Interview with Filmmaker Siqi Xiao (FARTMAN)

FARTMAS was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the March 2019 Comedy & Drama Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Siqi Xiao: Too many people are so serious~~You know the students who learning filmmaking here, everybody wanna be a film master and win the oscar! I am not! I just wanna be an entertaimer to let people happy. But I do sent the massage—“don’t waste your talent”. So it’s not only a shity comedy.
I used to be a singer and I wasted my talent. So I want to let people know everybody has talent, don’t waste it!

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

It’s been one year. When I started my film school I got this idea. And a lots of people laugh at me. I started to write it and finish it from July-2017 to March-2018.

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

fart talent

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

A scene in downtown LA, there were too many homeless interrupted our shooting.

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

I finally heard something that people around me would not say.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I saw too many “man”, batman, superman, spiderman, why their superpower so cool?! why can’t be a fart? why can’t be an Asian guy?

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

1-7,LOL~ OK,Forrest Gump!

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

It’s hard to find the “Right One” you should submit.

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

A Chinese Song

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

yeah~of course! keep going!

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Interview with Producer Rebecca Scotti (BUILD RAMPS NOT WALLS)

BUILD RAMPS NOT WALLS played to rave reviews at the March 2019 Documentary Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Rebecca Scotti: Our skate community, namely Nat and Emilio!

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

It took 18 months from idea to release.

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

Still Relevant!

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

We had so much footage, it was challenging to pull out the storyline while maintaining the spirit of DIY skate and the candid commentary of the skaters and their community.

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

At first we were nervous as you can imagine, but when we saw the smiles and heard the positive responses, we felt inspired to continue.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The idea came out of the kids and the skate community.

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

Very easy.

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

We continue to work with the community in Puerto Vallarta and are looking at projects in other skate communities impacted negatively by current politics.

Interview with Filmmaker Cynthia Hunt (ICE FLOW)

ICE FLOW played to rave reviews at the March 2019 Experimental Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Cynthia Hunt: I wanted to make this film for many reasons. I was extremely concerned about how much the weather had changed in the Yukon, where the film was made so I started to tune in the intense beauty of the changing season from fall to winter. I also wanted to project humans as only one life form along a river and let the river be the main character in the film. This proved to be a challenging exercise.

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

C It took a considerable time. The shooting ran through a fall for 2 months and the editing I did on an off for a year. I presented the film and then edited it more, several times.

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

C. River voices.

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

C. My computer is from 2011 and is only a 13” MacBook Pro. The film kept crashing the computer and later I found out that the 13” MacBook Pro does not have a designated graphics card. When I updated the computer this spring it no longer accepted my video .mts files from my camera. The sound was garbled. Eek!

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

C. I found watching the video of the audiences comments very touching. It was lovely to hear the what they said and to see that the viewers got my film. This meant a lot to me. I also loved seeing my family in attendance.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

C. I am a painter and I am completely absorbed by the colours on the water outside my cabin. I could film and paint this subject forever.

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

C. I love so many films, I am not sure which one I’ve watched the most.

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

C. Entering the festival circuit with a film made without any money and trying to figure out where to send it and also how to put together a package is overwhelming. FilmFreeway makes it as easy as possible but this is definitely an area I need to learn more about.

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

This changes depending on the time in my life and my emotions. Right now I love to listen to sounds in nature most of all, in particular bird songs like the American Dipper shown in my film.

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

C. I am painting and dreaming up films all the time. I have a film in my head set in an urban setting and 3 more films in the setting I made this film in. As well, I have some editing to do on other films I shot once I can upgrade to a new MacBook Pro.

Interview with Filmmaker Greg Tudéla (BREAKDOWN)

BREAKDOWN was the winner of BEST FILM at the January 2019 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to do this movie?

Greg Tudela: I wanted to do a dark comedy against a backdrop of crisis. There has been a social divide in France for years, people are more and more desperate, more and more violent, so I wanted to talk about this. But as I wanted to talk about it with a comedy, I decided to talk about a helpless unemployed person pointing the bar where he goes every day, because he does not know what to do in his life and that he lost his job.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did you have to do that?

This idea turned in my mind for 2-3 years, and then I showed the screenplay to Marc Ribaudo, who had a production company and with whom we made “corporate” films. He said he wanted to produce it right away. The next day, a mutual called us to make a film. We decided to make the film without being paid and we put this money in “BREAKDOWN”. We shot the film a month later, mid October. I edited the movie in the wake, Guillaume Farley composed the music in two afternoons, Philippe Demouy made a premix and we sent a work in progress version early november to the International film festival of l’Alpe d’Huez. We were selected among the 11 films in competition, over 250 and early January, we were at the Alpe d’Huez, the largest comedy festival in France. The career of Breakdown had begun.

How would you describe your short film in two words?

Breakdown is It’s a blaze of lead (not easy to find a really literal English translation anyway)

4. What is the main obstacle you encountered while producing this film?

The film was shot in two days, even if it would have been better for us to shoot it in three days. I can’t complain anyway. Actors and crew were fantastic.

5. What were your first reactions when you watched the audience talk about your movie in the rendering video?

I was very proud because they understood the spirit and style of the film. A genre film mastered and original. It is very rewarding to talk about his film on another continent.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you get the idea for this short film?

The social situation in France, due to the increase in unemployment, made the atmosphere tense, especially in my neighborhood. So I wanted to tell this story in a neighborhood bar.

7. Which movie did you see most in your life?

Probably “Once upon a time in America” by Sergio Leone.

8. You have submitted to the festival via Film Freeway, how do you feel about the submission platform from the point of view of a filmmaker?

Thanks to Film Freeway, one of the best submission plateform. We have been able to participate in more than 52 festivals, in the United States, Canada, England, China, Croatia, etc… and won 18 international awards. It was a real springboard for “Breakdown”.

Thank you Film Freeway!!!

9. Which song have you listened to most often in your life?

I think it’s a Nina Simone song “Is not got no, I got life”