26th Brooklyn Film Festival, Human Times, Announces Lineup
June 2 – 11, 2023
155 Films, 44 World Premieres
Screenings at Windmill Studios, Wythe Hotel, The Center for Fiction, and online from June 2-11
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, May 11, 2023 – Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) announces the film lineup for its 26th edition, themed Human Times. The 2023 edition will feature 44 World Premieres, 21 US bows, 26 east coast debuts, and 36 first-time screenings in NY. In total, BFF will show in competition 155 features and shorts from over 30 countries. The full lineup includes 13 narrative features and 11 documentary features, highlighted in this release. The festival will also present 45 narrative shorts, 21 documentary shorts, 28 animations, and 27 experimental films. Furthermore,10 films will play as part of one of the most successful BFF programs, now in its 19th year, kidsfilmfest.
On June 2nd, BFF will open the festival with a world premiere screening at Windmill Studios in Greenpoint Brooklyn, of the powerful and nuanced drama-thriller, “Forgive Me Father,” written and directed by James Biberi. Inspired by true events, this is his feature film directing debut, and the cast includes a number of well-known, New York actors, including Aida Turturro.
Over the course of the 10-day festival, BFF will present 40 two-hour film programs, 34 of which will be shown at Windmill Studios in Greenpoint, and six at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The online lineup (all the films selected) will be available 24/7 from June 3-10. Tickets for theater screenings can be purchased in advance, online. All purchased online tickets and passes for BFF theater programs are will call and can be picked up at Windmill Studios or at Wythe Hotel Cinema, once the festival begins. For more details, please visit BFF’s website.
Along with the film screenings, BFF will offer additional events- both on social media and on the festival website-such as pre-recorded filmmaker introductions and Q&A sessions. The video server will once again be hosted by Cinesend. Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF will assign to the winning filmmakers $50,000 in total prizes (cash, products, and services). BFF’s list of sponsors for 2023 includes: WNET’s All Arts, Brooklyn Film Society, Windmill Studios, Cinelease, Herc, Quebec Government, PRG, Xeno Lights, AbelCine, Be Electric, MPE, Big Screen Plaza, Media Services, Wythe Hotel, Moxy Hotel, Yelp, Lentini Communications, The Pod, Papapietro Perry, Blue Table Post and Noble Jewelry.
Below is a partial line up of feature films in competition this year, listed in alphabetical order. For further information on all the films, passes, and tickets, please visit BFF’s website.
ALIGNED by Dir. Apollo Bakopoulos | Greece |TRT 1:17:22
This film is an intimate exploration of self-discovery, love, desire and pain. Set against a backdrop of beautiful music, dance and photography.
A THREE STOREY COMEDY by Dir. Sandra Mitrovic | Serbia | TRT 1:40:40
This film follows the comical and often crazy adventures of the tenants of a seemingly ordinary apartment building in Belgrade. Alienated and lonely neighbors find themselves with a problem when they realize that the building they live in, as well as their neglected community, is falling apart.
BETTER HALF by Dir. Patrick Henry Phelan | US | TRT 1:25:00
According to Greek Mythology, humans were once two-faced, four armed, four legged creatures, until Zeus split us in two, leaving us in an endless search for our other halves. Fast forward to modern day: Arturo, a hopeless romantic in search of true love, and Daphne, a serial polygamist allergic to commitment, meet for what should be a one-night stand, and quite literally find their other half when their bodies fuse during sex.
BLACK MOON by Dir. Tonatiuh Garcίa | Mexico | TRT 1:39:00
The story of three siblings and the rebellion of a town to defend a river. An unexpected piece of news forces them to make decisions that will change their destinies forever- because what flows can be as appeasing as it is implacable.
COYOTE by Dir. Katherine Jerkovic | Canada | TRT 1:29:00
The arrival of a grandchild upsets an immigrant’s plans for a new beginning.
CUL-DE-SAC by Dir. Gerald Alan Decker | US | TRT 40:00
A woman with cancer, together with her husband and sister, kidnap a girl with Down Syndrome to get the money they need for her medical bills.
FORGIVE ME FATHER by Dir. James Biberi | US | TRT 1:29:05
“Forgive Me Father” tells the story of Daniel. Having been released from prison after 25 years, he wants to live a simple life. His plan is thrown into chao safter a brief, chance encounter with a priest.
(OPENING NIGHT FILM)
POLECAT by Dir. Hayley Vinson | US | TRT 1:19:55
Two trauma-bonded Appalachian kids seek escape from the back country. They move to a small metropolis to deal drugs, thanks to a family connect, until they can aspire to something better. When they catch the attention of the local biker gang that runs the territory, chaos ensues.
PRATFALL by Dir. Alex Andre | US |TRT 1:49:24
A troubled insomniac (Eli) encounters an enigmatic French tourist (Joelle) in Central Park. The two set off on a sleepless, New York adventure as the city casts a shadow over them.
