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Focus Interview with Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, Founder of the Chelsea Film Festival


The Chelsea Film Festival takes place in New York at the SVA Theatre each October.

This international film festival founded by French actress Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, is dedicated to supporting emerging and independent films from around the world.

We asked Ingrid a few questions about the festival...

What led you to start the Chelsea Film Festival?

Ingrid Jean-Baptiste : After a dreadful car accident on September 5th of last year, my acting carreer suddenly took a "slightly" different turn. I was sent to the Emergency Room along with seven other people (including my mom), with a concussion, a fractured spine and seven broken ribs, which meant I was unable me to walk for several weeks. Ironically, this is how the Chelsea Film Festival was born; I was forced to think outside the box!

Can you tell us a little more about the theme and the festival's slogan, "Making the World a Better Place"?

IJB : Cinema is a very powerful medium that impacts society. The tag line "Making the World a Better Place" illustrates how the selected films have a major role in changing the world and making it better! The Chelsea Film Festival's theme is "Global Issues". All films will be followed by a Q&A, which certainly will go beyond the traditional Q&A session.

Can you tell us about the films and how they were selected?  

IJB : Considering the fact that the conditions of eligibility were quite strict (NY Premiere, theme "Global Issues", emerging independent director, etc.), we received a substantial amount of shorts, features and documentaries from all around the world, which we are very grateful for! The electronic submission process started at the end of June and ended mid-September. Every weekend, we had a screening session scheduled, afterwards we filled out a chart with several criteria (topic, picture, music, acting talent, etc.) which was the most fun and most difficult part of organizing the festival! Thank G-d for the films!


More information on the Chelsea Film Festival here.


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