Sunday, October 16th, the first annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival came to an end after a jam-packed weekend of screenings and events with an award ceremony and World Premiere screening of festival closer CHILD EATER at Syndicated Theater. Attending filmmaker Jackson Stewart took home the Audience Award for his debut feature BEYOND THE GATES, which screened to a packed room on October 15th.
The first-year festival, which opened October 14th with DEAREST SISTER at the Wythe Hotel Cinema, reported 18 out of 22 events were complete sell-outs with overall attendance and enthusiasm for the fest defying expectations. “The reception that we’ve received from the NYC horror community has absolutely blown me away,“ says festival director Justin Timms. Additional venues that hosted BHFF were Videology, Spectacle, Throne and The Muriel Schulman Theater At Triskelion Arts.
Cinematic highlights of BHFF’s program were two world premieres, the Icelandic/USA joint production CHILD EATER by Erlingur Thoroddsen and locally made PSYCHOTIC! by directors Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons, as well as the US premieres of Lorcan Finnegan’s WITHOUT NAME, Cody Calahan’s LET HER OUT, Nathan Ambrosioni’s THERAPY, Fabien Delage’s FURY OF THE DEMON and the North American premiere of Shaun Robert Smith’s BROKEN. The festival was also thrilled to host best-selling author and renown public speaker Grady Hendrix and his spoken word event SUMMERLAND LOST: A GHOST STORY.
A total of 11 countries were represented in the diverse line-up of 26 shorts and 14 features. “ Horror is in a really exciting place right now, with genre lines being blurred and indie filmmakers from all around the world taking big creative risks, and our lineup tried to capture as wide a range of that as possible,“ says head programmer Matt Barone of the films picked. “ Based on the audience’s feedback throughout the weekend, I know that we’ve succeeded.“
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival announced the winners for the first edition, chosen by the esteemed jurors and through audience votes.
The features jury was composed of Laura Kern (Film Comment editor, Film Society of Lincoln Center programmer), Matt Donato (We Got This Covered film critic) and Sam Zimmerman (Shudder curator).
Best Feature – Without Name – Lorcan Finnegan
Best Director – Without Name – Lorcan Finnegan
Best Actor – Noé Hernández – We Are The Flesh
Best Actress – Angela Trimbur – Trash Fire
Best Cinematography – Piers McGrail, Without Name
Best Editing – Tony Cranstoun – Without Name
Best Effects – Master Cleanse – dir. Bobby Miller
Audience Choice Award – Beyond The Gates – Jackson Stewart
The shorts jury was composed of Eric Walkuski (Arrow In The Head/JoBlo Critic), Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen (Dir. Closing Night Film CHILD EATER) and Jenn Wexler (Glass Eye Pix producer).
Best Short – Pigskin – Jake Hammond
Best Director – Disco Inferno – Alice Waddington
Best Actor – Richard Glover- The Monster
Best Actress – Trieste Kelly Dunn – The Push
Best Cinematography – Zoë White – The Push
Best Editing – Aleksandra Hansen – Pigskin
Best Effects – Gwilliam – dir. Brian Lonano
Best Score – John Carpenter – The Puppet Man
Audience Choice Award – Tilly – Robert Kotecki
Special Jury Award – The Sound Of Blue Green and Red – Joshua Erkman