We are proud to announce the Official Selections of films and screenplays for the 2020 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. (June 1-10)
Delaying or canceling this year were never options for us; AoBFF is mission-driven to support independent artists and that’s more important now than ever. The 2020 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival will be a robust, interactive, virtual event — with a full schedule of films protected by studio-grade DRM software, live-streamed filmmaker Q&A’s, and interactive webinar panels and workshops.
To support filmmakers during this time, we will share with them a portion of ticket sales from our 2020 edition. Stay tuned for more details and join us in congratulating all our creators!
1hr 28min | Italy | 2019 | Feature
Directed by Nika Burnett - US Premiere
Brindisi is an Italian-American feature-film comedy about three young couples in the south of Italy whose varied lives intersect on a boat to Greece, as they run from their responsibilities, the public eye and the police.
1hr 19min | United States | 2019 | Feature
Directed by Sean Kenealy and Eric Silvera
Sean and Eric are just two bumbling screenwriters drafting the “next big action flick”, utterly oblivious to the insanity that awaits when the government intercepts their script, believing it to be a veritable terrorist plot.
1hr 31min | United States | 2019 | Feature
Directed by Michael Irish
After a catastrophic accident leaves one of them paralyzed; misanthropic, aging New York City transplants are forced to outgrow their cynicism while the other forges a friendship with a Brooklyn native who is just discovering it.
1hr 58min | United States | 2019 | Feature
Drama, Psychological Thriller
Directed by Lanie Zipoy
A successful documentarian deals with the moral fallout from his last film, which caught the murder of an African American teenager on tape. Now, someone else is videotaping his every move, threatening his idyllic life.
Born Just Now
1hr 24min | United States | 2018 | Feature Documentary
Directed by Robert Adanto
A sensitive, steadfast Belgrade-based visionary struggles to cope with the abuse and violence that ended an eight-year marriage. Through provocative acts of endurance exploring intimacy, motherhood and the trauma of the Balkan wars, artist Marta Jovanović seeks to confront, release and liberate her own pain in the name of art. Robert Adanto's BORN JUST NOW is an intimate look at a charismatic woman, a brilliant outlier, who dares to live on her own terms.
1hr | United States | 2018 | Feature Documentary
Directed by Adam Gell
The story is a documentary film about a journey across time in search of a grandfather erased from his family's memory. A young Brooklyn boy is shown photos, told stories, and with the help of his grandmother's diary is able to piece together a past of tragedy, loss, and heartache. This now NYC school teacher goes in search across time to discover the fate of his biological grandfather.
When All that is Left is Love
1hr 17min | United States | 2019 | Feature Documentary
Directed by Eric Gordon
When All That’s Left is Love is the emotionally gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. With unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access, the film reveals the toll that the disease takes on families coping with Alzheimer's, while also showcasing the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers.
NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
15 minutes 10 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Michael Cinquino - US Premiere
When veteran celebrity portrait photographer David Buchanan receives a call from his agent that his subject for that day’s shoot is cancelling at the last minute, she then tells him that she’s found a last minute replacement with a large social media following. David reluctantly agrees to the shoot in hopes it will help with his fading relevance as a photographer. But when the day’s replacement singer/songwriter Sara Chevelle arrives, both David and Sara are caught off guard with an unresolved, painful past that they will be asked to confront during the shoot.
24 minutes 51 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Rami Kodeih
As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend's three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).
All Boys Die
13 minutes 6 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Julio C. Vargas
In the world of 2068, all boys die at puberty. Oscar’s mom strives to fulfill his last wish the day his voice cracks.
15 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by David Spaltro
Jill must put one foot in front of the other to move through her grief, and with connection she discovers that every mile has a story.
3 minutes 13 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Nora Unkel
If ever you come across Demons, do all you can to ignore them, for they feed on attention.
August in the City
15 minutes 52 seconds | United States | 2017
Drama, Romance, LGBT, Women
Directed by Christie Conochalla
Two young women find themselves completely drawn to each other but one fears the repercussions of society in 1978 Brooklyn.
9 minutes 59 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Randall Maxwell - US Premiere
A man insists on being furniture for his wife.
19 minutes 20 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by John M Wager
Lucy, a young professional white woman who lives alone in Brooklyn, leads a rather self-serving and predictable life... until one night when a stranger suddenly shows up at her doorstep. We quickly learn that she is an illegal Syrian refugee and she’s bearing a child that will be born within days. A collision of cultures ensues and a heartwarming drama unfolds — at times tense and at others comical — putting Lucy’s ethics and character to the biggest test of her life.
