Interview with Filmmaker Matt Mahmood-Ogston (MY GOD I’M QUEER)

MY GOD I’M QUEER played to rave reviews at the June 2020 LGBT Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Matt Mahmood-Ogston: On 30th July, 2014, my fiancé, my partner in everything, and eternal soulmate Naz (Dr Nazim Mahmood) sadly took his own life, two days after his religious family confronted him about his sexuality. It was the first time they had heard about our 13-year relationship and our plans to marry. They told Naz to go to a psychiatrist to be ‘cured’. They treated him like a disease that needed to be got rid of.

The day after Naz passed away I was told by his family that he was living in ‘sin’ because of their religious beliefs. In the same breath I was also told that I was living in ‘sin’ because of ‘my religion’. They told me not to tell anyone that Naz ‘liked men’ as it would bring ‘shame’ on their family. Out of respect I followed their wishes, until it reached a point and I decided I could not sit back and let this happen to anyone else ever again.

Our film, My God, I’m Queer was produced in 2019 with a goal of being screened for the first time at a large event in London to mark 5 years since my darling Naz passed away. The goal was to ensure that Naz would never be forgotten, and his life would help others to never experience the same pain and rejection that he went through.


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

The first scenes were actually filmed over two years ago, but they were filmed long before we had any solid plans for making this particular film. I’d actually known for the last four years that I wanted to make a film…. But I lacked confidence and did not believe I had what it takes to make a film. And then I met my Producer Meera in December 2018 on the way to a Christmas party. We both wanted to make our first documentary – so we agreed to make the film together. The rest is history!

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

My God!

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

This was a deeply personal and emotionally challenging journey for me personally. And I know I wouldn’t have been able to complete this film without rockstar Producer like Meera. Other than emotion, probably the biggest challenge was learning how to make a film, while making a film. I barely knew how to use my camera when we first started filming!

We were blessed with an incredible group of contributors who all spent so much time and energy to help make the film a success.

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

We were smiling inside and felt proud of ourselves. To hear reactions from complete strangers who not only watched our film, but who had understood and could articulate some of the many intense struggles that our contributors, and my late fiancé had experienced.

The format and platform provided by the LGBT Feedback Festival organizers has been truly nourishing and rewarding for us two first time filmmakers.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I knew that I wanted to make a film to be screened on 30th July 2019 – five years since my fiancé Naz passed away. But it was so important that the film would not be perceived as a memorial film. It needed to be a film that could be used as a tool to help inspire others to be themselves, and to live their lives freely and openly. I was hugely inspired by the creative work of artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand who so beautifully captures the human spirit on film.

We wanted our film to feel like an ‘experience’, where our audience could escape too… and when the journey of the film was over we wanted our audience to feel moved, inspired, uplifted and optimistic about their own future.

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

True Romance, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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

Pretty amazing. Once we had got our head around how the process works, and made our first few mistakes, the experience was all uphill after that. It’s truly incredible that this one site has the power to create life-changing opportunities and connect new and experienced filmmakers to audiences all around the world.

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

Say Something (I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you) – ft. Christina Aguilera

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

My God, Im Queer – this is the first episode of our anthology. Once this film is available publicly we will then start releasing a series of shorter films, each focusing more in-depth on the lives of each of our contributors.

Meera and I met for the first time at the beginning of this project. Along this journey we became friends, and we now call each other family. We are looking forward to start filming together again on a new project. We’re already working on two new documentary ideas. One project proposal has been well received by the documentary department at one of the UK’s largest newspapers. So fingers crossed, when filming restrictions are lifted we can begin filming again!

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Interview with Filmmaker Fehmi Öztürk (FREE FUN)

FREE FUN was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the LGBT Feedback Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Fehmi Öztürk: Seeing the difference between people’s reality in social life and their own reality led me to make this film.

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

It took almost 20 days within everything. Me and my team are shooting TV series that last 120 minutes per episode for every week in Turkey. Therefore it was very comfortable for us to get organized. We did not spend time finding funds because we did our own production by ourselves. Our preparation took almost 1 week, and our shooting was 1 day. Post production last about 10 days. We know it sounds like impossible. Some people who live in outside of the Turkey couldn’t believe that we shot this short film in one day. However, it is possible for us because of working conditions in Turkish Tv World. In Turkey we are shooting almost 20 pages of script on a normal set day.That’s why one day was enough for us to shoot.

