Mark Stolaroff is an independent producer and the founder of No Budget Film School, a series of classes specifically designed for the no-budget filmmaker. His most recent project, the self-financed low-budget feature film Pig written and directed by Henry Barrial, recently played a string of festivals–13 in only six weeks. He personally attended eight of those festivals in four weeks. Mark graciously agreed to take some photos and write up articles about this series of film festivals for The Weird Review. For more about Mark check out the links at the end of his article. Here is his report on the Sonoma International Film Festival.
It’s easy to put on a good festival when you’re based in a town like Sonoma. Gorgeous surroundings, friendly people, and let’s not kid ourselves, plenty of wine. Yes, the wine flows, but Sonoma’s organizers are not resting on their (grape) laurels.
They take over the beautiful city center, requisitioning community centers and halls around the city square, turning them into make-shift screening venues with surprisingly good projection and sound. In the park that makes up the town center, they erect a large tent, housing local vender booths and a music stage, where filmmakers can hobnob with local film fans. And perhaps that’s Sonoma’s greatest attribute–a community full of film lovers. Appreciating a wide variety of genres, this artsy town really comes out for what the festival has to offer, filling venues to the brim and participating heartily in post-screening Q&A’s. But let’s not forget that wine. It’s everywhere, flowing freely–at the many parties, and even at the venues!
Driving up from LA with 5 members of our team, Guest Services Director Steve Martindale found us a large and comfy vacation home for our free use, in nearby Glen Ellen. We made many friends during our stay, including those we met at the nearby Jack London Saloon, affectionately known as J-Lo’s by at least one local. Certainly, this festival is a winner.
“PIG” – A FILM BY HENRY BARRIAL
“Highly recommended! Along the lines of Nolan’s Memento.” – The Horror Zine
“A brilliant sci-fi thriller…the most
provocative film I saw at the Palm Springs Film
Festival.” – Desert Star Weekly
OFFICIAL SELECTION AT OVER 30 FILM FESTIVALS
WINNER! BEST FEATURE FILM – SCI-FI-LONDON
WINNER! BEST FEATURE, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST SCREENPLAY – ATHENS SCI-FI
WINNER! BEST SCI-FI FEATURE – SHRIEKFEST
WINNER! BEST SCI-FI FEATURE – PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL
WINNER! BEST FEATURE FILM – THRILLER! CHILLER!
WINNER! BEST SCI-FI FEATURE – SHOCKERFEST
WINNER! BEST EDITING – BOSTON SCI-FI
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