The amount of heart and love that the staff has for the filmmakers and the festival itself is always something that warms my heart year after year. They work hard with very little support and somehow have the time to make almost everyone feel special.
The Orlando Film Festival is one that truly puts it's heart and soul into making it's filmmakers as welcome as possible. They always come first. There are some ups and downs in some of the organization but we see that the staff is putting their all into it and everything always works out in the end. The quality of the films shown over the years has also increased which makes attending the festival that much more enjoyable. I'm not sure if this year's choice to make the festival stretch beyond the weekend into the work week was the greatest choice but it was its first time doing this, so hopefully next year there will be a higher attendance for the general public. I love this festival and I love watching it grow. I wish it the greatest of luck in its future years.
The Orlando Film Festival put on a really killer festival that's clearly designed with the filmmaker in mind. From the outset they were very responsive, with a focus on networking and the craft of filmmaking. I loved their individual website-per-project where you can host stills, trailers, posters and more. The caliber of the films presented were excellent, and the staff availability and communication was top notch. Here's hoping that I'll be able to make many return visits.
Excellent Film Festival with lots of potential to shine, even among the large guys! Keep it up, Orlando!
I love coordinating the Orlando Film Festival. I love seeing all the filmmakers come together from all over the world. My favorite part of all is mentoring all the young and eager volunteers. They are the future of film. Can’t wait for next year!
Every year it amazes me the impact the festival has on people. We bring people together to celebrate the art form they are share and it's an experience that is so humble, encouraging, inspiring that it's a shame that it is only once a year.
Something we hear often is that few other festivals are so welcoming & caring when it comes to the filmmakers. That is bittersweet to hear, as it's at once heartbreaking to hear that there aren't more places out there for them that truly caring, but at the same time is so rewarding to know that we are providing what they have been needing. A home that cares about them, their stories, their industry, their audience and their causes.
I'm pleased to be a part of this place and look forward to meeting the next group of filmmakers, film students, volunteers and film lovers and showcasing them.
I really enjoyed my time at this film festival. I really hope I can finish my next film in time for OFF 2020!
So please as the response to this years festival. We added a few new things such as portraits for our guest & video essayist panels and the response as amazing. Everything we do is for to provide benefit to the lives of the guests & filmmakers so everytime we try something new we want to make sure it lives up to that goal. If the feedback was anything indication is sure did. It was fun for us, fun for them and I don't think we've had happier filmmakers than we did this year.
The volunteers these year were incredible. There were so many, and I wish we could name them all. But thank you to everyone who came out, helped out. Thank you to all the kind filmmakers who thanked our volunteers and staff, expressed their appreciation, gave us feedback on what we can do better. OFF really is a home for filmmakers and every year the family gets stronger and stronger.
The festival continues to inspire festival goers and it's staff alike.
Working at a non profit can be an intense, and often, seemingly unrewarding experience. But when you finally see effect from all the efforts that have gone into the planning and execution, there are few things in life that equal that feeling.
To not just meet people, but to get to know people from all around the world, from all different walks of life, for 8 days is frankly life changing. I heard it from the volunteers, from the guests, from the staff. What now? The feeling of whiplash after spending so much time with so many people, getting to know them, hearing their stories, celebrating their accomplishments and sharing in the pride of the accomplishments of our brand new friends. They experienced so much is such a short amount of time and now they will take those connections & insights and apply them towards their life.
I've never heard so many people express their appreciation for an organization before. At least 5 times a day, new people would voluntarily express gratitude for what the festival was doing, for the friendly staff, for us caring for the filmmakers. It's extremely humbling and proves to me that the festival is on the right path.
This really was an awesome festival. Very well organized and felt like a home away from home for filmmakers. They also surprised everyone with free professional head shots along free Stella every night. I'll definitely be bringing my film there next year.
So OFF was something else. I never rate or review anything, I've been to a lot of festivals over the years, as a guest, as a filmmaker, etc. They're always fun, but they eventually start to feel the same and I was thought I knew what a festival could offer. That is until I went to the Orlando Film Festival.
While there's little to no glitz, humble panelist and the occasional hiccup. I've never felt so embraced by a group of people. The energy here is simultaneously electric & inspiring while also calm and homey. I've had so many conversations these year genuinely connecting with people. Expressing candid thoughts and feels about all manner of film, careers and just life!
I have to give credit to the festival for crafting this atmosphere. The staff, the venue, the conversations they instigate all contribute to this openness that is just intoxicating. No pretension, no ego. And it's all so organic. Considering the festival is held somewhat close to Halloween, it'd be appropriate that the only word that fits is that it's spellbinding.
The festival brought out the best in the diverse group of people, who work in a field thats known for ego and intense personalities. I don't know what they're doing, but it's working and I can't wait to go back and get enchanted again.
Another year, another great festival. I'm pleased to see such a great organization run with such a passionate, caring group of people. Seeing filmmakers, students and film lovers from all around the world learning and growing together really shows the power of film and the importance of organizations like film festivals.
