Interview with Filmmaker Jake Hart (VOICES)

VOICES was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the April 2021 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’m part of a very, very small theater/film production company called Some Assembly Required (SAR) here in L.A. Before the pandemic started, we were in our 4th year of producing evenings of one-act plays and short films every few months. The way we work is by literally pulling ideas out of a hat–for Voices, I pulled “tell a story where none of the characters speak the same language.” There were three things I knew for sure right away. First, I really wanted to work with Duality Filmworks again–we made a short called Cradle together a few years earlier that did well at the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fest in 2017. Second, I wanted to give my very talented friend Chris Gross a dramatic role to play for once. Third, I wanted American Sign Language to be a part of the film. Luckily all three happened.

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

The rules with SAR are you have 1 month to write; 1 month to produce. Those two months were October and November of 2016. But post didn’t finish until fall of 2020. I think the next questions will give me a chance to explain some of that, but the short answer to this question is it took the length of the Trump Administration to finish.

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

Inside joke. In the short, the imaginary green dragon that Nik’s daughter drew is based on my childhood imaginary friend. I used to draw him all the time and tell my parents that, when we flew on a plane, P.J. was flying underneath to hold the plane up. There are a lot of reasons I’m glad this short got done, but the biggest one is how touched my parents were that our family dragon was a part of it.

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

The sound. Unfortunately, very little of the production sound was usable, so we had to start from pretty much scratch on the audio mix. I still can’t believe how good it is given what a bad starting place we were in once we had the rough edit was finished. I had no real money to spend fixing it, so it took 4 years for the sound to get to where it is now thanks to pro-bono help whenever they had spare time from my friends Betsy Gain and David Holecheck. The last piece of the puzzle was going back into the tiny location on a very hot day with Chris Gross to do ADR for every line of his dialogue. Of course, the air conditioning had to be off while we recorded, so we were dripping by the end of the session.

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

As a working writer who has been gut-punched by Hollywood on more than one occasion, it was really nice to just hear some damn compliments. We had to make this quickly, in one location, with no special effects, so it was great to hear that all of those elements contributed to things the audience responders enjoyed. I have been a huge fan of Shoshannah Stern for years. When I got her the script, she said she’d only do it if we adjusted how exactly her character and Chris’s character would communicate. I learned a lot from Shoshannah about how incorrect some aspects of how Hollywood portrays such communications are, so it was really important to do it in a way that wasn’t a cheat. Given all that work, hearing the audience responders appreciate the representation of a deaf character meant a lot.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I guess the answer to question 1 sums that up, but I’ll add here that I love stories set in one location, with few characters, and minimal motion. I’m really only trying to make TV and film to fund my dream of going home to New York one day and just writing plays for the rest of my life. Also, I really like being cryptic. There was nobody telling me to cram an expositional monologue into a character’s mouth so the audience would know what’s up from the jump. Watching characters explain shared knowledge they have to each other purely for the audience’s benefit is the worst, so this short and the others I have made are exercises in doing the opposite and letting the audience figure it out.

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

When I was very very young, my mom says I would always demand that she play the betamax tape of either Fame, Grease, or The Muppet Movie every day. So the answer is probably one of those three. If mom reads this, she might email you with the answer.

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

It’s exactly what it needs to be. I finished post on this short and another short called Harmonia Solid in the same week. They are both playing in festivals right now, and being able to submit both at the same time with just a couple extra button clicks has been a godsend in every way–except at how much easier those clicks make it to run up my credit card bill. 🙂

9. What is your favorite meal?

A tuna melt and a chocolate shake at any diner in New York. I’m still waiting for somebody in LA to make a good tuna melt.

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

I’m pitching and developing some ideas now. A project I developed with writing partners about a crazy piece of Cold-War history in the 80s is being shopped in Germany with Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex) attached to direct. I’m developing a screenplay about the actual history that inspired John Ford’s The Searchers–the cultural whitewashing that film did of the true story is infuriating. Those are two of the eight things I’m actively working on. My dad is a screenwriter, and if there’s one thing I learned growing up it’s that, to succeed as a screenwriter, you need to be working on a lot of things at the same time in order to bend the law of averages in your favor as much as possible.

