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Director Marie Alice Wolfszahn’s Mother Superior has taken best feature in the main competition at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival with the abortion-focused anthology Give Me An A garnering the Gold Audience Award during the seventh edition of the festival.
Other main competition jury prize winners at BHFF, which ran from Oct. 13-20 with events held in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, included Wolfszahn for best director, Megalomaniac’s Eline Schumacher for best performance and a special jury mention for the Paolo Strippoli-directed Flowing.
The main competition jury, which was comprised of filmmaker Zach Clark, HuffPost Senior Culture Editor Candice Frederick and author Kate Robertson, lauded Mother Superior — a directorial debut from the Austrian Wolfszahn — as “a thoughtfully crafted folk story exploring the völkisch occult with a captivating aesthetic indebted to the gothic tradition and tight editing, each frame carefully considered.”
The director thanked the jury for the honor, noting that she feels “very humbled to be recognized among such an incredible selection” of films and directors before adding that the award “goes to my powerhouse team and cast” for “their inspiration, passion, sweat and determination.”
The Gold Audience Award went to Give Me An A directors Natasha Halevi, Meg Swertlow, Bonnie Discepolo, Danin Jacquay, Annie Bond, Sarah Kopkin, Monica Moore-Suryiage, Caitlin Hargraves, Megan Rosati, Hannah Alline, Avital Ash, Mary C. Russell, Valerie Finkel, Kelly Nygaard, Loren Escandon and Francesca Maldonado.
“This is so meaningful to our team because this film is really all about the audience and creating a space for discussion with an audience,” the film’s executive producer and director Halevi said. “We hope people really see this as a different type of film that’s made for conversation more than anything. We really did want to put the audience first, and this makes it seem like we maybe did that! Hope everyone who sees this is inspired to talk to more people about women’s reproductive rights and to go vote!”
The anthology series, which explores abortion through 15 short films in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, was one of the festival’s more star-packed entries with Alyssa Milano, Virginia Madsen, Gina Torres, Milana Vayntrub, Jennifer Holland, Sean Gunn, Molly C. Quinn, Jason George and Jackie Tohn, among others in the shorts’ various casts.
The film held a special event screening at the horror fest followed by a panel with lead creative producer and Halevi, segment directors Monica Moore-Suriyage and Loren Escandon, actor Sean Gunn and Planned Parenthood Senior Director of News Kate Smith. All proceeds from the screening were donated to the New York Abortion Access Fund.
The jury for this year’s Head Trip Features competition, which was comprised of IFC Films Manager of Acquisitions and Productions Adam Koehler, Swallowed director Carter Smith, and actor, writer and filmmaker Christine Nyland, selected Kristoffer Borgli’s Sick of Myself as best feature with Falcon Lake‘s Charlotte Le Bon honored with best director.
For the BHFF Shorts section, juried by Hellbender co-writer, co-director and star Zelda Adams, co-host of the Certified Forgotten Podcast Matthew Monagle and Daughter director Corey Deshon, Fredrik S. Hana’s From.Beyond was honored as best short, Tistblebu helmer Simon Matthew Valentine as best director and the Special Jury Award went to Tiffany Kimmel’s Everybody Goes to the Hospital.
This year’s Brooklyn Horror Festival featured the program sections Nightmare Fuel, Head Trip, Home Invasion, and Slayed along with sold-out short blocks. The Cannes screened supernatural coming-of-age feature Falcon Lake served as the centerpiece and Lorcan Finnegan’s Eva Green-starrer Nocebo as the opening night film with Prime Video’s Run Sweetheart Run among its 2022 lineup.
The full list of winners follows.
Marie Alice Wolfszahn, Mother Superior
Eline Schumacher, Megalomaniac
SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Head Trip Features
Sick of Myself
Charlotte Le Bon, Falcone Lake
Kristine Kujath Thorp, Sick of Myself
Kristof Brandl, Falcon Lake
SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Simon Matthew Valentine, Tistlebu
Adriana Bakker, Darker
Nathan Ginter, The Businessman
Fredrik S. Hana, From.Beyond
Jordan Holtane, Everbody Goes to the Hospital
Jordan T. Parrott, Chaperone
BEST SOUND DESIGN
Bryan M. Ferguson and Paul Preston, Red Room
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Jade Harris, Baby Fever
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
Everybody Goes to the Hospital
GOLD AUDIENCE AWARD
Give Me An A
SILVER AUDIENCE AWARD
BRONZE AUDIENCE AWARD
The Weird Kidz
A previous version of this story misidentified the festival name. It is the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, not Brooklyn Film Festival.
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