Skip to content

Kyle Rideout, writer/director: EADWEARD

10426236_899833106735660_3610240262274152004_n

Director Kyle Rideout also appeared in Lawrence & Holloman, as “Thirsty Office Worker”. This year he returns to Cinequest as a director and co-writer.

1Q: Tell us a little bit about the origins of Eadweard, from concept to financing.

Both [co-writer] Josh Epstein and I were actors in a play called, Studies in Motion which is about Eadweard Muybridge. We toured across Canada and it was a very innovative and fantastic play. We kept talking about how this story of this incredibly strange genius wasn’t a film. From there we optioned the play and raised straight private equity to shoot the film. Then Telefilm came on board for post.

2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World premiere of Eadweard, explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

It’s that feeling of being proud-nervous-and-excited all at once like sending my baby out into the world with a kiss on both cheeks and a huge warm hug! I really can’t say how they will react but I hope that when the credits roll they look up Eadweard Muybridge to learn more about this fascinating person.

3Q: What was your best and or worst experience while making Eadweard?

I’ll go with best: which was shooting the opening scene of the film which was on the cliff face of a mountain in BC called The Chief. The start of the story is when Eadweard was younger and beardless and since Michael Eklund had grown this glorious beard for the shoot, we had to shoot this scene last so we could shave it down (yeah, no reshoots on this film). This location was up a mid-level, hour and a half hike. The cast and crew were all game. When you see the film the opening shots almost look fake they are so beautiful.

4Q: Festival Audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

The cast in the film are so strong, Michael Eklund transforms into the role. Seeing him as the serial killer in The Call and then as this obsessed genius is fantastic.

5Q: Time to Pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for Eadweard. Give us your acceptance speech.

I think I would scrap the speech do a tap dance followed by a big bow.

See EADWEARD at Cinequest!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow Kyle on Twitter!

Eadweard_1_1000x316

Amanda Greer, actress: DESIRE IN NEW YORK

Amanda Greer plays

Amanda Greer plays “Jessica” in DESIRE IN NEW YORK

1Q: Tell us how you became involved with DESIRE IN NEW YORK, and how you prepared for your role.

I auditioned! The waiting room was packed with other actresses that looked just like me, if not better. Jennifer had already been cast and was in the room with Ed when I came in to read, including some improv. It may have been the connection between Jen and I or just the energy in the room but I really enjoyed myself. I was told how long the role of Jessica had been sought after, but no one fit the bill… the pressure was welcomed. I remember the character description entailing my role of Jessica, what I perceived as the devil-may-care executive assistant to Karen, the go-getter type who is very comfortable in her own skin. As I was introduced to her dialogue it became clear as day what a contrast she is to Karen and how that incorporates into Karen’s story in a vast way, so I focused on their relationship while having a ball of a good time with her uninhibited nature but with a sense of intuit producing a genuine compassion for Karen along with her own apparatus around the office. My wardrobe for Jessica had a lot to do with bringing all her elements to life; from the get-go in my audition, I did indeed wear a suit but with Jessica’s own flair, yes she works in a corporate office and can certainly play that role but she rules femininity and enjoys being a woman, so I wore a “conservative” skirt with a high cut slit, a figure hugging low cut blouse covered up with a buttoned up chic blazer. My director loved it and asked me to wear it during filming! Jessica is work and play, I felt that her wardrobe told you exactly where she’s going, out after work, which shows she’s full of life, she’s not going to just go home and process things, so I just lived there… I wish I were more like her.

2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

Cinequest intrigues me, because ever since I became a professional actress in this charging industry, I have grown an unequaled appreciation with independent projects, and a lot of that has to do with creative control and unique collaboration. And with that, Cinequest venerates true artists with the ability to create and establish great films. I am now that much more excited to see my fellow creators, my comrades, to see who else is out there making great independent films on their own. I think it’s wonderful that DESIRE IN NEW YORK is premiering in their 25th anniversary as well and I love how involved Cinequest is, it feels special that our film is apart of it.

