What sets PIFF apart from other Independent Film Festivals?
Well the first thing that sets us apart from other Independent film Festivals and for that matter every festival in the world, is that we give every selected submission an “Official Selection Plaque”. This is not just some certificate in a dollar store frame but a Beautiful wood and brass plaque with the films name in it. We have been told they are better than the awards that most festivals give their winners.
Do you have a favorite film that has showcased at a past Festival?
We show very high quality of films so choosing one would be hard to do But if I must… I really liked a film called “Grounded” It was a documentary about two pot smuggling brothers from Pittsburgh. We also had a great film last year called “City of Hate: Dallas and the Assassination” But to single out particular film just isn’t fair to all the rest we have nothing but Great films in our festival.
Is there something in particular that you look for in submissions? Or are there multiple factors?
There are Multiple factors I look for in a submission. Sound is very important actually sound is probably about 60% of a film, there is nothing worse than having a beautiful picture with great acting only to be drawn out of the film by the sound. There are a few other things that are important Acting, Acting, Acting! It’s tough for a filmmaker who isn’t from LA or NY finding the talent to hold the screen can be difficult.But we still get great films from all over the world. The competition is fierce these days, with the advent of digital filmmaking being just about within reach of everybody’s budget. I believe the days of the Canon DSLR’s is numbered everybody is shooting on Red’s, Black Magic, Arri’s, you name it, it’s within the reach of everybody.
This year’s festival will be held in the Father Ryan Arts Center. What can we look forward to in the venue?
Fr. Ryan’s is our permanent home it is perfectly in tune for a film festival. There is a 50 foot screen with seating for up to 150 it’s perfect. The Cafe/Actors lounge is open for the whole festival. It’s a great place to network with other filmmakers or just relax.
Can you tell us a little about the 2015 schedule?
The 2015 Schedule has not been set yet, we are still open for submissions and wont close for the season until the middle of May W I personally have seen quite a few great films. Like I said the competition is fierce, but I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from submitting.
Do you have an interesting story that has taken place during a past festival?
Every story at the festival is interesting. I have had a great time hosting the festival. Its a very eclectic blend of artists.Some come just for theirfilm others may have an agenda that they are pushing. while others have never been to a festival before. I love it!
How is your festival received locally?
Locally we have been received moderately, but we are doing much more promotion this year and expect much more local participation.
Where do you see or would like to see PIFF in 5 years?
I hope that the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival becomes a staple of Pittsburgh. That it becomes as regular an event as fireworks on the 4th of July. Pittsburgh has become quite a hub for big Hollywood movies there are 15 to 20 big time movies filmed there every year.