Interview with Screenwriter Andrew Dean Pearson (THE DEPTHS BELOW)

1. What is your screenplay about?

In the not too distant future, a team of oceanic explorers equipped with technologically advanced diving suits become the target of a highly adaptive creature that teaches them a valuable lesson: Space was never the final frontier.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

sci-fi/fantasy/horror

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because there aren’t enough alien epics anymore. Or creature features. And good underwater movies are few and far between. I feel like the tech is finally there for something epic like this.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

hydrophobically thalassophobic

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

2 years

7. How many stories have you written?

3

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

“Your “Love” by the outfield

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Having funds to pay for feedback

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

acting.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

They’ve been great but I feel like they host some contests that feel like scams.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I thought it’d be a good festival since my script fit the genre and I enjoyed the feedback. It felt good.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

In the not too distant future, a team of oceanic explorers equipped with technologically advanced diving suits become the target of a highly adaptive creature that teaches them a valuable lesson: Space was never the final frontier.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Crew Member: Elizabeth Rose Morriss –
Captain: Allan Michael Brunet

Interview with Filmmaker Àlex Tejedor (SERGI & IRINA)

SERGI & IRINA was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the April 2021 ROMANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

It was a decision inspired by the previous ‘version’ of “Sergi & Irina”, because originally it was created as a piece of Microtheatre (pieces of 15 minutes made in a small place for a small audience done in varios sessions) in the year 2012. That Musical Microtheatre piece was originally inspired by the place where the event was held, some very magnificent and gorgeous gardens called ‘The Alfabia Gardens’ that reminded me kind of the sets used in the old 30s, 40s and 50s Hollywood Golden Age of films that I loved watching when I was very young. When the show was done, a lot of people liked it and asked me why didn’t I write an entire musical based on the story, and I thought to myself ‘Well, it was inspired by these wonderful Hollywood Films, so if anything, “Sergi & Irina” should be a film’. So these were the events that lead to the decision to make the film.

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

For me, it took me about 8 years to accomplish! As I said, I wrote the story in 2012, so from there I rewrote the script to make it more visual and spectacular and after a few years doing other professional projects, I started pitching my film in 2017, where I knocked a lot of doors with a script, a usb with the songs in it and a dossier underneath my arm.

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

‘Flying dream.’

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

Financing it. The way I saw this film was not as ‘a short film’, but as ‘a short feature film’, meaning that even if the film was only 24 minutes long, it had to be as big as I could, because these Hollywood films it was inspired by, were BIG, so we needed a decent amount of money to be able to pay the two leading actors, the 30+ dancers, the 30+ musicians, the creative, technical and production team and all the endless rest of things, and so it took a lot of phone calls, convincing, negotiations, trips, meetings, discussions, paper work, headaches and many other tedious and boring things to be able to get all the money I needed. But it was woth it. I must add that I was also lucky that I had the help from my brother Cristian and my colleague and Co-director of the film Miquel Verd that believed in the project and helped me gather a team of people to make it so.

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

I have to be honest. I got emotional, I had goosebumps and I smiled the whole time because there’s nothing that pays off more than seeing these kind of positive reactions from an honest audience who had no previous contact with me and didn’t have to fake anything at all. I made this film because I obviously love films, I love musicals, I love to write, I love to act and sing and I love all the creative process involved in it, but I also do it because I try to tell a story as good as I can, and I try to reach people’s hearts to make a positive and emotional impact in them.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you first realize that you wanted to make films?

I think it was when I was a little boy and I watched a show called “That’s Entertainment – Part II” presented by my two most admired Hollywood stars Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. That show was a review of the best 30s, 40s and 50s musical films that had a profound impact in my inner artist. From there I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to sing, dance and also direct films.

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

It’s hard to know. I love many films from many genres and many nationalities. I don’t have a ‘fetish movie’ that I watch compulsively, but rather a very large catalogue of films I admire and could watch over and over again from very strange and experimental to very common, and from any genre and nationality. If I like it, if it catches my imagination, heart, mind or soul, I just enjoy it.

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

For me, FilmFreeway is the best platform for filmmakers in the entire market, because their page has a very good searching engine with great filters and great results. It’s easy to navigate in its environment, it has plenty of info of the festivals and finding festivals is easy, fun, attractive and satisfactory.

9. What is your favorite meal?

My mother’s Danish smørrebrød with salmon with yellow curry sauce that she makes for Christmas. It’s once a year, but it makes my eyes roll back.

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

Well, “Sergi & Irina” was also born with the idea to become a feature film. It’s some sort of ‘presentation letter’ for possible investors and producers. So, hopefully, my next project will be the feature musical film of “Sergi & Irina”.

Interview with Producers Tim Finn & Nick Nadel (MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE)

MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE played to rave reviews at the April 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: We started a small company to write, produce, and post humorous short content.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Message From the Future was originally conceived as a live action comedy short. When the pandemic hit, we changed course and adapted the script for animation. Director/animator Dano Johnson had collaborated with Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director Kevin Maher on the animated short film Invaders From Above, so he was a natural fit for what we wanted to accomplish with Message From the Future. In many ways, the shift to animation allowed us to do things in terms of special effects, setting, casting, etc. that we wouldn’t have been able to do in live-action. While the pandemic created many complications, the production process for Message From the Future greatly benefited from the shift to animation.

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

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: The script was written pre-pandemic. But yeah, about five months.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Need sanitizer!!!

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Remember 2006?

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Getting microphones to our voice actors, who recorded remotely. Sorry, this isn’t a dramatic answer, but with a tiny team, this was all pretty smooth.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Recording voice actors on two coasts proved challenging. But this amazing thing called “Zoom” popped up around the time we started recording dialogue. What did we do before Zoom? Seriously, what did we do? I don’t remember anything pre-March 2020.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: We were thrilled to see a diverse crowd, and happy to get any reaction at all. You spend a few weeks or months sitting in front of a computer typing and animating, mostly alone, and here’s the reminder why you did all that.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: The feedback video was fantastic. It was wonderful and encouraging to get so many heartfelt, genuine reactions. Since we haven’t been able to watch Message From the Future with an audience, it was great to hear that the audience got what we were going for and connected with the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you first realize that you wanted to make films?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: 4th grade. We had a Video 8 camera and the drama teacher let us run around doing whatever we wanted. Those shorts are all terrible, and so they’ll never be made public, but they are safely archived as uncompressed Quicktimes on several back-up hard drives.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Back in high school, executive producer Tim Finn and I made a 45-minute parody episode of the TV series MacGyver. In some ways, I’ve been making the same film ever since.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: I saw Princess Mononoke five times during its theatrical release, but you’re probably looking for a funny answer. Police Academy 3 got a lot of rentals back in the day.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Probably Ghostbusters. Also the MacGyver parody we made in high school.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: It’s great, and I show it to my students every year.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: It’s an excellent resource. Definitely streamlines the often difficult process of submitting to festivals. Plus, if you get rejected, another festival is just a click away.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Salmon, rice, steamed broccoli.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Sushi. I hear they have great sushi in [insert location of festival here]!

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Our little company, Atomic Abe, has several hilarious video essays on television in our “Behind the Backdoor Pilot” series in various stages of editing, and some short live-action scripts we’re figuring out how to make in the pandemic.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: You can visit AtomicAbe.com to see the comedy sketches and video essays we’ve made. More animation coming soon!

Interview with Filmmaker David Mahmoudieh (SNAKE DICK)

SNAKE DICK was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the April 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I first had the idea for “Snake Dick” when Donald Trump did his first live debate while running for president, so sometime back in late 2015. It was just so bizarre to watch this convicted fraudster and serial misogynist running – and eventually winning – election in a country that had pioneered Women’s Rights. I think a big part of why the #MeToo movement took off not long after his election was because so many women were disgusted at the idea of having someone like that making decisions about their bodies – it was the proverbial final straw. I’m also a self-confessed feminist and my heart was broken by all the stories so many women in my life have shared with me about their own #MeToo experiences. That’s where the nucleus of the idea came from, then my love of trashy 80’s revenge movies filled in the rest.

