting their films screened anywhere.

That’s why it must become the job of festivals like Mind the Indie Film Festival to show audiences that there are great films and great stories told by people who have little to no money to make them.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

The motivation comes from the idea that we love great films, and as indie filmmakers ourselves we want to bring more awareness of independent films to the audience in Bulgaria. We feel this is a very important task, especially since most known festivals in Bulgaria go about screening new releases from Hollywood instead of independent films.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It’s been really great. The platform is very straightforward and super easy to navigate. FilmFreeway is doing a great job with constant updates that help the filmmakers and festivals to get the best experience from it.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We would like to make Mind the Indie Film Festival the number one film festival to go to in Bulgaria. There are plans to grow further and ideas set in motion, but I can’t tell much about it yet. Follow us on social media to keep up to date with what we’re up to.

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

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a great story.

How is the film scene in your city?

The film scene in Plovdiv is slowly growing, both in terms of film productions and the interest in indie cinema.

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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 Jonny Mancini (FROSTBITE International Film Festival)

FROSTBITE is an international online festival devoted to recognizing those who push the boundaries of what cinema can do, regardless of their budget or production quality.

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

Jonny Mancini: Every single one of our judges and festival coordinators is a filmmaker, and know the difficulty of entering your film into bigger festivals to hopefully win awards. Submission prices are generally unaffordable, and even if they are not, indie films tend to not be selected more than bigger budget short films. Our goal as student filmmakers and future teachers of film is to create an environment where professionals, low-budget, and student filmmakers can receive recognition on an equal plane. We offer many different categories and awards, in support of uncommonly recognized genres such as dance film, action sports, and demo reels. We offer a wide range of other categories, and they grow every month as we open themed or genre categories offering unique awards. There are an endless amount of vital aspects which go into the creation of any film, and we offer as many awards as we can for each of these aspects which require a lot of effort on the filmmaker or animators part. We give out awards every month to films for everything from editing and cinematography to concept strength and dialogue design. These small essential details are what can set low-budget or student film far above films with a professional budget, and our jury aims to see they all get the recognition they deserve.

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

Our festival is primarily online in order for us to keep up the pace with giving out awards and getting our winners screened as much and as soon as possible. We have only had local submitters in attendance to our monthly studio screenings, but we offer direct feedback to any of our selections who request it to get the most directly personal experience we can with them as a high pace online festival.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Our selections are determined by very specific criteria based on the effort put in by the filmmakers, and the innovative aspects of these underground films which inspire and push the boundaries of what cinema is. We look for things we have never seen before, and regardless of quality of equipment or budget, we look for films which show excellence in storytelling, dialogue, editing, and technique.

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

As student filmmakers we work hard at our passions, and we have experienced first hand what festivals are looking for, as well as what kind of a message they look for in films. What it comes down to is most elite festivals do not consider films fairly based on the merit of their unique or innovative aspects; even some festivals who claim to do this often do not! Most of them look for emotional appeal, inspiring story, or professional camera technique. These methods for storytelling are wonderful, however, they are copies, and do not push the adaptation of cinema for the future.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

It is simple. We want to see unique films which deserve recognition, receive the recognition they deserve. Every filmmaker from every nation has a unique means to telling their stories, and we want to make sure the world looks at their awards, and gives them the consideration they deserve despite not having the quality of equipment of high budget films.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Incredible, FilmFreeway has been our primary platform for receiving submitters and we have managed to receive a very even mix of professional, low-budget, and student films. This has made it easy for us to consider them for awards based on their unique merits.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We aim to see our festival giving out twice the awards, and bringing in professional filmmakers as judges every month. We want to have large theatre screenings for our winners, and promote them to an even more vast online film audience than we already do.

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

The Fifth Element (1997) by Luc Besson

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is simply one which makes a contribution to the development of cinema, and manifests a visceral experience for the viewer, as opposed to just images on a screen.

How is the film scene in your city?

Colorado Springs has often in the past been dubbed “Little Hollywood,” as it is gleaming with young indie filmmakers and innovators creating incredible projects. The city in right on the foothills of the rockies, and offers an immensely diverse filming environment from alien landscapes which feel far from earth, to jungles, and to deserts high with dunes.

 

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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 Mariah Mathew (Little Wing Film Festival)

Little Wing grew out of passion, persistence, and frustration at the difficulty of finding paid work for young professionals in creative industries. We’re about providing first-time film makers with the tools and opportunities they need to foster career growth, from entertainment and education, to networking and support.

