Many of us may have spent the last 12 months feeling like we were living inside a dystopian horror film or something dreamed up by an avant-garde director. That's the approach taken by the Brooklyn Film Festival in a couple of promo films that put a cinematic slant on some of the weirdness that upended our lives in 2020.
The Festival worked with Dan Lucey, chief creative officer of Havas New York, and director Ben Quinn, creative director of Hemingway Films, on the trailers. One, "Expedition," starts off in film noir style. A man dons a protective mask and gloves for what seems to be a dangerous mission as his partner looks fearfully on. It turns out he's embarking on a trip to buy groceries.
Another film, "Visitors," goes down the horror route (with nods to "The Shining," "Us" and "Get Out,") as two ghostly-looking figures appear outside a couple's home, knocking on their glass door. "They're back," says the protagonist. "Why won't they leave us alone?" The perfectly innocent 2020 explanation: it's just Grandma and Grandpa coming to look at the baby through a window.
Both films end with the line, "If last year was a film, it would be playing at the Brooklyn Film Festival."
“We were inspired by a year that played out like a dystopian thriller," says Lucey. "When you think about it, 2020 was truly stranger than fiction with the most unimaginable script—and that’s what we brought to life with each narrative."
The theme for the 24th annual BFF is “The Clearing” – a name that Brooklyn Film Festival Executive Director Marco Ursino says “is about safe distancing from all the accumulated pain and anger of the past year and is about getting re-acquainted with life’s important values. Fundamentally, ‘The Clearing’ is a message of hope that we want to spread, while trying to leave the ‘Covid tunnel’ behind us.”
The films will be shown on Big Screen Plaza on 6th Avenue in Brooklyn and run socially across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They will also feature as trailers at the BFF itself, which is New York's longest-running competitive film festival and takes place June 4-13. .