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Vanessa McMahon


Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)


Read her bio on: www.vanessamcmahon.com

Vanessa in Aruba: AIFFVanessa in Aruba: AIFF


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Interview with Director/Writer/Actor John Fortson for 'RATED' (2016) @ Palm Springs International Shortfest

Director/Writer/Actor John Fortson's short film 'RATED' (2016) has been making its round to film festivals since its world premiere at Sonoma International Film Festival in April where it won the Jury Award for Best Comedy Short. The film stars John's actor wife Christie Lynn Smith (Justified, The Crazies) who plays the lead Maggie, their daughter Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness, Ant-Man), and their son Joshua Fortson. RATED is currently screening at the 2016 Palm Springs Inte...

Interview with Writer/Director/Producer/Composer Alain Bidard for BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE.

Martinique multi-talent Alain Bidard is wowing the film world with his debut animation feature film Battledream Chronicle (2015) which he wrote, directed, produced and composed. The film has traveled the globe at international film festivals this past year gaining multiple prize nominations and wins. The film most recently traveled to Animation Days at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. I recently interviewed Alain Bidard about his grand vision behind Battledream Chronicle. Here is what he had t...

Interview with PGA Producer Kayvan Mashayekh on 'Producing Without Borders' @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

Middle East and North Africa Representative for the PGA (Producers Guild America) Kayvan Mashayekh brought his 2nd annual 'Producing Without Borders' panel, hosted by the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, to the 69th Cannes Film Festival. Due to its major social media and Cannes success, the RFC/PGA co-branded event is set to be a mainstay that will now take place twice a year, both at Berlinale and Cannes Film Festival.   I interviewed PGA producer Kayvan about his panel shortly...

Interview with Producers Sofia Sondervan & Tom Butterfield on LONDON TOWN (2016) @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

Set in 1970's London, LONDON TOWN (2016) is a coming-of-age story about 14 year-old Shay Baker (played by Daniel Huttlestone) whose life changes when he is forced to spend the summer alone running his father's music shop while the latter lies sick in hospital. Shay befriends musician Joe Strummer and, like many of his generation, is transformed by the music of The Clash. The rock-n-roll feature film stars Daniel Huttlestone, Dougray Scott, Natascha McElhone, Nell Williams, and Jonatha...

Interview with Spencer Pollard, CEO of Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, at 69th Cannes Film Festival

Spencer Pollard CEO Spencer Pollard started Kaleidoscope Film Distribution (KFD) in 2008, which today holds strong as one of UK's most successful international sales/distribution companies. KFD is an expanding and established International Sales outfit based in Soho, London and a one-stop-shop offering full UK and international distribution and sales capabilities. It is one of the fastest-growing independents in the market. KFD specializes in commercial features films and branded do...

Interview With Actor Dougray Scott for LONDON TOWN (2016) @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

  Actor Dougray Scott (TAKEN 3, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2) attended the 69th Cannes Film Festival to promote the market premiere of his latest film LONDON TOWN (2016), which Radiant Films International/Cargo Entertainment is handling for international sales. LONDON TOWN takes place in1970s London when British punk rock dominated the music scene and The Clash was at the height of their success. A 14-year-old boy discovers the music of the iconic band and experiences first love over the cou...

Interview with BILAL Writer/Director/Producer Ayman Jamal @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

  “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” is a 3D computer-animated action-adventure drama about the real life epic story of Bilal ibn Rabah, a young African slave boy who was abducted by Arabian slave-drivers and raised in slavery 1,400 years ago. An inspiring story of freedom and survival in the face of great adversity, Bilal found his freedom after forty years of slavery. Ayman Jamal is writer/director/producer of “Bilal”, which premiered in the film market and Animati...

Interview with Jonathan Wolf (AFM) @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

  Jonathan Wolf has been Managing Director of AFM (American Film Market) since 1998. He has been a visionary and passionate independent film advocate and pivotal force in the film industry for over two decades. I interviewed him in the Dubai Pavilion at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. Here is what he had to say:   Can you explain, for people who don't know, how important is the American Film Market in relation to the Cannes Film Festival? JONATHAN: The AFM is like a bookend t...

