We are proud to announce Official Selections for the 2014 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. Our fourth annual festival is our biggest yet… with 63 films at 6 locations across Brooklyn over 4 days, including:
– 23 World Premieres
– 6 US/ Premieres
– 8 East Coast Premieres
– 3 NYC Premieres
– 18 Brooklyn Premieres
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Drama, 90 Min. USA
Directed by Nick Sicurella
Behind Closed Doors follows three main storylines that are interwoven into a complex web of mystery and truth which takes place in a small, quiet Long Island town. Tiffany and John’s college relationship is put to the test when John discovers Tiffany’s obscure perspective about love. Larry, an elderly man suffering from Alzeihmer’s, lives a simple life with his daughter Natalie, who’s constantly fighting for their financial survival. Paul, an elementary school principal, has gained respect not only from his place of work but at home for being a loving family man. These seemingly unrelated stories collide when one horrifying event sends their lives into a whirlwind of chaos.
FOUND IN TIME
Sci-Fi, 90 min. USA
Directed by Arthur Vincie
Chris is a psychic who experiences his life out of order – he “slips” uncontrollably between the past, present and future. When he commits a murder in the future he realizes he has to change his present and past to prevent it from happening. But how can he do that if he’s not even sure of “when” he is?
Suspense/Horror/Noir, 92 min. USA
Directed by John Hawthorne Smith
East Coast Premiere
Eli Casey, an up-and-coming photographer and recovering heroin addict, implodes after his son is kidnapped. He separates from his wife. He stops working. He gives up. As a favor to his agent, Eli begrudgingly agrees to shoot a wedding. While there, he takes a picture of a suspicious couple who offer to bribe him in return for deleting certain photos. Eli refuses. The next day, Eli discovers that the flower girl at the wedding disappeared and Eli sets out to conquer his demons and save the girl.
Comedy, 92 min. USA
Directed by Viviana Leo
A Puerto Rican network awards a young native actress her own show, documenting her quick rise to success in New York. Her only problem: she’s white.
CONEY ISLAND DREAMS FOR SALE
Documentary, 81 min. USA
Directed by Alessandra Giordano
Coney Island, the once magnificent “Playground of the World” has survived many battles, but now faces its greatest enemy: corporate greed. Center stage in the passionate struggle to protect the amusement park from an unscrupulous developer and a group of misguided politicians is Dianna Carlin, owner of the celebrated Lola Star boutique,and newly turned political activist. This modern day David and Goliath tale chronicles the courage and determination of a community to preserve the spirit and authenticity of a legendary American Icon and an entire way of life in the face of “Big Money” and ruthless real estate development.
Documentary, 82 min. USA
Directed by Laura Brownson & Beth Levison
Three-time felon, one-time Tony Award winner, Lemon Andersen is an acclaimed poet who broke out on Broadway in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. But Lemon has landed back in the Brooklyn projects, is living with thirteen family members, and is desperate for a way out. He turns to the only things he has left, his pen and his story. A beautifully crafted film, LEMON follows one man’s journey to bring his life story to the stage while battling the demons from his past. Featuring a surprise turn by Spike Lee and music by Hip-hop phenoms Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and others, this documentary debut personalizes the anguish of a generation of men clinging to the margins but fighting for something more.
BEYOND THE WALLS
Documentary, 92 min. USA
Directed by Gayle Embrey
Throughout the world, people instinctively go to the walls, painting their stories to give voice to their life experiences. Beyond The Walls brings to life the struggles and successes, through the creation of murals, in the West Bank, Northern Ireland, Liberia, El Salvador, Argentina, Australia, and the United States.
Documentary, 83 min. USA
Directed by James Crotty
East Coast Premiere
Told with humor and suspense, and shot in a gritty verite style reflecting its unvarnished South Bronx milieu, CROTTY’S KIDS follows five Eagle Academy debaters as they evolve from content-light amateurs to critical thinking heavyweights. However, debate is only an ongoing McGuffin to the heart of the story: young men in search of an intellectual father figure. Coach Crotty arrives in their lives with the clock running out. In two years, the young men of Eagle are likely to become grist for a staggering statistic: 50% or urban males never graduate high school. Will they defy the statistic that brought Crotty to them in the first place?
