The 2023 AoBFF was one to remember — for its energy, support, and growth.
Our 13th edition saw us expand again, adding new venues across Brooklyn to our scope. It was our first time at the independent Stuart Cinema in Greenpoint (where we screened 2 sold-out premieres), and the gorgeous AbelCine screening room in Industry City where we welcomed hundreds of audience members. We were also thrilled to be back at the wonderful Katharine L. McKenna screening room at Pratt Film/Video for the first time since the pandemic. And we kicked it all off with the sold-out opening night World Premiere of MOTHER OF ALL SHOWS — joined by its star, comedy legend Wendie Malick — for our second year at the legendary Cobble Hill Cinemas. We also added a second free outdoor park screening (at Bay Ridge's Owl's Head Park) which joined our annual event on the main lawn of Sunset Park as our gifts to the community. And last but not least, we returned to Chilo's Greenwood for our world-famous launch party.
Our trademark Guest Festival Director program also grew this year. Instead of inviting one Brooklyn filmmaker to curate our season, we worked with four talented people: Shannon Morrall (narrative shorts), Janet S. Kim (documentaries), and the filmmaking team of Stacey Maltin and Mars (narrative features.)
It all added up to an incredibly strong and diverse slate of over 50 films with 5 sold-out in-person screenings! All our selections had a streaming Encore Screening, with special discounted ticket pricing. This program increased festival accessibility for fans who weren't able to attend in person (or couldn't because a screening sold out) but still wanted to support AoBFF and enjoy our films.
Our streaming panel discussions grew too. Thanks to our friends at MNN, we were able to film a special intimate conversation between legendary filmmaker Christine Choy, and our 2023 Guest Festival Director for Documentaries, Janet S. Kim. We also streamed a timely conversation about the WGA strike, and an interview with award-winning filmmaker Eric Trenkamp and his new book about how genre films perpetuate ideas about what it means to be an American.
Our screenplay competition also grew! Our entries more than tripled from 2022 with great scripts from around the world. The prize package we offer writers also got bigger thanks to our partnerships with InkTip, Roadmap Writers, ScriptHop, Fade In software and more.
The growing support of The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs, plus sponsorship of Sony this year, made it possible for us to produce an event worthy of our nonprofit mission and our commitment to independent filmmakers.
Our profile grew as well. We were able to run our first TV commercial in the NYC market, aired over 60,000 times for local viewers. Even our social media grew, as we surpassed 3,000 instagram followers and had thousands of post views leading up to and during the festival.
All our growth culminated in a wonderful festival, filled with supportive energy, enthusiasm and love. We want to thank every artist who took part, as we announce those who took home our handmade trophies featuring an image of our "Cameranaut" as interpreted by artist Ian Cinco.
Thank you to everyone who entered, participated, and attended. See you soon!
Winners of the 2023 AoBFF
Outstanding Cinematography: MARTYR OF A FORGOTTEN DREAM
Outstanding Sound: MISPRINT
Outstanding Editing: 300 HOURS
Outstanding Musical Score: STILLNESS
Outstanding Ensemble Performance: $ BROKE BOI
Outstanding Performance in a Narrative Short: Alexandra Rey in GOOD GIRL
Outstanding Performance in a Narrative Feature: Kerry Lacy in ARTIST UNKNOWN
Outstanding Animation: HANDWRITTEN
The Dark Side Award: THE BUTTON GAME
The Vanguard Award: AGITA
Outstanding Comedy: HOLD TO DASH
Outstanding Drama: HAKONIWA
Outstanding Short Documentary: THREE LESSONS (HOW TO SHOOT A GUN)
Outstanding Feature Documentary: THE FORGOTTEN OCCUPATION: JIM CROW GOES TO HAITI
Outstanding Director of a Narrative Short: Edward Worthy for REAR
Outstanding Director of a Narrative Feature: Melissa D'Agostino for MOTHER OF ALL SHOWS
Outstanding Narrative Short: FLOPPIES
Outstanding Narrative Feature: MOTHER OF ALL SHOWS
Outstanding Screenplay: GODFOR, written by Pablo Torroella
Jury Prize: ARTIST UNKNOWN
Audience Choice: THE FORGOTTEN OCCUPATION: JIM CROW GOES TO HAITI
Watch our Filmmaker acceptance videos here.
Get the latest news from The Art of Brooklyn and Brooklyn On Demand!