Interview with Short Filmmaker Alex Burunova @ 69th Cannes Film Festival

  PALE BLUE (2016) by Alex Burunova featured in 69th Cannes Short Film Corner. Belarus born writer/director/producer Alex Burunova attended Cannes Film Festival for the 2nd year in a row to support her 2nd film in Cannes Short Film Corner. I interviewed Alex about her experience at the festival and if she felt it has benefited her career as an indie filmmaker. Here is what she has to say:   Q: Was 'Pale Blue' based on true events? ALEX: Without giving away too much, ...

Interview with Michael Repsch, SVP of Distribution & Sales at Breaking Glass Pictures @ 19th SIFF

The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) held its 19th edition this past week (March 30-April 3). Presented by the Sonoma Valley Film Society, the annual festival celebrates the best in interantioanl indie film and local gastronomy. This year, over 100 films were screened and almost 200 filmmakers were hosted. Traditionally, SIFF holds a prestigious competition for shorts and feature films judged by jury members consisting of select industry professionals; one of this year's jury memb...

Interview with Director of "Leo's Love Letter" Gabriel Rhenals

'Leo's Love Letter' (2015) by young and upcoming director Gabriel Rhenals recently won for Best Opening Night Film at the 6th annual Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Sanford, FL. The film has been making rounds on the festival circuit for the past year since its international premiere at the 5th annual Aruba International Film Festival. Rhenals is an award-winning filmmaker based in Miami, Florida. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he has been active in the visual arts since a very...

Interview with Actor Daniel Fieber @ 66th Berlinale

During the 66th Berlin Film Festival, I interviewed the young up and coming actor Daniel Fieber. Great grandnephew to Erich von Stroheim, Daniel is a lover of theater and film classically trained by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts living and working between Los Angeles and Berlin. He attended this year's Berlinale to promote his upcoming film projects. I was curious to ask the young actor if he found attending a film market/film festival helpful for moving towards his film developmen...

Interview with Sales Agent Yannick Rudynski (EastWest-Filmdistribution) @ 2016 Berlinale

  In recent years there has been a lot of talk about change of pace in the film marketplace with many sales agents and distributors complaining of heavy losses and a dim outlook on future business. The word that many agents used to describe this year's EFM was, “slow”. But when I asked Austrian sales agent Yannick Rudynski of East-West Distribution how his market had gone, he had a big smile on his face and said, “Fantastic!” Curious to know why many ag...

Interview with Director Brian Knappenberger and Producer Belisa Balaban on “Truth and Power”

  Brian Knappenberger’s “Truth and Power” is a 10-part investigative docu-series narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal for Pivot, Participant Media’s Pivot television network. Truth and Power centers on the question, “What happens when private institutions and governments abuse their power and break the public trust Each half hour episode pulls the curtain back on stories of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to reve...

"Backtrack" (2015); Interview With George Shetsov

  Writer/Director Michael Petroni's film “Backtrack” was sold to international territories at this year's EFM in Berlin by sales agent Bankside Films. The film tells the story of psychologist Peter Bower (Adrien Brody) who is himself troubled by a forgotten past that has come back to haunt him. Visited by ghosts of his childhood, Peter seeks to uncover his unconsciously buried memories. But the more he seeks the truth, the more his life and the lives of his fam...

BORIS WITHOUT BEATRICE (2016) at 66th Berlinale. Interview with Writer/Director Denis Côté

  “Boris Without Beatrice” (2016) screened in competition during the 66th Berlin Film Festival (11-21 February, 2016). French Canadian visionary writer/director Denis Côté's film follows the story of Boris Malinovsky (played by James Hyndman) struggling with the grave manic depression of his wife Beatrice (Simone-Elise Girard). While Beatrice retreats into a dark space of melancholia- sleeping all day and staring into the oblivion- Boris loses himself ...

Interview with 'Film In Iceland' Film Commissioner Einar Hansen Tómasson @ 66th Berlinale

When people ask what happens at film markets such as Berlinale and Cannes, I always say: “everything!” And that is true. Sure, it's sales agents selling to buyers and buyers trying to fill their territory's content space, but it's also producers packaging and/or selling their films to sales agents, financiers looking for their next films, film lawyers hunting their next lawsuit, location scouts recruiting producers to film in their country, film stars promoting thei...