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

Well if the initial idea came in late 2015, I guess we’re coming up on 6 years. However, it wasn’t until a good few years later that we actually shot the film – namely because I was trying to convince myself that making a movie called “Snake Dick” could actually work!

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

Feminist. Fun.

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

The VFX was the biggest hurdle, purely due to the time consumption. Thankfully we had amazing people in Fiona Campbell-Westgate and Stephen Cunnane, and then later Ryan Wieber and Chris Wells who did some additional VFX, like the burning city at the end. These are all incredibly talented people (Fiona, for example, just completed James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’) but “Snake Dick” was a passion project that paid next to nothing, so we had to be patient, fit our requirements in around much bigger projects and let our post schedule be somewhat flexible. Also, that global pandemic thing that’s been going around definitely threw a spanner in the works. Eventually it all came together though and we were really happy with the end results – definitely worth the wait.

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

I watched it with the producer, George Lako, and we were first of all obviously relieved all of the feedback was positive! We also both noticed how analytical the viewers were. There were some great interpretations in there and it’s always a pleasure to get people talking and thinking about the deeper issues at the heart of Snake Dick – that’s exactly why we made the film, so that was great to see too.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I took that aforementioned absurdity of Donald Trump’s run for president and realized I needed something equally batshit to convey the level of “fuck no” I had towards it. My wife once told me something that also came into play. During a conversation about women being in more danger than men when traveling alone, she observed that male safety ultimately comes down to one body part between their legs, “which in the case of men is called Freedom.” That really stuck with me for something. I then started thinking how I could visualize that freedom in both a phallic and yet symbolic way… and here we are.

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

Big Trouble In Little China. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times. If they ever do a movie version of Lip Synch Battle, where you mimic your favorite film instead, they might as well just advance me to the finals if this movie’s on the ticket.

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

I like it. It’s reasonably intuitive. I certainly prefer it to sites like FestHome, for example. One thing that’s a little annoying on Film Freeway is the way it won’t show “true” deadlines. Like I’ve run into a couple of occasions where I believed a festival’s deadline was weeks away, only to discover the category I wanted to submit to had already closed. It would be great if they could indicate more specifically as to when the most important category deadlines are, rather than letting any category that’s still open make it speak for the others in the search results.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Pizza. If I could shrink all my favorite pizzas into little tiny pizzas, then use those pizzas as toppings on one Ultimate Pizza… I totally would.

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

I just finished the script for the feature version of “Snake Dick” which we’re getting ready to take out, and I’m attached to direct a couple of features we’re currently out to talent on. So with a bit of luck at least one of those will happen this year. But the next film I know I’ll be shooting is a charity short for Kids In The Spotlight called “Bully”, written by Rodney Jackson-Brown, one of the talented foster youth in their program. Remember that name, he’s a future filmmaker of merit…

Interview with Filmmaker Sara Moralo (SUNNY BOY)

SUNNY BOY was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the April 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I think there is still very few queer POC representations in the media and cinema. I had been wanting to work with the topics of new masculinities from an intersectional feminist perspective for quite a while. I knew Kumar, he was my friend, and I thought he would be perfect to explore the topics of sexuality, masculinity, race, faith, immigration, and above all, how all these identities overlap. I believe that in a time in which the far right is making its way to parliaments in the West, brown stories of sensitive gay men in which they are not only portrayed as gay but also as sons, as spiritual people, as immigrants, are important. The culture of yoga, especially in cities like London, is so whitewashed that claiming it back for Indian people was a must for us. I was lucky he was interested in this project and trusted me to do it.

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

It took quite a while, like a year and a half, because I had to first get all the audio content of the movie to then film his own reactions to it. I was on a low budget and had to do most of the work so that took time too.

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

Intimate and honest.

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

Being on such a low budget required a tremendous effort. From a narrative point of view, it was challenging to get the rhythm balanced to maintain the viewer’s attention throughout all the experiences he talks about while also giving space for reflection.

