The indie film industry is huge and getting bigger. Between 1999 and 2018, a massive 94% of feature films made in the US were categorized as independent films. A study done in 2019 found that during this time period, 37,000 feature-length films were made. That’s a lot of indie films.
Audiences are eager for thought-provoking artistic cinematic endeavors that probe beyond special effects and big Hollywood names. And indie filmmakers are always looking for platforms where they can show off their talent and hard work.
This is why, in 2007, Matthew Toffolo created the WILDsound Film Festival. He now serves as its owner and CEO, and he serves as a facilitator for filmmakers and screenwriters by leading the interviews for the WILDsound podcast. The podcast truly is an excellent reflection of the festival and every day it features something completely different.
The podcast is associated with the WILDsound Festival TV app, a streaming daily festival of the world’s finest creative content. The Canadian company broadcasts a unique film festival each day of the week and highlights the world’s best indie films, readings of original screenplays, novels, short stories, and poetry.
Short Films: an Eternity in an Hour
Short film is an art form. The filmmaker has to tell their story’s entire arc within minutes. Filmmakers on the WILDsound podcast share their techniques; one example is dancer and director Katharine Larson, whose short film “Introspection” won Best Film at the May 2022 Experimental Dance Film Festival.
In the podcast episode regarding her film she describes how much footage she ended up with and how much she depended upon her editor to apply the needed skill to put everything together in a concise way. This offers insight as to why many filmmakers stress the importance of the short film: it’s a unique challenge that tests the limits of storytelling and forces filmmakers to think outside the box.
It brings to mind William Blake’s timeless poem Auguries of Innocence, in which he describes “an Eternity in an hour.” A short film is a perfect example of a big story told concisely in a brief amount of time.
Documentaries Reflect Reality
The WILDsound podcast recounts festival winners and features from the category of documentaries. There are short documentaries and feature-length documentaries, covering categories such as interpersonal relationships, mail-in-voter fraud, and even a fascinating account of alien abduction by AV Super Sunshine, a musical duo from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
When someone thinks of a documentary, they might instantly flash back to National Geographic, the type of thing we all watched as kids; but WILDsound features truly unique documentary experiences, utilizing elements such as animation, choreography, and immersive storytelling to educate audiences.
The story of AV Super Sunshine and the alien abduction is a prime example of how a documentary can contain the unexpected. In this documentary, the story of the musical group’s real-life experience is set to a psychedelic background utilizing the group’s own song written about their abduction, and includes other stories from real people about their experiences. Whether or not you believe in extraterrestrial encounters, it makes for a fascinating film.
Screenplays & Readings
Something you’ll find at WILDsound that you won’t find in many other places is dramatic readings of original writing, primarily screenplays, but also novels, short stories, and poetry. Some writers featured on the podcast include Kevin Morrison, who shares a spec script for the hit animated show Bob’s Burgers, which won the WILDsound Television Screenplay Festival.
Another reading featured on the podcast was Cold Dilts’ “Dark Forest”, a film about what might happen if a group of aliens visited Earth and stumbled into an 80s-style slasher movie. The subject matter couldn’t be more different from Bob’s Burgers – but this is a great example of how varied and diverse are the films featured on WILDsound.
Matthew Toffolo on Audience Feedback & the New App
Toffolo started the festival in 2007 with the idea that it would be incredible to offer a feedback platform for independent films. The idea was a truly meaningful film festival experience focused on audience reviews.
WILDsound has been running for fifteen years, and in that time, has refused to repeat any content. That means it’s shown over 10,000 films and promoted over 8,000 screenplays. There is certainly more to find, hidden gems all over the world. WILDsound encourages filmmakers and writers to submit their work to use through FilmFreeway. The company is excited to discover the next big thing.
The WILDsound Film Festival and podcast coordinate with the WILDsound TV app, launched in January 2022. “Streaming services are the new currency,” Toffolo shared. “It’s like having your own cable station in the 1980’s.” The festival, the app, and the podcast work together to give artists a variety of options for promoting their work.
The podcast is free, and movie buffs can try WILDsound TV free for seven days. After that, the service is only $3.99 per month. Users can watch the daily film festivals and access an ever-expanding library of content.
Learn more about WILDsound
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Podcast: WILDsound podcast
Submit script/film to the festival on FilmFreeway.
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