TheTomKid critiques and tweets at the Canton Film Fest

Megan Tomkins; Photo credit Cassie Burdette

Amelia, Angela and me. These are two of the social media gals I worked with and are now new friends!

This weekend at the Canton Film Fest, my experience was tri-fold: 1) I got participate in the event by watching movies and meeting successful film screenwriters and directors, 2) I was a part of the event’s social media team and 3) I made some new friends!

The Canton Film Fest held its second annual event at the Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio, Oct. 5-6, 2012.

The event

The highlight of the event was the film contest. Participants are local independent film makers. Winners of each categories are as follows:

Mobile Movie – Taylor Nelms

Short Fiction – Joe Vitale Jr.

Sci-Fi/Superhero – Sean Baxter

Green Documentary – Matt Kover

Horror – Cale Short

Music Video – Jay Oldaker

The guests

Photo by Megan Tomkins

Nick Pustay, writer for Camille and screenwriter for Ramona and Beezus and Shiver, held a Q&A session after a showing of Ramona and Beezus on Friday and a screenwriting workshop on Saturday. Pustay grew up in Northeast Ohio and it was wonderful to see how down to earth he was with everyone. It is great knowing that kind of talent came from close to home.

Paul Solet is an award-winning writer and director best known for horror films. His film “A Means to an End” was named “Best Short Horror Film” by Fangoria Magazine. During the festival, Solet screened one of his movies and held a Q&A session afterward.

Andrew Rudd is an independent filmmaker from Northeast Ohio and is a professor at Malone University. At the festival, he lead the workshop “Beg, borrow, or steal to jump start your Documentary Funding campaign.”

My role at the event

Megan Tomkins

Exactly one week before the event, I met James Waters, the creator of the Canton Film Fest. Waters’ hometown is Canton, he went to McKinley High School and is a filmmaker who has worked in Las Angeles and Chicago. He’s worked with in making music videos for popular musicians like Blink 182, U2 and Pink. Waters has also worked with Fred Savage, Jack Black, Sarah Michelle Gellar and the late Bernie Mac, just to name a few.

When I heard about the event, I told him I would love to blog about the it and little did I know he would put me to work as well. I had the great opportunity to be a part of the social media team. I was tweeting updates and interacting with those attending the event. What a great experience!

Next year

I believe this festival can only get better! With the support of local community members and word-of-mouth public relations this will grow. Canton Film did really well using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. They also have a blog, but it needs updated more often. With a low budget, the festival came together to be incredibly successful. A festival such as this is incredibly important to bring a community together and rebuild Downtown Canton.

Photo by Megan Tomkins

For an opportunity to participate in this event next year, visit the CantonFilm.com or contact James Waters. Hear of any other festivals like this? Let me know!

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