One of our favorite AoBFF alumni, the 4" tall Gran'pa, is getting ready to make his debut on HBO Latino. We wanted to know more about the artist who helped bring him to life so we sat down with artist Chang Kim to learn how it all came about.
Congratulations... the work you did director William D. Caballero is going to be air on HBO Latino on this September!
Chang: Yes! The project Gran'pa Knows Best started as a web-series. However, HBO saw the project within a month of its online launch, and were super-interested in it. To make a long story short, it is going to air on 16th of this September and I’m so excited about it. It’ll be on HBO Now, as well.
How did your collaboration with William begin?
Chang: Well, actually I met him on Mandy. I was looking for talented directors working in animation, and those in search of someone who could do 3D modeling. It was the right timing for both of us. Soon after I saw his previous works like Seed Story (which won the Vanguard Award at the 2013 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival), I just felt that I met the right person for my next project. Together, we finally worked on the short film 'How You Doin’ Boy? Voicemails From Gran’pa’, which won the Best Animation Award at the 2014 AoBFF. That was just beginning and now our Gran’pa is going to be air on HBO Latino.
How did you became a 3D modeler and what is your background ?
My background is painting. I started drawing since when I was very young and I also really liked sculpting as well, I remember that one time wen I was very little, I sculpted a snow man shaped like Donald Duck with my mother’s kitchen knife and everybody in my neighborhood loved it. I believe that experience make me to think about entertaining people with my skills.
After I studied painting in my college I was getting more and more intension to be working in digital sculpting and visual art, so I came to New York to study more and finally I found digital sculpting and 3D modeling was the best fit to me.
What other projects have worked on?
One of the most successful work I’ve done before the Gran’Pa series is the short animated film 'Tumbleweed Tango’ at Humble in 2012. It’s a story about two balloon dogs who dance a dangerous tango through a cactus-filled desert.
Want to work with Chang? Get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would YOU shave your head for money?
Blade #1, the award-winning documentary about a group of women paid to shave their heads in response to a Craigslist ad, is now available for streaming exclusively on Brooklyn On Demand. Created and produced by the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, BKOD is the world's only streaming platform dedicated to Brookyn-centric indie films, original series and more. Half of each rental goes directly to the filmmaker.
Documentary, 42 min. Directed by Zuzka Kurtz
Struggling financially, 5 NYC dancers respond to a Craigslist ad offering large amounts of money to women for shaving their heads. The film focuses on Cori, a dancer whose unusual childhood comes into play as the women's relationship with the men evolves with surprising results. The first film from NYC-based director Zuzka Kurtz, Blade #1 was produced, shot, and edited in Brooklyn. Cori Kresge, the main subject, is a Brooklynite as are most of the dancers featured. The film was produced by the Brooklyn studio, Oscillating Pictures using an entirely local, Brooklyn-based crew.
WINNER: Best Short Documentary - The 2015 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (World Premiere)
WINNER: Best Feature Documentary - 2015 NYLA International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 NYC Independent Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Time and Space Ltd.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Milan International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Time and Space TSL
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Roma Cinema DOC
First, there was the short film "How You Doin' Boy? Voicemails from Gran'pa" which had its NYC Premiere at the 2014 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. (And took home the Best Animation award to boot.)
But Gran'pa was too big for just one film, so he became a web series.
Now, the world's tiniest abuelo will be doling out advice for two seasons on HBO Latino via a “first of its kind” acquisition deal for interstitial programming between creator William D. Caballero and HBO.
Free Movies! Brooklyn On Demand adds new indies and vintage classics to its expanding catalog of Brooklyn-centric films.
Brooklyn On Demand — the world's only streaming platform dedicated to films with a Brooklyn connection — has added Free movies to its catalog of exclusive indie rentals.
BKOD, which is produced by The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, offers independent filmmakers a choice in how they market their work after they've completed their festival run. The site features exclusive Premium titles (50% of each rental goes back to the filmmaker) and a growing list of free flicks from filmmakers who prefer not to charge for views.
Joining the new indies are 'Classic Cuts'; vintage public domain films that have a Brooklyn connection via cast, crew or theme. Some are classics and some are classicly bad... and they're all free.
The Art of Brooklyn continues to explore new ways for a 21st century film festival to be relevant and provide value for indie artists and audiences.. Look for another new Brooklyn On Demand announcement coming soon!
3 theaters at 2 locations today, stretching from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights to PS/IS 30 Mary White Ovington School in Bay Ridge. Documentaries, comedies, dramas, even a Western and an 80's slasher flick!
