Brooklyn Film Festival Announces Opening Night Program

By: May. 20, 2020
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Brooklyn Film Festival Announces Opening Night Program

Brooklyn Film Festival's (BFF) 23rd edition: TURNING POINT, an online festival out of the norm with more than 140 films viewable for free from May 29 through June 7 at, announces today its plans for its opening night program, along with a compelling video campaign created by the "disruption company,"TBWAChiatDay New York . The lineup of Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Animation and Experimental Films are also announced below.

The 2020 festival opening strategy on May 29 will be driven mostly, and loosely, by our own planet's time zones. As the various program blocks slowly populate the festival's website, BFF will target different time zones. In other words, the group of programs that will appear at 6:00 a.m. on May 29 in Brooklyn, NY (EST) is meant to specifically serve the geographical area that includes New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and eastern China where by then it will be early evening. The second group of film programs will target the area that spans from India to Turkey. The third group will target the all of Europe and the fourth the Americas. All the programs that slowly populate our website will do so in a counter-clock fashion so that specific programs will virtually land on specific territories at the best possible viewing time: early evening. We estimate the entire BFF Opening trajectory to take about 12 hours in total and by 6:00 p.m. in Brooklyn, NY (EST) all the 2020 programs will be available for free after registration throughout the 10 days that will follow. We feel this Opening Programming could be a fun way to mix art and science.

As an additional prize for the 2020 filmmakers, a selection of winning BFF films (Best of Fest) will air on WNET's Reel 13 as a summer showcase. This will be a 4-hour block dedicated to BFF and the projects BFF handles.

For the 8th straight year, BFF is working alongside TBWAChiatDay NY, which delved into the shortlisted films and extracted some of their most moving moments and reframed them as series of 'refresher courses,' reteaching some of life's most basic interactions such as How to Be a Sports Fan, How to Hug, How to Have Dinner Parties, How to Do The Beach, Grooming Ritual, Singing in Public, The In-Person Meeting: or the Art of Being Aligned and The Restaurant & You. The series aims to promote the incredible talent of the Brooklyn Film Festival, the inherent humanity in independent film, and shows a great idea can be scaled without spending a lot of money on bespoke production. Chatting Without Your Phone is the first in the Relearn How to be Human creative series. Using footage from Brooklyn Film Festival 2020 submission "Blocks" by Director Bridget Moloney, the creative aims to show people how to behave as normal humans in a normal society once social distancing is a mere memory. The films will run across a combination of TV and online media placements. Ricard Valero, Executive Creative Director TBWAChiatDay New York notes "Independent film offers a raw, uncut, and honest look at what it means to be human. After months of sheltering in place, TBWAChiatDay NY's latest creative for Brooklyn Film Festival is helping us remember how to stay human."

As previously announced, all Brooklyn Film Festival films will play for free via BFF's website for the whole duration of the festival, but viewers must first open a free account and can begin to pre-register starting today on the BFF website at The video server will be hosted by Vimeo. Audience voting will be limited to one vote per account. BFF will also organize parallel live events such as filmmaker introductions and Q&A sessions on the BFF website, Facebook and other social media.

BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 23rd edition: TURNING POINT, "Just a few months ago, nobody, not even the most daring sci-fi screenwriter, could have predicted the current situation and/or the extent of the COVID-19 takeover. Besides the fact that we are all still dealing with the basics and a resolutive approach feels still far away, one thing seems certain: we won't be able to go back to the pre-virus thinking and lifestyle anytime soon. The fear of the 'invisible danger' that threatens our life is radically modifying our own life routine and the way we deal with our neighbors. It is a 'Turning Point' in history. It is a moment that will ultimately reveal who we are as human beings. The Brooklyn Film Festival, with its 2020 event, plans to highlight and dissect people's character and problem solving attitude as it shifts from one time zone to the next. The international role BFF has always played on the world's stage, will now come truly handy while with our film lineup we travel from one corner of the planet to another. 'Turning Point' is about refreshing our own point of view. It's about rethinking our old assumptions and learning from the people who share our screen whether they live in a different continent or across the street. 'Turning Point' is about reinventing our planet and our life."

BFF's list of sponsors for 2020 includes WNET-Thirteen, The Quebec Government, Yelp, Sobre Vista Resort, AbelCine, Be Electric, Xeno Lights, Lifevine Wine, Big Screen Plaza, Final Draft, MPE, Media Services, The Pod, Noble Jewelry and Brooklyn Film Society.

