We're just seven days shy of PFF 2016 and we want to introduce you to some of our newest filmmakers. This week we chatted with Scott K. Foley, director of this year's feature festival selection Jessica.
What should festival goers know about your film?
Sometimes to get where you’re going, you have to outrun who you don’t want to be.
Jessica is a low-budget indie that's been favorably compared to films like Drinking Buddies and Frances Ha, though, as one reviewer put it, with a "story unique enough that it never falls victim to cliché." It’s a movie with a complicated female character at the center of her own story, a film that passes the "Bechdel Test" in its opening minutes and one that goes on to set a new grading curve as it unfolds. We like to say Jessica is a story about a young woman who’s coming-of-age, just five years too late.
How did you first learn about the Phoenix Film Festival, and what made it the right fit for your film?
When we started looking into festivals, we had the opportunity to sit down with talented filmmaker Frank Hall Green to talk about our strategy. Frank’s film Wildlike had played at Phoenix last year and he spoke very highly of the fest. After learning that the festival was started by filmmakers and was recently named one of the Top 25 coolest Fests by Moviemaker Magazine, it was clear that the Phoenix Film Festival would be on our list! Plus, for a short time, when he was Jessica’s age, director Scott Foley lived in Arizona (Wickenburg), and he’s very excited to share the film with the with one of the few places he has called home.
What are you most looking forward to at the festival?
We’re incredibly excited about the screenings of the film. There’s simply nothing better than getting to share the film with audiences, which is always such a rewarding experience. Films were meant to be shared, and we’re really excited about how the Phoenix Film Festival is not only helping us share Jessica, but also allowing us the opportunity to connect with audiences in person. We’re also excited to meet other filmmakers and attend the awesome seminars and talks!
What do you most enjoy about the independent film world?
The piles of money, right? :) But seriously, what we love the most is the sense of community. First in the creativity and passion of all the amazing collaborators you get to work with throughout the entire process, and then again when screening the film. At every festival we’ve been to, we’ve met lots of other talented filmmakers and independent film fans, and the conversations have been truly amazing. To be able to interact with such a large group of like-minded people is a rare privilege.
What projects are you currently working on?
Well Josh and I actually just moved from our beloved Chicago. Unfortunately we moved in separate directions. Josh moved to Los Angeles where he continues to work for the Oprah Winfrey Network and I moved to Brooklyn where I’m doing film and video editing. Although we are both still getting settled in our new cities, we have been working on two new genre scripts--one about the dangers of human cloning. Quite a departure from Jessica!