Graves of Arthur Kill
Documentary, 32 min. USA
Directed by Will Van Dorp
Though it’s been described as an “accidental museum,” the graveyard of ships at New York City’s southernmost point isn’t on any tourism maps. The site is owned by a metal recycling company and visitors are turned away. But this bone yard begs for attention. Rusty tugboats sit lopsided in its muddy waters. Rotting wooden skeletons of old barges dot the shoreline. Collectively, these crumbling vessels seem like haunting maritime sculptures in a massive art installation.
HERD IN ICELAND
Documentary, 28 min. Iceland/USA
Directed by Lindsay Blatt
Herd In Iceland is a documentary about the annual round-up of the Icelandic horse. During the summer months, they live a wild existence, grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Each fall, they are rounded up by local farmers and directed across the stunning landscape. The film documents the herders as they collect their horses across the island’s remote terrain. This valued tradition is a social and cultural touchstone for both the farmers who own the horses and the city dwellers who travel to the countryside to participate. The horse holds a precious place in Icelandic culture, art and tradition; for over 1,000 years Icelandic law has prohibited the importation of horses onto the island. Herd has received ten festival awards.
JUST PASSING THROUGH
Documentary, 21 min. Australia
Directed by Thomas Hyland & Sean Fennessy
Just Passing Through is a straight-up, stylish snapshot of life as a full-time musician in Australia. Three of Australia most respected artists (Gareth Liddiard, Sarah Blasko, Paul Dempsey) speak candidly about the challenges they face from finances to fatigue – as grow older through the murks of the music industry. Director Thomas Hyland coaxes his subjects to reveal their most intimate ‘3am thoughts’ – the kind of conversations musicians only have amongst themselves. It’s a confronting and fascinating dissection of an industry where the business side is often swept under the smoke machine. This is fame and fortune Australia style – unglamorous and hardly secure.
HOW GREAT IT WAS (Mooi Geweest)
Documentary, 35 min. The Netherlands
Directed by Ilja Willems
HOW GREAT IT WAS is a film about an aging men’s field hockey team from the south of the Netherlands that has been playing together for over 50 years. Most of the guys are approaching the age of 70. They decided to play their very last game together. It is a film about male friendships, getting older and not being capable to do all the stuff they used to do. But fortunately, growing old is easier when you are doing it together. It is a portrait of a team of friends with all their different personalities. The film evolves around the very last field hockey game of their lives.
Under The Bus
Documentary, 47 min. USA
Directed by Keif Roberts & Peter J. Haas
Anthony has driven a school bus in Staten Island, New York for twenty-four years. His plans to retire suddenly grind to a halt when the Union (ATU 1181) goes on strike in response to a contract dispute with the City of New York. The film follows Anthony and his fellow drivers to the picket line, where they find themselves battling harsh winter weather, a media blackout, Union politics and a Mayor who refuses to negotiate. When the City puts Anthony and the driver’s jobs out to bid, a tense atmosphere erupts as non-union ‘replacement drivers’ start crossing the picket lines. As the strike drags on, many workers fear they will have to leave their Unionized jobs in order to support their families.
Documentary, 21 min. Vietnam/USA
Directed by Joan Widdifield
Rainy Season is an intimate story about a family’s unexpected change of fate, set in the larger context of post-war Vietnam. A rubber tree-farming family comes to grips with life after their youngest son finds a leftover American mortar while searching for grasshoppers. With unprecedented access and shot over five years, Rainy Season captures the land’s sumptuous beauty and reveals the far-reaching sorrow that it harbors.
SPOKE: A Short Film About NYC Bikes
Documentary, 15 min. USA
Directed by Heather Quinlan
SPOKE is about NYC Bikes – the good, the bad, and the needs improvement. Featuring interviews w/reporters, city workers, sanitation workers, lawyers, and people who love bikes but not bike lanes, love bikes but not CitiBikes, people who want to scrap the whole thing altogether, and people who wouldn’t change a thing.
