Theme of night: Unique surroundings

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterJANUARY 14TH, 15min., USA, Drama/Crime

festival posterTHE BODY, 12min., Australia, Crime/Comedy

festival posterTHE EMPIRE’S SURGEON, 9min., Switzerland, Action/War

festival posterJUICY GIRL, 15min., USA, Crime/Drama

festival posterAGHATIT/ UNBECOMING, 19min., India, Crime/Drama

festival posterDOWN DELORO RIVER, 13min., Canada, Action/Crime

festival posterAQUARIUM, 15min., Italy, Crime/Thriller

festival posterLIVING IN CRIME ALLEY, 8min., USA, Fan Fiction

festival posterTHE CONFESSIONS OF THE BAT, 10min., UK, Fan Fiction

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

THRILLER Festival Testimonial – April 23 2020

It was absolutely great and exciting (seeing the FEEDBACK Video on my film). Thank you and the audience a lot. I also watched feedbacks of other works that screened. I need to admit that the audience in Toronto is much more film literate, and has a greater sense than most audiences that I have ever seen. The comments and reactions to the film was really nice. Although it was screened in many festivals and events in various countries, that video is the only real feedback that I got from an audience except in my country and except from people working for festivals. It was great too see that the film is still meaningful, fun to watch and has a real reflection in different countries.
– Kagan Kerimoglu (The Wheel of Time, Short Film)

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

Director Biography – Lucas Longacre (FOOD CART)

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Lucas Longacre’s extensive technical expertise was earned through over 20 years in the industry; dangling from the rafters as a grip for Nickelodeon, shining a light into Paul McCartney’s face as PA for MTV, running tapes and batteries for cable news at ground zero during the 9-11 attacks, capturing location audio for Extreme Makeover Home Edition, interviewing celebrities on red carpet events, recording audio for Rockstar Games at their motion capture studio. Directing Alec Baldwin for US Open spots (more like being directed by Alec Baldwin); Lucas has worked professionally in almost every position in almost every format. Buy him a beer and he will chew your ear off for hours with his weird adventures.

He’s THE one-man band, producing and directing from behind the camera with audio gear dangling from his belt. And as he will remind his students at the Art Institute of Portland (where he teaches part time), “Audio is the 50% of your product, and the most underappreciated part.”

Lucas’ skills allowed Iron Way to capture our feature length documentary, Big Dream, in 4 countries on a limited budget and even smaller timeline, and created the visual narrative for the first food series of its kind, now on it’s 5th season at PBS.

His short films have been accepted into festivals and won awards. Once upon a time he won 2nd best fight choreography for his short, Beat, at the Action on Film Festival. He’s been profiled in the Oregon Business Journal. He is currently wrapping post production on his latest short film Food Cart, a lampoon and celebration of the Portland food scene.

Director Statement

For the past 10 years I have been working in verité documentary. I missed working in the fiction narrative space and was looking for a project to leverage my resources in both the food world and the film world, bridging these two communities together that rarely intersect. When my friend Damian approached me with his idea to simultaneously poke-fun at and celebrate the Portland Food scene, I knew I found my next short film.
Writing the script gave me an opportunity to add in a lot of the issues and frustrations I’ve had covering food stories with the show and do so in a humorous and creative way. Like any industry (I’m looking at you, Hollywood) the rhetoric rarely matches the reality. I think factory farming is one of the greatest moral stains on our food system and future generations will look back in horror at what we’ve created. Outsourcing the moral hazard and turning a blind eye to how we treat sentient beings is horrific. At the end of the day, the fault lies with the consumer. To paraphrase Joseph Stalin: “A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” I also enjoyed poking fun at the self-seriousness of the food world. I adore the food scene in Portland (it’s one of the reasons I moved there) and I hope the film is received as a lampoon and not an attack. The people we are satirizing are my friends and I really wanted them in on the joke, hence the cameos and casting decisions. The only way we improve is by taking a serious, unabashed look in the mirror and that was our intention with making this film. Well, first to entertain. Then to hopefully educate, just a little.