In each of the six film categories, BFF's judges will select the Best Film, while the festival will select the Spirit Award, and the audience the Audience Award winners. Among all the six categories combined, BFF will award one of each of the following: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Composer, Best Style, Best Editor, Best Cinematographer, Best Screenwriting, Best Producer, Best New Director, and Best Brooklyn Project. Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF will assign to the winning filmmakers more than $60,000 in prizes (cash, products, and services). To view the list of this year's judges, visit

The full film lineup can be found on the BFF site by clicking here.

The lineup for the Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Animation, Experimental Films and kidsfilmfest is as follows.



Dir. Jimmy Olsson, Sweden, 23 min.

"Anna and the Inexpressible Feeling of Being Lost" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Philip Gibson, New Zealand, 9 min.

"Antelope" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Diego Murillo, Venezuela/USA, 14 min.


Dir. Nora Kirkpatrick, USA, 14 min.


Dir. Bridget Moloney-Sinclair, USA, 11 min.

"Boys & Toys" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Kevin P. Alexander, USA, 12 min.

"Broken Bird" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Rachel Harrison-Gordon, USA, 10 min.


Dir. Daiva Zalnieriunas, Canada, 12 min.


Dir. Chloe Wallace, USA, 12 min.

"Ex Disposer" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Daniel Ferrer, USA, 18 min.


Dir. Kana Hatakeyama, USA, 12 min.

"Freed" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Josza Anjembe, France, 20 min.

"Hammurabi" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Patrick Kennelly, USA, 10 min.

"Handheld" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Pisie Hochheim/ Tony Oswald, USA, 12 min.


Dir. Mark Kuhlmann, Germany, 13 min.

"I'll End Up in Jail" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Alexandre Dostie, Canada, 21 min.


Dir. Alex Wu, Australia, 19 min.


Dir. Alexander Bliss, USA, 8 min.

"Mr. Sam" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Zeus Kontoyannis, USA, 28 min.

"New Year's Eve" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Hao Zheng, USA/China, 22 min.

"On the Side" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Alma Hemmo, Israel, 14 min.

"Peter has to go to the Doctor" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Courtney Ulrich, USA, 15 min.

"Phone Stack" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Cami Delavigne, USA, 6 min.

"Pond" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Tyler Macri, USA, 14 min.

"Saint Catherine of Bensonhurst"

Dir. Dominica B Eriksen, USA, 13 min.


Dir. Ashley Eakin, USA, 14 min.

"Sticker" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Georgi M. Unkovski, Macedonia, 19 min.


Dir. Shaina Feinberg, USA, 10 min.

"Summer in the City" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Mojo Lorwin, USA, 10 min.


Dir. Kevin Mead, USA, 14 min.


Dir. Farah Nabulsi, Palestine, 24 min.

"The Taxidermist"

Dir. Natalie Johnson, USA, 8 min.

"They Salivate" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Ariane Boukerche, France, 20 min.

"Trying to Disappear Again"- WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Gus Gavino, USA, 19 min.

"Two Little Boys" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Farbod Khoshitnat, USA, 13 min.

"When I'm at Home" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Ivana Todorovic, Serbia, 16 min.

"Woman without a Child" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Eva Saiz López, Spain, 15 min.


"Ai Baba: (Love Dad)" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Connie Huang, China/USA, 6 min

"Alejandro & Miguel" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Joie Estrella Horwitz, Mexico, 9 min.

"Banana's Girl" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Shayna Connelly, USA, 7 min.

"Brother Move On" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Antshi Von Moos, India, 9 min.

"Eat When You're Hungry" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Malcolm Rizzuto, USA, 20 min.

"Everybody's Ok" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Drew English, USA, 15 min.

"I Want Everything" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Paul Szynol, USA, 15 min.

"Leeper" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Lorenzo de Guia, USA, 2 min.

"Lessons From Jeju" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Nicole Gormley, Korea/USA, 13 min.

"Lewiston" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Jacob Roberts/David Shayne, USA, 15 min.


Dir. Cam Tribe, Ghana, 16 min.

"Lions in the Corner" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Paul Hairston, USA, 9 min.

"Los Otros" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Monica Pendergrass, Mexico, 13 min.

"Recovery County" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Cody Ball, USA, 19 min.

"Rhythm's Gonna Get Ya" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Lindsey Phillips, USA, 9 min.

"Rocky" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Annika Ivarsson, Sweden/USA, 9 min.

"Rooftop Refuge" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Andrew Leibman, USA, 5 min.


Dir. JP Olsen/Kristen Nutile, USA, 9 min.

"Sundays at the Triple Nickel" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Jessica Colquhoun, USA, 11 min.

"Take Me to Prom" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Andrew Moir, USA, 21 min.

"Terrell Homes" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Issac Green Diebboll, USA, 15 min.


Dir. Will Francome/Katie Green, USA, 12 min.

"They" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Louisa Rechenbach, USA, 12 min.


"Grab My Hand: A letter to my Dad"

Dir. Camrus Johnson, USA, 5 min.

"King of the House" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Zige Zhang, USA, 11 min.

"Lursaguak: Scenes from Life"- U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Izibene Oñederra, Spain, 12 min.


Dir. John Banana, France, 8 min.


Dir. Farnoosh Abedi, Iran, 10 min.


Dir. Natalia Krawczuk Poland, 11 min.


Dir. Geoff Hecht, USA, 8 min.


Dir. Griffin Bajor, USA, 5 min.

"Per Aspera Ad Astra" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Franck Dion, France, 11 min.

"Pitch Black Panacea" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Tom Hardiman, UK, 7 min.

"Portrait of Suzanne" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Izabela Plucinska, Poland, 15 min.

"Prickley Jam" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. James Cunningham, New Zealand, 6 min.

"Shameless & More"- WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Fausto Montanari, Italy, 2 min.


Dir. Steven Bednar, USA, 11 min.


Dir. Brad Pattullo, USA, 3 min.

"Temps de Glace (Ice Time)" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Rachel Samson, Canada, 3 min.


Dir. Takehiko Yasui, USA, 5 min.

"The Coin" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Siqi Song, USA, 7 min.

"The Masque of the Blackness" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Epoh Beech, UK, 13 min.


Dir. Satoshi Takahashi, Japan, 5 min.

"The Sneeze of Love" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Kintan Chauhan, USA, 1 min.


Dir. Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, India, 11 min.

"Watchmaker at Times End" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Shaheen Sheriff, India, 5 min.

"Wherefore Art Thou, Theo?" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Teddy Schaffer, USA, 5 min.


Dir. Asher Horowitz, USA, 4 min.

"Wuen" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Nicolas Lesaffre, Hong Kong, 10 min.


"Decorum" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Lorenzo Monti, Australia, 10 min.


Dir. Maria Juranic, USA, 9 min.


Dir. Kathrin Schweizer, Switzerland, 15 min.


Dir. Haley Geffen, USA, 9 min.

"Inhuman Love" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Adam Hayes, USA, 6 min.

"In Dreams, In Reverse"- U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. William Suen, Australia, 4 min.

"New Ways" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Jonas Hegi, UK, 9 min.

"Open Your Eyes"

Dir. Julia Jansch, USA, 3 min.


Dir. Grace Rex, USA, 13 min.

"Sangre" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Victoria Batista, USA, 9 min.


Dir. Nadira Murray, UK, 8 min.

"Suite After the Furies"- U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Stefano Lentini, Italy, 4 min.

"Sweeter than Life" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Caroline Schwarz, Germany, 3 min.

"The Circadian Cycle"- WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Garry Stewart, Australia, 16 min.

"The Purple Video" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Halina Stewart, Germany, 4 min.

"Tingle Monsters" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Alexandra Serio, USA, 10 min.

"Tower of Glass" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Manuel Nogueira, Brazil, 8 min.

"When Grapes Grow on a Willow Tree" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Lu Meng, UK, 9 min.

"Wong Ping's Fables 2" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Wong Ping, Hong Kong, 13 min.


"Code Ruth"

Dir. Caroline Voagen Nelson, USA, 4 min.


Dir. Dan Perlman, USA, 15 min.


Dir. Sharon Contillo, USA, 11 min.


Dir. Tom Weston, USA, 10 min.


Dir. Patradol Kitcharoen, USA, 5 min.

"Hugo & Holger" - U.S. PREMIERE

Dir. Teddy Halkier Kristiansen, Denmark, 14 min.

"Little Thinks" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Step Chueng, Hong Kong, 5 min.

"Mimi Meets Books" - EAST COAST PREMIERE

Dir. Yih-Fen Chou, Taiwan, 6 min.


Dir. Cleo Handler, USA, 6 min.

"Om Nom Nom"

Dir. Minato Matsuda, Japan, 3 min.

"Space Bears_S2E1_The Rainbow Space Gem" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Mike Schleif, USA, 15 min.

"The Amazing Adventures of Awesome" - N.Y. PREMIERE

Dir. Allison Brownmoore, UK, 6 min.

"The Butterfly Affect"

Dir. Stephanie Blakely, Canada, 5 min.

"The Lunch Bunch" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Eric Swinderman, USA, 12 min.

"The Magical Forest and the Things" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Dave Russo, USA, 4 min.


Dir. Becca Wolff, USA, 11 min.

"Wear your Beautiful Life" - WORLD PREMIERE

Dir. Nicolas Lesaffre, Hong Kong, 4 min.


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