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

Mariah Mathew: I created Little Wing as a platform for first-time filmmakers to have their work seen, and to be rewarded for it in more ways than ‘exposure’. We’re doing everything within our means to reward them with prizes that facilitate their next project and foster career growth. Working unpaid is such a difficult and unsustainable expectation of young creatives trying to break into their industry, and as Little Wing continues to grow alongside its filmmakers, I hope to make it something of a pebble in the pond towards changing attitudes around unpaid work.

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

Expect a lovably small, grungy theatre above a pub with a long history of launching careers in theatre and comedy. Over the weekend we’re hosting a filmmaking workshop amidst screenings, and want to foster an atmosphere of support, collaboration and development. For the public, it’s a space to see some incredible films from the next generation of filmmakers, and for filmmakers, it’s a space to see what is being produced by their peers and meet like-minded creatives over a pint in the bar downstairs. Oh, and free popcorn.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

The festival is open exclusively to first-time filmmakers within two years of their first film, recent graduates within 2 years of their graduation date, and current students.

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

Having access to the best equipment doesn’t guarantee a great film – but it doesn’t hurt. First-time filmmakers aren’t necessarily the most affluent or opportunity-rich of people, and despite being talented, lack of accessibility to equipment and costly software can be a disadvantage that makes it harder for new starters to have their work considered in many festivals. We want to provide a step-up in getting these films to a professional standard that you’d see in festivals, rather than accept only those that have the means to already at that level already.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

When I was trying to break into the creative industry, my unpaid internships, volunteering and ‘work experience’ made living in London unsustainable, when also working for minimum wage to pay rent. When the expectation is that young creatives have to work unpaid to begin their careers, it disadvantages those who don’t have financial support, and those who aren’t living at home. I got so fed up with working hard, and knowing I have the creativity and drive that could generate great things, but people weren’t willing to pay for it when the demand was such that they could fill the position for free. I decided to create a space where I could hire myself, and try and alleviate the struggles of young creatives that were in similar positions.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

FilmFreeway has been the most user-friendly submissions platform I’ve used so far. I look forward to seeing their filmmaker network continue to grow, and having them branch out into different accepted currencies (come on, GBP!).

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

The path of Little Wing will be very much directed by the demand from young creatives and what changes they want to see in their industries. Starting in film and growing each year, we would soon like to integrate a design competition element into the festival, and over the next few years branch out into music. We have a Community Forum online where young creatives are encouraged to share their experiences in their industries and give suggestions for what changes they would like to see and where Little Wing might be able to assist.

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

Possibly Howl’s Moving Castle. Or Pan’s Labyrinth. I tried learning Spanish from watching it and realized I was probably developing an accent from the 1940s. Also Edward Scissorhands, American History X, and The Life of Brian.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Something that shakes me with empathy for the human experience.

How is the film scene in your city?

London’ is the film hub of the United Kingdom. One of my concerns when first imagining the possibility of a festival was that perhaps the festival scene was saturated with this kind of thing already, but there’s been a clear call out for support of new filmmakers and as we grow we’ll continue to set ourselves apart. It will be interesting to see how the city contributes to Little Wing’s growth and direction.

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 Alex P. Michaels (Prelude2Cinemas)

The festival began as a monthly event created by Prelude2Cinema, a movie and marketing company. The goal was not just to screen movies from all over the world, but offer filmmakers a chance at distribution from the company. After four events, the festival decided a change of venue and a chance to regroup. In August 2017, the festival will relaunch with at least four events per year. The other thing that makes the event different is that there is live entertainment and food served at each event. We have had musicians, magicians and filmmakers interacting with the audience. By the end of the year, Prelude2Cinema presents… looks forward to offering funding for filmmakers.

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

Alex P. Michaels: Prelude2Cinema presents… has given filmmakers more exposure and with a future chance for funding and distribution, we hope to establish ourselves as a film market/ film festival. Being filmmakers ourselves, we are geared toward helping other filmmakers reach an audience.

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

Filmmakers are treated like royalty. We make certain to invite the press and give their film attention and encourage them to talk to the audience about their work and future goals. We also have live entertainment and food at each event as part of the ticket price.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We like a certain level of quality, but realize your movie may not be “Hollywood” standards. We are drawn to movies that have distinct voices and are something you normally don’t see. Short films are better for programming, but we do screen features. We also keep the films from past festivals to screen at other screenings and keep in touch with the filmmakers.

