Take Five Nino Simone

Take Five! Nino Simone

Take Five! with Nino Simone

by Shameran Hanna 

We chatted with Nino Simone, the founder and President of the Beverly Hills Film Festival (#thebhfilmfest) about the 15th celebration. 

  • SH: What can we expect from this year’s Festival?

Nino S: Fantastic screenings, high-caliber judges and jury and an exceptional venue for screenings at The Paley Center for Media. And hopefully, continue to fulfill the objectives of exceptional independent filmmakers on a national and global level.

  • SH: What is your record for number of films watched in a single day?

NS: The number of screenings scheduled for viewing may vary, but I have sat down for a record 20 films in a row, ranging in different genres. I’ve probably watched over 10,000 films over the last 15 years. And yes, I need to wear glasses.

  • SH: How do you break between watching films?

NS: I go on walks. Get fresh air. It’s always nice to clear my mind before sitting down again and screening a new film, a mental-reset button.

  • SH: Favorite movie-watching snack?

NS: It can range from coffee, vodka, or a nice cigar. Sometimes cup o’ noodles.

  • SH: Do you screen a piece of work twice, or is it love-at-first sight?

NS: Oh Yea, of course. I can screen work multiple times, allowing for filtering and narrowing down. I do allow myself to step away from a project and come back to it again, to get a full picture. The good ones usually require a re-screening; like watching a very intense motion-picture, it always gets better the second or third time around. Eventually they get filtered into the selection committee’s hands for further consideration.

  • SH: The success of the festival the last decade-and-half has made you an inspiration to countless artists and filmmakers. Who is your hero?

NS: The Late Beautitude, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.