FRIDAY MAY 15
3PM Founders Hall Theater
Documentary, 42 min. USA Directed by Zuzka Kurtz Brooklyn Premiere
Struggling financially, 5 NYC dancers respond to a Craigslist ad offering large amounts of money to women for shaving their heads. The film focuses on Cori, a dancer whose unusual childhood comes into play as the women’s relationship with the men evolves with surprising results.
Brooklyn Connection: The first film from NYC-based director Zuzka Kurtz, Blade #1 was produced, shot, and edited in Brooklyn. Cori Kresge, the main subject, is a Brooklynite as are most of the dancers featured. The film was produced by the Brooklyn studio, Oscillating Pictures using an entirely local, Brooklyn-based crew. )
4PM Maroney Theater
Beneath Disheveled Stars
Drama, 108 min. USA/Ireland Directed by Kevin Baggott
Bobby Tierney, a Brooklyn tenement building super goes to Ireland to carry out his mother’s last dying wish. Once in town he comes upon a mysterious fella by the side of the road. Bobby is dragged down one rabbit hole after another by this stranger. Bobby eventually succeeds in carrying out his mother’s wish - but with much more than he planned for.
Brooklyn Connection: As a born and raised Brooklyn native filmmaker, Kevin wrote and directed this film which was shot in Brooklyn as well as in a small fishing village in the West Cork, Ireland.
5PM Founders Hall Theater
SHORT DOC BLOCK
Documentary, 8 min. USA/Spain Directed by Pilar Rico and David Whitmer
“Green Card” is a short documentary film about a song and its author, Mohammad Rahman, a convenience store owner from Bangladesh who lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prompted by homesickness, Mohammed began writing songs while driving a taxi in New York City and has since recorded three CDs of his music. The film follows him as he works the overnight shift in his store, and features a performance of his song “Green Card” by his neighbor, a young musician of Bangladeshi descent. The song addresses the difficulties and sorrows of immigrant workers who have come to the United States in hopes of a better life.
Brooklyn Connection: The film was shot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It follows Mohammad Rahman, who has a convenience store and lives in Williamsburg.
Kara Walker: A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby
Documentary, 10 min. USA Directed by Ian Forster
This short film by ART21 provides an in-depth look at the creation of Kara Walker’s monumental public project, “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” (2014), at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, NY. Seated in her Manhattan studio, Walker explains how the molasses-covered space, along with her extensive research into the history of sugar, inspired her to create a colossal sugar-coated sphinx, as well as a series of life-sized, sugar and resin boy figurines. A team of artists and fabricators are shown constructing and coating the sphinx, which, as Walker says, gains its power by “upsetting expectations, one after the other.”
Brooklyn Connection: Constructed inside the abandoned Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront, Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” highlighted the borough’s industrial past and its role in the global sugar trade.
Documentary, 16 min. USA Directed by Bill Claps NYC Premiere
The use of “Artspeak”, the often incomprehensible language used by many curators, writers, critics, and other art insiders, has alienated much of the art-viewing public. The film follows New York artist Bill Claps discovering everyday people’s thoughts and feelings about contemporary art as he develops a video installation and a series of artworks that comment on the phenomena of Artspeak. The film follows Claps at work in his studio, in the streets, galleries and art fairs of New York, and through several countries in Europe.
Brooklyn Connection: Director Bill Claps has maintained studios in Williamsburg and Dumbo for many years. The DP and Editor Francesca Pagani lives and works in Williamsburg.
Jazzsoon: Portrait of a Brooklyn Hustler
Documentary, 5 min. USA Directed by Ivan Cash World Premiere
The story of Jazzsoon: Collector. Hustler. Brooklyn Native. Living for the weekends. Brooklyn Connection: Jazzsoon is Brooklyn-born & raised, residing in his former grandparent’s apartment in Park Slope.
Documentary, 22 min. USA Directed by Kelly Amis East Coast Premiere
This film examines the evolution of Oakland through the eyes of social entrepreneurs who are determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads across the Bay and into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first success as a social justice rebel was a hunger strike at the age of eight to get books for his group home, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful electrical engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are organizing large-scale hackathons to prepare youth to redesign the future through the power of digital coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a movement to change both the face and use of technology in America. Is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked?
Brooklyn Connection: The star of and inspiration for “Code Oakland,” Kalimah Priforce, grew up in Brooklyn, and we return there with him in this film to tell about his remarkable personal journey and challenges he has overcome in life.