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

It was great to see all these lovely people spending time to generously talk about Sunny Boy. It is so rewarding to see that they related to it. This year everyone has felt very isolated with the pandemic. It has been very hard not being able to attend the festivals, with many moving online, meaning not having any contact with the audience. You create a film to tell a story and communicate with people, and that process got interrupted during this past year. Seeing the audience talking about the film was the closest to being back in a cinema as a social experience. It really moved me. We are very grateful to the festival for having done this.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I was working at Curzon Soho cinema in London at the time, where Kumar was also a member of staff. We became close friends and then I felt I wanted to make a documentary about him. His life experiences were very interesting to me and related to all the themes I usually work with like sexuality, race, gender, etc. The fact he was an actor and a close friend made it easier to reach the level of intimacy and honesty I was looking for. He is an amazing person, humble and brutally honest, and I thought his life stories needed to be heard.

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

The Hours and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire.

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

I think it is a very easy and solid platform to use. It really makes it simple to submit films to festivals.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Tough question. Do I have to choose? I’ll be a Spanish cliché then and will go with Iberian ham (hoping I won’t offend a lot of people, sorry).

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

Yes, I am now working on a new documentary project, this time feature length. It tells the story of oppression and persecution that LGBT+ people suffered during the Francoist dictatorship. At least five thousand people were imprisoned because of their sexual and gender identity in Spain. The film also brings into sharp focus the vulnerability and lack of social care that these LGTBQ elders currently live with. Their life stories and activism show their strength, not only to survive, but also to live with dignity.
We are now in the preproduction phase, hoping we can shoot the film next year.

Interview with Filmmaker Bryan Santiago (GRAFTON)

GRAFTON was awarded BEST THRILLER Film at the April 2021 THRILLER/SUSPENSE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I had a meeting with a potential manager and I told her I was working on a feature for years and years titled MIASM, and that we were so close to getting fully funded and then we didn’t. She asked me why I haven’t made a short, to which I gave a blank stare over the phone. That blank space was filled with an idea. Grafton.

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

That conversation with the manager was November 2019, I finished the script January 2020, and we were set to start shooting March 13th, 2020. But then COVID hit and it all got postpone. Luckily, we were able to shoot in Vermont (which has very low covid numbers) in late August and had post finished by December 2021. So it was a quick turn around!

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

Playful Nightmare

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

Covid

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

It was so exciting because up until that point I had had so few reactions from people I have not met.
It was so valuable to hear so many different perspectives from people who obviously love the art of filmmaking.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It was a combination of things. I had recently moved part time to Vermont from New York City and I found people’s generosity and kindness overwhelming, while simultaneously suspicious of it. The way the story was developed was partly a mix between my own life circumstances, my love of the original Twilight Zone, and the true story of Paula Weldon and her disappearance in an area called the Vermont Triangle located in the forgotten town of Glastonbury.

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

The Shining

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

I think it’s amazing honestly. Keeps everything organized and is great for discovering little known festivals I might not have known otherwise.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Vegan Tacos

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

I am working on creating Grafton the series (just finished the first draft of Episode #2) as well as trying to resurrect my feature film, MIASM. Can’t seem to let that one go!

Interview with Filmmaking Team of Anna Kong, Audee Halim, Gil Milstein (SLIPPING IN TIME)

SLIPPING IN TIME was awarded BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the April 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Anna (Director): “This film was the final project for our art degree in NZ, and we wanted to finish off with a story that was meaningful for us. Our entire team is queer or ally, and we wanted to tell a cool love story from our perspective, divert from the tropes and stereotypes, because love is love. When we made this Film in 2020, with the many conflicts in the world, we were all forced to reconsider the priorities in our lives, just as Shelley had done. Ultimately, as we all learn from our lives and characters: we make the choices that determine our lives, and who we are. Personally this project means more than just a film for me. I have grown with the film and learnt to take a fresh perspective on different relationships in life.”

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

From the moment we chose the story, it was 14 week of hard work to complete.

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

Absolutely electrifying

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

The time constraint, relative to the amount of people actively working on it.

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

Anna: “It just feels surreal because I never expected people to love it so much, as much as we did.”
Audee (Art Director): “I was squealing, a bit of laughing, and a bit of rolling on the floor.”
Gil (Producer/Original Story): “I was so happy and giggly. It was so cool to see how they loved our story and picked up on our various artistic intentions.”

