CARL TOONEY – THE MAN BEHIND THE MOST PRESTIGEOUS AWARDS FOR INDEPENDENT CINEMA
Posted by Vivek on October 27, 2013 | No Comments
He is publicity shy, but his awards bring a whole lot of publicity to the folks who need it most, the emerging, independent filmmaker. He is a man of few words, but his festival and awards, across, Europe, do all the talking. We finally corner, Carl Tooney, who is like a messiah for Independent Filmmakers the world over, by giving that first ray of hope to an already arduous journey. Carl opens up and talks about his festival, his passion and his awards:
The motivation behind the awards?
I started in the Advertising business and hence logically the Advertising awards. It was a pretty powerful medium if you think about it, to tell your story in 30 seconds, which is what an Ad film is all about. Then, in Tenerife, we grew that to shorts/features/animation and that is how the Film awards started, to where we are now, with the Unproduced Script award, which eventually might assist in getting the scripts produced.
What got you into this business and what platform does it provide?
I’ve always worked very hard all my life and my background is Business Development, whether it is the Food business, which I have been part of and grown and also Business Entrepreneurship. I also love films. So I thought to myself how can I combine my talents in Business Development /Entrepreneurship and also encourage developing and independent filmmakers. I also wanted to be honest to my filmmakers and tell them that we are not about big audiences, we are about connecting you with the industry. The professionals who are part of my awards and festivals, can view your movie and give you an honest and objective feedback and, also, if they think it is of the top notch mark, push it along in the markets. What these awards provide is a platform for these emerging filmmakers to meet with fellow filmmakers, network, learn about the business side, negotiate, talk and have a wonderful time amongst their own.
Many people have ideas, but I believe it is my methodical nature and the fact that I can think through an idea to its completion, that makes these festivals and awards, work seamlessly. That was also how I worked in my Business world, I was able to take the thought and take it through to its final completion. I do pride myself with that, if I say I will do something, I do end up taking ownership of it.
On the festivals that you do run and where do you see it 5 years from now?
We have St Tropez, Madrid, Tenerife and London and possibly will add to the festivals/awards that I have created, based on the same model and premise. We will be about the business of film, as opposed to big audiences and how we can help the emerging filmmaker reach to the next level, in their journey. And just want to clarify that age had nothing to do with emerging, it can be an older first time filmmaker, it could be someone who has a day job in another line of work, it could be anyone in whichever stage of life they are in. I would also reach out to the stars to come and support our festival, support the emerging talent of filmmakers, cause they in turn will then create opportunities for you too, in their subsequent films.
On the very strong award ceremony you have, along with your festivals?
The award ceremony, are an event into itself, in all the festivals. It take a tremendous amount of planning and very important from a marketing and publicity point of view, for the independent filmmakers. All of my award ceremonies, are generally sold out, as in the London one, where there is not a seat to be had.