Film has always been an outlet fostering different creative energies that brings us together and reminds us of our connection to others. From the lough out loud moments in comedy, to the goosebumps and anticipation of horror, film unites us. The moment we’ve all been waiting for is fast approaching and with the annual film festival only months away, Shari Angel, GIFF’s Programmer, shares her passion for film, projects she’s worked on, and where she hopes to take GIFF. We get a little inside scoop on the process of putting together the 5th annual film festival and what the audience can expect.
How did your interest in film first develop?
I have been in love with cinema since I was a girl. I am an only child, so I spent a lot of time around adults growing up. My parents didn’t really agree with the MPAA rating system so we watched films as a family regardless of their rating, and afterwards we would talk about them. My father shared the classics with me and that is where my love of cinema first began – ever since then, I have been obsessed.
Tell us a little about your past experiences in the film industry.
I’ve worked for the last seven years in the Programming & Acquisitions departments of companies like HBO and Lionsgate, so transitioning into a Programming role for a film festival felt like a great next step in my career. I love screening and evaluating movies – in fact, it’s my favorite part of the job – so GIFF is my new happy place.
How would you describe your taste in films?
I know this sounds a little nuts, but hear me out. My favorite film is one that ruins my whole week, not just the night I see it. I want a film to stick with me, to affect me, to make me feel, to drive me to distraction because I can’t get it out of my head. I want a film to hit me so hard that I can’t stop thinking about it for days on end. That is my favorite type of film – regardless of genre or length, a film that deeply moves me is the one I enjoy best.
What are you most looking forward to during this year’s festival?
I am most looking forward to our fantastic array of panels and film industry spotlights for our 2019 season, and of course being able to screen the amazing films we select in a theatrical setting. It’s a great honor to be a part of the 5th Anniversary of GIFF and I can’t wait to dive into all the submissions. Our Call for Entry is live now, so be sure to submit your films to us by January 15th!
What is your advice to emerging filmmakers on navigating the film festival circuit?
It can be so hard to find an outlet for your work to be promoted as an emerging filmmaker in the festival circuit, so my best advice is to not overlook the small guys. Festivals like GIFF highlight emerging artists, and because we’re smaller than the big dogs we can give you and your film a great launchpad for your next steps in the industry. GIFF specializes in connecting filmmakers with financiers and giving you the opportunity to network with industry insiders, so join the GIFF family of filmmakers today.