THE SUBWAY EXPERIMENT
Documentary, 7 min. USA
Directed by Patrick Armitage
It has been said that everyone has a story. In New York City, we are surrounded by millions of these stories every day, but how often are you granted the opportunity to really connect with a complete stranger? We spent one day looking for someone willing to share their story with us, and returned with surprising results.
Comedy, 15 min. USA
Directed by Jean Pesce
Mr. Lamb is Jean Pesce’s NYU – Tisch School of the Arts pre-thesis film. It is a dark comedy about a diner waitress named Myrna, who is in love with her pen pal — the convicted murderer, Charles Lamb. Myrna is convinced of his innocence and their mutual love. When Mr. Lamb escapes from prison and shows up at Myrna’s door, her dreams of romance turn into a violent nightmare – involving a can of chili.
SLOW AND STEADY
Drama, 11 min. USA
Directed by Annie Kaempfer
Max is on a mission to make this Christmas with her father a success, but a one-night stand and an untimely death might prove too much to handle.
Suspense/Horror/Noir, 36 min. USA
Directed by Motoko Fukuyama
Daughter wakes from a nightmare in which a group of girls are chasing after her shadow. Over the following days Mother’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic in response to signs of daughters burgeoning sexual maturity and desire for independence. Pan, an elf-like intruder, appears one evening in Daughter’s bedroom and seduces her. During their second encounter, both of their shadows separate from their bodies, terrifying Daughter. Mother scolds Daughter for losing her shadow and violently re-attaches it to her. The following evening, as Pan and Daughter are making love, Mother intrudes and stabs Pan in the back as he climaxes. Liberated, Daughter walks out of the house the next morning into the daylight – without a shadow.
Drama, 11 min. USA
Directed by Paul Bland
RESCUE follows a girl as she struggles to come out from behind her camera and connect with the world that she has been capturing in frozen images.
Drama, 24 mi. USA
Directed by Brian McCann
East Coast Premiere
Jeremy is a realist. He believes in what he can see and what can be empirically proven, but a string of events in his life cause him to falter in his skepticism. He wonders if the odd events in his life are somehow related or if it is just his mind making connections where there are none. Once he starts to seriously consider one scenario he would have once considered implausible it becomes hard for him to a draw the line between what is possible and what isn’t.
THEMES FROM A ROSARY
Drama, 22 min. USA
Directed by Donari Braxton
T-FAR stories the fall from grace of two wavering creatives, Moise and Andelise. Moise, an anonymous, would-be genius whose hobby is to reconstruct model replicas of bombs, is struggling to make peace with the sudden rise-to-fame of his photographer girlfriend, Andie. Aware of her recent distance, and of the suspicious relationship she maintains with art-collector and mentor Choggys West, he commits to a somewhat unlikely undertaking: to build the world’s first functional homemade nuclear weapon. And as he professedly nears successful completion of his project, Andie, caught between, must decide whether she believes Moise mad, and therefore should help him, or if she believes in him enough conversely that she should take action to stop him.
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 11 min, USA
Directed by James G Barry
Lady Bird’s Eye View is the on-line pseudonym that belongs to a young beautiful amateur photographer. As she walks through the city she posts pictures of street art in various forms and states of decay. In Sunny Day she has garnered the attention of another photographer. One who seems to have a decidedly different purpose and technique.
Comedy, 13 min. USA
Directed by Sammy James, Jr.
Desperate to get his music to the masses, high-strung bandleader Dom demands relentless rehearsing! Between practice and perfect, however, lies a minefield of egos, ineptitude, and attitude problems.
Comedy, 27 min. USA
Directed by Aaron Wolf
Lance Wesley lost his job and fiancee on the same day. Depressed and downtrodden, he moves back into his parents’ Guesthouse where he spent his youth. As he fights constantly with his frustrated and less-than-patient father, relics from his past pay him a visit. Will his past propel him forward?
