Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Announces Awards For 2021 Edition – Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas’ EGO and Rob Jabbaz’s THE SADNESS Breakout with Multiple Wins


Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas’ EGO Scores Trio of Accolades Including Best Feature, Rob Jabbaz Takes Best Director, Special Jury Mention, and the Audience Award for THE SADNESS As Standouts of 2021 Winners

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival ended its 6th edition last Thursday with the sold-out closing night East Coast Premiere of Rob Jabbaz’s THE SADNESS at Nitehawk Cinema and announced today its jury and audience award winners. Launching on October 14th with the NY Premiere of MLUNGU WAM (GOOD MADAM), Brooklyn Horror is proud to have welcomed back an eager and excited audience who packed the cinemas after a one year pandemic related hiatus and hosted a majority of sold-out screenings, with special highlights being the festival’s 35mm projection of SESSION 9, presented for its 20th anniversary with lead actor and co-writer Stephen Gevedon in attendance, and the US Premiere of local filmmaker Edoardo Vitaletti’s debut THE LAST THING MARY SAW, with Rory Culkin and Vitaletti present for the Q&A.

When I Consume You screening

Further highlights of the festival include the world premieres of Adam Randall’s Netflix Original vampire feature NIGHT TEETH and Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas’ psychological social-media thriller EGO, which went on to win three awards including Best Feature. In addition to Rory Culkin, Stephen Gevedon, and Edoardo Vitaletti, Brooklyn Horror also welcomed composer Robert Pycior for the NY Premiere of WHAT JOSIAH SAW and the return of BHFF alumni filmmaker Perry Blackshear for the US premiere of his latest, WHEN I CONSUME YOU, alongside the film’s stars, Libby Ewing, Evan Dumouchel, and MacLeod Andrews, as well as numerous local short filmmakers and an extended intro from author Kate Robertson ahead of the special 20th-anniversary screening of TROUBLE EVERY DAY. 

In total, Brooklyn Horror 2021 hosted two World Premieres, two US Premieres, one North American premiere, one East Coast Premiere, and five NY Premieres, and screened 14 features and 49 shorts across all eight days of the festival, with over 93.5% of all available tickets sold and over 30 attending talent to celebrate the explosive return of the event.

Rory Culkin and Edoardo Vitaletti at THE LAST THING MARY SAW screening

This year’s BHFF features jury was composed of filmmaker Anthony Scott Burns, Fangoria Managing Editor Ariel Fisher, and Fantasia International Film Festival programmer Justine Peres Smith. The jury awarded the following distinctions: 

Best Feature — EGO, dir. Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas

Best Director — Rob Jabbaz, THE SADNESS

Best Screenplay — Jorge Navarro de Lemus, EGO

Best Actor — Nick Stahl, WHAT JOSIAH SAW

Best Actress — María Pedraza, EGO

Best Cinematography — Jenna Cato Bass, MLUNGU WAM (GOOD MADAM)

Special Jury Mention — THE SADNESS, dir. Rob Jabbaz

“I would like to thank the jury for this award on behalf of EGO’s team, María Pedraza and myself,” said EGO director Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas. “The first international feature film debut promoted by La Caña Imagine could not have been better. Now, we expect that its debut will have the same recognition in Spain. We also wish that this feature-length film could present a new creators’ community in our society and we wish it will open new doors and offer new opportunities for filmmakers.”

“Whoa, thanks so much to the judges and to the audience at BHFF,” said Rob Jabbaz on his win for directing THE SADNESS. “I wish I could have been there in person to receive the award. I’m so happy that there are still people out there who enjoy films like THE SADNESS as much as I do. This is truly an honor!”

The BHFF shorts jury was composed of Short of the Week Senior Programmer Chelsea Lupkin, “Knight Light” Podcast Host Prince Jackson, and BHFF alumni filmmaker Yfke van Berckelaer, director of the short film LILI, which took home Best Performance and Best Screenplay in 2019. The jury awarded the following distinctions: 

Best Short — LA OSCURIDAD, dir. Jorge Sistos Moreno

Best Director — Jon Bell, THE MOOGAI

Best Performance — Irene Tsu and Bert Matias, ATROPHY

Best Cinematography — Nick Morris, SUDDEN LIGHT

Best Sound Design — John Moros, WEEE WOOO

Most Bonkers Short — SUSHI NOH, dir. Jayden Rathsam Hua

Special Jury Award — OTHER BODIES, dir. Alyssa Loh

“I’m so thankful to everyone for watching LA OSCURIDAD,” said director Jorge Sistos Moreno on the win. “It means the world to me to receive this award from one of the most frighteningly amazing festivals in the world. I’m so grateful to all those who made the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival possible. It brings joy to this wicked soul of mine and is something I will hold dear over these long, cold winter nights spent in ‘La Oscuridad.’” 

“My first Best Director’s Award, I can’t truly express my gratitude to the Brooklyn Horror Fest,” said THE MOOGAI director Jon Bell. “Genre films can be such tricky beasts, you never really know if something’s going to work or if it will travel. What’s scary to Australians could easily be considered comedic to American audiences. Kristina Ceyton, Taylor Goddard, Samantha Jennings, Mitch Stanley and I tried our best to make it as universal as possible but you never know. Chelsea Lupkin, Prince Jackson and Yfke van Berckelaer, thank you so much. I got a pocketful of dreams…”

This year’s Audience Award winners for feature and shorts are the following: 



Nightmare Fuel — THIS IS OUR HOME, dir. A.K. Espada

Head Trip — THE FARAWAY MAN, dir. Megan Gilbert, Jill Hogan

Slayed — THE COST OF LIVING, dir. Alice Trueman

Home Invasion #1 —  STILL TOGETHER, dir. Christopher Piazza

Home Invasion #2 — HAZEL, dir. Jordan Doig

Fear in Focus: Australia — SUSHI NOH, dir. Jayden Rathsam Hua

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival will return for its seventh edition in 2022. Look out for announcements of dates, submissions and badges this winter.

The festival would like to thank our 2021 sponsors:

IFC Midnight, Metrograph Pictures, So What? Press, Horror Pack, Wicked Cat Clothing

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