18th Annual Brooklyn Film Festival Wraps, Announces Winners

Wildlike, Sweaty BettyFunny BunnyFrame By Frame and But Not For Me Nab Multiple Awards


The 18th annual Brooklyn Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with a gala evening at new BFF venue, the Wythe Hotel, handing out a total of $50,000 in products and film services. A grand time was had for all, with filmmakers, guests and staff celebrating into the night. 

Joseph Frank and Zachary Reed picked up the Best Feature Film award, as well as the Grand Chameleon Award for Sweaty Betty, while Alison Bagnall’s Funny Bunny also nabbed two awards, best actor for Olly Alexander (shared with Ágúst Örn B. Wigum for Whale Valley) and Best Editing, for Kentucker Audley, David Barker, and Caleb Johnson.

Wildlike nabbed three awards, including Best Actor (female) for Ella PurnellBest Screenplay for director Frank Hall Green and Best Producer for Julie Christeas, Green, Joseph Stephans, and Schuyler Weiss while world premiere New York City film But Not For Me nabbed the Audience Award for Best Feature Narrative, as well as the Best Original Score award for Rafael Leloup with Ryan Carmichael, Marcus Carl Franklin, Quazzy Faffle and Elena Urioste.

Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli’s Frame by Frame nabbed the festival’s Spirit Award for documentary and shared the Audience Award with Neal Broffman’s film Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi.

“We’re so pleased with this year’s festival,” said Director of Programming Bryce J. Renninger. “The films, filmmakers, audiences and sponsors all truly exemplify the diversity and spirit of Brooklyn and we look forward to the BFF continuing to be a vibrant part of Brooklyn’s cultural landscape.”

“This year we brought more filmmakers with their first or second film to New York audiences than ever before. We staged the festival in all new venues and neighborhoods, and it proved to be a great success,” said Marco Ursino, BFF’s Executive Director. “After 18 years, the festival feels as fresh as ever.”

This year’s event screened 108 features and shorts from 26 countries and over 70 filmmakers attended, performing Q&A sessions after their screenings, supporting the work of other artists, and attending the festival’s various panels and parties. 

This year’s prizes were generously sponsored by Panavision, Abelcine, Xeno Lights, Media Services, Film Friends, Digital Bolex, Mik Cribben Steady-Cam, Cinecall Soundtracks, Windmill Studios, New York Film Academy, Noble Jewelry.

Complete list of Winners:


Best Feature Film: Joseph Frank and Zachary Reed for Sweaty Betty


Best Animation: Sol Friedman for Day 40

Best Experimental film: Clayton Allis & Alfie Lee for In The Future Love Will Also 

Best Short Subject: Bartek Konopka for From Bed Thou Arose

Best Short Documentary: Danya Abt for Eric, Winter To Spring

Best Documentary: Florian Schewe and Katharina Von Schroeder for We Were Rebels

Best Feature Film: Joseph Frank and Zachary Reed for Sweaty Betty


Audience Award in the Animation Category: Bob Blevins & Bradly Werley for T.P.

Audience Award in the Experimental Film Category: Clayton Allis & Alfie Lee for In the Future Love Will Also

Audience Award in the Narrative Short Category: Daisy Zhou for How to Be a Black Panther

Audience Award in the Short Documentary Category: Sean Ryon and Lea Scruggs for Born Into This

Audience Award in the Documentary Category (tie): Neal Broffman for Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi and Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli forFrame by Frame

Audience Award in the Feature Length Narrative Category: Ryan Carmichael for But Not for Me

SPIRIT AWARDS | Festival’s Favorite

Spirit Award in the Narrative Short Category: Graham Chychele Waterston for And It Was Good

Spirit Award in the Exp. Film Category: Janna Kyllästinen & Anne-Katrine Hansen for Division Avenue

Spirit Award in the Short Doc Category: Dir: Elizabeth Lo & Melissa Langer for Treasure Island

Spirit Award in the Documentary Category: Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli for Frame by Frame

Spirit Award in the Animation Category: Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano for Love in the Time of March Madness

Spirit Award in the Feature Category: Vinko Moderndorfer for Inferno

Best Brooklyn Project: Harvey Mitkas for Devil Town


Best Actor (male): Ágúst Örn B. Wigum for Whale Valley and Olly Alexander for Funny Bunny

Best Actor (female): Ella Purnell for Wildlike

Original Score: Rafael Leloup with Ryan Carmichael, Marcus Carl Franklin Quazzy Faffle and Elena Urioste for But Not for Me

Best Editing Award: Kentucker Audley, David Barker, and Caleb Johnson for Funny Bunny

Best Cinematography Award: Robert Machoian for God Bless the Child

Best Screenplay Award: Frank Hall Green for Wildlike

Best Producer Award: Julie Christeas, Frank Hall Green, Joseph Stephans, and Schuyler Weiss for Wildlike

Best New Director Award: Robert Gregson for The Refrigerator

Brooklyn Film Festival Announces 18th Annual Festival Lineup

  • Kicks Off May 29 With Manson Family Vacation
  • Event To Feature 108 Films From 26 Countries

The Brooklyn Film Festival has announced their full slate of films for the 2015 edition of this Brooklyn cultural mainstay. For their 18th edition, 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.

Opening Night

  • 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

Narrative Features

  • 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.

Documentary Features

  • 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.

For more information, please visit: www.brooklynfilmfestival.org.