Catching up with Film Fest judge Sylvie Bolioli

We’re super excited to be running the Bookie Film Fest, a two week online event that features some of the best films from up and coming writers, producers, and directors. We thought it was worth checking in with some of the judges, as our line up of Dan Dalton, Dale Shaw, Kate Williamson (Margate Film Festival), Sylvie Bolioli (Ramsgate International Festival), Clare Freeman (A Small Furry Bear) and Lucy Edematie is pretty damn good!

We have a natter with Sylvie Bolioli here.

What for you is the power of film?

Films are so powerful that they can shape generations. Every individual has memories relating to a particular movie. Primarily a form of entertainment, films can also inspire a mindset, an action and generate outreach, help bridging gaps. It is a smooth yet strong medium to inform and educate audiences.

What are you looking for in the films submitted?

I’m looking for great stories told in an exciting way, captivating films, no matter what the subject, whom made it or where it was made. The story is the first thing which has to draw you in. Then the characters and the interpretation. And having watched all the films presented by Margate Bookie Film Fest this year, I can only praise its selection. Being a Jury member is a love and hate story. I love it because I get to see great movies. Being a filmmaker myself, I think of what went into the making of an independent movie where the filmmaker has put his/her own life and passion into it. And I also hate it when the choice is so difficult to make and what ends up making the difference is a nano point.

It’s sad we can’t do these things in person – do you think going online is just as good?

I also run the Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival. And like most film festivals in the world this year, we had to cancel our physical edition. We missed the buzz and the interaction with the filmmakers, the guests, the audience. I like to see reactions on a viewer’s face, have a chat after the screening. But online platforms offer a different medium. It enabled us to reach more people in remote locations, who would not have been able to afford attending the Festival (our films were not geo-blocked). And filmmakers need exposure to showcase their work. So there’s always a positive side to it. We hope that 2021 will celebrate a return to normality with a come back of physical festivals. But the online experience will definitely continue.

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