The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is thrilled to announce our 2017 award winners following the close of another successful year bringing the best in horror to NYC’s coolest borough. The second edition of the festival closed with a sold-out screening of Elizabeth E. Schuch’s THE BOOK OF BIRDIE at the Wythe Hotel Cinema in Greenpoint. “The rate of expansion for our second year was phenomenal,” said festival director Justin Timms. “We welcomed five times more attendees than last year and were honored to host numerous feature filmmakers, cast and crew from around the globe.”
With over 2500 spectators, 40 screenings across 10 venues, a VR & art exhibition, and three unique events integrated into the program, BHFF has firmly established itself as a valued genre event on the international scale. This year, the festival featured screenings sponsored by Birth.Movies.Death; IFC Midnight; Quickframe, who backed our sold-out local program; and El Buho Mezcal, who helped the festival realize its first “Fear in Focus” sidebar, with an important spotlight on Mexican horror. Additionally, BHFF was proud to screen two films from Shudder for our Centerpiece program, and was thrilled to present films and events at both the Downtown Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse and Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema for the very first time.
The Brooklyn Horror Film Fest was thrilled to screen the World Premiere of locally-made GET MY GUN by Brian Darwas, as well as six North American Premieres, six East Coast Premieres, six New York Premieres, and two U.S. Premieres from a program that consisted of shorts and features from 15 countries.
This year’s special event highlights included Drunk Ed: Final Girls, where New York female film critics took the stage to (drunkenly) debate which Final Girl reigns supreme; and the Midnight Drunken Ghost Tour, hosted by the BK Paranormal Society. Priding ourselves on our consideration of the local community, we were thrilled to be able to showcase these Brooklyn-based community-driven institutions and champion their organizations to our audiences. But not every event at this year’s BHFF had to be boozy, as Samm Deighan demonstrated with her informative and entertaining tie-in presentation with the NY book launch of Spectacular Optical’s Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin and special screening of Rollin’s THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES, newly restored by Kino Lorber.
Film guests were in abundance in our second edition, coming to Brooklyn to proudly present their films to our eager audiences, and staying to partake in the festival’s energy. Director Can Evrenol attended our opening night screening of HOUSEWIFE while leading actress Ilirida Memedovski came to present THE BOOK OF BIRDIE, both celebrating the first time these films have been shown in North America. Additional film guests include Graham Skipper, director of SEQUENCE BREAK and esteemed member of our shorts jury; celebrated genre director Joe Lynch for an action-packed screening of MAYHEM; director Tyler MacIntyre and producer (ex-New York Jet!) Kerry Rhodes, who ‘tagged themselves’ in TRAGEDY GIRLS at Nitehawk; last year’s closing night director Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen returning with festival hit RIFT; Tyler Savage sharing his impressive debut INHERITANCE; Brian Darwas and Jennifer Carchietta for the exciting world premiere of NY-made GET MY GUN; writer Diego Fleischer and mesmerizing actress Cecilia Cartasegna of the haunting CLEMENTINA; segment director Sergio Tello with the wild horror anthology MEXICO BARBARO II; and 8mm found-footage 1974 director Victor Dryere.
This year’s feature jury consisted of Ashlee Blackwell, founder and writer at Graveyard Shift Sisters, and Joshua Rothkopf, Global Deputy Film Editor and Senior Film Critic at Time Out New York, and member of the faculty at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Twenty films were in competition, and our jury awarded honors in nine categories, with Best Picture being presented to Tyler MacIntyre’s internet-age slasher TRAGEDY GIRLS and Best Director honoring José Pedro Lopes’ outstanding work on THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS.
Best Picture: TRAGEDY GIRLS, dir. Tyler MacIntyre
Director: José Pedro Lopes, THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS
Score: Julien Mineau, GAME OF DEATH
Actress: Brianna Hildebrand & Alexandra Shipp, TRAGEDY GIRLS
Actor: Steven Yuen, MAYHEM
Screenplay: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, Justin Olson, TRAGEDY GIRLS
Cinematography: Konstantinos Koutsoliotas, THE BOOK OF BIRDIE
Editing: Tom Sainty, FASHIONISTA
Effects: Blood Brothers and Rémy Couture, GAME OF DEATH
Audience Award: 1974, dir. by Victor Dryere
This year’s shorts jury was composed of Graham Skipper (director of SEQUENCE BREAK), Jenn Wexler (Glass Eye Pix director/producer) and Kier-La Janisse (Owner/Artistic Director of Spectacular Optical Publications, founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, writer and film programmer).
Seventeen films were in competition, and our jury awarded honours in nine categories, with Best Short being presented to Robin Comisar’s GREAT CHOICE and the Best Director award honouring Matt Mercer for FEEDING TIME.
Best Short: GREAT CHOICE, dir. Robin Comisar
Best Director: Matt Mercer, FEEDING TIME
Best Actor: Morgan Spector, GREAT CHOICE
Best Actress: Mishka Balilty, INK
Best Cinematography: Ellie Smolkin, AMY
Best Editing: Alfonso Garcia, iMEDIUM
Best Effects: Aislan, A MOTHER OF MONSTERS
Best Score: Steve Moore, FEEDING TIME
Most Spectacular Location: BESTIA, dir. Gigi Saul Guerrero
Special Jury Award: EARWORM, dir. Tara Price
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival will haunt the borough once again in October 2018.