Documentary, 20 min. USA Directed by Jesse Rosenberg Brooklyn Premiere Life Sentences is a short documentary about families affected by the incarceration of their loved ones. The film includes commentary from experts and activists, such as Angela Davis about the current state of the prison system.
Brooklyn Connection: Director Jesse Rosenberg lives in Brooklyn and many crew members do as well.
6:15PM Maroney Theater
Minding Our Own
Documentary, 50 min. USA Directed by Inaya Yusuf World Premiere
Minding Our Own is a compassionate portrayal of two families and their quest to understand the world of caregiving. While unearthing relationship dynamics, these unlikely heroes provide an intimate look into what it takes to truly care for another person and is a meditation on life’s surprises as well as its immeasurable rewards. Minding Our Own unveils the raw emotions that surfaces from the complexity of parenthood, adulthood and partnership, while redefining the meaning of love and friendship.
Brooklyn Connection: Inaya is Brooklynbased filmmaker, working and living in Brooklyn.
7:30PM Founders Hall
Theater You, Your Brain & You
Comedy, 85 min. USA World Premiere Directed by Scott Bateman
A comedic and episodic look at how the Brain Institute helped 81 people with their brain skills--from the ordinary (intelligence and creativity) to the extraordinary (controlling the weather and bending space-time). But one man is determined to show that the head of the Brain Institute is a fraud and a charlatan.
Brooklyn Connection: Scott filmed in several Brooklyn locations and shot several Brooklyn actors and comedians, including Anthony DeVito, Abbi Crutchfield, Sharron Paul, Griffin Newman, and more. 8pm Maroney Theater
Drama, 68 min. USA Directed by Benjamin Orifici Brooklyn Premiere
Anthony’s Delivery Hour usually runs like clockwork. Not tonight. His wife went into labor 20 minutes ago. His girlfriend is threatening to leave him if he doesn’t meet up. A cocaine buy goes terribly wrong. And if the Nets tank in Game 7, so will Anthony’s dream to move his family out of Red Hook Housing. Shot in real-time in ‘One Continuous Take’, Delivery Hour is a non-stop adrenaline ride through the streets of South Brooklyn to a Manhattan Hospital.
Brooklyn Connection: Benjamin is a 20 year resident of Brooklyn.
8:30PM PS./IS 30 Mary White Ovington School
What’s Eating Dad?
Comedy/Horror, 11 min. USA Directed by Michael Goldburg
When Chloe meets her boyfriend’s parents for the first time, what’s really for dinner is something she never imagined. In the vein of “Meet the Parents” meets “Shaun of the Dead,” WHAT’S EATING DAD? is a hilariously absurd, award-winning, horror-comedy short about literally surviving the future in-laws. WHAT’S EATING DAD? was named a Top 10 Horror Short of 2014 and has won multiple other accolades and is being developed into a feature film. And no cockroaches were harmed in the making of the short.
Brooklyn Connection: The director is a fifteen-year resident of Brooklyn; Co-Producer Dave Chan hails from and still lives in Brooklyn; and the film was shot entirely in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. DP Peter Olsen and lead actor Brennan Taylor also both live in Brooklyn.
Death By Scrabble
Comedy, 4 min. USA Directed by Ryan Geiger East Coast Premiere
A husband unhappy in his marriage, plays a heated game of Scrabble with his wife. When the words on the board come to fruition, the husband tries to command fate and utilize this uncanny coincidence to his vindictive advantage. Starring Leslie Lopez, star of the 50 Cent’s hit show Power on Starz, Death By Scrabble is a passion project by award-winning director Ryan Geiger to win HBO’s latest season of Project Greenlight. The film made Top 200 in the competition. Filmed on a budget of 400 dollars, the film has most recently screened at the 2015 Dam Short Film Festival in Nevada.
Brooklyn Connection: The director, star, DP, and Sound Designer all live and reside in Brooklyn. This is the definition of a Brooklyn film.
Comedy, 9 min. USA Directed by Alexandria Collins World Premiere Petey, an 80 year old pianist, is on the verge of completing his long overdue masterpiece. But there’s just one problem--his wife needs milk to finish their Saturday morning traditional dish. Caught between pentatonics and pancakes, Petey begins an unexpected journey to find much more than 2% milk. Brooklyn Connection: Milk Run was filmed almost entirely in Park Slope.
Comedy, 7 min. USA Directed by Jean Geraldine Pesce East Coast Premiere
Queso Flameado is a dark comedy about two women who spend an afternoon hiring a hit-man. A chance to eavesdrop on a very uncomfortable assassination plot.
