Interview with Filmmaker Irene Blei (A LETTER FROM LETICIA)

A LETTER FROM LETICIA played to rave reviews at the April 2018 Under 5 Minute FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The idea of this film came at the moment we were working on an hommage, 38 years after the kidnapping of a group of school mates by military task forces in 1976/1977, seeking for pictures in which the missing students could be seen. There weren’t so many photographs in those days, so any document could be useful and I insisted in looking for and gathering old school report cards, notebooks, or drawings too.

During that search, our friend Claudia brought this letter, addressed to her by Leticia and kept, and it was really touching for me. After all that time, and aware of what had happened, every line in this letter sounded meaningful to me, and I so intended to make it visible. It was a coincidence that at the time I was then experimenting with watercolor painting.

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

It took me about five months.

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

Animated Documentary.

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

Facing sadness was the worst part of it, and also dwelling with some of our former school mates emotions, that had been contained for so long. I literally cried over the painting of each tear in the film.

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

It was highly moving to have a film done by yourself seen and understood in another country, another hemisphere, in a differet context by an audience with whom I did not share a common past or idiosyncrasy. I feel deeply grateful to the Festival for this brilliant idea of getting audience feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video

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

I intended to make the real story, which affected so many people and not only Leticia Veraldi, widely visible through this letter. There have been at least 30000 victims of state terrorism in Argentina. After so many years facts are still not well known, even in my own country. Picturing it was difficult because of the lack of images, just some photos, and I felt like not showing her at all as a painted portrait. But that was impossible, so I reduced showing a drawn girl as less as possible. I thought that watercolor and transformations could help me avoid a direct, figurative approach. I also tried to place myself in that moment of Leticia’s life and youth, going back to the images that the text brings about.

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

I am a great fan of Canadian, Russian and Czech Animation. So I have seen some of these films hundreds of times, because as a teacher, I also show them.

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

FilmFreeway is really easy and friendly. I love it.

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

Maybe some by local artists: Mercedes Sosa, Leon Gieco, Charly Garcia. And also Brazillian Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso ad Raimundo Fagner.

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

I am taking part in an animation jam with other women animators. Then, a new film, and maybe a book too. Meanwhile and besides: I will be busy with some workshops or seminars. I enjoy teaching as much as filmmaking.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Jason Jung (JOHN Q)

 1. What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

John Q is about the title character, an Anglo-Chinese-American, and his search for redemption by searching for a missing girl whom he doesn’t even know.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

John Q is a crime drama.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Because it’s AWESOME! It has action. It has romance. John Q is a crime drama set in the Asian-American community, which places an Asian-American in the role of a hard-boiled detective, an archetypical American hero. The show uses the crime genre to examine aspects of modern life such as: ethnic diversity versus ethnic conflict, immigration versus nativism, money versus honor.

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

Cruel and Kind.

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

The Maltese Falcon. Saw it for the first time when I was ten and watch it two or three times a year.

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

I started working on the idea in a TV writing class with Ken Urban at Primary Stages ESPA in late 2016. I wrote the first draft in March 2017.

7. How many stories have you written?

Two full-length plays. Five short plays. Three short films. One short story.

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

I’m not sure. I took dance for seven years as a child/teenager and our warm up song was “Let’s Groove” by Earth Wind and Fire, which is also a song I love, so that’s probably the song I’ve listened to the most.

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

From a writing standpoint, I had to make sure that the lead character was not just an archetype but had an internal life that made him a full character. I didn’t start writing the script until I worked that out.

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

I’m very passionate about history and learning about the way people lived in the past and how we got here.

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

I love using FilmFreeway. It is an easy and convenient way to submit and track work.

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

This is one of the few festivals dedicated to Crime/Mystery so I felt my script was a natural fit. It has been a fantastic experience, to get very thoughtful and relevant feedback on my script from the festival.

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

After euthanizing his mother, John Q, a mixed race Chinese-American, is drawn back home to Chinatown where he faces off against dirty cops, the Chinese mob, and his own father, in a personal search for atonement.

CAST LIST:

Fast Eddie: Zazu Oke
Daniel Q: Allan Michael Brunet
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
John Q: Hugh Ritchie
Lucas: Isaiah Kolundzic

Interview with Filmmaker Dazhi Huang (NIGHT LIVE)

NIGHT LIVE played to rave reviews at the April 2018 Experimental & Music FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Dazhi Huang: This film is my graduation thesis, In the month when I was brainstorming for the script, two unfortunate incidence happened: One was the Pulse shooting, the other one was a white policeman killing an unarmed black man. I was traumatized by both event, and I was also fully aware of their social effects which magnified by social media and live streaming. I had this impulse to put my takes to these two incidents into my upcoming film, but u sing a more lighthearted, entertaining way, in order to portray it authentically to myself, to make it fit for the environment that I live in.

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

It took around 3-4 months

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

Night Live

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

Finding the actors and coordinating the schedules of the crew(I didn’t actually have a producer this time so it was really tough and annoying)

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

I discovered a lot of new things that I never knew about my own film, so I was amazed.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

During the creation period of the film, I had a tough relationship with my father, so some parts of life naturally blended into fabrications

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

Week End by Jean-Luc Godard and Persona by Ingmar Bergman and Friends the sitcom

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

It’s a great platform

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

The times there are a changing by Bob Dylan

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

I wish, I’m going to grad school for film directing

night_live
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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker Kaitlin Creadon (FOR THE LOVE OF THE CHILD)

FOR THE LOVE OF THE CHILD played to rave reviews at the March 2018 DOCUMENTARY FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kaitlin Creadon: With the wonderful opportunity to make any type of film I desired through my schooling, I had the chance to turn this once-in-a-lifetime event into a documentary. Creating this personal documentary was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I knew it was a story I truly wanted to share with the world. A big motivation for completing this film was the hope that someone else
going through this will see it, and that the film will help them through their own journey.

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

I started working on the concept in August of 2016 and it took about a year and a half to produce and edit. Even today, I am still working on BTS as I just have a wonderful goldmine of footage still to share.

How would you describe your short film in two words?

True love.

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

The biggest obstacle I personally faced was overcoming my own fear of being on camera. It is a very personal story, so I knew right from the beginning that I would have to be on camera and talk about my experiences. It was difficult for me at the time, yet I am so glad I put that aside to become an integral part of my own documentary.

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

Excitement, yet surprisingly defensive. Nonetheless, the was extremely interesting to hear the audience’s take on the documentary!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Like I mentioned, through the MFA thesis process I had the chance to work on a film of my choosing. Ultimately, I landed on documenting this experience. Meeting my birth mother in person was something I knew I wanted to do, and this was a great way to do it. I reached out to the adoption agency The Cradle, then Tabitha (my birth mother) Collette (birth aunt), and Robbie (half-brother) and his family, to see if they would be interested in being a part of this as well. I received overwhelming support. It all started to come together, and we began filming!

Even if I hadn’t used this footage for a documentary, I feel so blessed the entire process was caught on camera as it is hard to remember everything that happened in person!

What film have you seen the most in your life?

I think it has to be Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it on DVD, but the thirteen-year-old me saw it a record seven times in theaters!

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

The submission process for this film festival was quite easy! The Documentary Feedback Film Festival made me feel very comfortable right from the get-go.

What is next for you? A new film?

Currently no films on the docket, however I am a new Adjunct Professor at DePaul University, where I received my MFA in Directing! I am looking forward to seeing what this new journey has in store for me.
for_the_love_of_the_child.jpg

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.