12 minutes 53 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Maryll Botula
A coming-of-age tale focusing on Erin, a young tomboy in the fifth grade. A product of a broken home/80’s parenting, she is the apple of her father’s eye: smart, self-aware and very skilled in sports. The softball field, playground, gymnasium and math class are the battle grounds in which we see Erin struggle with her desire to excel while managing her growing crush on Jesse, a boy in her class.
15 minutes 28 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Bob Giraldi
Gisela, working at a laundromat in Brooklyn, comes across a five dollar bill with a very personal message written on it. As she becomes obsessed with finding the owner and understanding the history behind this token of luck and love, her own secrets begin to unravel.
8 minutes 30 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Arthur Vincie
Two board game playtesters get together after the death of their best friend, to figure out what it all means. Oh, and one of them is an alien.
14 minutes 33 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Chris Joslin
A young widow, still mourning the death of her husband, decides to brave the uncharted waters of online dating.
16 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by Cinder Chou and Ryan T Perry
A 40 year old returns from a great date and tries to leave the perfect voicemail.
8 minutes 33 seconds | Canada | 2019
Directed by Adrian Bobb
In the snow-covered ruins of 24th century Toronto, AEGIS, a humanoid war machine, leads a team of five robot-bound digital-humans into the the real world (aka the "E-X-T") to retake an enemy-occupied server installation vital to the survival of their digital homeworld.
13 minutes 31 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Nicola Rose
When 13-year-old Gabrielle signs up for ballet, she encounters bullying from her teacher — and true friendship where she least expects it. A story about overcoming bullying, body image, friendship and knowing your worth.
7 minutes 22 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Eva Chaitman and Eleanor Baude-Philips
At a funeral for her mother's dog, an absent daughter must choose between abandonment or becoming her mother's new favorite pet.
House of La Reine
13 minutes 8 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Lisa Marie Tedesco
On the eve of the grand opening of her inclusive bohemian bar and performance space, Celia struggles with insecurities about living up to the legacy of her relative who once reigned the stages of Paris.
I´m Not Lost
11 minutes | United States
Directed by Tom Capps
Lyndsay can’t find her way without her smartphone. Maybe some strangers on the streets of NYC can help?
8 minutes 35 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Stacey Maltin
Aware that her drinking has become destructive, Jones takes a go at living the sober life. Not wanting to be someone else’s problem, she pushes away help and comes face to face with herself and her lack of control.
Le Meow Mort
4 minutes 54 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Graceann Dorse
A woman gets a second chance to save her beloved cat, but not everything is what it seems to be.
Lesson #9 by Alberto Ferreras
5 minutes 34 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Alberto Ferreras
The office holiday party got a little frisky, and when two colleagues decide to complain about each other, they learn that the Human Resources director is more human and resourceful than they ever thought.
Living in Crime Alley
8 minutes 35 seconds | United Kingdom | 2019
Directed by Rob Ayling
A single father struggles to bring up his child, a huge fan of the dark knight, in downtown Gotham, known to citizens as Crime Alley.
16 minutes 30 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Dennis Cahlo
Alone and down trodden, a woman tries to find a connection online only to get much more than she bargained for.
Man Vs. Vibrator
9 minutes 28 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Kory Louko and Melanie Brenae
They took the leap. They moved in together, but things get heated when Jason comes face to face with the ultimate phallic foe - Megan's vibrator.
14 minutes 39 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Lindsay Serrano
Life is hard enough without your "monthly monster." A driven thirty-something woman struggles to endure a visit from her Menstruation Demon while juggling a career, dating, an active social life, and her monster junk food cravings… A comedic look at what a woman has to deal with during that special time of the month.
My New Pants
19 minutes 50 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Gerard Zarra
A dark comedy about a man who becomes obsessed with his newly purchased pair of pants. His obsession drives him to destroy his relationships, and go down a twisted Odyssean journey into New York's underbelly.
5 minutes 25 seconds | United States | 2019?
Directed by Tania Taiwo
Pharmacopeia — The story of a quirky, Black Pharmacist drowning in student loan debt, who rebels against the system and becomes the drug dealer Pharmacy School never taught her.
Push the Point
7 minutes 20 seconds | United States 2019
Directed by Bryan Lawrence Burton
A musical short film set between the worlds of fandom and pop culture, PUSH THE POINT follows four online gamers through their squad-based mission. Harder than defeating the red team, however, is sticking together while trying to navigate toxicity, super-fandom, and the futility of having an argument on the internet.
