HIGHLIGHTS – April 6, 2017 LA FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: THE NEON STRUGGLE

Best Performances: UNCLE ALBERT

Best Cinematography: CONFESSION

Best Music: The music from THE NEON STRUGGLE

WATCH THE AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEOS for each film: 

festival posterCONFESSION, 5min, USA, Horror/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE WHITE ROSE, 5min, USA, Thriller/Film Noir
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterHAVE A LITTLE FAITH, 12min, USA, Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterUNCLE ALBERT, 11min, USA, Dark Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterGEORGE, 7min, USA, Documentary
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE LONG GOODBYE: AN ALZHEIMER’S STORY, 5min, USA, Documentary
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE NEON STRUGGLE, 38min, USA, Documentary
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

The LOS ANGELES APRIL 2017 FEEDBACK Film Festival gave our audiences the best of short movies from the United States. The first half was a selection of “Female Directed films”. The second half was a selection of “Documentary films”.

The theme of the festival was “END OF THE LINE”.

Every film showcased was about a moment or situation that was the final chapter in a life or career.

NOTE: Our 3rd festival in Los Angeles. Many more to come!

Los Angeles definitely has a different vibe in comparison to Toronto, our usual festival city. The first difference is when people arrive to the cinema. In Toronto, most people arrive and are in their seats with refreshments by 6:50pm for the 7pm event. In Los Angeles, we had 124 people attend the festival. Our of those 124, 56 people came between 7:05pm and 7:30pm – for the 7pm start time!

Their are many reasons for this. For one, people drive in LA and everyone seems to be an hour away from everything in the spread out city. And there is ALWAYS traffic. I was chatting with the manager of Regal LA LIVE and suggested that perhaps we should move the start time to 8pm next time. He said good idea, but that means people are just going to come at 8:30pm instead!

In Toronto, most people either walk or take the subway to their destination, so their arrival time is more predictable.

There is always the West Coast/East Coast generalizations theory. On the East Coast, people are more intense and schedule their day more – which leads to everyone arriving on time. On the West Coast, people are more relaxed and chill – which leads to them not worrying about time in general.

Moving the festival to Los Angeles has proven to be a success as of date. I just need to shift to the “West Coast” and perhaps call the festival to start at 7pm, while we really start at 7:20pm so when the first film begins, we have a packed house.

See you at the festivals in 2017.
NEXT Los Angeles event is Thursday June 1, 2017.

– Matthew Toffolo

FEEDBACK LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL – Highlights from the Thursday December 8, 2016 event.

The LOS ANGELES DECEMBER 8 2016 FEEDBACK Film Festival was a night that I personally will always remember. Our first venture to the West Coast was indeed a success because the audience was terrific with their comments and the films were solid all around. That said, it was an education. The next time we hit LA we will make sure that the cinema is filled to capacity.

The theme of the festival was “Attempting to belong”.

All the of the films had a story or situation that was about a character who was attempting to belong to a group or situation. The irony of this theme was that was what we were attempting to do in the city of Los Angeles: belong!

This was a showcase of 7 distinct short films made from all corners of the United States. Films with shoe string budgets and films with budgets in the hundreds of thousands. Films in the genres of Western, Comedy, Romance, Action, Thriller, Sci-Fi, and Musical.

I wasn’t feeling very good the night before but didn’t think nothing of it. Then I awoke the day of the festival in a full fledged sweat. I officially had the flu. I managed to get through the day and moderated the festival without a major crisis. I did screw up the opening because I couldn’t breath very well, but the audience forgave me because of the solid lineup of films.

The Los Angeles audience was terrific. They all seemed to be really taken with the films we showcased. This was a risky festival lineup for us because all the films are hard to categorize in a conventional box. I was worried for many reasons before this festival began – but it turned out that I had nothing to worry about at all.

I so appreciated this night and all of the work my Los Angeles crew of camera operators and volunteers put into it. This will be a festival that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The gamble of going to Los Angeles paid off and the reason for its success was the filmmakers and the amazing audience. As a former California Governor once said: “I’ll be back!”