Milk and Honey
Drama, 23 min. USA
Directed by Daniel F Pfeffer
East Coast Premiere
On her fifteenth birthday, Maya Rivera makes the ultimate decision to run away from her abusive foster home. She confesses her escape plans to her loyal boyfriend, Josiah, but little does she know her crazed and jealous stepbrother, Johnny, is hot on their trail.
WAITING FOR MOLLY
Drama, 12 min. USA
Directed by Jesse Knight
A troubled woman with a mysterious past and a packed suitcase waits for her friend. But the more she says the clearer it is that something is wrong. Who is she? Why is she lying? And who, or what is she waiting for? Waiting For Molly is a taut psychological portrait of a woman on the edge of her own sanity searching for meaning and humanity among strangers. It’s a story about lies, desire, trying to find truth.
Suspense/Horror/Noir, 15 min. USA
Directed by Christopher Soren Kelly
Somewhere on the back roads of the Louisiana Bayou, the half-mad and blood-soaked Louis Chasseur, hunts the devil. Instead Chasseur encounters the Devil’s lawyer, weasely Mycroft Coney. In a biblical battle of wills, fast-talking Mycroft fights for his life as the conscienceless Chasseur pumps him for information on the Devil. Eventually, Chasseur gets what he wants…. and more.
Drama, 11 min. USA
Directed by Jeff Wolfe
One mans journey of forgiveness. David Lyons (Safe Haven, Revolution) plays Thomas Walker, a man hounded by personal demons and inner turmoil who has lived long enough with the scars of his past. Stephen Collins (7Th Heaven, Blood Diamond) is the Priest he visits to clear his conscience and discover exactly what it means to find forgiveness… or to give it.
Drama, 20 min. USA
Directed by Eliza McNitt
A young Navajo girl must find a way to heat her home in order to save her asthma-stricken mother from a bitter winter storm.
Drama, 18 min. USA
Directed by Craig Young & Marc Cleary
Today is a big day: it’s aged drag queen Pepper’s estranged son’s birthday, who disowned her 20 years ago for her lifestyle choices. A chance meeting with Charlie, an 8 year old reminds her about the family she left behind and the importance of making amends, or at least trying to.
Film As Art, 13 min. Japan
Directed by TOOWAII
There were a lazy man and a nervous woman. They started quarrel. When a nervous woman couldn’t forgive a man, The scene changed. And they started fighting again by the sound that the musician was playing.
YOUR MOTHER IS A FB
Comedy, 15 min. USA
Directed by Lorenzo Del Bianco
Bizarre homeless people are the soul of New York. It is the whistle of a crazy homeless man that introduces us to one of the million stories he sees as he wanders through the city. It is a simple story. One of many. A night in Brooklyn. It is the story of Beaumont, a young man who is in love with his extravagant glasses and bike and who gets angry at all the people that don’t respect him. Very angry.
AN HONORABLE MAN
Drama, 15 min. USA
Directed by Harrison P. Crown and William G. Utley
Father McCully, an old priest who resents his position in the Catholic Church, arrives at a funeral to give a eulogy to find nobody is present. While giving the eulogy, he examines the man’s possible life and discovers he has met him before.
BODIES IN IRREVERSIBLE DETRIMENT
Drama, 25 min. USA
Directed by Ben Lazarus
East Coast Premiere – Starring David Johansen and Mark Margolis
Horatio has Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a condition in which people seek to amputate appendages to make themselves feel “whole”. He joins a group for dealing with the affliction, thus meeting Sarah, a quirky BIID sufferer. Both lives intertwine in an attempt to find themselves, while making sense of their disorder and their environment. But in life, trying to deal with an issue will always bring about multiple solutions. One hasty decision can change the course of your life for better or…
THE DUMPING FIELDS
Drama, 30 min. USA
Directed by Juliana Puyo
The Dumping Fields is a film about serial killers and the exploration of this facet of the human nature. It’s a thriller that keeps you guessing about who the killer is and the lengths that he will go to hide his identity… even if the biggest surprise will be for him.
