Visiting Cinestrange Film Festival

Last weekend I visited the Cinestrange Film Festival in Braunschweig, Germany, together with my wife. My short film “I Want To Believe” was part of the short film selection. It was the first “real” festival where my film was selected after the internet based Viewster Online Film Fest. Braunschweig is a 4 hour drive for me so this was a good opportunity to visit the festival. These 4 hours however became quite a bit longer as we encountered lots of traffic jams on our path.

Check out the trailer of the festival below and spot a scene from my film at 00:26!

 

The Cinestrange festival

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Me on the red carpet at Cinestrange

The Cinestrange Festival was the first film festival I attended as a guest. Cinestrange is not a big festival and most visitors where locals. However, the festival invited American director John Badham (“Saturday Night Fever”, “Blue Thunder”, “War Games”, “Short Circuit”, etc.) as a special guest and about half of the feature films programmed were from his hand, the other half were features specifically selected for the festival.

Although I have no problem understanding German, I prefer to see the original version of a film (in Germany all foreign films are generally dubbed in German). That’s why I didn’t see any of Badham’s films although I would have liked to have seen War Games again.

 

The short films

Cinestrange programmed 7 short films, including my film. The first block of 4 short films screened at 5 pm on Friday. We arrived just in time due to the traffic jams on the way to the festival. I was quite disappointed with the number of people attending this screening. No more than 10 people, including ourselves, where in the theatre… The quality of the films was pretty high. I enjoyed watching them all. I liked “The Visitant” by Nick Peterson and “On/Off” by Thierry Lorenzi best.

At 5pm on Saturday the second block of short films was programmed. Three films were screened: “Uberstein – Operation Wunderwaffe” by Manual Vogel, “In The Deathroom” by Milos Savic and the European première of my own film “I Want To Believe”. While watching “In The Deathroom” it was clear to me it should win the award for best film. The cinematography, story and acting where top notch. Great film making.

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“I Want To Believe” on the big screen of C1 Cinema in Braunschweig

Seeing my own film on the big screen in a real cinema was amazing. It looked and sounded great but at the same time it was very weird to see my film in that setting for the first time with a real audience. It was also weird realizing that my film was screened alongside all these great films. Something I had hoped for but never really expected.

All film makers were present during the screening of the last 3 short films and we were called to the stage afterwards to do a little Q&A with the public. It was good to see that this time there were significant more visitors than during the first screening!

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Q&A with the audience after the screening. I’m on the far right.

I couldn’t attend the award ceremony on Sunday evening but it was good to hear that “In The Deathroom” had indeed won the Cinestrange best short film award 2014! If you have the opportunity to watch the complete film, do so. You can watch the trailer below.

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Conclusion

I had a great time at Cinestrange. The festival had a very friendly atmosphere although I would have liked more involvement of the festival organisation with the attending film makers. I enjoyed the films and the panels I attended. Seeing my film on the big screen for the first time was an amazing experience I would not have liked to miss.

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Galactic Film Fest selects “I Want To Believe”

My short film “I Want To Believe” has been selected for the Galactic Film Fest which will be held from August 9 -10 in Santa Ana, California (USA).

I will post more info when it’s available.

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“I Want To Believe” #38 in Viewster Online Film Fest!

My first short film, “I Want To Believe”, ended at #38 (out of 566 entries) in the Viewster Online Film Fest. I am very pleased with that result.

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The I Want To Believe campaign on Viewster

The final ranking of the film was based on audience interaction: views, likes and comments on the Viewster page of the film and interaction on social media (shares, retweets, likes on Facebook or Google+) . Details about the algorithm used to determine the ranking of the films was not disclosed. So I asked everyone who helped making the film to share the link with their friends, retweet my tweets and share the info on Facebook. Considering the fairly small circle of people who initially spread the word I was surprised that, after a dramatic drop in ranking a couple of days ago, the film somehow regained momentum and ended up in the top 40. Viewster did not offer any detailed statistics about how my film was doing, for example how many likes the film received on a given day, so I have no clue what caused the sudden fall and rise in the ranking.

The Viewster Film Fest is different from other festival in that you, as a filmmaker, can influence the public voting/ranking. I saw some people almost constantly twitter the link to their film, often targeting specific twitter accounts. As I hate getting spam I do not want to send out hundreds of tweets per day “promoting” my film. I kept it to about 3 tweets per day and tried to use different content for all of them.

Most of the time I included a picture in the tweet. The film poster, a behind the scenes picture or a production still from the film itself. I did send out two specifically targeted tweets. One to Shotlister app and one to Cinevate, two companies who I know well and who’s products I use a lot. This resulted in retweets and a share on Facebook. I think this resulted in a lot more people reading about my film than I could have reached just by myself.

All in all a very interesting experience!

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27 Hours To Go On Viewster!

Viewster Online Film Fest

It’s only 27 hours to go untill the end of the Viewster Online Film Fest. My short film “I Want To Believe” ranks at #56 at the moment with a Viewster hotscore of 90.3%. I am really excited about that.

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The ranking has been fluctuating quite a bit last week but now seems to be stabilizing. I hope to be able to reach the top 20 as these films will be judged. The jury will awarding $100,000 between the winners!

 You can still help!

You can still help “I Want To Believe” to reach the top 20! Spread the word, like the film on Viewster, share the message on social media, tell your friends about it.

Thanks!

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“I Want To Believe” on Viewster Online Film Fest!

Today, the Viewster Online Film Fest kicked off. My short film “I Want To Believe” is part of the selected films.

You can watch the film here: http://www.viewster.com/movie/1262-17532-000.

If you like it, please share the link with your friends and like the film on Viewster. Let me know what you think about it. Thanks!

Viewster Online Film Fest screenshot

 

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Viewster Online Film Fest starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow, my short film I Want To Believe will be shown on the Viewster Online Film Fest!  from June 12 to June 26.

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I will post more information about the screening tomorrow. Watch the film if you can and vote!

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