Now I have to be honest, I did have the opportunity to view my film prior to our premiere, and I chose not to because I want to be apart of that first time audience and experience it for the first time with everyone else, right next to other talented artists that I’m looking forward to networking with.

This film got me from the beginning, because I have a fascination with the reality of the simplicity of the human need, which is desire. “There’s a saying that a woman doesn’t need to be loved, she needs to be wanted,” I think that’s the case with everyone, and this film is very real in the female perspective which I relate to, that I believe people are naturally curious about. I think our film will be particularly longed-for, I feel like there is a need for it.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making DESIRE IN NEW YORK?

Being cast, and seeing the trailer for the first time, hearing my voice out loud along with the original music involved sent goose bumps down my back.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I can relate because my film WALT WHITMAN NEVER PAID FOR IT made its way through some tremendous film festivals and I had to be picky which films I would attend the screening to. Ultimately, people should see DESIRE IN NEW YORK because a lot of films today have become redundant, ordinary, boring and safe but when I think of my favorite films, there’s not many, and that’s sad. I’m bored with films these days, I feel like films aren’t made well and especially, unfortunately big budgets, and I have to wonder where their money goes, while our film which has the potential of becoming a cult classic was made with the grit of our teeth. And that tells you a lot! I want people to recognize; this is how you make a film, and it will be their favorite, it will be embedded and engraved in their body, in their senses, they’ll feel it. I know this film will stand out in the film festival and in the end, when everyone’s going home, this is the film that they will be talking about.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Give us your acceptance speech.

I can feel my heart beating out of my chest! And that’s the feeling I got when I first moved to New York. And that’s the feeling that I got when I walked into the room to audition. That’s the feeling I got when I was cast, and when I set foot on location and brought this character to life, and I never want that feeling to go away, and now, it won’t because every time I look at this award, I’ll get that feeling. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me, and believed in me. Thank you Ed for this opportunity. Now, I think I can afford to get my own place!

See DESIRE IN NEW YORK at Cinequest!
View the Trailer!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow Amanda on Twitter!
View Amanda’s website!

10690273_1451201838476191_6789159547020812001_n

Martin Cohn, actor: DESIRE IN NEW YORK

Martin Cohn plays “Adam” in DESIRE IN NEW YORK

1Q: Tell us how you became involved with DESIRE IN NEW YORK, and how you prepared for your role.

I applied online, went through two rounds of auditions and, thankfully, got the part. When I got the sides for “Desire in New York” I was really blown away by how good the script is. I went in really wanting to get the part of “Adam”, not just for the sake of work, the way it often times is with smaller projects and when you’re starting out. I really wanted the part because it resonated with me as well – I grew up with a very difficult and strenuous relationship with one of my parents and getting the chance to play Adam really helped me work through a lot of the emotional baggage I had in regards to the child/parent relationship. It was really interesting and challenging preparing for someone that isn’t me but who is dealing with something I can very much relate to. It took the idea of separating and reconstructing yourself for a part to a new level, for me at least.

2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

To echo what Ed said, I’m just really thrilled to have the film premiere at such a major festival and know that because of the scope of Cinequest, a significant amount of people will see it. The greatest outcome for a film, in my view, is to get it out to as many people as possible and hope that they’ll react to it, hopefully, in a positive way. The worst fate for something you’ve worked on is for people to walk away from it having felt nothing.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making DESIRE IN NEW YORK?