– Matthew Toffolo

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: MARTY: A WILD WEST NEVERLAND

Best Performances: MARTY: A WILD WEST NEVERLAND

Best Cinematography: HELIO

Best Music: The music from ENCORE

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEOS:

festival posterMARTY: A WILD WEST NEVERLAND, 16min., USA, Fantasy/Adventure
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterHEY YOU, IT’S ME, 8min., USA, Webseries/Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterWHEN STRANGERS TOUCH YOUR HAIR, 7min., Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterHELIO, 20min., USA, Sci-Fi/Action
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterORANGE YOU GONNA DANCE WITH ME?, 3min., Comedy/Romance
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterHEAD SPACE, 5min, Drama/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterENCORE, 10min, Drama/Musical
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

 

Watch FEEDBACK Videos:

FEEDBACK LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL – Highlights from the Wednesday December 7, 2016 event.

The LOS ANGELES DECEMBER 7 2016 FEEDBACK Film Festival was indeed a success. Our first venture to the West Coast had its internal conflicts, but all that mattered was the final product – showcasing the best of short films to a large audience and then doing our trademark audience feedback talk.

The theme of the festival was “Misguided Mentors”.

This was a special festival because it was a showcase of the best of United States short films from the last year.

NOTE: In over 150 festival events, this was the first time ever that we showcased all films only from the United States.

I stated in my opening to the Los Angeles crowd that this was a festival that was programmed by two Canadians (myself, and Kierston Drier). Our goal on the first night was to show films that are about how we, “the outsider looking from above”, see the United States today. We feel that we succeeded by showcasing 6 distinct short from the USA from every corner of the nation in the genres of Drama, Comedy, Documentary, History, Western, and Musical.

The Los Angeles audience was terrific. I could tell right away that this was a different crowd than our usual Toronto audience. These were people who respected the craft of independent filmmaking and every single comment was respectful to the filmmakers and the film itself. Perhaps the first festival I ever moderated that did not have one judgemental comment about any of the films.

I so appreciated this night and all of the work my Los Angeles crew of camera operators and volunteers put into it. This will be a festival that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The gamble of going to Los Angeles paid off and the reason for its success was the filmmakers and the amazing audience. As a former California Governor once said: “I’ll be back!”

– Matthew Toffolo

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: ATOMIC COUPLE!

Best Performances: THE LOT

Best Cinematography: A FEW RUBBER BANDS MORE

Best Music: The music from ATOMIC COUPLE!

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEOS:

festival posterTHE LOT, 15min., USA, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterA FEW RUBBER BANDS MORE, 5min., USA, Comedy/Western
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterATOMIC COUPLE!, 15min., USA, Comedy/History
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterMUD SLINGERS, 7min., USA, Documentary
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTWO GIRLS, ONE CUP: A STORY OF CHRISTMAS, 5min., USA, Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterA SENSE OF SOUND, 25min., USA, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEOS:

Winning Short Screenplay – A Little Bit of Heaven by Stephanie Thompson

A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN
Written by Stephanie Thompson

CAST LIST:

ALLEN – Dan Cristofori
NARRATOR – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Crime, Drama

A struggling, single father who decides a life of crime is the only way to save his ill daughter.

What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about a struggling, single father who decides a life of crime is the only way to save his ill daughter.

What genres does your screenplay under?

My screenplay fits under the genres of Drama and Crime

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay should be a movie to showcase just how far a parent is willing to go to provide for their child.

How would you describe this script in two words?

The two words to best describe my script are intense and passionate.

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

Out of all of the movies in the world, I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz the most.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on this screenplay for 2 days.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 7 screenplays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

What motivated me to write this screenplay was the challenge of condensing a story into 1-page.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

When I heard about the contest, the deadline was within a week. My obstacle was coming up with a story-line that could fit into 1-page.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about creating music and different mediums of art.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

My advice to other writers would be to avoid procrastination. No one can tell your story better than you.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Winning Short Screenplay – Collapse by David Sweet

COLLAPSE
Written by David Sweet

CAST LIST:

BILL – Peter Nelson
CORTNEY – Laura Daly
NARRATOR – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Horror

A wife married unhappily to a strictly controlling man, who is presented with a startling opportunity to change things – if she is able to take the extreme step to bring this about.

What is your screenplay about?