EXODUS TO SHANGHAI (2015); A Review.

  Directed by Anthony Hickox (“Knife Edge” and “Consequence”), “Exodus to Shanghai” (2015) is an action/drama/comedy based on the true story of war hero Ho Feng-Shan ('Dr. Ho'), otherwise known as 'The Chinese Schindler' who saved thousands of Jews during WWII. Born on September 10, 1901, Dr. Ho studied German at University of Munich and was posted for the consul general in Austria from 1938 to 1940. When he fell witness to thous...

Interview with Fernando Bolaños on VIAJE (2015)

VIAJE (2015) by Costa Rican director Paz Fábrega follows the story of Luciana and Pedro after they meet at a party. Young and adorable, their chemistry is magnetic; it appears they have always known each other. In the early hours of morning, Pedro remembers he has to travel; on a whim, he invites Luciana to join him. She decides to go, and these two strangers embark upon a stunning journey together that changes them both. Shot in black and white, the film is a lyrical road journey about...

Legendary Filmmaker Oliver Stone to be Honored Lifetime Vision Award @ 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival

Sun Valley, ID– Oliver Stone, Academy Award®-winning writer and director, will be honored with the Lifetime Vision Award at the 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival, (SVFF), March 2-6 in Sun Valley, Idaho, presented by Zions Bank. Stone has been credited with writing and directing over 20 full-length feature films, earning him a well-respected place in cinematic history for some of the most influential and iconic films of the last two decades. The SVFF Lifetime Vision Award pays ...

Sun Valley Film Festival Film Lab to Feature New WIP Film Competition

Sun Valley, ID- One of the Sun Valley Film Festival’s (SVFF) signature programs, The Film Lab, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, will offer up some new twists this year including a special competition for WIP (work in progress) films during the SVFF, March 2-6, 2016.   Trevor Groth, the highly respected Director of Programming for Sundance Film Festival, will serve as host and curator of the two films that will be screened in The Film Lab in their final post-prod...

Hollywood's Biggest Stars Shine @ 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

Michael Fassbender. Getty Images   Actor Kate Winslet (left); Actors Kate Winslet and Michael Fassbender (right). Getty Images Actor Kate Winslet (left); Actors Kate Winslet and Michael Fassbender (right). Getty Images Annual Event Welcomed Host Mary Hart and Festival Honorees   Kicking off Awards Season, the 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) Awards Gala was held Saturday, January 2, 2016 at the Palm Springs Convent...

Interview with Filmmaker Zachary Sluser on THE DRIFTLESS AREA (2015)

     Zachary Sluser Filmmaker Zachary Sluser’s debut feature film “The Driftless Area”, based on the novel by Tom Drury, tells the story of bartender Pierre (Anton Yelkin - Star Trek, Onlt Lovers Left Alive) who returns home to the small Midwest town of his birth after the death of his parents. It is an existential homecoming for Pierre whose mind is filled with memories and imaginings of his past while faced with the real world chaos around him caused by the ...

Interview with Filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki on THE GIRL KING (2015)

  The Girl King (2015) Canadian writer Michel Marc Bouchard (Tom at the Farm, Lilies) and Norwegian born Brazilian raised filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki (The Liar - 1980, Zombie and the Ghost Train - 1991, Three Wise Men – 2008, Road North - 2012, Homecoming - 2015) have paired up for The Girl King (2015). The film tells the story of one of the most controversial female rulers in the history of Europe, Sweden’s queen Kristina. Kristina became queen at the young age of six...

Interview with late Film CPA Robert Fingerman.

The team at Filmfestivals.com team is so sorry to hear that Robert just passed away from a sudden heart attack. Condolences to his family and friends. This below is his last interview. Film accountant Robert Fingerman is one of the film industry's best known CPA's. He holds multiple titles including: Managing Partner of the New York firm Fingerman & Macke, PC President of Independent Films Production Consultants, Inc., C.F.O. of Veritas Gold LLC and Former Chairman of Entertainme...
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