14 minutes | United States | 2018
Directed by Noah Bewley
Five year old Bob, finds out that his Ukrainian Catholic family is hiding Jews from the Nazis in the barn that overlooks the Kiev Jewish cemetery. He is witness to the routine murder of his neighbors and friends. Fifty years after his family is punished for their acts of humanity, Bob has a chance encounter with the Nazi executioner. He has never forgotten the face in his nightmares. Based on the memoirs of Robert A. Kramarczuk, PhD.
12 minutes 42 seconds | Israel | 2019
Directed by Amit Shamir
On the evening of the Jewish Passover, Leon, a 14-year-old girl, deals with the pain and shock of getting her period for the first time. During the ritualistic dinner celebration, she takes a stand, challenging her Israeli-Moroccan family to confront the patriarchal traditions within their home.
8 minutes 38 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Emily C. Chang
In a dystopian future where blood has replaced currency for the working poor, a woman goes on the run when she finds out there's a price on her head due to her rare blood type.
8 minutes 48 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Ohad Ira Amram
Silences is a contained family drama that explores the bond between a father and his son. Julian, a young dad, discovers that his equally young partner, Kiera, survived a devastating car accident. Reeling from the incident, the two share a final conversation that proves to be a revelation.
8 minutes 24 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Darin Quan
Two estranged sisters try to reconnect at a cult meeting that preaches radical honesty.
14 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by Bob Celli
Celeste and Robert meet at a speed dating event. A lonely widow yearning for connection and a lover of art in search of perfection.
10 minutes 18 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by JD Ganz
At the turn of the New Year, two alcoholics grapple with their newfound sobriety.
The Mouse and the Lion
15 minutes 57 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Lain Kienzle
Winter, 1920. As a brutal blizzard strikes, a farmer's wife finds a World War I veteran collapsed on her doorstep. She hauls him inside and as he regains his strength, their growing bond unearths secrets each would rather keep hidden.
The Passions of an Ordinary Mallard
6 minutes 8 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Matt Rosenbaum
Gustave, a wooden decoy mallard, ponders the tragicomic details of his imagined existence living and loving as a real duck.
The Red Marsh
12 minutes | United States | 2020
Directed by Drake Woodall
An isolated fisherman's latent grief resurfaces when desperation causes him to look elsewhere for food.
Two Out of Work Actors
6 minutes 25 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Fred Shahadi
Two desperate guys battle wits with a big name Hollywood producer in a pitch meeting gone wrong.
9 minutes 52 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Jonathan Levy
An awkward, struggling actor walks dogs and haunts the improv jam scene looking for his break while also trying to stay clear of a tormenting bully, until one fateful day at the dog park he's forced to confront all his fears at once.
12 minutes | United States| 2020
Directed by Jorja Hudson
Four friends quit their antidepressants together and all experience very different side effects.
8 minutes 28 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Lars Fuchs
Eugene, a Russian emigré living with his daughter's family in the US, drills his grandson Sacha in chess. Sacha begins at age four, and continues under Eugene's tutelage for over a decade. He develops into an outstanding player. Eugene is stern and unforgiving, which together with his disapproval of Sacha's sexuality leads to tensions between them that Sacha struggles to come to terms with.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS
David Henry Nobody Jr
14 minutes 45 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Keith Aronowitz
David Henry Nobody Junior is an immersionist/performance artist based out of NYC. This film examines his art form known as "Resemblage" which entails his use of body paint, found objects, motorized toys, etc., that he applies to his own body, creating bizarre and sometimes disturbing images that reflect his feelings toward capitalism and the dark side of american culture.
Don Rimx X Grand Street BID - “Olor a Azucenas el Perfume del Barrio”
4 min. 50 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Bradford Devins of Owley
Puerto Rican artist Don Rimx enriches the Grand Street neighborhood in Brooklyn with a massive, colorful mural depicting a San Juan Azucena (Lilly) vendor - representing the hard-working people of the community and the power and beauty of communal unification.
19 minutes 46 seconds | Canada | 2019
Directed by Caroline Macfarlane
Caroline Macfarlane sets out to make a documentary about Jane Marx, a wildly eccentric New Yorker. Marx has worked as a Manhattan tourist guide for thirty-eight years, and she’s no shrinking violet. Her offbeat sense of humor and larger-than- life personality are front and center as she guides Caroline through New York City in the opening scenes. But when the filmmaker and subject sit down for their first on-camera interview, they discover that they have a sadness in common. They both lost brothers to whom they were very close. Jane’s brother, Paul, died of AIDS in 1989; Caroline’s brother, Blake, died of leukemia in 2018, and this shared tragedy becomes the basis of their friendship and the subject of the film.
