Thursday, May 26, 2005

Interview with Theo Dumont

There are people you meet and quickly forget, and on the other side there is someone like Theo Dumont, co-founder of the Holly Shorts Film Festival. His smile lights up the room. His passion, energy, and positivity are contagious. He is making in-roads for himself in this industry, learn more here.

FS: What an undertaking and enterprise it is putting together a film festival! How was the idea born?

TD: First and foremost, we'd like to think Film Synergy for allowing us to participate with this fantastic site.

It's definitely quite an undertaking putting together the inaugural event. Co-founder Dan Sol and myself thought of the idea two years ago. We both work in the industry and we felt there needed to be a platform for the young, aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work. There are a lot of different festivals out there but nothing really catering to the needs of the student and the independent enthusiast. A lot of the festivals have gotten too commercial and there isn't a true indie, short-film specific, annual festival in the Hollywood area worth noting. Our organization truly enjoys short films in all genre's. We'd like to provide people with a forum each year to look forward to.

FS: Understanding how many facets there are in producing a festival, from marketing to receiving entries, to securing the venue and lining up vendors. What has been the biggest challenge thus far?

TD: In planning an event of this magnitude, there will always be bumps and bruises along the way but you have to roll your sleeves up and work extra hours to make it [the festival] as seamless as possible. Our biggest challenge to date has been getting the local community representatives involved. We'll continue to make these types of outreach efforts.

FS: For any filmmakers out there who might be interested in submitting to your festival, what do they need to know?

TD: The short films we will consider must be 30 minutes or less. The entry fee is very low at $10. We'll have a grand prize for the winner. The selected shorts will be showcased August 13-14 at The Space Theater in Hollywood in front of fellow filmmakers, industry, and enthusiasts. For additional information and the mailing address, they can contact either myself or Dan Sol at the official Holly Shorts Hotline (818)760-9897. They can also visit our official website

FS: This being your first film festival, what kind of expectations do you have?

TD: We have great expectations. Not only do we plan on having the marquee short film festival of the year, but we also plan on making this event a tradition, a place where friends can come together and watch unique, original and creative work. Before we even put out an official call for entries, we chatted the event up last year at L.A.'s Largest Mixer. The response was unprecedented and we realized how great it would be to provide this platform for the industry.

FS: Is it too early to look ahead? Will this be the only Holly Shorts Film Festival or are there more to come?

TD: Anticipating a great response from the industry, we will make Holly Shorts an annual event. We are already in discussions for a larger venue for next year.

FS: What challenges are up next for you?

TD: We are working on lining up a panel discussion featuring a slew of industry decision makers. We want our event to benefit the filmmaker, the actor, the writer, the industry. Our next challenge is to produce the event and begin planning for next year's Holly Shorts.

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