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

A few festivals have turned into Hollywood promotion events and certain movies are selected before they are even finished. A festival should be a chance to discover a movie that does not have movie stars but maybe offer a glimpse at future movie stars and directors. A lot of festivals can be narrow in their film selection as well and advertise they are looking for one type of movie but have a preference for another genre all together.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

As filmmakers, we wanted to give help to fellow filmmakers. Prelude2Cinema is also building a movie studio here in our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and want to produce other filmmakers. We thought a festival would be a great way to build a relationship with filmmakers from all over the world.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Great. The process and payments are easy and we appreciate the template so people can discover our festival. We have had movies from Canada, Russia, France and the US. FilmFreeway is a great tool for any festival organizer.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Prelude2Cinema presents… wants to be able to screen trailers of movies and have screenplays submitted that we can later award production deals to. Imagine a film festival where your trailer screens, and you are awarded a budget to produce that movie? Even if we bring in movies with known stars, we always want to make certain there is equal room for new directors and actors. We want the festival to be about discovering the new filmmakers.

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

“Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I’ve seen it about 20 times.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Big Money. Big Stars. No. Just kidding. Actually what makes a great movie is one that lingers with you. One that changes how you look at the world. One that you find yourself thinking about years later. I truly believe movies can be art. And art should always touch your soul.

How is the film scene in your city?

The Cleveland film scene is kind of paradoxically. The movie business is Show Business. Yet, here, it is all about SHOW and very little about business. There are talented filmmakers here and the usual jealousy and egos that go along with being an artist. Sadly a lot of artist here wear “Starving Artist” as a badge of honor. They work regular jobs and do some crowdfunding and get patrons but shy away from the business aspects of our industry. I am a director myself and have acted in my movies and for other filmmakers. While I personally would like to create more movies, I do devote a large amount of time to building a pool of funding. Prelude2Cinema has just partnered with a nonprofit Give to Cleveland that is focused on the economic growth of the region. We are able to accept tax deductible donations for our movies and the studio we are working on building. While we definitely have a strong community of filmmakers with great talent, I truly believe unless we get consistent funding, we will never be able to rise above the “Starving Artist” syndrome.
 

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Emmy winning writer and award winning director, Alex has produced a number of indie movies and a TV series in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He founded the Movie and Marketing Company Prelude2Cinema. Although Prelude2Cinema shoots in Northeast, Ohio, its movies have played all over the world. Alex also acts in other movies from other directors. Alex is the Cinema Czar and dedicated to creating a Cinema Industry in Northeast Ohio that is based on the old Hollywood Studio System and promotes movies and includes Hollywood and Indie filmmakers.

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 Danny Caprio (The Mediterranean Film Festival (MedFF))

The Mediterranean Film Festival (MedFF) is an film festival that rewards every month the best for each category. Its objective is to promote independent films and emerging artists by making them competing with more established ones.

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

Danny Caprio: The MEDFF was born to promote directors all over the world, the goal being to get in touch with productions, actors and artists in general, interested in realizing projects together. Until now we have always been able to enhance our members.

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

The experience of this long year of festival has been very important. We had major artists from all over the world: Radha Mitchell, Jessica Cameron, Brooke Lewis and Alexandre Di Martini. The job was very difficult because we had more than 2500 members, of whom only 10/15% came to the final selections. The live event was held in Syracuse and rewarded the best choices from the public. 2018 will provide more surprises

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

I want to point out that it’s never easy to select a movie. Every filmmaker has its own style and we know from the MEDFF that in every movie there is also a piece of soul of the producer. The jury chooses on the basis of the different types of enrollment and evaluates the different aspects of cinematography.

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

The cinema market is like a moon park. Each attraction has a certain number of viewers and most of the time these people follow the mass.

Many films fail to exit the festivals because they do not have adequate marketing support behind them. For this reason, MEDFF has partnered with iPitchTv to help filmmakers have a faster and cheaper marketing channel.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

It does not take much to find the right reasons. You become part of MEDFF only if you have great love for cinema.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

I love Filmfreeway, it has a nice method to submission

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

I hope in live TV

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

Shining! it is a MUST – it is a CULT

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

The actors

How is the film scene in your city?

Not so bad….we have unconventional movies, where i am the CEO, and we produce low budget movies.

