The Evansville, Indiana-born and award-winning media maker Rasheda Randle started the inaugural Circle City Film Festival 2018 out of her experiences as an actress, “who didn’t have the resources and guidance to really jump start or even excel my career,” she said.
The industry wasn’t as tutorial-happy back in 2004 when it came to doling out advice and direction.
“So I wanted to provide a platform for actors and filmmakers to learn, share, and network with each other and with people who can pour into their crafts,” Randle said. “It’s not just a film festival, it’s an initiative.”
Randle’s 1st Annual Circle City Film Festival will drop in Indianapolis September 27 through 29, 2018, featuring acting workshops, panel discussions, a monologue competition, a writer’s workshop, and an awards show, in addition to film screenings held at Georgetown Cinemas, 3898 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46254.
34 films will be screened over the three days; 14 films by African-American filmmakers. Fort Wayne Ink Spot’s Ray Russell GOT WORDS will also screen at the festival (see insert).
Her career highlights real quick: Randle got her Master’s in Radio/TV/Film Bachelor’s degree in 2005 from Indiana State University; she interned for BET’s Rap City: The Basement in New York, freelanced as a production assistant for reality and game shows like The Real World, Deal or No Deal, and America’s Got Talent; she’s hosted and produced news shows, and has acted in, produced and performed stage plays and television new shows.
She’s won the Best Actress award at the TPN Film Fest, Best Actress 2017 at the annual TPN Awards show, and has won the Artist of Influence award at the Peach Theater Awards.
And in less than a month, the Circle City Film Festival drops; Randle spoke with the Fort Wayne Ink Spot about it.
For festival information, hit up CircleCityFilmFestival.com
Fort Wayne Ink Spot (FWIS): Talk about the process of starting a film festival?
Randle: It’s A LOT of work. It’s a risk just from the thought. Initially, I wanted to test it out and do it as a one-day event complete with short film screenings and a few workshops. But, along the way, I was given a grander vision and I decided to pursue that.
Starting a festival is like starting any other business. You have to, first, lay the foundation. I waited until I got the okay from the theater (which took a while) before I began that process. Then the pressing issue became finding sponsorship and planning. Some things depend on others before it can be solidified, and things are constantly changing.
FWIS: In addition to the screenings, what are some other festival highlights?
Randle: Definitely, the “Women in Media” panel and the “Art of Filmmaking” panel. It’s always good to hear from people who have walked or who are walking in your shoes; to ask questions and get insight on how to elevate your career. You never know, those people may be in a position to help you.
FWIS: What can the role of a film festival play in a world where YouTube and Vimeo even Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, provide more direct avenues for filmmakers?
Randle: For starters, it’s a great place to promote your work and get new fans for those shows that are on YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon Prime, etc. It’s where you go to network, put yourself in the face of opportunity, put your film in the hands of a distributor. Oftentimes producers and distributors go to film festivals to seek out new projects. What if you wrote a script, came to the festival, and gave that script to a producer to read, they like it, reach out to you, and boom, now you have a production deal?
Too many people get so caught up with having everything at their fingertips, on their phones, and on the internet, that they lose those interpersonal skills--that’s what film festivals are about, physically getting out there and promoting yourself and your work, and networking with like-minded people and building those relationships.
Ray Russell GOT WORDS to Screen at 2018 Circle City Film Fest
Fort Wayne Ink Spot’s short film, Ray Russell GOT WORDS, was accepted and will make its film festival debut at the 2018 Circle City Film Festival. The short film will screen on September 28 at 3 P.M. at Georgetown Cinemas, 3898 Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46254.