SFF 2013 Exclusive Interview: Factory 25's MATT GRADY
The Sarasota Film Festival's Independent Visions Contest for 2013 is presented by the outstanding distributor FACTORY 25. Factory 25 has provided distribution to several winners of this competition including last year's winner RICHARD'S WEDDING.
Other incredible SFF films like THE COLOR WHEEL, FAKE IT SO REAL, and Amy Seimetz's directorial debut SUN DON'T SHINE (which premiered at last year's festival) have also found homes at Factory 25. (And be sure to catch Amy's new short WHEN WE LIVED IN MIAMI which accompanies one of our Independent Vision Competition entries A SONG STILL INSIDE.)
We spoke with Factory 25's founder MATT GRADY (who will be attending SFF 2013 and serving as one of the Independent Vision Competition judges) and learned about the company's origins and mission. (Notice the record Matt is holding? It is the vinyl portion of BROCK ENRIGHT: GOOD TIMES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME limited DVD/vinyl set. The film won a special jury prize at SFF!)
SFF 2013: How and when did you first fall in love with independent cinema?
MATT GRADY: My first exposure to indie film happened when I was in high school. I'd search out punk rock films like SUBURBIA, SID AND NANCY, SMITHEREENS, CLASS OF 84, DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION and REPO MAN. These films were the jumping off point that opened my eyes to a new world of cinema. It wasn't long before I got obsessed with David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, Alex Cox and so on...these films sparked my interest for searching out films on the edge.
SFF 2013: How did it all start with Factory 25?
MATT GRADY: After eight years of being part of a film distribution company called Plexifilm that released I AM TRYING TO BREAK YOUR HEART: A FILM ABOUT WILCO and the design doc HELVETICA, I realized that there were a bunch of films that I loved and wanted to release but could only do so if I went out on my own. Many people thought my first release, FROWNLAND, was unreleasable but I thought it was brilliant and really wanted to get it out into the world.
SFF 2013: What separates Factory 25 from other distributors?
MATT GRADY: Factory 25 is willing to take more risks than other distributors. I've worked hard to curate a catalog of diverse often polarizing films that really complement each other well.
SFF 2013: Tell us about your relationship with the Sarasota Film Festival from its start to the present.
MATT GRADY: I've admired the Sarasota Film Festival line up for years and SFF has premiered incredible films that other festivals didn't have the guts to play. Two standouts are THE COLOR WHEEL and FAKE IT SO REAL, both films that Factory 25 ended up releasing.
SFF 2013: What excites you the most about your work with Factory 25?
MATT GRADY: I get to release my favorite films into the world. That's exciting.
SFF 2013: What advice do you have for future independent film writers, producers and directors?
MATT GRADY: Make bold films with distinct voices. Middle of the road is boring. Shoot on film if you can. Don't make a low budget film with a Hollywood plot. And don't go around saying you have a film idea that you can only make with a million dollars. Have fun, work with friends, and make good films.