37 minutes | United States | 2020
Directed by Christoph Green
Flux.1 is an intimate portrait of T. Wise, a Hebrew teacher living in Brooklyn, who quits his job and gives up his apartment to follow his dream of pursuing a career in comedy just one year after beginning his gender transition from female to male. We follow T through the ups and downs of comedy as he performs at open mics in unfriendly dive bars; at parties for friends; and at comedy clubs in Times Square. We spend time with T’s loving, supportive parents, a rabbi and an educator, as well as his sisters, friends and girlfriend. We are with T. as he struggles to keep his spirits up to perform in front of potentially hostile strangers; and as he experiences a painful reminder of his former body when he finds that, even as a man, he has to go to the doctor for a pap smear. T. is open about his sexuality, his emotional life and every other aspect of life as a trans man.
14 minutes 3 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Gary Beeber
Gary first met fire-eater Insectavora when she performed at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, and wondered what made her tick? They say that you can't judge a book by it's cover, and this turned out to be so true with Insectavora. The footage was shot in 2005, but something came up and he never finished her story. At the tail-end of 2018 he decided to take the footage he had and complete the film. Strangely enough after many years, Insectavora has returned to the Coney Island Circus Sideshow as a cast member for the 2019 season.
One of Many
15 minutes 47 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by MJ Bernier
A collection of powerful individual voices is documented in the short film, One of Many, reminding us of the anger, distrust, heartbreak and hope that merged together on January 21, 2017 at The Women’s March on Washington.
Orville + Bob
39 minutes 58 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Alan Griswold
The story of how an unlikely couple met and have remained together, despite seemingly insurmountable differences and societal pressures, for over forty-eight years.
17 minutes 44 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Phil Garrison
Her story will break your heart, then put it back together.
Stage Left - Season 1/Episode 3 "MAAFA"
8 minutes 30 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Ashley Marinaccio
This episode of doc web series Stage Left looks at the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in East New York, Brooklyn as they prepare for the annual production of MAAFA, a large scale production that explores the trauma endured by African people in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We look at how the creative team and members of the church transform the sanctuary into a living museum to create a healing journey for audiences.
Under The Paving Stones, the Beach
16 minutes 9 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Amanda Katz
On Brooklyn's East River waterfront, a new park built on tenuous ground, a new residence converted from a formerly industrial shell, a promise of lives of convenience. A film that circles around rhythms of labor and leisure.
Welcome to the Sewer Den
9 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by Bobo Touch (Mike Rizzo and Brian Bonz)
Welcome to The Sewer Den is a short documentary film following the New Jersey native & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle super fan, Jonathan Zelenak. In this we explore themes and feelings of nostalgia, toy memorabilia, the value of collecting, and most importantly a glimpse into Jonathan’s own life and his own personal turtle collection. The Sewer Den, in which he so perfectly coined, is located in a secret basement in NJ and is the home of all his favorite toys, posters and even his old TMNT bunk beds! We’ll revisit some of Jonathan’s favorite Turtle moments while growing up, get more insight on The Sewer Den and his inspiration behind it all, and also taps into fandom and how eating pizza is essential for Turtle culture. This ridiculous but true life documentary won’t fall short of being memorable, and will be just comedic enough to make you question if this is a real collector … and the answer is YES.
FILM AS ART (EXPERIMENTAL + NON-LINEAR FILMS)
77(8) Birthdays, Killing Floor
4 minutes 38 seconds | United States | 2020
Directed by Bradly Dever Treadaway
“77(8) Birthdays, Killing Floor” is a video concerning mental health and self-destructive behaviors as vigil candles are both extinguished and come alight from darkness as life force is withdrawn into lungs once full of hope that now exhale despair. “77(8) Birthdays, Killing Floor” represents the most recent chapter of a fifteen-year series of short form experimental video works concerning domestic rituals, archival interventions, intergenerational communication emerging from the cultural geographies of post-Katrina New Orleans and the Gulf South.
Digits of Pi
3 minutes 14 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Tom Bessoir
A transcendental film inspired by Duchamp's “Anemic Cinema”! Director Tom Bessoir set out to create a film composed within a circular frame. This circular composition led directly to using the number pi for the underlying structure. Having the digits of pi sung on the soundtrack is an homage to “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson.
