Thursday, February 9, 2017

Interview With Badass Film Festival Co-Founder David Aboussafy

I had heard of The Badass Film Festival when my friend Nadine L' Esperance had her film "No Pets Allowed" show there. I was invited but could not attend that year but would the following year and have press for both years.
I have been given the opportunity to interview(via email) David Aboussafy co-Director of the Badass III Film Festival this year at The Rio Theater February 26, 2017 starting at 2 PM.
I will be in attendance for this years festival , hope to see you there!

What can people attending this year's event expect?

Thanks Anthony for attending from the beginning, and for your ongoing support of the Vancouver Badass Film Festival!

In brief, Badass film festival goers this year can expect an even more killer line-up of new extreme short and feature films from around the world, (our submissions tripled from the previous two years) in a bigger and more action-packed environment. The films will be headed up by the premieres and first and only Vancouver theatrical screenings of the  highly anticipated new feature films: Director's Cut (Adam Rifkin and Penn Jillette's new twisted meta-masterpiece), and Frankenstein Created Bikers (Jimmy Bickert's new balls to the wall indie exploitation epic perhaps the last such film to be shot on 35 mm film, and the sequel to the legendary biker film Dear God No!).

There are also live events hosted by our master of ceremonies Mister NIckel, including post-screening Q & As with attending filmmakers and cast, appearances by Samantha Mack and others, and performances including those by by Tristan Risk, Burns the Dragon, a very special live presentation before the screening of Frankenstein Created Bikers. There will also be an award show with nominees including Hollywood heavy-hitters, indie mavericks and up and comers from both Vancouver and around the world (see site for nominations list just posted).

_OR watch the evenings host Mr Nickel read off all the Nominations here:

Now that we have finalized our selections, our schedule looks like:

FEATURE  The Valley of the Rats   2pm
Intermission 15
International 3:30pm
Turbo Killer  4 mins
For Blood  11 mins
Commune 15 mins
Retribution  13 mins
The Stylist 15 mins
The Parting Glass    17 mins
Intermission 15
  CANADIAN  5:00pm
Engineers  6 mins
Bon Jovi Witness   11 mins
Un Amour Dangereux  4 mins
The Third Date   8 mins
Burning All The Past Away   4 mins
Marauder  13 mins
Static   16 mins
Intermission 15
LOCAL  6:15 pm
AlphaMem 10mins
Mortem 4 mins
Summoned    6 mins
Ghost Can  6 mins
Baiting the Abductors 3 mins
Ready to Burst 11 mins
     FEATURE   Director's Cut   745pm
   FCB    pre-screening live performance   915pm
     FEATURE    Frankenstein Created Bikers   945pm

With a love for the underground film circuit , this is easily one of the best festivals I have attended.
Having saying that, did you think/know that there would be a market for this style of film festival?

Not initially.  When we set up Badass I in late 2014, Marc Boily and I were simply just a nude photographer (Marc) and a psychologist (me) looking for a venue to screen the crazy films that we and our friends liked (and made). I had previously quite enjoyed the old Cinemeutre festival which ended in the mid-2000s when Kier-la Janisse moved to Australia, and had noted that this left a gap left as historically the big fests (eg VIFF) and playing it safe studios tended to exclude more extreme or challenging films. We had hoped that fans of extreme films would still, as per the motto of our current venue The Rio Theatre,  want: 'an experience that they can't download.'

Two of the major films of last years festival recently found distributors -was their showing at Badass have some help with that?

Yes, as you noted,  last year's top Canadian feature from Badass II, The Evil In Us (from Vancouver's Sandcastle PIctures, Jason William Lee, Director, & Dalj Brar, Producer) and the most badass international feature Atroz (from Mexico, Lex Ortega Director, & Abigail Bonilla, Producer) both announced distribution deals shortly after their Badass Film Festival screenings.  The Evil in Us found success at Sitges and Frightfest with a distribition deal from Raven Banner, with recent wide releases in the UK and Korea, and an upcoming North American release date.   Atroz topped several best of extreme horror lists for 2016 and is being distributed now by Unearthed Films.

Standouts of the previous first Badass year included Quincy Perkins' Swingers Anonymous from Florida (whose poster sported part of your review after Badass I) which was featured at Cannes, and Vancouver's Luchagore/ Gigi Saul Guerrero's El Gigante (which went on to win over 50 awards at other festivals around the world and also a distribution deal with Raven Banner).

I would, of course put all the films' post Badass Film Festival successes down to the quality, originality and impact of the films, and the persistence of their teams'  Producers/Directors, & etc.  Most of the sales happen at film markets like AFM or Cannes, although buzz from even small festivals like ours may help get distributors or buyers attention.

Valley of the Rats is a film you co-produced any thoughts on the making of it?

I am the Executive Producer (among a few other roles) of the new feature film
The Valley of the Rats , whose new cut is kicking off Badass III.  It's a vision of auteur filmmaker Vince D'Amato, and very much in the Italian thriller giallo tradition. It's also a testament to the general awesomeness of the available talented Vancouver cast and crew that we were able to make a quality art-house over the top extreme thriller, on a shoestring budget, and in a very short time.  It stars Momona Komogata and Jesse Inocalla and Produced by Will Carne.  For my part, I especially enjoyed bringing together and working with the cast of this film, especially cult film star Lynn Lowry (Shivers, The Crazies, Cat People) and our local scream queen superstar Tristan Risk along with Lavender, one of her albino pythons.

My future film projects include development of a higher budget film with the D'Amato team which is to be shot entirely in Italy, Los Vampiros Sexuales.  I am also helping to write and produce Marc Boily and Jason William Lee's new high concept science fiction thriller AlphaMem.  I am on the production team of the literary creature feature Sherlock Holmes vs. Frankenstein -also to be shot in Europe.  I am also developping the 'Mad Max, without guns, stuck in strip club' feature script that I wrote with Samantha Mack, Maniac Strippers vs. Bikers. I also co-produced the Elias Ganster creature feature Ayla, which will hit the festival circuit shortly.

Your location has changed from it's previous home of Vancity Theater to The Rio , any reason for the change for those that are curious?

Badass I and II completely sold out our first two years at the great VIFF/Vancity Theatre, where we very much enjoyed presenting our first two festivals.  We've moved this year to the fabulous Rio Theatre which has about twice as many seats to allow for more people to participate in the badassery and to the see the films on the big screen

(that being said a sell out is expected and those who are interested in attending should get their passes quickly to avoid disappointment at the link at

Our attendees at Badass I & II also drank our prior venue dry,  and The Rio assured us of a well-stocked bar and theatre drink service. The Rio Theatre is also cool with our fire and burlseque performers.

Badass III will really be an experience you can't download.

You had mentioned to me  last year of making this an entire weekend event or even a week long event, any changes to that idea(s)? Or is that still in the planning stages?

Yes, our aspiration is to develop The Vancouver Badass FIlm Festival into a  longer festival. This past year there were some issues with potential new sponsors who cited the Badass II screening of the very extreme Atroz as a reason for withholding sponsorship.  This may change going forward, as new partners or a bigger submission and ticket sale base may allow funding of additional days in future years consistent with our aspirations.

I would like to thank David for the time spent on the questions and will see you all getting Badass, soon. here for tickets & Information

Thank you for reading this
Anthony Nadeau

No comments: