SXSW 2011 Filmmaker Spotlight: Max Weissberg


Film Title: Room 4 Rent

Category: narrative short

Your name: Max Weissberg

Your relationship to the film: writer/director/producer/editor

Elevator pitch: The film is about the problem of finding a place to live in new york city--- not an easy task. It's about a girl looking to rent a place from a guy, and she's not quite sure if she wants to live with a dude. Things are pretty awkward until they discover that they both love to dance. If you like dancing, you'll love "Room 4 Rent."

Previous festival experience: I was the co-producer of Hotel Gramercy Park, a documentary feature, which premiered at Tribeca in 2008. I am also in the film. The doc is about the hotel which my grandfather owned for 40 years and where my family lived. The hotel attracted a lot of rock stars which my family knew and the drug culture had a negative effect on us -- overdoses, suicides, and guns stored in the basement. In 2003, Ian schrager (of Studio 54 fame) bought the place.My experience at tribeca was good, but it's different when you're just the co-producer, not the producer or director.

As a submitting filmmaker, what has surprised you (pleasantly or unpleasantly) about the film festival process? Submitting to film festivals is surprisingly expensive. Second tier festivals can ask up to $100 to watch your film, and they probably only watch the first 10 minutes.

What attracted you to SXSW and what excites you most about having your film selected to play there? I know that SXSW launched the career of Joe Swanberg, among others. I think with Sundance being such a major star-studded event these days, it's up to SXSW to find the filmmakers who can still put something together that's watchable with the change in their couch. SXSW appreciates the filmmakers who can squeeze a nickel into a dime.

When and where does your film play at SXSW? Sunday, March 13th at 6:15pm at Alamo Lamar B Theatre, Monday March 14th at 4pm at Arbor Theatre, Wednesday, March 16th at 4:15pm at Alamo Lamar A Theatre and Thursday, March 17th at 8pm at Alamo Lamar B Theatre