Opening Night Film: Manson Family Vacation
For the 18th edition of the Brooklyn Film Festival, the festival will open with the East Coast premiere of J. Davis’ Manson Family Vacation , starring Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Tobin Bell, Leonora Pitts, Adam Chernick and Davie-Blue, screening at new BFF venue the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Executive produced by Jay & Mark Duplass, the film was acquired by Netflix at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.
This year’s festival is comprised of 108 features and shorts from 26 countries spread over 5 continents and of these, 17 are world premieres and 30 US premieres, with Ryan Carmichael’s But Not For Me as the lone narrative feature world premiere. This New York City film stars Marcus Carl Franklin, Elena Urioste, Maria Vermeulen and Roger Guenveur Smith.
In addition to But Not For Me, BFF films with a NYC connection include Matthew Yeager’s US premiere Valedictorian, starring Brian Dell, Jennifer Prediger and Eleonore Hendricks; Onur Turkel’s Abby Singer/Songwriter , also starring Prediger, along with Turkel and Josephine Decker, Harvey Mitkas’ Devil Town, starring Lindsay Burdge, Alex Karpovsky, Lawrence Michael Levine, Jennifer Prediger (no, we’re not kidding), Sophia Takal, Brooke Bloom, Noah Gershman, Jen Kim, Alex Ross Perry and Caveh Zahedi; Alison Bagnall’s Funny Bunny, starring Kentucker Audley, Joslyn Jensen, Olly Alexander, Louis Cancelmi, Josephine Decker, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Grace Gonglewski, Caridad de la Luz and Nicholas Webber; Frank Hall Green’s Wildlike, starring Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Teddy Kyle Smith, Nolan Gerard Funk, Ann Dowd, Diane Farr, Joshua Leonard, and Jack & Robert Schurman’s documentary Wild Home.
“The 2015 fest has a number of fantastic films from local filmmakers that shows the diverse creative visions of our city’s filmmakers,” says Director of Programming Bryce J. Renninger. “Work from across the country and the world round out the lineup, exploring and exemplifying this year’s theme of Illuminate with their intelligence and ingenuity.”
Expanding on the theme, BFF executive director Marco Ursino says “Illuminate is designed to showcase a new generation of filmmakers and their visions as part of the larger Brooklyn creative story,” adding “The festival hopes to spotlight storytelling without boundaries and welcome multi-layered stories, including the abstract and the inspirational, the intriguing and the ironic. The festival is simply looking for projects that reflect a creative, furious, explosive, and uncontainable intelligence.”
Other special events during the fest include the 11th annual KidsFilmFest 2015 on Saturday, May 30th at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP; the Filmmakers Party on June 3rd at Billet & Bellows; the BFF Exchange series of panels and a pitch session on June 6th; “The Illuminate Party,” also on June 6th, and the June 7th Awards Ceremony.
Main BFF venues are the Wythe Hotel and Windmill Studios in Greenpoint. Satellite locations include Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Made in New York Media Center By IFP in Dumbo, and BRIC House in Fort Greene.
The complete Feature lineup is as follows. Winners of the various festival awards as chosen by the fest juries and Board of Directors receive a total of $50,000 in prizes and film services from festival sponsors Panavision NY, Abelcine, Xeno Lights, Media Services, Film Friends, Mik Cribben Steady-Cam, Cinecall Soundtracks and Windmill Studios.
Manson Family Vacation Director: J. Davis – Two brothers (Jay Duplass and Linas Phillips) reunite when the more free-spirited brother shows up at the other’s door with nothing but a backpack. Together, they get to know each other again while touring the sites of Charles Manson’s exploits and exploring Manson’s contemporary life. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Abby Singer/Songwriter Director: Onur Tukel – Divorced stockbroker Jamie Block was once an indie-rock star. Going through a life crisis, he teams up with a filmmaker to make a series of music videos in this trippy, funny film. EAST COAST PREMIERE
But Not for Me Director: Ryan Carmichael – Will is a young writer working at an ad agency as a copywriter. Like many others his age, he is hiding his true passion for philosophy and music and holding back his true thoughts, until a relationship with a young woman inspires him. WORLD PREMIERE
Devil Town Director: Harvey Mitkas – A young woman enlists a shady detective to help her find her missing sister in this neo-noir with a cast of indie film favorites.
Eadweard Director: Kyle Rideout – A psychological biopic that explores the mind of Eadweard Muybridge, the godfather of cinema, who was also the last American to receive a justifiable homicide verdict after killing his wife’s lover. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Funny Bunny Director: Alison Bagnall – A young canvasser and a loner teenager who is estranged from his parents go on a journey to meet Ginger, the animal activist with whom the teen has developed an online relationship. EAST COAST PREMIERE
God Bless the Child Directors: Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck – In this beautifully realized observational narrative, Harper, the oldest of five siblings, must take care of her siblings. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Inferno Director: Vinko Moderndorfer – In this Slovenian realist drama, young working class family must deal with the struggles of unemployment while the global economy crumbles and local labor rebels. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Sweaty Betty Directors: Joe Frank and Zachary Reed – Two stories come out of the row houses on the border of Washington, D.C. — a pig, Ms. Charlotte, is carted around, vying for a chance to be a team mascot for the Washington Redskins; and two teenage best friends come into ownership of a dog that they attempt to sell. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Valedictorian Director: Matthew Yeager – Ben feels less and less in touch with his life in New York City, and over a year, he must confront the connections — or lack thereof — he feels with those he considers close. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Wildlike Director: Frank Hall Green – When teenage Mackenzie is sent to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska, she knows it’s not right for her. Shortly after arriving, she embarks on a journey headed south to find her mother.
20 Years of Madness Director: Jeremy Royce – The founder of a mid-90’s Public Access TV show in Detroit reunites the cast twenty years later to make a new episode and discovers that his friends and former collaborators are struggling with the hard realities of adulthood.
Chameleon Director: Ryan Mullins – The elusive undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas is one of Ghana’s most popular figures. Though the charismatic investigator has named and shamed various high profile malfeasants, his identity remains hidden. U.S. PREMIERE
Deep Web Director: Alex Winter – Thirty-year-old entrepreneur Ross William Ulbricht has been convicted for operating the online black market Silk Road. This comprehensive documentary tracks the history of the site and the vigorously pursued case against Ulbricht.
Frame by Frame Directors: Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli – Photography was outlawed in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan; however, with the fall of the Taliban, photographers have been key documenters of the changing nation.
Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi Director: Neal Broffman – Four weeks after disappearing from his apartment as a student at Brown University, Sunil Tripathi was accused of being Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings. The false accusations disrupted his family, steadfastly working with his friends to find him.
I Am Thor Director: Ryan Wise – Jon Mikl Thor was a bodybuilder, steel gender, and rock star in the 70’s and 80’s who led the theatrical band THOR. Today, he seeks to reclaim his mantle as a high-energy rock star. EAST COAST PREMIERE
Paradiso Director: Omar A. Razzak – Projectionist Rafael works hard to tidy up and maintain Madrid’s last remaining adult movie theater, Duque de Alba. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Placebo Director: Abhay Kumar – One of the most competitive medical schools, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has an acceptance rate of less than 0.1%. The high academic standards leave a harsh toll on the students. U.S. PREMIERE
We Were Rebels Directors: Katharina von Schroeder and Florian Schewe – Agel took up arms when he was ten to participate in the fight for an independent South Sudan. After leaving the conflict, Agel has returned to an independent South Sudan, where he is the captain of the national basketball team and worries over the young nation’s fragile democracy.
Wild Home Directors: Jack Schurman and Robert Schurman – Deep in the woods of Maine, Bob Miner, a Vietnam Veteran rehabilitates abused and abandoned animals. He and his wife have built a kingdom for lions, tigers, hyenas, kangaroos, black bears, and over 200 other species of animals that attracts a diverse set of visitors.
About Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) :
The organizers of the Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), have been staging International, competitive film events since 1998. BFF’s mission is to provide a public forum in Brooklyn in order to advance public interest in films and the independent production of films, to draw worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema, to encourage the rights of all Brooklyn residents to access and experience the power of independent filmmaking, and to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure. BFF, inc. is a not-for-profit organization.
For more info about the festival please visit www.brooklynfilmfestival.org.