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

Gil: “When originally writing the story in the middle of lockdown, I knew I wanted to experiment with influences of German expressionism and classic science fiction stories, as I loved the strong visuals and knew they had the potential to be both engaging and really fun to make. Wanting to divert from the overused trope of the white male scientist and his assistant/Igor, the story naturally evolved to be around our two lovely protagonists (Mary and Shelley) who are queer women of science (at times were it was not wildly accepted), and equal partners, with strong actions and motivations. We all quickly fell in love with our characters, and enjoyed building the world around them with the juxtaposition and relationship of heavy machinery and femininity.”

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

Anna and Audee: Slipping in Time, haha. We watched it countless times on the editing floor.
Gil: Probably The Princess Bride wins for me, I watched it so, so many times.

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

It’s trustworthy, professional, and convenient. It’s a little difficult though to sort through the multitudes of possible festivals.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Anna: I eat eggs 24/7
Audee: (whispers) everythinnnggg
Gil: Ice cream 🙂

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

At the moment we’re all pursuing our careers all around the world. We would love to work with each-other again someday in the future, and we already have a few ideas for stories we want to tell.

Interview with Filmmaker Kami Sadraei (THE SLEEPLESS)

THE SLEEPLESS was awarded BEST BLACK & WHITE film at the April 2021 WILDsound Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was writing a 40 minute short at first but i realized it will be very complicated and expensive to shoot so one night i started brainstorming and came up with the idea of this film. my goal was to keep the setting very simple yet interesting. It’s hard to believe but I wrote the script in one sitting and just did a few edits later. The whole dialogue and story just came rushing out of me with no interruptions.

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

I wrote the script in one night. the preproduction took one month. The hardest part was getting to Eric roberts. we shot it over 2 full days. and editing took 2 weeks. I still feel it was not enough time on set. I would have loved to have done more takes.

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

SAD REVENGE

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

The hardest part was getting an answer from Eric’s agent. He was a dick

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

It was so fascinating to see others liking the same exact things I like about my film, like cinematography. it was great to see others having the same point of view as me. I also think they were very kind to me in their feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I love the thriller mystery genre and this was my interpretation of a one scene thriller.

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

Casino Royale. I think it’s a masterpiece. I’m not a huge fan of 2001 a space odyssey. I have a very specific taste.

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

I think Filmfreeway makes it very easy and streamlined

9. What is your favorite meal?

I’m Iranian American so my favorite food is an Iranian dish called GHORMEH SABZI which is a stew made from beef, beans and lots of vegetables served with rice.

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

Yes, I started writing a feature thriller and I’m 1/3 done. It’s a lot more work but I can’t wait to finish it and shoot it. There will be many twists in this film as well.

Please see the interview below

Interview with Filmmaker Nathalie Therriault (THE TAILOR)

THE TAILOR was the winner of BEST SHORT FILM at the April 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I had been writing for a few years and wanted to make a film. I liked the humanity in this story and the message. I came out at a later age and there were personal consequences to that. I thought it was an important story to tell.

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

It took approximately 2 years.

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

tender and beautiful

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

Honestly, the biggest obstacle was myself. This was first film and it was a steep learning curve. I didn’t always feel the most confident as a Director. But I learned important lessons on how I work creatively in relation to film making which in the end is a huge gift.

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

I was moved by their generosity. And was surprised how perceptive they were at noticing the nuances and choices that were put into the film. It was lovely to watch. I greatly appreciated the feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I was sitting at a gathering and in that building was a tailor shop. One of the guests mentioned that they believed they were the master tailor’s last clients as he had recently passed. So, I began thinking about this elderly tailor and the reasons why he kept the shop open into his 90s. And as I went deeper into the story, I realized I was flushing out a story about the relationship with my mother and my coming out and ultimately self acceptance.

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

Probably Rust and Bone.

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

It’s fantastic. Everything you need really in one place. The festival descriptions and mandates were especially helpful in curating my submissions.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Hands down spaghetti bolognese

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

There are a few films in the works but I have another short film titled “Latchkey” that is ready to be filmed and am in the process of securing funding for it.