‘We’re always excited to see the new crop of films!’ Daniel Sol’s passion for short films goes seamlessly in hand with his work. As the Festival Co-Director of the largest short film festival in Hollywood he stands at the cutting edge of short filmmaking. Since its beginning in 2004 the Hollyshorts Film Festival has devoted itself to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe. Packed with screenings, networking events, awards, panels and forums; the filmmakers are without a doubt in the spotlight here. Situated in the Hollywood hills, a pulsating place like nowhere else for filmmaking, this FFL festival is for sure an event to have a closer look at. We had a chat with Sol about the future of short filmmaking and what a film requires to be selected.
Jana Dietze, FilmFestivalLife: What most excites you about your next edition?
Daniel Sol: We’re always excited to see new crop of films! We will be adding a new short shorts category, a digital cell phone category (all in the works!), as well as a live stream for our panels and events and as always we are excited to see our growth in general, as each year Hollyshorts has grown in attendance, participation and submissions. Not to mention, we are looking into adding an online VOD festival component.
What kind of films are you looking for?
The best short films from all over the world – that is what we want! Films that showcase fresh filmmaking styles, original ideas, great storytelling, along with all of that, films should exhibit quality production value ie editing, vfx, acting, story, cinematography, directing, etc….
What does a film require to be selected?
On top of being a great film, we are looking for films that specifically tell a good story in a complete and concise way, and with that, must exhibit quality filmmaking elements like editing, cinematography, acting and so on. Production value needs to be on a par. That said, genre and style play into decision making, as we screen horror films, sci-fi films, action films, web series, music videos and commercials, amongst others.
Do you have any tips for filmmakers?
Opening credits…keep them short! Every shot and scene is precious in telling a good short story. Festival juries do not care for opening credits that run long – and with that, it’s a good move to open a short film with an attention grabbing moment or moments to start. Hook the audience.
In the era of internet and VOD, why are (short) film festivals important? Why do we need them?
Festivals offer the in person touch, with networking, parties, quality screenings on a big screen and of course here in Hollywood the capability to be an industry showcase. Also, validation… with online and VOD growing, filmmakers need to build an audience to be able to sell their films via VOD etc and the best way to do that is through successful screenings at festivals and by winning awards. For the stamp of approval so to speak.
Where do you see the future of short films?
Short films and web series, with the online explosion, have a bright future. With more access to great cameras, now more great shorts are being made world-wide, and with the advent of the new tablets, smartphones, and apps, there are more ways than ever to make a great flick. We are looking to line up VOD partners in the coming year to showcase our HollyShorts “best of”. There is a new future for short filmmakers with companies hiring directors to make short film campaigns – Lexus Shorts for example or YouTube campaigns and the Project Greenlight contest.
Why do you think filmmakers should submit online – through FilmFestivalLife?
Because online submissions are easier for festivals to organize, the quality on FFL is very good and the system is easy to use. The less DVDs the better!
Daniel Sol, Festival Co-Director
HollyShorts Film Festival
Aug 13 – 22, 2015
Hollywood, CA, United States
Submit to HollyShorts on FilmFestivalLife:
Earlybird Deadline: Feb 06, 2015
Regular Deadline: Apr 10, 2015
Late Deadline: May 22, 2015