Derek Sieg – Filmmaker

Posted on November 3, 2014 by


This week, the Virginia Film Festival will once again bring Cville to life, from the hum of crowds entering and exiting screenings to the pop of corn inside theaters. The spirit of film lovers generates an infectious buzz from the Downtown Mall to the University’s Grounds. The Virginia Film Festival 2014 is guaranteed to bring all ages and walks of life together, seated side-by-side in front of the big screen.

In 2012, Cville Niche featured 25 Faces of the Virginia Film Festival, and in 2013, we created quick lists for movie-goers. This year, Cville Niche is checking in with The Makers of the Virginia Film Festival, spotlighting directors, actors and actresses, casting directors, production crew, panelists – the people who make film something to celebrate. Stay tuned this week as we share The Makers of the Virginia Film Festival.

First up: local filmmaker, Derek Sieg. From opening the 2006 Virginia Film Festival with his film Swedish Auto to mentoring the Adrenaline Film Project, Derek is a story teller at heart. Keep an eye out for his upcoming film in 2015, Hot Air, which just wrapped this summer.

Read more interviews from The Makers of the Virginia Film Festival series »

Derek Sieg

derek sieg headshotShare your story. How did you get into filmmaking?

I’m a born and bred resident of Charlottesville and have always wanted to tell stories. I wrote a script for a short film while living in San Francisco and roped my friend’s into helping me make it. The resulting film was a lot less than great, but I was hooked. I’ve been writing and developing films ever since.

What drove you to pursue a career in film direction and production? Talk about your passions and any advice you have for the next generation of filmmakers.

It comes back to just loving the process of crafting and telling stories. I think if you really love the process that’s enough to pursue filmmaking, because, as everyone knows, success in filmmaking is hard to come by, but if you love the process it’s its own reward.

Describe your relationship with the Virginia Film Festival, in years past and/or in the current 2014 festival.

My first feature film [Swedish Auto] opened the 2006 film festival, which was an incredible experience. To have something I did be seen and appreciated by people I grew up with and in the Paramount – I’ll never forget that. This year and the past two years I’ve been a mentor with the Adrenaline Film Project, which is so cool in a whole different way.

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

Not as many as I’d like. I moved away from Charlottesville for ten years and only moved back three years ago. But I don’t plan to miss many in the future.

What sets the Virginia Film Festival apart from other film festivals?

It’s personal without being quaint. The films are of a very high standard, yet the whole thing has a very approachable quality to it.

Finish this sentence (be creative!). Filmmaking to me is…

awesome. Damn, I blew it.

What films are you excited about seeing this year at the Virginia Film Festival?

The Adrenaline shorts!

Where do you go for a quick bite in Cville between screenings?

Rev Soup.

Where do you go for a post-film screening drink?

Whiskey Jar.

Dinner and a movie VFF 2014 weekend – What local eatery would you recommend for dinner?

Bizou. The film posters keep you in the mood.