THE MASTER CLEANSE
Comedy, 15 min. USA
Directed by Daniel Goldberg
Welcome to Manifest Refuge, Brooklyn’s most transformative commune. Founded in 1996 by Dr. Emma Horowitz in a Park Slope brownstone, its members are as diverse as the neighborhood itself. But they all have one thing in common: The Master Cleanse. Jim, an outsider, thinks commune member Brook might be the love of his life, but will this seemingly innocuous ritual stand between them? As Jim learns more about Brook’s “soul friends” and their shared right of passage, he gradually begins to realize what he suspected all along: The Master Cleanse has nothing to do with cayenne, lemon, and maple syrup.
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 12 min. Norway
Directed by Morgan Davidsen
East Coast Premiere
Anna is in New York to become a dancer. In her pursuit of a dream, she has no other choice and know no other way. A short film about the artistic ambition that drives towards a goal sometimes on the verge of fatigue and madness. Anna’s dream is somewhat not hers only, but all of ours who strive for something. Not all are dancers or artists, but many of us have an extra urge to show who we are and what we can do. In a way we are doomed. We don’t have a choice. We are living our lives in Inquietude.
Suspense/Horror/NoiR , 30 min. France
Directed by Karim Ouaret
Terry is a psychologically disturbed predator whose sinister playground is a laundromat. He thinks he is the hero of a comic book that is reading: “Terry Laurence, Gentleman Gangster.” That’s when his memory playing tricks on him. Terry is a victim of an unknown phenomenon that literature considers as a “Lapsus Memoriae,” or a slip of memory.
VELOMA, OVER THE WATER
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 17 min. France / Madagascar
Directed by Raphaël Holt
East Coast Premiere
I found 8mm footage, shot at the time of my mother’s youth in Madagascar. Probably an experimental documentary, this film is a visual essay on melancholy. I worked with the choreographer and dancer Aina Alegre. Together, we tried to explore melancholy through a character who grew up in Madagascar and then came to live in France without ever feeling complete. Her body became a form through which these images could be reshaped. Since the very begining it was clear that a sense of coldness would be part of the film, here linked to a feeling of disapearance. When we started to shoot, snow fell down and I realized it was a visual incarnation of melancholy.
THE BUTCHER’S DOZEN
Dark Comedy/Drama, 15 min USA
Directed by Eirin Strickland
East Coast Premiere
This is a fable about a six toed butcher, a prostitute and a fisherwoman who all confront their own shortcomings and struggles with a life that has not always dealt them the best of cards. An unlikely love story and struggle of individuals to take control of their own destinies. This audacious, inspiring and zany tale takes place all in one act near the beautiful and scenic harbor that have brought them all together.
Super-Short Films (10 min. and under)
GAMMA HAZE “BODIES”
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 5 min. USA
Directed by Ian Cinco
In this hypnotic music video a mystic and three entrancing priestesses perform a bizarre ritual. Through the juxtaposition of grotesque and beautiful imagery, one can experience both a viscerally evocative exploration of the physical body and a meditation on the transformative ability of the human psyche.
Suspense/Horror/Noir, 6 min. USA
Directed by Jesse Burks
Mommy and Daddy love you…very, very much. Starring Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes.)
Comedy, 10 min. USA
Directed by Kevin McMullin
A boy finds a dinosaur in the woods, but no one believes him.
Film As Art/Comedy, 2 min. USA
Directed by Pietro Cocco
The video was born out of the want to display the reality in which I was living for a few months. Even if the fashion in the movie is playing a fundamental role in developing the story I wouldn’t call it a “proper” fashion film because it wasn’t born to promote any fashion brand. The “everyday life” scenes try to tell the story of Bushwick, a prominently Hispanic neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. I wanted to highlight normal situations and chose to make it revolve around a hypothetic ice cream truck and the communication between locals. As I often do in my videos, I try to add a surprise element to the story and in this case it’s a girl named Florencia.