8 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by Taylor Joshua Rankin
A man's journey through the forest leads him to experience a significant metamorphosis; his actions seemingly in command by forces out of his control.
In this Life
11 minutes 30 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Bat-Sheva Guez
In five acts, this film explores the language of loss through dance, narrative scenes, and performance art, conveying the complexity of grief in the often wordless way it impacts all our lives. After every major loss, we all must grieve for the person we used to be, for the future we thought we'd have. The journey to accept this new version of ourselves is often fraught with pain and loss. This film is about that journey.
13 minutes 33 seconds | Brazil | 2019
Directed by Marcos Bonisson and Khalil Charif
Set in the neighborhood of Copacabana, elaborated through a collage of current and archive images (Super 8 and digital). An experimental work narrated by the significant speech of the poet Fausto Fawcett, and sonorized by the musician Arnaldo Brandão.
12 minutes 36 seconds | Taiwan | 2019
Directed by Tseng Yu Chin
Set in the exhausted, drunken aftermath of a house party, Shivering Wall captures the dead-eyed eroticism of youth through excess.
8 minutes 45 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by JP Olsen and Kristen Nutile
An experimental documentary based around the life of former heroin addict, Stan, who was among several thousand New York City teens in the 1940s who made up the world’s first teenage opioid epidemic. Using contemporarily shot footage, the film explores the shifting nature of drug use, its changing populations and recalls a time in the United States when drug treatment was virtually unavailable.
Star-Spangled Brighton Beach
2 minutes 51 seconds | United States | 2020
Experimental/Film As Art
Directed by Lynn Bianchi - US Premiere
We are presented with a picture of a regular day on Brighton Beach. The beach goers are enjoying the sun and the sea while a woman in the foreground is looking intently at something in the distance... Meanwhile a whole other world is coming alive inside of her body as if on a canvas.
Temporary Solution for the Permanent Problems #1
11 minutes 14 seconds | Korea | 2019
Directed by Jihea Han
An installation piece that includes three video monitors, one large projection and a couple of installation props. The videos focus on the engagement of her choreography in a factory-like way by giving a sense of extreme anxiety or uncomfortableness. In #1, the artist being wrapped by another performer in a manufactured plastic wrap, then being left alone on the floor in a bleak space.
The Crash! Or, a Patch of Gravity
15 minutes | United States | 2019
Directed by Chele Isaac and Jack Kellogg
High over a snow-clad mountain range, a jumbo jet encounters turbulent times when language becomes unhinged from reality and the land itself calls for revolution. Mixing video, animation and complex soundscapes, The Crash! is a hypnotically poetic and unsettling exploration of existential doubt in a time when truth is increasingly multifaceted.
8 minutes 32 seconds | China | 2018
Directed by Chaoqun Wang
An 8-min psychological fiction on Xiao Ming's struggle of an academic choice between the Arts and Science at the crossroads.
8 minutes 4 seconds | United States | 2018
Directed by Vasilios Papaioannu
The conversation—between sound and image, seasons come and gone, natural and altered landscapes, and an unseen man and woman—begins as a duet between a video diary and a field recording, and ends as an archive of the possibilities hibernating in each moment.
Unborn Rivers of Sky
3 minutes 16 seconds | United States | 2019
Directed by Brian Ratigan
The passing of time in an exquisite corpse.
Images randomly selected. Poem written without images. Music written without images or words. An exquisite corpse by Non Films. Poem by Daniel DeVaughn. Music by Jason LaRay Keener. Directed by Ratigan. Found footage: "Illinois, 1957."
5 minutes 34 seconds | United Kingdom | 2018
Directed by Paul Charisse - US Premiere
A young girl takes her uncle for a walk.
(Winner will be announced at Awards Ceremony)
(All 3 receive a free listing on InkTip)
Aktion T-4 by John L Martins III
The Back End by Daniel Gessner & Kyle Campbell
The Secrets of Ebbetts Field by Richard Seidman
A Brooklyn Christmas by Drew Henricksen
A Fisherman's View by Michael Bernard
Afterbirth by Marko Pandza
American Snake Pit by Dan Tamasulo
Die Bitch Die by Heather Quinlan
The Cry of the Red Cardinal by Cassandra Phillips
The Player Agent by Wesley Hopper
The 7 Deadly Dates by Brian Erwin & Erin Brokate
A Little Sedated by Joseph P. Sanders
Bitch Revolution by Zeus Kontoyannis
Longshore Woman by Allie Moh
Taxi Lady by Laurie Kraus
The Extraction List by Renee Meland
You're Doing Great by Sharon Spell
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