An interview with Matthew Toffolo of WILDsound Film Festival

Your festival is unique as it is a monthly Film and Writing festival. Can you explain a little about the process?
For the film festival, we have a monthly event on the last Thursday of every month at the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto. We showcase the best of new short films from around the world with a moderation session with the audience. It’s 10 events a year spaced out monthly (with December and January off months) where we showcase around 60 short films from around the world each year.

For the writing festival, we shoot the videos 2-3 times a month, depending on what submitted scripts and stories are ready to be performed by professional actors. We generally showcase around 7 to 15 script and writing readings a month. We own the  space and studio, plus have a casting director very connected to the acting scene where we can cast extremely talented actors each month, so we can realistically do the writing festival event weekly. But it’s really all about showcasing works that are ready to be seen by agents and producers and that’s what we strive for.

All the videos go on our popular YouTube channel www.youtube.com/wildsoundfest where each reading video garners 1000s of views. We also perform poetry readings each month as well.

How does that set your festival apart from other festivals?
We are a feedback festival, so each film that plays gets a Q&A moderation video as the Toronto audience talks about each film screened. It’s not a judgmental thing where people have their thumbs up or down for example about each film. It’s really a discussion on the themes of each film and how they made us feel. There are so many amazing short films being made around the world these days and Toronto is the perfect multicultural city to have this type of festival. The art of the conversation is to not talk about negative things. We are living in an era where judgement talk is rampant. All you need to do is go on your facebook or twitter account to see it.  So what we try to do is talk about the grey areas of life within the context of these stories without being wanky about it. Each festival is completely different because the films and the people in attendance are always different.

Do you have a favorite film that has showcased at your Festival?
Since I’ve been doing the moderation since 2010 and  I’ve seen 100s of amazing films. The one that stands out is a documentary called The Story for the Modlins, a film out of the Czech Republic. It’s a short  about this family who made art for years locked inside their apartment. Only when they died did people see their work and the filmmaker tries to piece their life together through their pictures and art. It’s a truly unique and amazing film.

Is there something in particular that you look for in submissions? Or are there multiple factors?
Generally films that are well done!!! Don’t mean to be short about it, but it’s that black and white.

What is your goal for your festival?
To showcase new talent and get their stories out there to the world. And to try to get the writers an agent if they don’t already have one.

Can you share an interesting story that has taken place during a past festival?
The most amazing thing is that every festival is always so different. There is a formula/structure in place, if you’re really paying attention to our festival, which allows us to do so many events without creating burnout. But within this structure the films and people always make each event original and different.  It’s kind of an amazing thing to witness month after month.

How is your festival received locally?
Our festival sells out every month. But we are more than a local festival as it’s all about the traffic the videos garner online. Our site does very well in that regard.

Where should filmmakers go to find out more information about WILDsound?
To watch past and present videos from the Film and Writing Festival, they can go to www.wildsoundfestival.com , or the YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wildsoundfest . If they like to submit their film or writing work, they can go to www.wildsound.ca . We also have a daily blog about past writers and filmmakers submitted works and their experiences with the festival at http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com

 

 

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