Long Island brothers win Oakland film festival


Brothers Robert M. Snyder of Valley Stream and Philip Snyder of Island Park won First Prize for their short, “A Farewell to Arm,” in the 20th annual Brainwash Drive-in Movie Festival in Oakland, Ca. The film also took the top prize at the Yellow Ape Film Festival at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington last summer. The film stars Robert M. Snyder, Jr., of Woodside, Queens.

“A Farewell to Arm” is a coming of age fable about Hemingway-esque arm-wrestling challenge between a father and son. Screenwriter Robert co-directed and co-produced with brother Philip, who shot and edited. Acting the roles of father and son were Robert, Sr., and Robert, Jr. The film is about seven minutes long.

“We were kind of surprised to win,” Robert Sr. said. “But the movie keeps coming back.”

“It’s always a surprise; it’s an honor just to be shown,” Philip said.

The Brainwash festival took place over two weekends in July and boasted a “virtual plethora of weird, unusual and just plain great movies for audience enjoyment and edification.”

In all, about 30 films were presented, including entrants from Thailand and Denmark.

“There was also a film from Wisconsin,” