A Box Came to Brooklyn
Short | 26 minutes | 2015 | United States
SHOWTIME: 7:15PM – (All times are subject to change)
It’s a quiet Sunday morning in an up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood. Naïve manchild Johnny (Johnny H. McMahon) stumbles upon an anonymous box in the middle of his dead-end block. The other residents of Schenectady Street gather to nervously investigate. What’s in it, and who left it? Good-natured. Steve (Anthony DeVito) struggles to be the voice of reason as local loudmouth Charlie (Jack Haley) fans the flames of post-9/11 paranoia. Speculation turns to accusation as prejudices and crackpot theories turn neighbor against neighbor. Is Johnny’s farfetched story about the box correct, or is there an even more fiendish plot behind it all?
Johnny Henry McMahon
Director: Jason Cusato
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1975 Jason Cusato infuses a trademark style into his works, which incorporates Brooklyn flavor and skilled filmmaking. Jason’s experiences from being born and raised in Brooklyn is a major influence on his work and has shaped his career as an award-winning independent filmmaker.
Cusato attended The School of Visual Arts from 2000-2002 and studied under Richard D. Pepperman; author of The Eye Is Quicker, and editor and recipient of Distinguished Teacher Award from the School of Visual Arts. Cusato has over 40 film projects to his credit; ranging from feature films to short film, documentaries, sketch comedy, commercial work, live shows and music videos working as director, editor, producer and/or co-writer on each project.
Cusato’s directorial debut -“The Out of Work Mime” in 2000, premiered in Los Angeles at The Angel City Film Festival. His next film, the 2001 award winning “When Broomsticks Were King” a documentary about Brooklyn stickball and the hero’s who played the game. Written, produced and directed by Cusato, created a buzz on the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007. “When Broomsticks Were King” was accepted into over a dozen film festivals winning several honors such as: Best Documentary Georgetown Film Festival and Best Short-Documentary E.Vil City Film Festival both in 2006. Then in 2007 The Independent Features Film Festival (aka Manhattan Film Festival) Buzz Award, Rochester International Film Festivals: Shoe String Award and Best Short- Documentary Wildwood by the Sea Film Festival 2007. Most recently Broomsticks was awarded Winner Honorable Mention Documentary Short Queens World Film Festival 2011.
His latest feature film, “Apostles of Park Slope” released in 2010, Cusato was co-writer, directed, edited and produced. “Apostles of Park Slope” was the headlining film at 2010 Manhattan Film Festival and won Best Comedy Feature. “Apostles of Park Slope” also won Outstanding Feature at the 2010 Atlantic City International Film Festival as well as an Official Selection and being Nominated for Best Feature at Silk City Flick Fest 2010, Long Island International Film Expo 2010, Astoria/LIC International Film Festival 2010, Staten Island Film Festival 2010 as well as Nominated for Best Editing at the Staten Island Film Festival and Official Selection for NewFilmmakers Summer Series all in 2010.
Cusato continues to exhibit his passion for not only filmmaking but his love for Brooklyn with his new short comedy titled “A Box Came to Brooklyn”. A short comedy about a Brooklyn street in the midst of gentrification swept into turmoil when a mysterious box appears out of nowhere, turning neighbor against neighbor. Cusato directed, co-wrote, produced and edited this new short comedy scheduled for released in 2014.
Cusato is also Festival Director of the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival; an international film festival to showcase films and filmmakers that all have a meaningful connection to Brooklyn. AoBFF is the first to showcase emerging filmmakers who are Brooklyn-born, Brooklyn-based and/or Brooklyn-centric. Jason brings his skills in producing and community fundraising as well as his love of independent film to The Art of Brooklyn, where he is excited to be an ambassador for Brooklyn filmmakers. Cusato also sits on The Art of Brooklyn’s Board of Directors.
Over the past 12 years Cusato has helped Park Slope Films raise over 80K for all projects from “York Street”, “Apostles of Park Slope”, “ Sunday Dinner as well as his latest short “A Box Came to Brooklyn”. Producing numerous successful fundraisers for all these film projects. Over seeing all aspects of each fundraiser, getting all materials donated to said fundraiser from securing the event space, food & liquors for over 200 people, raffle goods from Broadways tickets to Juke Boxes and Yankee and Met tickets, as well as securing entertainment for said fundraiser. Cusato also has secured independent investors for each film project.
Cusato has also been written up for his achievements as a filmmaker and as Festival Director for AoBFF. Recently in Filmmakers Magazine May, 2013 article titled: The Art of Brooklyn Keeps it Local, issue by Stewart Nusbaumer as well as in New York’s Daily News by Denis Hamill, Huffington Post by Stewart Nusbaumer, The Park Slope Courier by Thomas Tracy and was featured on Brooklyn12 News for headlining The Manhattan Film Festival with “Apostles of Park Slope”.
What was the inspiration for the film?
For his latest comedy, director Jason Cusato wanted to take on the rapid gentrification of Brooklyn neighborhoods and the terrorism fears of the average New Yorker. He found inspiration in a classic Twilight Zone episode: “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.” This tale of Cold War paranoia that turns neighbor against neighbor has been updated by Cusato and actor/writer Anthony DeVito.
Why tell this story?
The average New Yorker has a lot to deal with: an ongoing fear of terrorism, prejudice of every imaginable kind and a city that becomes more expensive to live in every day. A BOX CAME TO BROOKLYN uses a diverse cast and dark humor to show how fragile the peace between us is, and how easy it can be disrupted… especially when there’s some money to be made.