I only had positive experiences working on “Desire in New York.” The cast, crew and, especially, Ed were so easy and professional to work with. This project really set a standard for how I like to work and behave on set and what I hope and expect of others. It was also very rewarding on a personal level because of the subject matter. Again, as an actor, I hope that most of the things I work on not only teach me more about other lives and people, but also about myself. That’s something I really love about filmmaking, the aspect of self exploration through othering yourself and that is something that “Desire in New York” gave me in spades.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I think people should see “Desire in New York” because it’s a story not very often told from the perspective of a female character, and rarely with such empathy. It really gives the viewer a glimpse into the troubled inner lives of people that are trying to work through damage and trauma, both of their own doing and at the hands of others, without making them out to be saints or sinners. The audience is encouraged to decide how they feel about them. Anyone looking for small, intimate filmmaking is sure to enjoy this.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Give us your acceptance speech.

I’d be speechless.

See DESIRE IN NEW YORK at Cinequest!
View the Trailer!
Follow them on Facebook!

10690273_1451201838476191_6789159547020812001_n

Christopher Dollar, screenwriter: KILLSWITCH

Christopher Dollar is the co-screenwriter for KILLSWITCH

Christopher Dollar is the co-screenwriter for KILLSWITCH

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of KILLSWITCH, from concept to financing.

It all started, like most good ideas, over beers. As young adults that came of age in the digital age, we were concerned that the Internet was under attack. We became convicted that we had to do something. Mid-way through our third round of drinks, we committed ourselves to making a film that would speak for a generation of citizens that are devoted to protecting a Free & Open Internet. Three and a half years later, KILLSWITCH was born.

2Q: KILLSWITCH has done quite well at other film festivals. Will you be less nervous now at Cinequest? Does this process ever get any easier?

Nerves are good. Whenever we play for an audience in a theatre no matter how big or small I always have nerves. I am always excited. I love it. The process is great. Festivals are amazing. The friends that we have met, the feedback, the energy, it’s invaluable.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making KILLSWITCH.

The collaboration of making a film. Working with brilliant individuals like Ali Akbarzadeh, Jeff Horn, Prichard Smith, CJ Sato, Lawrence Taubman, and many, many others was incredible and inspirational. Making a film, is a constant exercise in revision. It takes patience, stubbornness, and insanity. I am blessed to have some of these characteristics, and to work with others that share these characteristics.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I firmly believe that we are on a crossroad. The answer to the question of “Who will control the Internet?” is fundamental to answering the question “Who will control democracy?” KILLSWITCH attempts to inspire an answer to that question & ignite action in controlling our own fate.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for KILLSWITCH. Give us your acceptance speech.

I would like to thank Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden for inspiring this film. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you also to the millions of global citizens who fight on behalf of democracy every day, this film is dedicated to you.

See KILLSWITCH at Cinequest!
View the Trailer!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow them on Twitter!

Killswitch_1_1000x316

Ali Akbarzadeh, director: KILLSWITCH

Ali Akbarzadeh directs KILLSWITCH

Ali Akbarzadeh directs KILLSWITCH

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of KILLSWITCH, from concept to financing.

Ali (director) – The idea for Killswitch came about during the Arab Spring. It was the first time that I truly understood the power and the threat of the Internet. I realized that perhaps for the first time in history the people had a tool that could break existing power structures and topple autocratic regimes. A tool that also, by it’s very design, could enshrine the principles of true democracy. As I became obsessed with this potential I wondered if it could be taken away. Could a killswitch exist here in America? So, with my camera, I embarked on a journey. Over the course of 3 years, I sat down with 24 of the world’s top minds with regard to internet policy – hackers, academics, policy makers, think tank-ers and government officials alike. Each came from different backgrounds, but they all had one thing in common – they cared deeply about this technology and found a way to help protect it.

As for the financing, my producing partner Jeffrey Horn and I decided to allocate our company’s marketing budget to cover the cost of traveling to interview the first round of people at NCMR in Boston. Then we cut together a small trailer and posted to Kickstarter. We did raise quite a bit of support, but ultimately did not reach our funding goal. We did, however, have a very generous donor agree to donate outside of kickstarter, so we used that money to get another round of interviews and put together another trailer. Long story short, the trailer ended up in the hands of Larry Taubman, who is the founder of Occupy.com. We met him and he very graciously agreed to finance the rest of the film.