Brooklyn Connection: Queso was filmed in Williamsburg. Nearly the entire cast & crew are Brooklyn based.
Comedy, 16 min. USA Directed by Matt Cascella Brooklyn Premiere
As others attempt to claw their way out of the fray toward singularity, Nate, unburdened by ambition or goals, calls in sick to work and spends the day loafing around the city, a bum among the bustle. Brooklyn Connection: “Bumdom” shakes like Brooklyn, smells like Brooklyn, rewards like Brooklyn, disappoints like Brooklyn, squashes your heart like Brooklyn... (also Matt lives here.)
Comedy, 2 min. USA Directed by Jeremy Kruse World Premiere
Ex-lovers reconnect through the lost art of writing thank you notes. Brooklyn Connection: Jeremy Kruse lives in Brooklyn and made the film, “The Vase”, in Brooklyn.
Comedy-Horror, 6 min. UK/Hungary/ USA 5 Directed by Tom Brown and Daniel Gray Brooklyn Premiere
Things of worth are often neglected in favor of that which is more immediately gratifying. Unfortunately, things that are neglected are often lost forever. The life of a misguided and intensely focused man, chronicled through his oral obsessions. The film received no funding, which is why it took Tom and Dan 8 years to make it. Brooklyn Connection: Co-Director, Tom Brown, lives in Greenpoint and works from his apartment there, as well as his Production House, Blacklist, in the LES of Manhattan. The majority of the final animation was done in his apartment in the early hours of the morning.
Comedy, 15 min. USA Directed by Clare Sackler NYC Premiere
Learning his girlfriend Dani is pregnant, Dean is surprised, delighted, and a bit unsure. To prove himself responsible, the father-to-be seeks confirmation from an unlikely source: a high school parenting test. Brooklyn Connection: Humpty is connected to Brooklyn in a myriad of ways, including being where most of our cast and crew live. The story itself is also based in Brooklyn.
10PM Founders Hall Theater
When The Gun Goes Down
Action/Drama/Western, 34 min. USA Directed by Ali Eldin NYC Premiere
In 1894 Darling Duke Lynch slipped the noose at Blackwater. With the help of an old man named ‘Shaky’ they must travel the countryside and learn how to survive before the law catches up to them. With harsh weather and bandits at their back there is much to learn when the gun goes down. Brooklyn Connection: The entire grip team, best boy, sound, and one of other film’s ADs are from Brooklyn.
Horror, 50 min. USA Directed by Christopher Phelps and Maxim Van Scoy Brooklyn Premiere From the vaults of the golden age of slasher films comes LAKE NOWHERE, a raucous, bloody romp which resurrects the thrill of gory midnight movies for an hour-long plunge into the depths of horror. Inspired by the dusty days of VHS, LAKE NOWHERE is preceded by original trailers & commercials, replicating the experience of watching a long lost bootleg tape. When a group of friends arrive at a desolate lakeside cabin, they are stalked and murdered by a Masked Maniac, whose lust for blood transcends our world. This ageold tale of senseless slaughter quickly spirals into the realm of supernatural horror and classic monster movies, as we learn the true power that lies within LAKE NOWHERE. Brooklyn Connection: LAKE NOWHERE was written and produced by the Brooklyn-based production company, Ursidae Parade. Christopher Phelps, the co-director, co-writer, and editor of the film, also lives in the borough, along with many of the actors and crew.
10:30PM Maroney Theater
SHORTS BLOCK: SOUND + VISION
Animation, 14 min. Spain Directed by Ricardo Martin Coloma NYC Premiere
Society dictates where and when you have to be for every second of your life. We work, sleep, buy things to feed an enormous machine that rules all. Do we really need to depend on a superior machine? Brooklyn Connection: All the crew members live in Brooklyn and the film is a vision of them arriving here and finding the city of New York.
This is She
Drama, 10 min. USA Directed by Tarik Karam North American Premiere
A grieving woman moves into a new apartment and discovers an amorphous, mold like spot on the walls. As she settles into her home, she is forced to confront the spot which refuses to go away. Brooklyn Connection: The film was conceived, shot, and finished in Brooklyn.
Experimental (Film As Art), 6 min. USA Directed by Noah Shulman There is always movement, even in stillness. Things around us are constantly changing in tiny ways that we don’t notice, eventually building up to growth and death. In “Confluence,” a new film by director Noah Shulman, viewers look beyond what the human eye is capable of seeing to experience those moments in between the transformations that we perceive. Brooklyn Connection: Noah is a resident of Williamsburg and was born and raised in New York City. The film’s DP was born and raised in Bensonhurst.