RUPTURE by Dir. Paul Ertl | Austria | TRT 53:00
Mrs. Pospisil, who is about 80 years old, finds it increasingly difficult to manage on her own. Her son has long wanted to send her to a nursing home, which she categorically refuses. But recently her old apartment seems to be haunted… In fact, Mrs. Pospisil finally gets on the trail of an eerie creature that is wreaking havoc here.
TALES OF BABYLON by Dir. Pelayo de Lario | UK | TRT 54:00
Four different hit-men find themselves vying for a job without knowing the others are involved. Escaping from their abusive, mob-leader grandfather, two siblings will join forces with a pair of hit-men, with a knack for the theatrical, in their search for a new life in this tale of crime, violence, and redemption.
WISTERIA by Dir. Samuel Jacob Attias | US | TRT 56:03
In this “Baguette Western” set in Evansville, WY, Jacob, a lonely farmer, sees his life brutally changed after committing the irreparable: the murder of a Native. In a hostile environment where law and order are set by the cold-hearted Marshall Henry, Jacob struggles to redeem himself.
WHITE BERRY by Dir. Sia Hermanides | US | TRT 1:29:11
Grace, a woman of Burundian descent with albinism, feels like an outsider. When she meets dancer Kya and her entourage, it opens a new world. But how far is she willing to go to fit in?
A HOLY FAMILY by Dir. Elvis A-Liang Lu | Taiwan | TRT 1:28:00
After 24 years of absence, director A-Liang Elvis Lu returns home to his family in a rural area of southwestern Taiwan. His elder brother is a psychic that communicates Taoist deities’ career advice to villagers, but repeatedly fails in his own entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture. Their father, an underground lottery gambler, reads everything as a sign of lucky numbers.
BUCOLIC by Dir. Karol Pałka | Poland | TRT 1:10:00
Danusia and her daughter Basia live far away from the modern world, in tune with the rhythm and laws of nature, among animals and the spirits of the dead. The peace and sense of security offered by their enclave come at a price– the women increasingly long for contact with other people.
COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT by Dir. David Sabshon | US | TRT 1:44:45
Contemporary Artist, CJ Hendry, creates a global scavenger hunt for her artwork in her annual exhibition, Copyright Infringement. The film explores the law of copyright infringement, social media, and the value systems of the contemporary art market.
DOGWATCH by Dir. Gregoris Rentis | Greece | TRT 1:18:00
Mercenaries set sail for a life of action against Somali pirates. Yet, the sea is full of surprises. Or lack thereof.
EMPTY ORCHESTRA by Dir. Nicole Hawkins | US | TRT 1:16:00
In the religiously homogeneous Provo, Utah, a group of self-proclaimed misfits try to replace the devotion and community they once found in the Mormon church with weekly karaoke singing.
GOOD LIFE by Dir. Marta Dauliūtė, Viktorija Šiaulytė | Sweden | TRT 1:12:00
Good Life lets you in behind the curtain of a co-living start-up that inspires its tenants to run their entire life as a business operation. What happens when corporate storytelling becomes part of one’s innermost self and community becomes a commodity?
ISRAELISM by Dir. Eric Axelman, Sam Eilertsen | US | TRT 1:24:17
The role of Israel in American Jewish identity is challenged when Simone Zimmerman and Eitan join an awakening within the community after they witness Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinian people first-hand.
MOOSA LANE by Dir. Anita Mathal Hopland | Denmark | TRT 1:26:00
Over the course of 15 years, Anita Mathal Hopland documents her intimate encounters with her Pakistani family of 25 living under the same roof in the neighborhood Moosa Lane in Karachi on camera. The film is a personal account of life as a child of several cultures and worlds. It is also an account of living out your dreams, of privileges and of family.
STONEBRAEKERS by Dir. Valerio Ciriaci | US | TRT 1:10:00
“Stonebreakers” chronicles the conflicts around monuments that arose in the United States during the George Floyd protests and the 2020 presidential election. As statues of Columbus, Confederates and Founding Fathers fall from their pedestals, the nation’s triumphalist myths are called into question.
SWEETHEART DEAL by Dir. Elisa Levine, Gabriel Miller | US | TRT 1:39:06
Four sex workers caught in the spiral of addiction turn to a self-proclaimed healer offering friendship and a path to salvation from the streets inside his roadside RV. But just as they begin to rebuild their lives, a shocking betrayal comes to light that will change them all.
TO LOVE THE VOID by Dir. Samuel Ott | US | TRT 1:28:00
A nonfiction film follows a community of drug users as they navigate the streets, woods and homes of Kansas City, Missouri, over the course of a year.
The organizers of the Brooklyn Film Festival have been staging international, competitive film events since1998. BFF’s mission is to provide a public forum in Brooklyn to advance public interest in films and the indie production of films; to encourage the rights of Brooklyn residents to experience the power of independent filmmaking; to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure. BFF, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
For more info about the festival, visit here. For more info about kidsfilmfest, visit here or contact Nina Fry at [email protected]. For BFF press inquiries and interview requests with Executive Director Marco Ursino and Festival Programmers, contact: Lisa King, BFF PR Manager, at 646-234-5080 or [email protected]. For Festival Press Accreditation, visit here. BFF Social Media Links are here.