Interview with Filmmaker Diana Losen (PRIEST TO PRIEST)

 PRIEST TO PRIEST was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the July 2018 FAMILY Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Diana Losen: I received a grant as part of my graduate program at Northwestern and I wanted to use it to make this short film with the hopes of eventually making the feature length version.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I first had the idea as an undergrad in college so counting that initial spark it took four years.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Holy humor

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Time and money. I had the grant but it was small and I was living in Los Angeles at the time and the actors and cinematographer I worked with lived in Chicago.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was a little nervous to watch the reactions and then I felt so heartened and re-invigorated while listening to the feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I wrote a short story in a spiritual writing class at Pepperdine called “The Brief and Brilliant Reign of Billy Tread” about a nine year old priest who battles a middle school bully and I’d written a separate short play about a vigilante priest and a year or so later, I realized that these characters needed each other so I wrote a feature-length film about them. I chose a few of my favorite scenes from the screenplay that I believed could also work as a stand-alone short film and that’s what I chose to make.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Princess Bride

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

FilmFreeway makes things very easy. No complaints.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

“Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons. Can’t beat those lyrics: “Love, it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you – it will set you free/There is a design, an alignment, a cry of my heart to see the beauty of love as it was made to be.”
But also “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I would love to film the feature length version of “Priest to Priest” which is entitled “The Brief and Brilliant Reign of Billy Tread” but that project is probably a couple of years away. I’m writing a coming of age novel right now about three best friends who grew up in foster care together and who run away to join an alien circus.



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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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