There are a lot of festivals out there, but by the end of this one you feel like you've gone through a transformative experience. You're leaving with new friends, new knowledge & insights, new inspiration and direction. Never have I seen so many people expressing the same sentiment. "There's something special here".
I look forward to coming back next year to take part this unique & invaluable experience.
The Orlando Film Festival exceeded what I've come to know about film festivals and community events. Most of this comes down to the staff. They were so welcoming and knowledgeable. When you enter a event it can be intimidating, so many people, so many options of things to do or see, and at a film festival its also a place to learn and grow. The atmosphere the staff cultivated eliminated all of the hurdles that come with events like this. They learn your name, your interests and help guide you through this week of film, education and networking.
The Orlando Film Festival provides a wonderful opportunity to bring cutting edge art from around the world to Orlando. Dan and his team create a culture of openness and accessibility, making sure everyone is welcome and receives the experience they want, whether that be screenings, workshops, networking, or just a great time. Plus, they obviously care about the Orlando and greater Florida film scene and want to bring the city and state back to regional supremacy. I highly recommend the experience for anyone with even a scintilla of interest in film.
My experience with the Orlando Film Festival was great.
Dan and Holley are fantastic. They were professional, caring and made us feel at home.
When there were small things that needed to be taken care off, they immediately jumped on it.
As a matter of fact, the entire staff was really helpful and friendly.
The festival itself was really well organized. Sure, there was the occasional technical issue here and there, but heck… It’s 400 movies/shorts. Something is bound to happen.
In general, it was an absolute honor having my short (Look Inside) being screened (and nominated) at this festival.
It was done in a professional manner on a high-quality screen in a beautiful location.
There was also plenty of room for great networking. All of this in a non-business, but more friendly, relaxed enviroment. No egos.
To finish my review, I will have to end with one negative;
It actually ended :P And I had to go home. While going home isn’t bad, I would have loved to stay for another week. The atmosphere and general experience was that good. And that is not even counting in gorgeous Orlando, Florida itself.
All jokes aside, it was a great motivation to produce something of equal or better value to be able to experience this event again.
After attending the Orlando film festival two years in a row, it has become my favorite arts event. I’m not a filmmaker but I am a writer who enjoys seeing what others have created. There is always a buzz at OFF. The staff is more generous than you can imagine. Always ready to help. The talent is inspiring. I love the Orlando Film Festival. Addicted!
My boyfriend and I happened to be in Orlando from Clearwater on opening night. We went downtown to see a movie & saw that the Orlando Film Festival was happening so since we have never seen it, we decided to buy VIP passes to do the Opening Night Festivities. We are so glad we did! What a fantastic movie the Orlando Film Festival chose for Opening Night. It was called Andover and had Jonathan Silverman and his real life wife! It also starred Steven Bauer, who we didn't know at the time was in the classic SCARFACE! Because of the VIP pass, we were able to do the before the movie cocktail hour, watch the movie and then attend the after party with the people who made the movie and were in the movie! We actually got to hang with Steven Bauer for a while. He was very cool! The Stella was free and plentisome, again, because of the pass. Next year, we are definitely going to plan on being there for the entire week, and we are definitely doing the VIP passes again, its the way to go!
What a wonderful festival!
I had never been to the Orlando film festival and loved it. My music video "You'll Never Know" was invited to screen, so I attended the festival for 4 days. I wish I had stayed the entire run. Orlando Film Festival is a filmmaker's festival. The panels are informative, the blocks of films were diverse , well-rounded, and expertly crafted, but more importantly the folks that run the festival are filmmakers themselves and accessible. This is not your exhibitor only type of festival. At Orlando Film Festival you feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged to meet other filmmakers. This is a great festival!
...And walking away with BEST MUSIC VIDEO made it even more AWESOME :)
You'll Never Know - Music Video
We brought our feature film, The First Time Club to Orlando Film Festival this year and what a joy for all of us who attended! We were so impressed with the professionalism of how the film festival was run - while at the same time - the entire staff of OFF was warm, inviting, fun and passionate about filmmakers and filmmaking. I see why OFF is considered one of the coolest film festivals - there were so many elements working to make it a terrific festival - amazing films from all over the world, great workshops on every aspect of the filmmaking process from concept to distribution, a gorgeous venue, terrific parties, and a film festival staff that was welcoming and professional from the moment you walked in the door. We are so grateful that Orlando Film Festival chose The First Time Club. Fantastic experience! Thank you!
A wonderful film festival! Happy to have our little film, in the Fest, amongst some incredible films and talent. OFF's marketing team even got a great write up for our film, Florida Bush League Wrestling, in the Orlando Sentinel!! This year's workshops were really informative and professional. The 3 day pitch workshop in particular. Oh, the live steaming of events and what's happening keep it up! It was nice to be able to peek in when you can't attend events.