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

glorious lies

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

My biggest obstacle was me. Free Fun is my first movie. I couldn’t sleep because of excitement the day before shooting so I had to go to set without sleep. On the set I felt heart-throb because of sleeplessness and excitement.Therefore I had to go to the hospital. My heartbeat returned to normal but the doctor said we cannot discharge you from the hospital.It was a decision moment for me, either I stay in the hospital and not complete the film, or I would convince the doctor, be discharged and complete the film. Of course, I convinced the doctor. We lost 4 hours because of me, but in the end we finished that day.

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

I was very excited, people who lived far from where I lived and who lived where I had never been, were talking about my movie with excitement. I remembered my excitement when I first explained my dream to my close friends. It is very nice to be understood and perceived in another part of the world and witness it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

we have many roles in daily life, like being a mother, being a father, being a child.. All of them have a social games and rules, and these roles take place within these rules.

A question got stuck in my mind. What is the truth of man? Is it a social game or the game itself? Looking for answers to these questions I set up this story

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

There are a lot of movies I’ve watched over and over, but I’m not sure which one I watched the most. I can say all the films of Wong Kar Wai, especially Happy Together and 2046

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

This is a comfortable platform especially for short filmmakers. We can search according to our needs, everything is very regular, we can easily apply. we don’t need to enter our information over and over again. we can be aware of every festival. this is a very comfortable space.

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

I think this is the hardest question. My musical taste changes according to my mood. Just looked at my music list, I have listened to the song “The day before you came” from Abba so far

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

The shooting of my second movie is over. I am currently interested in post production. I worked on the concept of “father” in my first film “Free Fun”, and I tried to deal with the concept of “mother” in my second film. I love Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata“ movie. The problematic relationship between the mother and daughter there was my reference point. I really wanted to have a girl revenge on her mother in the film. I made the movie “a mother’s sonata” with this desire for revenge.

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Interview with Filmmaker Kayleb Lee (LE COUP)

LE COUP was the winner of BEST FILM at the June 2020 Romance Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kayleb Lee: My motivations for the film is a combination of seeking creative storytelling methods and metaphors. With the circumstances being if I only had two actors, one location — how can I tell a unique story? So I wrote “Le Coup”, translated to French as ‘The Shot’ and an anagram for Coup(le), so the metaphor of the film being “one shot” and their shot(s) in their own relationship.

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

It took 1 month of writing, tweaking, and planning. Our production was 2 days: one for set-up and the last day for filming. However, editorial took 3 – 4 months, getting the sound, editing, and pacing to what we felt was right.

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

Relationship Stories.

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

Editorial. Engaging the audience through mostly sound was much more difficult than anticipated. It provided a different challenge and respect for the art of sound designers and music editors.

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

Surprised. Honored. Blessed. Much of the previous reactions were from peer student filmmakers and the criticism focused on technical nuances. So to hear from an audience that my intentions in story and cinematic creative goals were ingested makes all the hard work of my team and I worth it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It was actually accidental, while I was brainstorming alongside my motivations. I went to sleep, but awoke to my neighbors fighting and arguing. It clicked and sparked me to write around that moment.

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

The Fox and The Hound on VHS.

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

I believe FilmFreeway is a valuable source for independent filmmakers today. It’s also a place where you can discover other artists and see how a film or subject plays in a variety of communities. I think our generation is blessed to have such a platform, it’s not to say things are easier than before, but that opportunity has grown.

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

This is a hard question, I listen to a variety of music depending on what I’m doing. When I write, sometimes I listen to classical music and other times, depending on the story beats, I’ll find a melody that matches to find that emotion.

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

Right now, I am actually part of the Academy’s Gold Program. It’s a talent development and inclusion initiative. I’m focused on improving my filmmaking and working on developing another short. It’s between Subli(mind)al and Cupid Hates You. One dives in mental health and identity, while the lather explores a person who loves love.

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Interview with Filmmaker Alex Farias (ANIMAL HEADS)

ANIMAL HEADS was the winner of BEST FANTASY FILM at the June 2020 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Alex Farias: I think I am always looking for ways in narrative film to tell a story out of the context of the world we know in order to reach people in a new way. It’s like getting an audience to form new associations. I wanted to make people ask questions rather than force a message.

