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Everything You Wanted to Know about Film Festivals but Were Afraid to Ask

  • 26 Jun 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Options For All Media School and Studio, 3959 Ruffin Road, Suite F San Diego, CA 92123

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  • Included with your membership


Tonya Mantooth and Stephanie Inscoe of the San Diego International Film Festival joined us on Wednesday, June 27 at Options for All to nosh on fried burritos and mini tacos and more importantly, to answer a variety of questionsany and all of your questions about about how to submit to film festivals. They discussed what SDIFF is looking forr in films, shared how to know if your film fits in with the a festival’s programming, and spilled the truth about screeners - how many minutes of your film do theydoes a film festival screener really watch? Spoiler alert at the SDIFF, they watch all of them, several times! The questions from the audience were interesting and lively. Every time a hand went down, another went up. “What kind of genres and topics are you seeing the most?” “How does a film stand out to screeners?” “How does the screening process work?” “Do festivals including the SDIFF offer waivers for submission fees and what’s the best way to qualify?” Tonya and Stephanie answered all these questions and many more in depth. The time (and food) went fast! Thank you so much to Tonya and Stephanie for taking the time to come and speak to our members! Film festivals are an important topic with so much to learn. We enjoyed hearing how to navigate festival submissions and we are looking forward to seeing all the films SDIFF will program this year!

Thank you so much to Tonya and Stephanie for taking the time to come and speak to our members! Film festivals are an important topic with so much to learn. We enjoyed hearing how to navigate festival submissions and we are looking forward to seeing all the films SDIFF will program this year!

The San Diego International Film Festival is an independent film festival that takes place annually in San Diego. This year, the Festival will run October 15-20 across two "villages" in the Gaslamp Quarter and La Jolla. The festival showcases contemporary narrative feature, documentary, and short films in competitive juried categories. These categories, or "tracks." vary year to year and have included foreign language, animated, Native American, military, social justice, and equestrian themes. The Festival also hosts awards banquets, panel discussions, retrospectives, and parties!

And thank you to Options for All for hosting SD Media Pros again! For those still unfamiliar with Options for All, they provide training and vocational opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities. One of their programs helps students to develop film and media production skills and in fact, two students assisted with the live streaming of the June meeting! More can be found at optionsforall.org/san-diego

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News - June 2019

About Our Speakers

Tonya Mantooth
CEO & Artistic Director
San Diego International Film Festival

A ten-time regional Emmy award winner with over 60 international Telly and ADDY awards, Tonya Mantooth began her career as an Executive Producer when she became the Director of Acquisitions for CRM Films. Tonya co-founded and was President of The Dakota Group, a film and post production company in Southern California. Tonya has produced national TV campaigns and award winning documentaries for Fortune 500 companies.   

In 2007, Tonya launched Mantooth Studios and expanded her production scope to include computer generated imagery (CGI) projects and entertainment projects. Under Mantooth Films, Tonya executive produced four feature films, including Grave Secrets which became the pilot to the Nickelodeon Series, Dead Time Stories.  

In 2012, Tonya and several colleagues took over the San Diego International Film Festival with a two-fold vision: to bring international cinema to San Diego and grow the SDIFF as a significant contributor to San Diego’s economy. Today the SDIFF has grown over 500%. The six-day festival features 120+ film screenings, parties and a red carpet celebrity tribute honoring actors including Annette Bening, Adrian Brody, Geena Davis and Sir Patrick Stewart. Tonya believes that in our increasingly complex and divisive world, cinematic storytelling gives us the opportunity to find common ground through our shared human experiences.

Tonya is a current Board member and past Board chair for SDX (San Diego Ad Club), a member of Patrons of the Prado and recently won the prestigious Advertising Community’s top SDX Brandiego Award, was voted North County Empowered Women to Watch and received the Philanthropy Award from The Ten Best. Tonya graduated from San Diego State University with degrees in business and music.

Stephanie Inscoe

Stephanie Inscoe has over eleven years of experience working in the film industry and has wide-ranging knowledge of film and video projects from inception to completion. Currently, Stephanie is the Festival Producer of the San Diego International Film Festival, a position she has held for the past seven years. She oversees the festival’s programming department and manages day-to-day coordination of the annual program/film slate and various year-round events. She also supports project management, marketing, production, and operational logistics. 

Stephanie also works closely with studios and distributors to secure films for the festival.

Stephanie has held various positions in production and communications including producing live shows for various organizations such as SDX and the Museum of Photographic Arts. She was the production manager for Aviatech Digital Marketing Agency and Mantooth Studios, and has experience working on international Telly and Emmy award-winning commercials, public service announcements, corporate videos, and documentary films. 

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