EMELYN STUART: FOUNDER AND CEO AT STUART CINEMA & CAFÉ AND THE OCKTOBER FILM FESTIVAL
Emelyn Stuart is not only a dedicated, committed and inspirational person, but she’s also a person who’s as big as her dreams…and her dreams are big! From owning an independent film theater to Oscars big. Keep reading.
Emelyn is the founder and CEO at Stuart Cinema & Café located in the beautiful and artistic Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY. Stuart Cinema & Café is her own self financed independent film theatre. In addition to it being a theater that showcases films to help filmmakers and other artists monetize their talent, Stuart Cinema & Café serves as community entertainment center.
Emelyn is also the founder of the Ocktober Film Festival (OFF) that takes place every October at Stuart Cinema & Café. OFF is a film festival that serves as a platform for artists to express themselves through film and new media. Due to the fact that OFF is heavily involved with the independent filmmaking community it has become a trusted resource for emerging and established filmmakers. OFF just came off another successful film festival event that ran from October 4-7.
In spite of her immensely occupying schedule Emelyn made time and granted us an exclusive interview.
ONE ON ONE WITH EMELYN STUART
Emelyn, how did you become involved in films/filmmaking as a producer?
A little over 10 years ago when I was in real estate an investor asked me to read his nephew’s movie script. At the time I had friends in the entertainment business but I had no real involvement or experience in producing films.
After reading the comedic script, I contacted the writer, the investor’s nephew, and asked him how I could help. He said he needed everything. Therefore, I called all of my contacts. I produced the film and it became an award winning short film.
However, because I didn’t know what I was doing, I spent too much money. But once I saw how great the short film was doing in the film festival circuit, I felt useful and full of purpose. At that point, I decided I would start producing and investing in great filmmakers who needed help.
Sixteen projects later, in pursuit of this cause, I started my own film festival, Ocktober Film Festival, OFF, and built my own independent movie theater, Stuart Cinema & Café.
Speaking of the Ocktober Film Festival, it’s now six years running. What will OFF look like in two to five years from now and beyond?
We anticipate that the Ocktober Film Festival will be an Oscar Qualifying Film Festival and that we will provide our own self-distribution deals to filmmakers.
You’ve produced very successful films, both features and shorts. What is the key to producing films and having them be successful?
I’m not a writer or a director so it’s important that I have a creative team that I can trust. As a producer I’m mainly concerned about the deliverables and the rate of return associated with my projects. I’m really a business person that happens to be in the arts.
With all the success you’ve had and continue to have, what do you find is necessary to do to keep elevating yourself?
I study the entertainment industry daily and the business as a whole. I try to have my finger on the pulse of what is happening to and for us, as an independent community. You can’t play the game if you don’t understand who the players are and how to effectively play the game.
At the moment are you producing any films?
I’ve been keeping busy with the movie theater, but I did just sign on to executive produce a female boxing movie. It’s currently in pre-production. We will see what 2019 brings!
KEEP UP WITH EMELYN
You can keep up on the latest from Emelyn and all the innovations she’s spearheading by following her on Instagram or by liking her page on Facebook. For more information on Ocktober Film Festival please visit www.ocktoberfilmfest.com.
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