There is always someone who writes about big and widely known film festivals. But when it comes to small ones, it’s hard to draw media’s attention to it as it gains no wide interest of the audience. But how can the audience or Torontonians ever find out about the existence of such an important film festival if we, the press, do not write about it?
It was my first time visiting the Future of Film Showcase Festival in Toronto, founded by two extremely talented people, Eric Bizzarri and Shant Joshi. Despite many seats being vacant, I felt a warm atmosphere of people who, in spite of their busy schedule, came to see the line up of some decent short films.
As I had no time to write about each film being screened at the festival, however, I decided to approach Eric Bizzarri and Shant Joshi to introduce their festival, its idea, and prospects for the future.
MOVIEMOVESME: Can you talk about the festival, its goal and the reason behind having it?
Eric Bizzarri: The idea of the Future Film Showcase is to celebrate showcasing young and emerging Canadian filmmakers. The idea is to create a discourse on the future of Canadian cinema. We hope that the films we select kind of shows where the future of Canadian cinema is going.
Shant Joshi: In a way our criteria for choosing our films was innovative storytelling, not in terms of technology but what methods our young filmmakers are using with low budgets that they can still convey a story. So a lot of the films we saw conveyed that and that’s why we chose them for the festival; they were different, they wanted something that people weren’t used to and we really liked that.
MOVIEMOVESME: What are your plans for the future to get more filmmakers interested and motivated to be a part of this festival?
Eric Bizzarri: The idea is that we’re going to promote this thing and we’re gearing it towards young filmmakers. We receive submissions from people aged 30 and younger or ones that attend a Canadian institution. So you can still be like in your late 30s or 40s or even 50s and attend a school and still apply to us. I think the idea is bringing in that new wave of talent and ushering our festival into our demographic.
Shant Joshi: To speak on that, probably 75% of our promotion has been social media as opposed to traditional marketing. And that’s where we’ve gotten our most pull because young filmmakers are on their phones, on their computers and they’re looking at us and seeing our videos and promotions. So we’re connecting with our audience through social media almost instantly.
MOVIEMOVESME: So you’re using social media to bring in people rather than maybe perhaps work on towards something bigger?
Eric Bizzarri: Of course, that’s the idea right. How do you get yourself noticed amongst all the other festivals happening in Toronto and even Canada? How do you diversify yourself, how do you make yourself unique? I think the idea of our festival is what makes it so interesting is the fact that it’s youth for youth. Our entire team is made up of filmmakers under 30. That’s what signifies us from the rest of the competition.
MOVIEMOVESME: Are the filmmakers in your festival only Canadians or do you accept submissions from other nationalities?
Eric Bizzarri: The filmmakers that submit to the Future Film Showcase are solely Canadian. Filmmakers who have submitted to us are from as far as Halifax, British Colombia and even Toronto where we’re based out of. It’s pretty amazing to showcase a whole wide variety of filmmakers to have everyone in Canada interested.
Shant Joshi: Because Canada’s such a melting pot you already have people from all over the world coming to submit. some films were shot in Germany, so the filmmakers are Canadian but they can expand throughout the world and that’s why Canadian cinema is a world cinema.
MOVIEMOVESME: What about someone who wants to submit his film but doesn’t know how to make it? Do you guys try to guide them or is there some organisation you would like people to find out?
Eric Bizzarri: It’s funny that you mentioned that because Shawn has an idea to expand to all year round. We want to keep people interested all year round, even bring up the idea of workshops where we can try and mentor young filmmakers to try and get their films made.
Shant Joshi: Hopefully once those films are finished they can submit to Future Films and various other film festivals. We’re planning to foster the idea for young filmmakers.