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

About a year. We did a lot of planning and pre production. I created color palettes for each scene, we designed all the “devices” and Kalani (my production designer) constructed and painted all the masks by hand. In post David (editor) and I worked really hard. I was so specific about how I wanted the color but only knew how to use photoshop. I colored shot by shot in photoshop which then David translated into premiere. It was all a big undertaking!

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

Dark yet pure.
I guess that’s three.

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

I think just learning how to communicate as a director. This was my first film. I was very specific about composition because I knew with the masks there were some elements of expression that were out of my control. It was a beautiful challenge. Working with children is fun and difficult, and they were little troopers with those things on their head. I’d say the shower scene with the mother (actor Taigé Lauren) was really scary for me because I knew I needed it to hit hard for me to feel like I got my point across. It felt good to get what we needed from that.

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

It’s so great to see people being moved by your work. But moreover, what I love is to see people ask questions and really ponder how it affected them. It reminds me of why I am a filmmaker.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I really don’t know how I came up with it. I think often it feels less like I was underwater, found the idea just laying there and came to surface with it. But I do remember I had some friends over at my house one night, one of them being my other production designer, Lela Wulsin. I pitched the idea and everyone started sort of coming alive with ideas about what that kind of world would imply. I could tell it was an idea that would get people thinking. Obviously I hadn’t known the ways in which masks, identity and dystopia would be relevant as it is now in this very specific time in history.

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

Forrest Gump. It used to be on Cable TV all the time.

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

I think it’s solid. It’s nice to have everything streamlined and in one place.

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

Baltimore by Nina Simone, maybe. Though I think I can sing every lyric of every song that was on VH1 in the early 2000s- so if I could actually run the numbers it might be a much more embarrassing answer.

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

I am in development for a documentary I am directing. It’s about artists who have fled a repressive regime. Definitely a change of pace for me but it feels like the correct place to put my creative energy right now.

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Interview with Filmmaker Jacob Seidman (FALL TO FAME)

FALL TO FAME was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the June 2020 Chicago FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Jacob Seidman: I wanted to create an opportunity for myself. Being able to build something from scratch, meeting and working with so many talented and collaborative people is what I enjoy doing more than anything else.

As a gay man I tend to write LGBTQ content, my goal is always to create material about people, not about people who are different. I want everyone to have a moment or a character that they can relate to throughout the piece.

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

Well the initial script sat on the shelf for year after I wrote it. I dusted it off and reworked it with my writing partner Ashlee Curtis. And once I brought the script to Matt Lynn at Bridge the Divide Media, the process was about 10 months from start to finish.

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

Romantic. Closure.

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

Luckily we didn’t really have a lot of obstacles! We pushed back production dates a few times so that we could coordinate with the actors we truly wanted to be part of the piece.

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

I was so honored to hear the feedback from the audience members. I loved hearing people discuss the duality of the interview situation in the piece, the conversation within the conversation. This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve. It is great that people are getting that moment from the piece, but was also very fun to see how excited people were to discuss it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I tend to write about subjects centered around a relationship or a breakup…I should probably try therapy, but I write instead!…As an actor in Hollywood I wanted to explore the idea of doing whatever it takes to be successful, and whether it’s fully worth it or not.

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

Probably “Singin’ in the Rain”. I can do all the dance numbers for you too!

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

I love FilmFreeway, I’ve used it for many years for multiple projects and I have always had a great experience.

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

I currently have a web series online that was fully filmed in quarantine, @searchingforjoshbrolin on Instagram. A light and fun comedic series.

I also wrote and filmed a fully quarantine short film with three actors filming at home, in three different states, and a virtual director overseeing on Zoom.

And when live theatre is a thing again I have an original play “#CommitmentIssues”, that will be premiering at some point in the future.

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Interview with Filmmaker Thomas Gailhard (SAH MATA)

SAH MATA played to rave reviews at the June 2020 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Thomas Gailhard : Several purposes. First I wanted to celebrate contrast, allow myself to put an aestethical base coat to contrast with all my work so far. To create a pure, wide and oppressing atmosphere. Chess is anticipation, a chess board is the same for all, only time can change. everyone has his own speed of life, when the brain is too fast, it can beat the time, but when it has to slower to an uncomfortable zone, the game is the same, but more reflexion can lead to more chances of being defeated when it takes too much time, when your clock is not right.

