Monday, June 15, 2009

AFF Filmmaker Follow Up with Joe Wein

Joe Wein's short "Goldfish" won the audience award for Best Narrative Short in 2007. He wrote the feature comedy "Scorched," starring Woody Harrelson, John Cleese, Alicia Silverstone, and Rachael Leigh Cook. Listed in Variety Magazine as a "Top Ten Screenwriter to Watch", he now writes on studio projects.  He is working with many of the same people from "Goldfish" to direct his first feature-length film, the comedy "Juggernaut."

1. Tell me about your film that won the Audience Award for Narrative Short at the 2007 Austin Film Festival.

"Goldfish" is about 2 girls that break into their elementary school to save their classes' goldfish.  It had a wonderful festival run and won a bunch of awards, also playing in the Tribeca Film Festival and winning the Grand Jury Award in the Gen Art Film Festival.  Goldfish is now online, so if you'd like to see it please visit

2. Did you know when you made the film that it would take off like it has? 

No, just hoped people would enjoy it and wanted to get experience directing.

3. Were there any major challenges you faced while making the film? 

Getting any film made, even a short is hard.  Pulling together a cast and crew, getting locations, having very little money and trying to end up with something close to what you envisioned is a trial.  But I ended up working with some great producers and a fantastic cast and crew.  People I hope to work with many times in the future.

4. Do you think that film festivals are an important venue for short films?

I think they are the MAIN venue. "Goldfish" has played in real theatres for thousands of people and there is almost no other way for a short film to do this. I've had a chance to be a part of that audience and see how people react.  I also got a chance to learn from other filmmakers (established and new), see what they're doing and discover some films I loved and some that weren't for me.  It was an eye-opening experience.

5. Is there someone in the film industry that you would like to work with? 

I would kill to work with Alexander Payne.

6. Is there an event at the Austin Film Festival that you recommend never missing? 

The Austin Film Festival is an all-around incredible festival.  I would tell anyone if they get in, GO.  The panels, movies, parties - intimate talks with incredible filmmakers. It was an amazing experience for me.  And they let you drink beer in the theater [most theaters].

For more on Joe, please visit

Its not too late to enter your film!

Late post-mark deadline: July 3rd

Very late deadline: July 15th

Just one more you reason you should be at the Austin Film Festival & Conference in October...

This year's panel discussions will feature case studies of the writing and script-to-screen production process with the writers and creators for such films and shows as Twilight, "Lost", Valkyrie, Watchmen, The Secret Life of Bees, "Mad Men" and the HBO hit series "Entourage".

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