Because my resume is so vast, it would almost sound like I am making it up... so I am electing rather to speak of my vision for the festival. The following is a stream of conscious when I was asked what this festival means to me....
I use the word "entourage " in an endearing way....from living most my adult life in LA....I found that one can be fabulous, all inclusive and party while engaging in intellectual conversation simultaneously. At my festival there is no way NOT be part of the entourage...you are by default part of the mix...
What I noticed in my 15 -year tenure of working festivals is that tons of people get lost in navigating it all by themselves in a city they are not familiar with. I hated these experiences and vowed to one day start my own festival that focused on the camaraderie as much as the content.
The social aspect of the festival should never be exclusive. Everybody involved should all collaborate in discussing how the meaning resonated with them. The audience is a huge factor...almost as important as the invited guests...because in my academic research, spectatorship is what forms meaning and is crucial in understanding the film's role in the zeitgeist.
It is an experience....
To me, life is cinematic, and cinema is life. We've designed our festival to reflect that philosophy.
This is also a destination festival...we want you to experience the city as well as the films which is why I have a filmmaker canal cruise to open up the festival and the party at the famous EYE museum where the public is also invited to gather like-minded people to have a blast along the gorgeous sunset along the "IJ" (Amsterdam's waterfront). I never program films at the same time of this event...I don't want people to have to choose between the VIP party and a film, or for my volunteers to have to miss out...I also do not like when other festivals treat their volunteers like indentured servants!
This festival is like a gathering of nations. The common denominator being film. People come from around the world in this moment in time to share a collective experience. In that aspect, we create a community that carries on after the festival.
Networking doesn't even begin to capture what we do.
It's about the people. It's about the passion and just absolutely enjoying each other's company.
I will continue to keep the festival at a perfect size where we can continue to do so. I don't ever want to have a fragmented audience or guests.
We're gonna party our faces off, celebrate film, celebrate each other and be in the moment. We hope to see you Sept 2019 to create another epic memory!
I've been interested in filmmaking since I was a teenager. I love the way movies can seemingly take you out of your world and into something completely different. The power of film to move and inspire people is a large part of the reason I find them so captivating. I live for documentaries, particularly those centered on social justice issues. I love to hear (and create) real stories about real people
I attended Wartburg College for film and video production and now work as a commercial and corporate video producer at a marketing agency. Apart from film, I'm also interested in politics and social justice.
I appreciate any medium of art that takes you out of your current mindset and puts you in touch with emotions that are buried deeper under the surface. However, no medium is so entirely immersive as film. From the visuals, to the story, to the music, film has the potential to awaken inner fears, desires, regrets, and can actually motivate you to change aspects of your life. When I was nearing the end of my tenure as an undergraduate some ten years ago, wondering what the hell I would do with my degree, I watched Danny Boyle's Millions - not his most celebrated work. By the end of the film, I had this deep burning in my gut and an urge to cry as I realized that my calling was in the water industry. Eight years later I landed a job as a wastewater operator, and I've never felt more fulfilled. I get to take something dirty and make it clean and useful again for my community. I'm so grateful for that wakeup call because the feeling I got from watching that film was something I could always (and still do) tap into to connect me to my greater purpose.
This is my third year as a film screener/programmer for Manifesto and will be my first time attending! We are a community of storytellers with diverse backgrounds coming together to support each other and share ideas about how we collectively and individually see the world. My guiding principle as a screener is to find films that will inspire you and help you tap into a deeper understanding of your place in this world.
I have been a film aficionado since my sister and I discovered the awe and magic of HBO when it first came out. We watched and re-watched films to the point of memorization. Cinema to me was and is still so important because of the bond it forms among the viewers. From quoting movie lines, to identifying shared experiences, it forms a camaraderie that I feel is unique to any other art form.
I prefer dialogue and performance-strong films with clever writing: my top five would be The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Clue, Memento, Last of the Mohicans and Requiem for a Dream.
I have been a short film screener for various festivals for about 10 years now, since my sister recruited me, and I advocate awareness of this amazing format in the US, where the short film is not as accessible to audiences as it is Europe.