Manhattan Film Festival

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Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Featured Slideshow | Comments Off on Slide 2

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MFF Announces Monthly Film Series

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on MFF Announces Monthly Film Series

The Manhattan Film Festival will be now hosting a monthly film series. We have launched this program in conjunction with our Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program. It is a way to provide year round programming while providing filmmakers the opportunity to raise revenue for new projects, cover submission fees, marketing, etc. Like our revenue sharing program, filmmakers will earn 50% of every ticket sold using their affiliate accounts. As part of this program we will also book cast & crew as well as press screenings. In these instances we would use an alternative to ticket sales to protect premiere status. There will be no submission fees or selection process. For more information about this program simply email us with the subject “Monthly Film...

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What Does the JOBS Act Mean to the Future of the Film Industry?

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on What Does the JOBS Act Mean to the Future of the Film Industry?

Many filmmakers have turned to popular crowdfunding platforms to raise money to help launch their production. In exchange for a contribution the contributor receives a perk such as a signed movie poster or a t-shirt. In the beginning it was just independent filmmakers reaching out to friends and family but now even some celebrities and established filmmakers have turned to these platforms for funding. A number of critics have questioned if it is ethical for celebrities to solicit funding from their fans. In the near future there may no longer be that question. Established stars will be able to partner with their fans. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was signed into law on April 5th, 2012. The act was in part written to let people use crowdfunding as a vehicle to offer an investment opportunity to the general public rather than just cheap perks. The new regulations are still being written by the SEC but when they are finished and fully implemented could be a game-changer for the film industry. It has the possibility to level the playing by bringing new and established talent together. Writers and independent filmmakers often envision a certain actor that would be a perfect fit for one of their characters. Unfortunately with a lack of funding the match is most often not made. The JOBS Act can change this. Established talent, like everyone else, have to look for work. That’s what agents are for. Filmmakers will now have at least a shot booking established talent by offering an investment opportunity. The general public would be much more intrigued to invest in a film featuring their favorite Hollywood star rather than contributing to a campaign in exchange for a thank you...

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Will Revenue Sharing Change what a Film Festival Means to a Filmmaker?

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Will Revenue Sharing Change what a Film Festival Means to a Filmmaker?

In the past the hope of every filmmaker was to get accepted into a festival and land a distribution deal. While that hope has not changed, the odds have. Since the advent of digital filmmaking the number of films produced every year has increased exponentially. This has made the odds of being accepted into an established festival much less. Even the filmmakers accepted into these festivals are not landing the coveted distribution deals they once did. Digital filmmaking has changed the industry. Luckily for the better. New festivals have emerged to address the increase in the number of films produced and modern technology has created new revenue streams giving filmmakers an opportunity to make their own breaks. There is no longer that need to be “picked up” in order to succeed. Does this change what a film festival means to a filmmaker? We believe in some ways it does. Festivals are still extremely important to the marketing efforts of filmmakers. With an increased number of independent films available to consumers getting your film reviewed to go along with festival laurels will help it stand out from the crowd. The networking opportunities festivals offer are also important and it is great to celebrate your achievement. So how do we feel the role has changed? While filmmaking is an art your completed film is an investment and a business. As a business you need to identify sources of revenue. We mentioned earlier modern technology has created new revenue streams for filmmakers. One of these are digital revenue sharing platforms such as the YouTube Partner Program or iTunes. Revenue sharing has been a game changer for independent content producers and we believe it is a game changer for the festival circuit. We launched our Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program in 2011 to stunning results. The program generated thousands of dollars that went directly back to the filmmakers and our attendance increased by 700%. We feel when filmmakers promote their screening they are also promoting our festival and should be compensated. The revenue earned is technically sent out as affiliate marketing payments which avoids any contractual complications. We have found this added revenue has helped filmmakers launch new productions, submit to more festivals, etc. At the end of the day both parties benefit from revenue sharing. The filmmaker earns a percentage of their box office and the festival enjoys larger turnout. It is a win-win situation and if it catches on will change what a film festival means to a...

