Phillip Kim is the publisher of the iconic Famous Monsters in Filmland magazine and the Director of PR and Programming for the Silver Scream Film & Comic Festival. This is the first year the festival has debuted in his Sonoma County, CA hometown. Interview conducted by Tanya Ruys.
Q: What is the purpose of the Silver Scream Film & Comic Festival? How did it begin?
Kim: The Purpose of the SSFF was to bring something I grew up loving to my hometown. I didn’t know if there was an audience for this but I knew there was enough support to give it a try. I had just had the privilege of exhibiting my film Downstream at the Roxy in 2009. The VP of the company that operates the Roxy, Neil Perlmutter, had said what a huge fan he was of my magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland. One thing led to another and we ended up with the show.
Q: What is your role in this festival?
Kim: My role was PR and Programming.
Q: How long have you been involved?
Kim: Since the beginning.
Q: What does this festival mean to you personally?
Kim: I am very good at understanding the marco market but when it comes to my own backyard, I’m never sure if what I do is something my own community will embrace. So it was a huge thing to have my family and community come support this show.
Q. This year’s first annual Silver Scream Film Festival was hosted at the Roxy 14 cinema. What was the set-up process like??
Kim: I have done many shows around the country. It is usually a very difficult process as we are alone in procuring everything from talent down to the AV equipment. Neil and the whole Roxy team truly took up half the work. It was the smoothest event we had ever held.
Q: How did you select your special guests? What was the process for selection like?
Kim: Neil at the theater actually gave me his short list of his favorite horror icons. I then went to them through my personal relationships or through close friends and extended the invitation. Since FM has a long history with most of the genre celebs, we put that part together with no problems.
Q: How is the festival funded? What kind of support does it receive from local and non-local businesses?
Kim: It was funded initially between Famous Monsters and the Santa Rosa Entertainment Group but we quickly got help from local and national sponsors, including the Santa Rosa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Q: How does this festival support the local economy, if at all?
Kim: It supports the local economy as most of the film entrants are from out of state or international. The hotels and restaurants benefited from these filmmakers. Also, the celebrities appearances will have a long and positive effect on our community as they talk about their experience and hospitality during their visit.
Q: What kind of future do you envision for the Silver Scream Film & Comic Festival?
Kim: We are aiming to be the Sundance of the genre film world. We want to put Santa Rosa on the map.
Q: Do you have any festival stories, anecdotes, or memories you would like to share?
Kim: I remember being extremely tired but running on the fumes of excitement. For a moment, it all became quite in my mind when I saw Rick Baker, John Landis and David Naughton sitting at a table signing and joking with their fans and people enjoying themselves beyond words. I felt happy.
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