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

Around 6 month for shooting, and another year and a half for the post production
2 years total

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

Sah Mata

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

Financing the post production maybe, but mostly to decide to do something with it after it was edited and fresh new. I showed it to family and friends with no grade and no sound at all (it all was created in post) and I felt there was not really a reason for me to put more money in it yet because ” anyway, people will not get it”

I’m happy today with all these encouraging reactions! I finally took the time and energy to polish the concept entirely and decide it was finish at some point

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

First curiosity. First I realized when I saw appearing the first guy, oh damn, I don’t know him, I barely understand everything he said, but he saw my movie and enjoyed it, at least some parts of it;; that’s juste crazy for me :)))
That gave me tears man.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I always try to imagine a parallel from reality to simplify things, undress them in order to ask simple questions, how the reality can be translated into duality

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

probably The Big Lebowski.. Mulholland Drive if we include the time we talk about it after watching it with friends

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

It really helps ! Unless being a very deep internet researcher, you could never find these opportunities. So thanks FilmFreeway for allowing this to many film makers and producers

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

That’s a good question

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

Yes, I have found a little production in Paris with whom I will be shooting. The screenplay is in its lasts version and soon we can start pre-shooting

That was a pleasure guys,

Thanks again and long live Cinema !

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Interview with Filmmaker Chun Yao Chang (A POEM IN BAMBOO)

A POEM IN BAMBOO played to rave reviews at the June 2020 Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Chun Yao: It was my thesis film that I cooperated with my partner Xufei. We were Computer Arts majored students and we were so excited to make an animation that the story is love related, a little bit creepy but touching. And the more I dive into the process, the more I am in love with it.

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

A: It takes about eight months from the concept to finishing. It can be longer if the invisible time is included, like the time finding the inspiration, the animation, editing and layout idea and CGI technical experience…etc.

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

A: Love matters

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

A; I would say it is the combination of communication and limited production timing. The project has many new ideas either on the story side and technical side. The team wants the best visual quality, so we discuss a not, trying many possible solutions with the resource and timing we have. That is pretty hard to me and I am glad things turn out to be good.

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

A: I am very happy and glad that the language barrier did not influence the viewing experience too much. I feel grateful seeing all these feedbacks. It means a lot to a director knowing how the audiences think about this film and it push me to keep going.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

A: The story is adopt from a Chinese novel “菉竹山房”that talk about the love tragedy in the older generation. Our team find the story very interesting, so we take the big idea and reveal it with different characters’ interaction and a more powerful ending which is more connected to ourselves. We believe that Some people do not die, they rise with the spirit and live in our memories.

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

A: I enjoy watching Interstellar and Inception very much. They all have their main missions to accomplish but the part that Matthew or Leonardo try their best to connect with their lovers is the most touching part to me.

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

A: I think it is very convenience that save me lots of time on submitting the paper work. It is also very organized, which allows me get the general information easily by just going to one website and reach out for more details after.

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

A: I like “These Woods” by Llara very much. Her music is very refreshing and has
been inspiring and encouraging to me as a human who might face ups and downs in live.

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

A: Yes. I am planning another short which is also talk about the love between a couple and the journey they been through. It would be another simple life style but full with meaningful relationship that is small but matters a lot. I am looking forward to this project.

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Interview with Filmmaker Sarah Schuessler (LIT)

LIT was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the June 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Sarah Schuessler: As an older sister, I’ve been directing my younger sister, Thia (Lit’s lead) our whole lives. Our parents have the home movies to prove this. I’ve designed the costumes for most of her short films in our adulthood and have given plenty of notes in editing/scripts over the years. I think there are a lot of costume designers who are secret, or not-so-secret, directors, so I told her I really wanted the chance to officially direct her in something where we got to dig into a little scene work.

We had a rare, free Sunday last summer where our whole crew was available. “We” being a real family affair: Thia would star, edit, write, produce; our cousin, Marisa would light and shoot it; my boyfriend, Ben, would record sound on set and compose the music; his brother, Dave, would be the boom operator and sound mixer; his girlfriend, Kacie, would be the swing and help make this all happen. Our last ingredient was Thia’s counterpart, Al, a long-time friend and frequent collaborator who I’m glad is not related to the family, given the romantic content.

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

I think we wrote and shot it in August and were finished with it the day before New Year’s Eve. (Four months, where we worked on it in between other jobs).

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

Friend chemistry

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

I think just being at the mercy of our family/crew’s schedules, asking them to work for free, and crossing our fingers that we’d be able to do all that before New Year’s Eve when we wanted to share it with friends and family. I hope I have the chance to pay them handsomely for their work in the future, instead of just begging for the best they can give me in between their other jobs.

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

Honestly, I cried a little! It was really moving to experience people connecting with our work, and giving such specific and thoughtful feedback.

I’m additionally impressed and thankful you’ve been able to carry out your festival during the pandemic. It’s been inspiring to see how much the world has turned to film for comfort, escapism, and entertainment. And to participate in a small part of that, connected through a virtual film festival, felt hopeful.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Thia wrote a screenplay years ago, that we’d more recently adapted into a series, about a woman looking to lose her “second virginity” after years in a long term relationship. We pulled one small set of scenes from that idea and sort of adapted it into a stand alone film. We decided to set it on New Year’s Eve so that we’d have the chance to break out the twinkle lights. I kept referring to it as Scenes for Young Actors, which was a compilation book I grew up with full of great scenes from famous plays. It was basically just the fun/charming/exciting/romantic/dramatic bits to get to roll around in as a performer. I wanted an opportunity to work with Al and Thia on a similar playground.

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

Probably Clueless over many years, and then more recently, Call Me By Your Name. I find both of these movies to be visual feasts, excellent soundtracks, and romantic and soothing in their own ways.

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

I appreciate that it’s straightforward and self-explanatory. It’s efficient to have all of your projects/info in the same place and easily accessible to every fest you submit.

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

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding. It’s an excellent, moody, slow-dance-around-the-kitchen kind of tune that I’ve played while making many meals.

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

I have a beautiful hand-me-down bridal gown from a previous costume job, so Thia and I are trying to cook up a Corona virus wedding story (which I realize sounds like a Mad Lib).

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Interview with Filmmaker Nubar Alexanian (RECIPE FOR DISASTER: GREEN CRABS IN THE GREAT MARSH)

RECIPE FOR DISASTER: GREEN CRABS IN THE GREAT MARSH was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the June 2020 Documentary Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Nubar Alexanian: For more than four decades I’ve been living along the Great Marsh in Massachusetts and I’ve come to know and love it as both a fisherman and a photographer. I was shocked in June 2017 when I found out that invasive green crabs were decimating this profound and delicate ecosystem, and dismayed to discover that very few people knew about it. Making this film is my attempt to bring attention to this critical issue by creating a narrative experience of what’s actually going on – not just in my back yard, but along both coasts of North America and beyond.

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

18 months.

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

Ecological Catastrophe

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

Shooting a local story means wanting to shoot constantly. So we ended up with an enormous amount of footage.

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

The comments affirmed the reasons for making this film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Honestly, I think the subject chose me. When this happens, I just have to keep up with the content until I find the film.

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

The Matrix

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

Making documentary films of any length is an arduous process. Filmfreeway life easier because it’s a huge help in getting our film into the world.

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

My Sweet Lord by George Harrison

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

Scars of Silence
(working title)
Three Generations From Genocide
A Film by Nubar and Abby Alexanian

Logline: An Armenian-American father and daughter set out to understand the powerful legacy of genocide and the ways that a century of silence and denial has shaped their family and themselves. When your family’s brutal past is denied, how do you make sense of the present.

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Interview with Filmmaker Erik Dronberger (FACE THE CANNONBALL)

FACE THE CANNONBALL played to rave reviews at the June 2020 LGBT Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Erik Dronberger: Friends of the LGTBQ community, I wanted to share an experience that people could relate to, so people know they aren’t alone.

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

– About a year for the idea to develop into the finished product, most of which was spent writing.

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

– Courageous banter.

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

– Discovering Donnie as a character and bringing him to life.

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

– I was astounded and delighted. I wasn’t expecting such positive feedback, it felt great knowing that people connected with Donnie.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

– I imagined a cruel experience for Donnie and how he might reflect on it.

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

– The Holy Mountain

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

– I was happy to get into the festival, so it worked out for me.

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

– Grateful Dead – Ramble on Rose

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

– I have a couple of films I want to make: one is about a homeless musician, and the other is a bit lighter and is about a marriage proposal gone terribly wrong.

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