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    Getting Personal With IF Film's Producer Soozie Eastman
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    A time of year that many Louisvillians look forward to all year is almost upon us. Idea Festival is just under a week away, and I for one am more than excited about this year's festivities. As I prepare to enjoy all that Idea Festival has to offer I took a few minutes to sit down with Soozie Eastman, IF Film's Producer, to talk some shop. 

    Soozie returned to Louisville in May of this year to test the creative waters in the Bluegrass state. Up until then she had spent the last 12 years in Los Angeles producing documentaries, short films, and awards shows. A familiar name to many in Louisville, Gill Holland, suggested that she jump right in and get to know some of the locals by volunteering with Louisville Film Society. After a few meetings with their team she was approached by the board chair George Parker and board member Nancy Tafel in regards to producing this year's festival. A self proclaimed production and logistics junkie she eagerly accepted their offer. She continues to be amazed by how large the creative community in Louisville has become. It is indeed a dream come true for her to be able to use her 12 years of experience in the Los Angeles film industry to foster growth here in Louisville. 


    After returning to Louisville it's obvious to Soozie that the city has grown in numerous areas during her absence. She's thankful to be from Louisville, a city that has always supported the arts. Even when residing in Los Angeles people would make comments like "You're so lucky to have Actors Theatre." or "I did Shakespeare in the park there when I was younger." She believes that with the proper tax incentives the film community in Louisville will only continue to grow and flourish. Besides having to cope with allergy season in Kentuckiana Soozie believes that life in Louisville has quite a bit to offer, albeit different. "Life is easier here. Permitting is a bit more lax. People want to be involved. In Los Angeles, filming is a nuisance. Here, the community is enthralled and supportive. This area is really an untapped resource of locations and talent. Louisville Film Society, the presenter of IF Film, is really trying to grow the presence of the city’s amazing film crew as well as bring opportunities to Louisvillians to shoot film here and, at the very least, screen some amazing independent films from across the globe."


    IF Film brings an exclusive experience to film lovers in Louisville. Soozie was lucky enough to have trekked through the Sundance Film Festival in 3 feet of snow to watch some of the best emerging films and filmmakers in the world. It was an amazing (and expensive) experience, and she realizes that is not something everyone can do. IF Film aims to cull the best films from top festivals and emerging filmmakers and bring them to Louisville for a unique opportunity the average person wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. They have also included filmmakers and films from Kentucky as well. "I think the notion of sitting in Slugger Field watching Produce which was shot in Slugger Field is exciting. When movie goers recognize and say, “Oh I shop in that Valu Market!” there’s a lot of fun in that." Soozie believes that sitting in a theater and watching a film is an entirely different film viewing experience than say watching a film from home. Having the filmmakers there for a Q&A after is the icing on the cake.


    "I would be remiss to not say my favorite part of IdeaFestival is IF Film. I actually taught preproduction in the KY Film Lab in 2007 when that was part of IdeaFestival. It’s really like working with family. Kris Kimmel, Ceci Conway and Barbara Flexter have done so much to ensure that IdeaFestival is a success for its attendees. By approaching Louisville Film Society and including us in the line up, we are really only building and strengthening each other’s brands."

    As a Louisvillian Soozie would have to say that she is most excited to see Trouble Dolls or Produce since they have Louisville connections, but as a true blue documentary lover she is most excited for Friday’s lineup. 

    This year marks the first year of the rebranded film festival. Flyover Film Festival was a success locally for 6 years, which has now been taken under the Idea Festival umbrella as Idea Festival Film. This rebranding was the brain child of Mayor Greg Fischer as he wanted a way to expand the film festivals reach to include Idea Festival attendees alongside with local movie buffs, and just like that Idea Festival Film was born. 

    If you're interested in learning more about the films playing during the weekend of September 30th - October 4th visit Idea Festival Film's website for more information. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter for up to date happenings.

    Josh Johnson's picture

    About Josh Johnson

    I am the voice behind The Kentucky Gent, a men's life and style blog.

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