I would say that it primarily concerns a conflict of emotions – a wife married unhappily to a strictly controlling man, who is presented with a startling opportunity to change things – if she is able to take the extreme step to bring this about.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Suspense, crime/mystery, maybe even horror, depending upon how wide a definition is employed.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Assuming a market for a piece of this length – probably no longer than 20 minutes max , possibly as a tag-on to some major work – I would contend that it ticks all the boxes of character interest, dialogue, conflict, exciting scene change, mystery – and with only one set and two characters involved, plus some newsreel footage, it would be relatively cheap to make.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Human nature.

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

The full list would be very long, so I will shorten it to 10: It Happened One Night, The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Strangers on a Train, Singin in the Rain, Rififi, Rear Window, One-Eyed Jacks, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Pulp Fiction (bonus item The Graduate).

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

If you count its short story antecedent, in hours I would guess between 30 and 40.

How many stories have you written?

If you mean short and flash stories, there would be too many to count, but have managed to get 8 published, winning two competitions and coming second in another.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I am always pretty much motivated, so I would guess that it came down the idea for the story plus the challenge of shaping it into a good 1pg script.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This biggest obstacle – and I would guess that I am not alone in this – was in reducing the plot and dialogue to such a short compass, particularly as to what to leave out.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Films, politics, psychology ( well sort of – was formerly a psychologist, or at least designated myself as such), history, fiction, and particularly crime fiction – and of course the opposite sex.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

No, don’t think so – I wouldn’t presume; all writers have to find their own way, wouldn’t you say?

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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Winning Short Screenplay – Curious Buddies by Janet Caulfield

CURIOUS BUDDIES
Written by Janet Caulfield

CAST LIST:

BILL – Peter Nelson
CORTNEY – Laura Daly
NARRATOR – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Action, Thriller, Drama

Curious Buddies is about the rescue of a six year old girl taken hostage in a fall out shelter by a ruthless psychopath.

What is your screenplay about?

Curious Buddies is about the rescue of a six year old girl taken hostage in a fall out shelter by a ruthless psychopath.
The story is about the trials and tribulations of a veteran FBI agent and the assistance of a young internet entrepreneur
during the case investigation to save her. It’s a whirlwind, action packed thriller, spanning three days set in Washington DC, New York and San Francisco. There are subtle sub themes throughout the screenplay, like the curious friendships and
relationships that develop between the characters. For example, the buddy bond between the FBI agent and the internet guru,
and the young girl and the psychopath.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Action, Thriller, Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Curious Buddies should be made into a movie because it would appeal to die hard fans of shows like True Detective,
Criminal Minds and The Good Wife.I think it would draw millennials because there are several scenes between the FBI agent and the internet entrepreneur, some comical, where they learn to respect each other and their professions. There’s a lot of action, twists and turns in the plot that would keep an audience interested.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Provocative, Riveting

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

Rear Window. It never gets old.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About three years. I’ve done several minor rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

I have written about a dozen screenplays. Seven are finished and copyrighted.

The others I’m still working on and collaborating with another writer for a TV MOW pilot.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

News stories, and shows like True Detective, Criminal Minds, and The Good Wife.

I can’t resist movies or shows involving scandals or corruption.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

None.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, art, sports. I’m a rabid Cubs fan.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never, never give up. Follow your dreams

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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Winning Short Screenplay – Deli Dilemma by Jim Norman

DELI DILEMMA
Written by Jim Norman

CAST LIST:

VINCE THE HAMMER – Peter Nelson
MAX/JACKIE – Gabriel Darku
ABE/PAULI – Dan Cristofori
NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

A deli counterman, Brooklyn, NY circa 1925, has among his customers, 6 mob hitmen.

What is your screenplay about?

A deli counterman, Brooklyn, NY circa 1925, has among his customers, 6 mob hitmen. The mobsters are always concerned about retribution or assassination, and have made the counterman wary, as well. When other mobsters barge into the deli, disaster is imminent.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Situation comedy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It has been structured as a half-hour TV series with limited locations and a revolving cast.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Seinfeld’s mobsters.

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

Blazing Saddles.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

This one page story, 2 months. Four pilot episodes for the series, 18 months.

How many stories have you written?

Between short stories and screenplays, 17.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Reading non-fiction about NY/NJ mobs during the 1920s.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Creating believable, but humorous characters true to the period.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Large format film photography.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep a writer’s box for your ideas. Always start with a logline, then outline and write only after you are happy with what you have. Expect to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. Expect rejection, but don’t let it stop you from writing. The more you do, the better you’ll get.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!