2Q: KILLSWITCH has done quite well at other film festivals. Will you be less nervous now at Cinequest? Does this process ever get any easier?

It is never easy watching your film. At this point I’ve lost all objectivity, and I can only see flaws or things that I would have done differently. That said, the actual process of going to film festivals is always a great experience. You meet passionate people and get to see great filmmaking, for me that’s the real reward.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making KILLSWITCH.

After we had replaced 2 editors, I decided to go to Orcas Island and basically isolate myself from everyone and cut the film on my own. This should have been the ‘best’ experience, but ultimately after 3 weeks when I sat back and watched the new cut I hated it. Having to show this cut to the producers and explain that I needed to rebuild the whole thing from the ground up was the worst experience.

Sitting across from the world’s elite thinkers and engaging in conversation is certainly one of the best experiences of documentary filmmaking. But I have to say that the moment that stands out to me as the BEST experience was, after about a month of research, finding our editor Prichard Smith. After meeting with him, I knew instantly that he got vision of the film and he was able to come in with ruthless objectivity. When he showed me the first sequence he cut, I felt the excitement that I had when I started the project 3 years earlier.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

People should see this film because it addresses what I believe are the most important issues of our time. The battle to control information is a very real issue with a lot at stake both for free speech and the future of democracy. We’ve worked very hard to create a film that takes complicated issues and communicates them on a human level. The film has already played a part in the Net Neutrality debate and our hope is that it continues to ignite the debate we all need to be having about the control of information in the 21st century.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for KILLSWITCH. Give us your acceptance speech.

Ahh.. Chris Dodd would never allow a film that bashes the MPAA to win an Oscar. 😉 But we’re cool with that.

See KILLSWITCH at Cinequest!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow Ali on Twitter!

Killswitch_1_1000x316

Jeremy Thomas, Writer/Director: ALLY WAS SCREAMING

Jeremy Thomas directs ALLY WAS SCREAMING

Jeremy Thomas directs ALLY WAS SCREAMING

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of ALLY WAS SCREAMING, from concept to financing.

Originally, I amused myself with the thought, what kind of circumstance would get my close friends and I to discuss taking part in a murder (and its morality) and how far could we take it. We are supposedly nice guys so I knew the situation would have to be pretty provocative. From there, I really wanted to make a movie depicting characters who challenge their moral intuition with the hope that the audience would question theirs as they come along for the ride. Why? (I’m not alone here as an artist): for no lesser aim than to change the world. I don’t know the answers. Neither does the movie – but it knows the questions that will take us further down that rabbit hole.

And thanks to Telefilm Canada, and my producers’ Colin Sheldon and Robert Cuffley’s know how… yada yada yada… We got the green light to shoot the beast.

2Q: ALLY WAS SCREAMING has done quite well at other film festivals. Will you be less nervous now at Cinequest? Does this process ever get any easier?

Cinequest will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first US festival I ever attended (I’m from Canada), when my first feature “The End” played there is 2008. It marked the first time I ever had two sold out theatres filled with receptive audiences who were not made up of my friends OR family – and yet they still responded so positively that I discretely took out my camcorder and began taping the crowd’s reaction, so my friends back home would believe how well it went over.

With that said, I’m never quite comfortable with filmmaking or festivals. Pre-production makes me faint, production totally freaks me out, and editing gives me deep existential conflict. But at least when it’s done I get to show it at wonderful festivals like this one, right? In theory, yes; but again, I’m starting to feel faint. But I’ll end on a positive note: Francois Truffaut praised filmmakers who embodied either the agony or ecstasy of filmmaking. So subscribing to the prior may not be such a sin.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making ALLY WAS SCREAMING?

