The New Festival Changing How Feature Films Are Being Made

  Several StudioFest finalists from left to right: David Siev, Millie Rose Heywood, Rolv Lyssand Bjørø, Anna Mikami, and Daniel V. Masciari (Photo credit:    StudioFest   )

Several StudioFest finalists from left to right: David Siev, Millie Rose Heywood, Rolv Lyssand Bjørø, Anna Mikami, and Daniel V. Masciari (Photo credit: StudioFest)

When one thinks of the pristine Catskill Mountains, a film festival isn’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind. But at the quaint but humbly stylish Graham & Co. hotel five filmmakers and five screenwriters assemble as StudioFest’s finalists. The weekend would wrap with only one director and one writer teaming up to create a full feature film through the festival’s support.

  Festival judges and attendees (Photo credit: StudioFest)

Festival judges and attendees (Photo credit: StudioFest)

The thing about StudioFest is they’re paving a new path for the film community, their mission being solely for the gain of the artist.

Quick insight to the existing festival climate — best case scenario for many struggling directors is to get their short film accepted into a notable film circuit then hope and pray the right producers are in the audience. From there? From there, the horizon is littered with endless logistical hurdles before securing enough funding to make a feature length film.

So when Marmoset had the chance to partner with StudioFest, we knew where we’d fit in — we’d have the privilege of working alongside the festival’s winners to create the ultimate soundtrack for their feature film.

Arriving Friday night, the festivities are already in motion. At the end of the gravel road, attendees are roasting marshmallows over a crackling bonfire. The heat mixes invitingly with the fresh upstate New York breeze, it’s hard not to feel at ease amidst the dense forest that meets all edges of the premises.

Tucked beyond pruned greenery, there’s an open field with a white tent and banquet styled picnic table in the distance. There’s bustling chatter as screenwriters, directors, judges, and organizers exchange stories over a candlelit meal. A projector plays Grease in the background.

The event’s co-founders Jess Jacklin and Charles Beale raise their glasses and make an introduction toast welcoming everyone, there’s a genuine warmness to them — it’s evident this festival is an extension of their generous, kindhearted nature. With industry experience and background in film production, both know too well the struggles and pitfalls of getting a film produced from start to finish, their advocacy then fueling the festival’s strides further.

No matter the conversation one is part of that night, everything comes back to the admiration behind what StudioFest is setting out to accomplish. There’s agreement how this marks a new generation for filmmakers, how this feels like leaping forward past common obstacles and arriving at the stage they’ve been ready for all along: making a feature length film and sharing it with others.


Congratulations to StudioFest winners Matthew Sorvillo and Anna Mikami, we’ll be working alongside their vision to craft an amazing soundtrack for their film. Stay tuned as we feature other upcoming filmmakers, their work, and the music behind their movies.

Posted on September 28, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music, Shared Work, Spotlight: Marmoset.