The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019

By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

Horror has a home in Brooklyn. The most popular genre in indie film is definitely horror. Many filmmakers from Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson to David F. Sandberg got their start in the industry by making horror films. Jason Blum built Blumhouse on a foundation of films like Paranormal Activity and Sinister before later achieving critical acclaim with Get Out. Horror has been and continues to be the way to break into an over-saturated industry.

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival which ran from October 17th to October 24th this year was packed with young hopeful filmmakers looking to launch their careers and with fans looking for the latest scares. Festival founder Kaila Heir and her team put together an impressive program that is filmmaker and fan friendly.

At this year’s festival, there were a wide variety of films both shorts and features that range from psychological thriller to horror comedy to the surreal. I had the opportunity to attend Home Invasion short’s program, and was impressed by the selection. Some of the shorts that stood out were: Laundry Night by director. A.K. Espada, Bakemono,  by Sumire Takamatsu and Jorge Lucas, and Muffin Man by Ethan Blum and starring (friend of the show) Stefanie Bloom

Some of this year’s winners included the features Daniel Isn’t Real which took home the best horror film and best director awards, Monument which took home the Best Picture award in the Head Trip Feature Competition, and Swallow which won Best Screenplay and Best Production Design. 

Now in its fourth year and going strong, the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has recently been named one of the 30 Bloody Best Genre Fests by MovieMaker Magazine. If you’re a horror fan, BHFF have a lot to offer, and if you’re filmmaker looking to make your bones in horror, I highly recommend submitting your film. 

NYC Web Fest 2019

By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

In October, NYC Web Fest celebrated its sixth year at Stonestreet Studios in Manhattan. It is a delightful fest, quite intimate, but they have some great screenings, panels, and workshops.

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on writing for Digital and TV which included four very accomplished writers: Joanna Pickering, who is an actress and playwright; Misha Calvert, who created several web series including Step Into My Office, ; Cylla Sennii, who created the series Situationships on BET Digital; and Micharne Cloughley, who is currently a staff writer for Law & Order SVU

The festival encourages creators to submit by having a healthy number of awards. Festival winners included: 

Outstanding Achievement in Editing: Countdown — Nathan Breton

Outstanding Achievement in Sound:  Microaggressions  — Dicky Dahl

Outstanding Achievement in Music:  Play the Hits — CJ Ballesteros & Lauren Moon 

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography:   Just the Two of Us — Christophe Dalpé & Benoit Jones-Vallée

Outstanding Achievement in Writing:  Step Into My Office — Misha Calvert

Best Original Concept: Swipe — Martijn Winkler 

Best Supporting Actress: Barbelle –Nadine Bhabha 

Best Supporting ActorHype — Leroy Shingu 

Best Documentary/Reality: Yotsrim– Shachaf Dekel

Best Mystery/Thriller: Terreur 404 — Samuel Archibald & William S. Messier  

Best Dramedy: Tuesday Nights — Shiva Kalaiselvan & Joe Bandelli

Best Comedy: Dark Justice –– Mike Gerbino, Elisa Peebles, Travis Cannan, Che Holloway, Zahra Zubaidi 

Special Guest Star:  Tuesday Nights — Victor Williams 

Dynamic Duo: The Mom List –Elena Melener & Melody Fadness  

Best Actress: Home Turf — Sarah Cantin  

Best Actor: Darcy on House Arrest — Trevor Dow

Best Foreign Language:  Georges is Dead — Charles Grenier, Sarah Pellerin, Carolyne Boucher

Best International Web Series:  Sui Generis — Roberto Nascimento

I Love NY: The Rehearsal  — Jaclyn Bethany, Suze Myers, Alida Rose Delaney, Mikhail Makeyev

Best Short Film:  Girl, Sweetvoiced — Rebecca Shoptaw

Best Pilot: Vows  — Nazli Sarpkaya & Isabelle Pierre, Ginny Leise, Callie Hanau 

Best Director: Darcy on House Arrest — Heidi Weitzer 

Best Web Series: Home Turf — Mara Joly, Lou Bélanger, Rafael Perez, St Laurent TV, Sophie Samson

If you have a web series, this is a must-submit festival. For more information on NYC Web Fest, check out Episode 512 with Lauren Atkins, the festival’s founder. 

Bushwick Film Festival: Opening Night

By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

This year’s Bushwick Film Festival kicked off with an evening at House of Yes in Brooklyn. Despite a torrential down pour, the night got underway without a hitch. Our own Lindsay Aster was there on the red carpet to chat with filmmakers Kylie Eaton and Cody Stokes about their films Dispel and The Ghost Who Walks. Dispel is a fantasy short film about a young girl who sees her mother as a monster from her favorite television show, and The Ghost Who Walks is an indie feature about an ex-con attempting to reconnect with his daughter.

The Bushwick Film Festival has been running for 12 years and has a lot to offer filmmakers who are looking to land a film on the festival circuit and network with industry professionals. I highly recommend it.

Look to this space for more film festival coverage throughout the year and subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast app. No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Zero at the Katra Film Series

By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

This week I attended the Katra Film Series,. This season Geoffrey Guerrero and his team put a great program of films together.

The stand out of the evening was the film Zero directed by The Brothers Lynch and starring Bella Ramsey who you may know better as Lady Mormont from Game of Thrones. The film is about a young girl who is left to survive the apocalypse alone after her father dies. Ramsey gives an exceptional performance and the film is very well-made with some stellar cinematography and special effects. 

Other standout films include: Juniper- a sci-fi short about a man who loses his wife and has her brought back via a company that can clone people. It has a very Black Mirror-esque vibe to it.  It’s a film that keeps you guessing and surprises the audience.

The Desecrated is a horror short, a real crowd-pleaser with equal parts scares and laughs. Horror is huge on the indie film scene. Making horror shorts was a road to Hollywood for David F. Sandberg. Perhaps director John Gray will take a similar path.

The Katra Film Series has four exhibitions a year, and now they’re making their home at the Alamo Drafthouse. If you’re making short films, and you’re looking for a festival, I highly recommend submitting to them. 

For more about the Katra Film Series, check out episode 421 where I interview founder Geoffrey Guerrero. He’s also the co-founder of the Bowery Film Festival which we also covered this year. You can find our interviews at both Katra Film Series and the Bowery Film Festival on our Facebook and YouTube pages.


Episode 519: Celia Au

Hosted By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

On this episode Celia Au, talks with host Jason Godbey about starring on the Netflix series Wu Assassins and the award winning indie feature, In a New York Minute.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Our Guide to No Budget Filmmaking – Available Now for our Patrons

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Episode 512: Lauren Atkins/NYC Web Fest

Hosted By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

On this episode Lauren Atkins, founder of NYC Web Fest joins host Jason Godbey to talk about the festival and the future of digital/streaming series and what it means for creators.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Episode 511: Jennifer Sharp

Hosted By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

On this episode, filmmaker Jennifer Sharp joins host Jason Godbey in the Rabbit Hole Studio and talks about her feature film Una Great Movie.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Episode 510: Lindsay Van Dyke

Hosted By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

On this episode VICE News Producer Lindsay Van Dyke joins host Jason Godbey in the Rabbit Hole Studio to talk about documentary filmmaking and her upcoming projects.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Episode 504: John Campbell & The Infamous Future

Hosted By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

On this episode Writer/Producer John Campbell joins Jason Godbey in the Rabbit Hole Studio and talks about his documentary, The Infamous Future and gives his advice on what it takes to make a successful documentary.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on YouTube, iTunesPocket Casts, Anchor.fmSpotify, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.