Corazón Salvaje / Heart Unhinged
Experimental (Film As Art), 5 min USA Directed by Andrew Keating Brooklyn Premiere
Abjuring conventional narrative, Corazón Salvaje expresses the stubborn independence of our internal organs and our feckless attempts to control them. Brooklyn Connection: The film was made in the computer lab at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights where Andrew has taught art since 1988.
The Emotional Dimensions of the James River
Experimental (Film As Art), 3 min. USA Directed by Michelle Marquez NYC Premiere
Musically and visually designed based on a neuroscience research project, this experimental short film explores the deeply rooted biological connection that the human brain forms with complex images, sounds, and music. Using drones for aerial photography and special Infrared cameras, fifteen-yearold filmmaker Michelle Marquez breaks down the barrier between science and art in this unique visual and auditory experience. Brooklyn Connection: From Michelle: “I am a 15 year old sophomore in high school with BIG dreams. One of my biggest dreams is to study at the Pratt Institute. Recently in a visit to Pratt’s main campus in Brooklyn, I felt very much at HOME. And I asked myself why? And the reason was because the beauty of those Emotional ‘roller-coaster’ Dimensions transcended the physical location. I AM BROOKLYN-DREAMING.”
Rhythm of the City
Animation, 2 min. USA Directed by Julie Gratz World Premiere
An invitation into the heart of New York City through the atmospheric art of BUA, and the extraterrestrial music of DJ Qbert and Dana Leong. Escape into moments in the streets that are filled with artistic expression from the hip hop culture of a vibrant metropolis. Brooklyn Connection: This film was created in Brooklyn. The paintings of New York native Justin Bua come to life through the animation and direction of Julie Gratz at the KALEIDA studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Experimental (Film As Art), 12 min. USA Directed by Kyle Parsons World Premiere
SHE is about a girl who goes through her life doing everyday things. Running errands, washing dishes, watching movies. But no matter how normal and everyday her life may be, she’s still under the eyes of strangers. She doesn’t know they’re observing her, but they are. Through time though, she begins to feel the weight of their gaze upon her. These strangers are unaware of the impact they’re having on her. They are eventually confronted with the reality that their opinions and judgments don’t exist in a vacuum, even as strangers. Brooklyn Connection: The director and the film’s closest collaborators all live in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is the birthplace of the relationships and ideas that made this film possible.
TONIGHT AT AOBFF:
We start our screenings with a Brooklyn bang at St. Francis College Brooklyn. Founders Hall and Maroney Theaters will both be showing films!
Use code 15AOBFF20 to save 20% online when you reserve your seat. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 if screenings don't sell out early.
There will be pre-screening receptions an hour before each screening where you can hang out, buy merch and concessions and take photos in front of our festival backdrop featuring our sponsors Focus Camera and Investors Bank. There will be a Q&A session with filmmakers and cast after each screening. So come early and stay late!
7PM Founders Hall - Hunter&Game
East Coast Premiere. Spinal Tap meets the Brooklyn music scene with hilarious results. Star Nico Tortorella of TV Land's Younger will be on hand for the post-screening Q&A session!
7PM Maroney Theater - Three To Infinity: Beyond Two Genders
World Premiere. A timely, fascinating documentary about people whose selected gender is neither male nor female. Directed by Sheepshead Bay native Lonny Shavelson.
9:30PM Founders Hall - Corazón / Mr. Chavan / Your Direction / Let Me Wonder / Universal Language
A block of fantastic short films that look at romance and love in very different ways.
We sat down with some of the filmmakers of the 2015 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival so they could tell us about their films, how they're connected to Brooklyn, and how they feel about the idea of a festival that's built entirely around the Brooklyn indie film scene (something nobody else on Earth does, by the way.)
Camera: Jake King and Kepler Bico Auguste. Sound: Scott Nawrocki. Edited by: Jake King
Watch below for interviews with:
Scott Bateman - Director, 'You, Your Brain & You'
Ali Eldin - Director, 'When The Gun Goes Down'
Christopher Phelps - Director, 'Lake Nowhere'
Kirsten Russell - Director, 'Universal Language'
Michael Broz - Director, 'John McGill Banned'
Kevin Alexander - Director, 'Hunter&Game'
Benjamin Orifici - Director, 'Delivery Hour'
Scott Newberry - Producer, 'Bar Songs'
The 5th Annual Art of Brooklyn Film Festival runs May 13-17.
Schedule and Tickets (Use code 15AOBFF20 to save 20% online)