Short Film: FOOD CART, 18min., USA, Thriller

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Ali is a talented chef and Food Cart owner in Portland, Oregon. After falling behind on rent, a tragic accident forces Ali to make a change in his father’s recipe. He becomes an overnight sensation but finds achieving his dream of opening a restaurant means selling his soul.

News & Reviews

Director Biography – Eveline Grassman (LILI SEES YOU)

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Eveline Grassman, director, born 1982 in Stockholm. She writes, directs and produces her own pieces on low budget, lots of patience and creative space. Strong attraction to poetic expression and the mystery of humanity triggers her filmmaking.

Filmography (in selection)

Till andra sidan (short 2017)

Stalker (short 2017)

Lili ser dig (short 2019)

Director Statement

“Modern technology opens the private sphere to the outside world trough cameras and sound equipment. It has become so normalized that we don´t even think about who is sitting on the other side or if there’s someone there”

Short Film: LILI SEES YOU, 14min., Sweden, Thriller

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A seven year old girl finds a friend in her new computer. A virtual assistant challenges her to take up more space at home. It starts as a game but soon becomes more serious.

What does a child reveal about private-life to an Ipad? What happens with the information? Can it be dangerous?

Project Links

THRILLER Festival 1st Scene Script: The Journal Of Second Lieutentant Issac Bangs, Unabridged, by George Deihl Jr.

In 1776, a young medic in the Continental Army struggles to solve a series of gruesome murders in Manhattan’s Brothel District, and uncovers a secret that could cost him his soul.


Jacob: Biden Hall
Lizzie: Aliya Hamid
Ben: Geoff Mays
Narrator: Val Cole
Cunningham: Shawn Devlin
Isaac: Chris O’Bray
Madame: Pascale Behrman

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

Top THRILLER Festival Screenplays of 2019

Watch the winning readings performed by professional actors. 20 screenplays in total.


Winning SHORT Thriller Screenplay Reading of Too Old to Trick-or-Treat by Tammy Gross

THRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay Reading: Rosemary Lane, by Leal Butler

THRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay Reading: Killer Kisses, by S.D. Wheeler

THRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay Reading of THE VOYEUR WIKI, by Kevin Glikmann

THRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay of Dancing in the White Room by David Sabbath

THRILLER Best Scene Screenplay Readings of The Prophecies by Ray Cecire

THRILLER Best Scene Reading of Lies, Hamburgers, and Cufflinks by Gustavo Freitas

THRILLER Best Scene Screenplay Reading: M for Mole Murder, by Sonja Knyssok

THRILLER Best Scene Screenplay Reading: Spy Harmony, by Wolfgang Schuler

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: Chance, by John Fraser

THRILLER Best Scene Screenplay: Chupacabra, by Aaron Willett, Jayesh Patel

THRILLER Best Scene: CHOSEN REALITY, by James Samuel

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: High Striker, by Gerald Rigdon

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: The Dirty Blonde, by Sven Anarki

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: MISCREATION, by Mark Donnell

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: KILLER BE KILLED, by Frank Friedlander

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: THE PORTRAIT, by Matthew Marshall

THRILLER Best Scene Reading: Slice of Heaven, by Vinny Smith

THRILLER Best Scene Screenplay Reading: M for Mole Murder, by Sonja Knyssok

Willy Wuehlman is a mole who lives in a tree. Since he had a traumatic experience in his childhood when his parents died, he suffers from claustrophobia and is unable to go through tunnels. When he is accused to be the murderer of his aunt, he has to overcome his fear. But he does not know that some strange mutated killer roots of garden flowers waiting for him in the dark.


Woodpecker – Neil Bennett
Molly – Rebecca MacDonald
NARRATION – Tracy Rowland
Willy – Marcus Bernacci
Ricky – David Jackson

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

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THRILLER Best Scene Reading: High Striker, by Gerald Rigdon

Guided by dreams and driven by fate, Amos Konklin, sledgehammer in hand, escapes the clutches of a kidnapper, amnesia, and prison to carry out his own brand of justice.


Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Seymour: Russell Batcher
Amos: James Chapman

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch