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An Interview with Susan Johnston

Question 01: You started the journey in the entertainment sector from your childhood days. How crucial was your meeting with Robert Redford in shaping your career?

I believe each experience in my life added to the total I am now. It was really not until the last few years did I put all of those pieces together. For me, I was actually in the business prior to that film but that one felt abundantly effortless in beauty of soul. It doesn’t hurt to have a reference of someone so well known and revered to be able to have a timeline to, I am grateful. 

Question 02: Would you mind sharing us some of your experiences, hardships and difficulties faced while setting up 'Select Services Films Inc'? 

Loud laughter, this could take a lifetime. On the short side of the explanation, as long as you are willing to continually grow as a person, learn and communicate clearly, realize that there is a higher good for people you can get through anything.  I believe the word show business is there for a very clear reason. It is a business of people who show talent (writing, directing, acting, singing, dancing, etc.) Business acumen is very important to me. I’ve often been thanked as a casting director for supplying not only great talent, but talent that gets “it”, the it being this is a business, certain protocol and understanding as a team is expected. 

Question 03: You are now renowned as the festival director of New Media Film Festival. What are your aspirations about this festival? 

 Thank you for your kind words. New Media Film Festival honors stories worth telling, bringing the best in New Media to the world. We are “family”. Anyone who has participated, volunteered, worked, advised, judged is “family”. We all play well in the sandbox, it is hard enough to find a great story, to tell a great story, to monetize a great story that we are so proud of everyone coming together with the same vision. What story do you want to tell, how are you telling it, will it stand the test of time? What a lot of people do not know is that we are constantly helping our “Family” move forward. Whether it is connecting them with press outlets that want to interview, getting their name out over social media (10MM verifiable reach) or our monthly newsletters to 80K subscribers. We offer each entry an opportunity to screen in a state of the art theatre in Los Angeles, The Landmark, a Mark Cuban owned company, Competiton - $45,000.00 in Awards and/or non exclusive distribution. In 2014 we had a world premiere Pilot, Curio Shop, it won the grand prize and we are delighted that it has won almost every festival it has entered since. The year prior, one of our trailer entries, The Lady In Number 6, Music Saved My Life won an Oscar for best Documentary. This year, we found another New Media Film Festival Alum, the fabulous The Gun The Cake and The Butterfly,  had a billboard on legendary Sunset Boulevard announcing it’s release and our laurels were on the billboard. That was a touching moment for us, we were getting back some of the love we give.

Question 04: Last year, New Media Film Festival honored legendary filmmaker, Roger Corman. Any surprises on store this year? 

Roger Corman was so kind and giving to filmmakers during the awards presentation. Here is a link to his view on New Media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oU4Ei0p3s0 

Question 05: What is so unique with 'New Media Film Festival' when compared to other film festivals and events? 

 We are fair to all content creators, known or new equally. We respond quickly. We will reach out if we need something i.e. a digital file does not work during the review process, we have an opportunity for them that is outside of the festival. We accept content very close to the screening date which allows for cutting edge storytelling to get seen right away and not have to wait 3 months like most festivals. We care. There is more, you can read it on our site www.NewMediaFilmFestival.com 

Question 06: Would you mind unleashing some of your future plans to the readers of 'All Lights Film Magazine'? 

New Media Film Festival constantly cultivates new relationships in the media, technology space. There are a lot of things we support in development, start ups etc that most people do not know about. We say no to more things than we say yes to, it has to be win/win. So for that reason, we do not really divulge any of those stealth spec projects until they are integrated into the global community that is New Media Film Festival. Please join us June 9 & 10th 2015 in Los Angeles for Opening night ceremonies which include Red Carpet Press Junket hosted by Cary Harrison, a VIP Soiree to network with the filmmakers/content creators. Enjoy the International Art Exhibit, panel discussions, screenings of roughly 20 categories of content with Q & A from filmmakers/content creators in attendance, the Closing Night programming as well as Awards Ceremony and much more. Use code twitter10 at our online store and save $10. We suggest getting tickets/badges early as we usually sell out and go to in person wait line status. 

Thanks for this opportunity. India has always had a home in my heart and enjoyed Kumbh Mela in 2007. 

 

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