L IS FOR LOSER
Comedy, 5 min. USA
Directed by Matthew Strickland
New Yorker Kevin becomes obsessed with a girl on the L train. As he watches her he begins to realize he’s not the only one enthralled by her.
A LIFE WITH ASPERGER’S
Animation, 4 min. USA
Directed by Jaime Ekkens
“A Life with Asperger’s” is an animated documentary that explores the challenges of growing up and living with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a voice over narrative that demonstrates that Asperger’s is not simply “being a little awkward,” rather it is about adapting to one’s limitations in the face of anxiety and isolation. The technique is a collage of photography, rotoscope, animated characters and live action footage.
Drama, 8 min. USA
Directed by Irina Patkanian
Overnight a man turns his family home into a military stronghold fortified with machine guns, barbwire, and barricades. He is completely sane and not alone.
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOMMY CHAOS AND STACY DANGER
Sci-Fi/Comedy, 10 min. USA
Directed by Michael Lukk Litwak
“The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger” is a short film about true love and dinosaurs. A drunk person once described it as “a cross between Blue Valentine and Jurassic Park.”
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 8 min. USA
Directed by Venise Stephenson
A woman meets a stranger on the beach and goes for a seductive, dangerous swim.
THE DAHL HOUSE
Sci-Fi, 8 min. USA
Directed by Jason Markowitz and Zac Grant
If Walt Disney entered The Twilight Zone, this would be it! Trapped inside a bunker, a father tries desperately to help his son, who suffers from a lack of friends
INDIA: A TOURIST’S VIEW
Documentary, 4 min. USA
Directed by Joanna Belbey
In 2012, a couple travels to India for the first time. From protests in New Delhi, to the joy of the Taj Mahal, from ancient villages, to luxury spas, they spend much of their vacation dazed and confused, trying to take it all in. Processing it. Fighting it. Accepting it. To this couple, India is a jumble of images, sounds and smells that they struggle to understand. This 4-minute short film attempts to recreate what these Westerners feel when they experience India for the first time.
Drama, 8 min. USA
Directed by Seth Graves and Gianna Isabella
Balance is a drama with supernatural overtones about Justina, a mysterious and potent young woman who moves seamlessly through intertwined characters to bring the downfall of one with consequences—both good and bad—to others.
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 5 min. USA
Directed by Beth Portnoy
Backed into a corner, a woman tries to expand from her confined position. As she wades through her possibilities, new versions of herself are revealed; reflections that are recognized and powers that are yet to be discovered. a film by Beth Portnoy choreographed & performed by Eleanor Hullihan music by Frères Lumières © 2013
Sci-Fi, 15 min. France
Directed by Youcef Mahmoudi
In a KGB bunker, the day after man landed on the Moon, a woman with psychic powers gets brainwashed to kill the head of NASA.
Comedy/Mockumentary, 5 min. USA
Directed by Artie Brennan
Gowanus Galpagos is a short documentary that shows the distant relatives that inhabit the coastal waters of The Galapagos Islands and Brooklyn’s Gowanus canal. Darwin himself would be shocked to see how different these creatures are. Is man the cause?
HOW YOU DOIN’ BOY? VOICEMAILS FROM GRAN’PA
Film As Art (Experimental/Avant-Garde), 4 min. USA
Directed by William D. Caballero
In this comedic character-driven hybrid short film, a miniature elderly Latino Gran’pa sits next a rustic rotary phone, leaving a quirky voicemail in broken English to his grandson Davy. Through a serious of a few voicemails, which range from birthday wishes to folksy advice about how to garner respect and get ahead in life, Gran’pa begins to express frustration at Davy’s lack of communication. Finally, the phone finally rings with Davy on the line as the credits roll.
NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY
Animation, 7 min. Australia
Directed by Ben & Josh McCarthy
Mr Worthington loves Hobnob biscuits but so do the mice that live within his walls. The traps are baited and Mr Worthington waits for the kill. But these movie-mad mice only see the traps as a chance to dress up as their favourite movie heroes and steal the bait. However, Mrs Worthington has a secret weapon….