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“On The Radioman” an MFF Exclusive Interview

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “On The Radioman” an MFF Exclusive Interview

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“Buffalo Boys” Director Debuts First Feature Film

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Buffalo Boys” Director Debuts First Feature Film

By: Alyssa Zauderer Not everyone gets second chances in life. Sometimes even if you’ve received a second chance, the consequences will still follow. This concept is one that Ray Guarnieri kept close while directing his first feature film “Buffalo Boys.” So originally you were an actor, how did you make the transition over to director? I got into this business through acting. I graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts. I worked for about 2 years trying to get started as an actor. I got into acting to do theater originally. After I graduated I wasn’t getting cast in any plays. I was freelancing with an agency and I kept getting cast in indie films, short films and student films. I spent so much time on film sets with indie productions. If you have the right attitude you can learn a lot about the whole film making process and that’s what I did. I spoke with my friends Matt Tester and Mckenzie Trent who are two of the producers on Buffalo Boys. They’re also fellow actors and we would talk about not getting cast in the type of roles we would like to play…typical actors trying to make it in New York talk. So we decided we would start our own production company, buy some camera equipment and create our own roles with characters we wanted to explore. And the film was inspired by a true story? I was friends with this kid who the main character is inspired by in middle school. When we made that switch to high school we started to grow apart. It was those high school years that he started to go down the wrong path. He and this other boy get sucked into this plan to murder an old woman to collect her life insurance policy. So it’s a bit of a crime drama but it also has very strong family drama elements. Because this was someone you knew, what were you looking for when you casting Ian. What was the most important thing for you to capture this person? It’s funny; I was very stubborn during the casting process. For Ian I wanted someone that was going to be just like the real character both physically and personality-wise. The real character was a little guy but was very well built. He had a temper but he could be a really fun guy to be around, he was a pistol and I wanted to try and find that in a person. Being an indie production we had to go with what options we had. I was lucky enough to find Paul Castro Jr (plays Ian) who was a little guy. The two main characters are entering their junior year in high school. They had to be able to pull that off but also be mature enough to handle the emotional weight of the film. I was really lucky to find Paul and Rodney Mack. Paul is not like the main character himself, but he’s such a great actor that after meeting and rehearsing with him prior to shooting, by the time we got to set I felt he really had a grasp of the character the way I thought he should be portrayed. It’s not exactly like who the real person was but...

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MFF Talks With “Local Commercial” Crew

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on MFF Talks With “Local Commercial” Crew

By: Shannon Grant With over-the-top characters, such as a litigator who can get you money for being unfriended on Facebook, Local Commercial is a film about a local commercial shoot gone awry. The film will be screened at the Manhattan Film Festival on June 24. I spoke with actress/co-writer Didi Dobbs and Director Richard Dobbs who shed light on their original comedy. MFF: Can you explain the premise of the film? Richard: The film was inspired by our fascination with local commercials. We thought it’d be interesting to do a film about the making a local commercial through the perspective of the director. Our director is a guy who has enjoyed a long, successful career and he’s showing up to do this local commercial gig expecting it to be the easiest time of his life and it turns into his worst nightmare. Didi: It’s just one landmine after another. He finds out things are going wrong on the set and things are almost immediately out of his control. MFF: How would you describe the chemistry on set? D: There are two things. First, we knew that we had to do this really fast so the chemistry on the set was kind of professional like “lets get this done because we know we don’t have an unlimited amount of takes” But when we have John Ratzenberger and Frank Converse on a set you can’t help but have fun. R: The cast is terrific. We did help ourselves by having a table read with all the cast members so everyone got to say the words out loud to each other about a month before we shot. When shooting comedy you have to be spontaneous. That’s where Didi, Frank and John’s experience with improvisation comes in. You’ve got actors who can wing it. When their doing something that works, you leave them alone. MFF: What’s the hardest part of writing a comedy? D: The hardest part is that I’m always right. (laughs) You have to know how to have a sense of play if you’re writing a comedy. The premise of the film was so solid that it wasn’t real easy to write but it wasn’t that hard. It was really organic. R: For me the hardest part is resisting the urge to try to be funny. When you’re trying to be funny you’re on dangerous ground. It’s got to be organic and honest. If you’re true to human nature and you’ve got funny actors and actors that understand how to relate to each other, it’s pretty magical how it comes together at the end. MFF: Could you say that some of what occurred in the film is based on actual experiences? D: Yes but we also sat here with each other and said “Let’s take this up a notch. What if we take up 5 notches?” But basically, characters in my head are people I grew up with or have read about or loved. They’re people we know plus imagination. I still believe in imagination. I don’t think everything has to be reality based. I love that great writers imagine the characters out of their own head. MFF: How do you hope audiences will feel when they leave the film? D: I just want them to feel they had a good...

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