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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 Chris Velazquez (THE VIOLETTE FILM FESTIVAL)

The Violette Film Festival is an Independent film festival that will be going on side by side with the CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC COMIC CON in MERCED,CA.

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

Chris Velaquez: Our festival’s number one goal is to get exposure for film makers who might not have had the chance to show their work before, or first time film makers that do not have enough experience. Both professional and first timers alike have the opportunity to show their work and in the process get a festival under their belt to help them in the first step to building their craft and audience in the festival circuit.

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

We plan on having screenings of all of the film entries selected as well as a few film premiers. The festival will be happening along side a Comic Con so not only will there be an audience attending the festival but attendees of the Comic Con have access to the festival as well. This way for the film makers their films have the potential of reaching more people. We also plan to have a guest speaker as well as guest celebrity award presenters including Julie Dolan of Star Wars Rebels and Steven Skyler of Power Rangers and more!

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

They need to be well thought out, put together as best as possible nu the film maker and most importantly they need to tell a story. For us it does not matter the type of camera or experience you have, it is how you tell your story and entertain an audience. If you are a good story teller and film maker it will show. We are looking for films as well as Fan Films for our fan film contest that have clean audio, a well put together story and something entertaining of the audience to enjoy.

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

yes and no…Yes in a way because of the reason why we started this festival. As a film maker myself it was very hard to get in to my first festival. It seemed to me a lot of film festivals where, in my opinion, only selecting films from people that either A) had a backing such as money or a company putting up the film and or B) Had work that was known or had prerequisites for the film makers or films( Previous screenings at festivals, Film Students only, Film vs Digital, Budgets, Etc.) for first timers like me at the time, it was very hard to get in to a festival. That is why we created our festival…no Experience needed, if you are a great film maker it will show and we will accept your film.

With that said the part I think they do get a fair shake in is that once you get a film in to a film festival the opportunities are amazing. The networking, exposure and talent that is in the festivals is a great atmosphere for creative minds to get together and make the connections that will lead to amazing things.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

To give people a chance to live their dreams and show their work. For me film making is a passion in I love and I am thankful for being able to do what I love for a living and through this festival we can give other film makers a chance to show their work, get exposure and help them in the step to making their dreams come true and further their careers.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

It has been so easy and great. The selection process is so simple and when the submissions close the judging process is already set up and simple to use. I love this site and will be using film freeway for future festivals

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Currently we are contracted and sponsored by the awesome people at the California Republic Comic Con ( the event that is going on side by side with the festival) and we hope that by 2020 We will have an even bigger foot print and possibly just our own event. We are currently the largest film festival to come to our town and our goal is to some day reach the level of Sundance…of course that is a long ways away but its a dream.

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

That is a tough one, let me think…I think the answer to that would be…I don’t know for sure. I am a huge movie buff and I own a huge collection of films. I think it is safe to say for me the top four films I’ve seen the most would be Psycho, Edward Scissorhands, The Fifth Element and Star Wars a new hope.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film to me has the ability to transport an audience by visually telling a great story and giving them something they can enjoy over and over again with the feeling of you have never seen anything like it before.

How is the film scene in your city?

As of early 2017 it is starting to grow rapidly. Myself and other film makers in the city banded together to create films, we started to show them at local screenings and within some time we have been able to get new film makers to join us not only in our town but from out of the city as well.

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Chris Velazquez:

Born and raised in the central valley, Chris Velazquez has had a love for everything film from a very young age. He received his first camera when he was 5 years old and never looked back. He is an award winning film maker with close to 60 projects completed to date from music videos to short films. He is the co owner of Violette Films along side his wife Margarita. Chris is also currently working as the Violette Film Festival Director as well as Creating a Web series based on a short film that received high praise in 2016 called Chrono•Film that is set to start production in fall 2017. He lives in the central Valley with his wife Margarita and their Daughter Violette, whom their film company and festival are named after.

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 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
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 Arilyn Martinez Cora (LATINO FILM MARKET)

The Latino Film Market 2017 (LFM) event focuses on providing community networking opportunities and creating direct tools for upcoming Latino filmmakers and industry professionals internationally. LFM takes place July 28 – 30, 2017, in collaboration with La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, a 37-year old, nonprofit, cultural organization, housed at El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109, in East Harlem, New York. LFM will engage participants from the USA, the Caribbean and other Latin American countries, with a potential participation of 500 – 600 individuals.

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 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