Heartland Film Festival Summer Rewind – June 26-28, 2014
Heartland Film Festival Summer Rewind showcases some of the best Heartland Film Festival movies of the past in an abbreviated, three-day mini-festival format, giving moviegoers an opportunity to see an enlightening slate of independent films and to meet the filmmakers who crafted them. Today we interview one of the attending filmmakers, Director Jay Gammill. His film, Free Samples, was an official selection at the 2012 Heartland Film Festival.
Jay Gammill is a writer-director based in Los Angeles. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Jay attended college at Baylor University and is a graduate of the MFA Film and Television Production program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. At USC, Jay wrote and directed his thesis short film August, which received recognition at the 2008 Giffoni Film Festival in Italy. He recently completed his feature directorial debut with his film Free Samples, starring Jess Weixler with Jesse Eisenberg. Free Samples premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and was realized in 2013 by Starz/Anchor Bay. Jay also co-edited and co-produced the film. Gammill is currently editing the improvised comedy feature A Better You, directed by Matt Walsh, starring Brian Huskey, Matt Walsh and Horatio Sanz.
Heartland Film Interview
Heartland Film: Can you tell us a little about your overall Heartland Film Festival experience and what you’re looking forward to most about returning to Indy?
Jay Gammill: The people and the films at Heartland are what I’m looking forward to the most. I saw many wonderful and moving films when “Free Samples” screened at the festival in 2012–including the powerful Erasing Hate also playing at the Summer Rewind–so I can’t wait to discover new ones. And the films were equally matched by welcoming, inclusive community at Heartland too, and I look forward to reconnecting with familiar faces and meet new Heartland friends, filmmakers and fans.
Heartland Film: Give us an update on Free Samples since it was shown at Heartland in 2012. Any big news?
Jay Gammill: In 2013, Free Samples had a limited theatrical release in the U.S., and across the globe on demand and DVD. Fans have cropped up on Twitter from the U.K. and Sweden all the way to Brazil. It’s been gratifying to see reactions and love we’ve gotten through the film being out in the world and having a life of its own.
Heartland Film: Heartland Film Festival moviegoers love filmmaker Q&As. Let’s say a Summer Rewind attendee wants to earn some brownie points—what is a question that you’d love to answer, but haven’t yet been asked?
Jay Gammill: I love to answer questions about the story and the characters’ lives before and after the film takes place. I also like to wonder what the film would be like if we followed Jason Ritter’s character and the mischief he’d get in. An opportunity for some fan fiction perhaps?