My best experience was witnessing the team pull together to make the climax so rewarding. The acting that we were capturing gave me confidence that this movie was really going to work (thanks in particular to Charlie Carrick, Giacomo Baessato, and Camille Sullivan). The process can be very hard, because at the beginning of the day its all in your head, and you know that by the end of the day, what you’ve developed for years must be executed – and well. It’s like competing in an Olympic event you’ve trained for for years, and now you must perform. And as hard as the process can be, what makes it survivable (& even exhilarating at times) is the team. With our veteran Robert Cuffley (taking a break from directing features like “Walk All Over Me” and “Ferocious”), to the wise-young-diligent producer Colin Sheldon, to our old cowboy production manager Tom Benz (“Brokeback Mountain”), to our stylish and elegant DP Dan Dumochel and his camera team, to the Emmy-nominated sound team from Propeller (“Fargo”), to the wickedly talented cast, etc., etc… – this team has lifted this little movie to heights I could have only hoped at conception (& saved my ass a few times along he way!)

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

Here is a merciless thriller (which I’m told brings to mind Shallow Grave and A Simple Plan!) that gets friends fighting and couples not speaking to each other. AWS is a moral rollercoaster (if such a thing were to exist) that acts as a tense suspense yarn at some times and as a dark comedy at others. Along the way you may root for our heroes – (who may actually be villains) – or fall for its antagonist – (who may be heroic), or realize that the heroes, who you thought were villains may be heroic after all (unless you believe that murder can never be justified…) Something tells me that we’re not all going to agree, but we may at least be revitted as the eerie drama unfoulds (unless it’s a comedy… Or both.)

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for ALLY WAS SCREAMING. Give us your acceptance speech.

I would refuse to attend the Oscars for fear that John Travolta would mispronounce my name and touch my face.

See ALLY WAS SCREAMING at Cinequest!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow them on Twitter!

AllyWas_1_1000x316

Ravi Kapoor, director/co-writer and Meera Simhan, co-writer/actor/creative producer: MISS INDIA AMERICA

Ravi Kapoor (Director and co-writer) and Meera Simhan (Co-writer, actor and creative producer)

Ravi Kapoor (Director and co-writer) and Meera Simhan (Co-writer, actor and creative producer)

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of Miss India America, from concept to financing.

Meera was once a Miss India California and a runner up at a Miss India America pageant, and not coming in first has deeply scarred her, so writing this movie together was the only way to give her closure. Also we thought it would be a fun setting to explore the theme of winning. And so with the support of our amazing producers Megha Kadakia and Saurabh Kikani we set to work on the script. Once we had it in a good place we did a Kickstarter campaign to raise some of the funds while also approaching private equity investors. Raising the cash was both a slog and inspiring. It definitely forces you to examine and explain why you need make this story so badly. It also opens up a world where you meet some incredibly generous and genuine human animals.

2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of Miss India America. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

They’re gonna love it! We hope. We’ve had a few smaller private screenings and we’ve been really happy to see the audience finding the movie funny and being taken on an emotional trip at the same time, which is hugely gratifying to us.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making Miss India America?

The best experience is the bonds you make with the cast, crew, investors and supporters. That’s hands down amazing. The worst experience was our kids hating us because we neglected them.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

They should see it to have an old school movie experience of watching a fun, smart movie where a character grows in a world that is unique and the themes are universal.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for Miss India America. Give us your acceptance speech.

We would like to thank the audience members at Cinequest for watching the film and getting the ball rolling, which has led us to be here today standing in front of Meryl and George.

See MISS INDIA AMERICA at Cinequest!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow them on Twitter!

MissIndia_1_1000x316

Love in the Time of Monsters

Love in the Time of Monsters

Artsalot

Your Arts & Culture Kingdom

theurv

I'm Just Me

PHIL'S FILM ADVENTURES

Reviews & Interviews from Bay Area Film Festivals

Cinebanter

Reviews & Interviews from Bay Area Film Festivals

Jason Watches Movies

Reviews & Interviews from Bay Area Film Festivals

Cinequesting

Reviews & Interviews from Bay Area Film Festivals