Success Comes From Collaboration – Mississauga Independent Film Festival

Posted by | October 26, 2012 | Film/TV/Radio

The Mississauga Independent Film Festival – otherwise known as MIFF – was founded in 2009 by Matt and Jeff Campagna. Matt and Jeff had dipped their fingers in the film industry when they were just teenagers and were hooked, but as they made their efforts to break into the industry, they began to feel frustrated at the many bumps in the road that new filmmakers face. 

Hence, the creation of MIFF.  MIFF does all that it can to be a filmmaker friendly festival.  They have made the entry fees affordable, encourage local talent, host workshops with industry leaders and have kept the content all Canadian. It is an indie filmmaker’s film fest dream.

Christopher Trotman, Communications Coordinator for MIFF, started off as a volunteer in 2009.  He felt a great connection to the purpose of the festival and got more involved.  Below are his thoughts on being involved and the success of the independent film fest.

Q: How did you get connected with MIFF?

A: I was initially connected to MIFF as an introvert looking for an opportunity to meet new people.  Despite having lived in Mississauga for the better portion of my life, I wasn’t very well acquainted with it and didn’t have many friends in Mississauga.  I figured that MIFF would be a great opportunity to meet new people, break out of my shell a little bit, and help the city all at the same time.

Q: What inspires you to stay?

A: Personally, I love helping small organizations to communicate effectively.  When the organization is working from a zero-base budget, there is a real challenge to getting the word out.  Over the past few years our resources have increased, but there is still some creativity required when it comes to getting the word out there. So, in short the challenge is what makes me stay.

Q: What do you feel has been the greatest success of MIFF?

A: MIFF’s greatest success has been the overall growth of the festival in terms of attendance.  Mississauga is a very hard place to operate a festival of this sort due to a variety of factors.  The relative size of the city, the lack of good transit options, the compartmentalization of the communities…running a festival that is meant to be city wide is difficult without marketing dollars to back you.  As such, the fact that MIFF has been able to sustain and grow itself to this point is really an accomplishment.

Q: What kind of filmmakers seem to be attracted to MIFF?

A: MIFF doesn’t really attract one type of filmmaker.  We get people who are young, old, experienced, fresh out of school and we even receive foreign made films (despite our efforts in stopping foreign filmmakers from submitting…).  We attract every type of filmmaker.

Q: What makes MIFF different than other film festivals?

A: The atmosphere around MIFF is really filmmaker focused.  The Director does everything he can to ensure that filmmakers who participate get the best possible deal.  This includes watching every film all the way through so the submissions coordinator can tell a filmmaker definitively why they were not chosen.

Q: What advice do you have to share with people starting out in film?

A: I myself am not a filmmaker, but if I were going to give any advice…it would be “Don’t give up.”  The road ahead is rough, but anything worthwhile usually is.

Christopher Trotman is a Corporate Communications practitioner and Owner of Trotman PR.  During his tenure as a communications professional, Christopher has had the opportunity to work in the financial sector, educational sector, health promotions.  His passion is helping small companies communicate more effectively to their stakeholders.

This year, MIFF takes place from July 25 to July 29, 2012.  For more info, visit their site at  Check out their ‘Contact Us’ page if you want to inquire about purchasing tickets, submitting a film, volunteering, or to learn about sponsoring or advertising opportunities.

Melissa Macfarlane is a Career Development Professional with Northern Lights Canada.

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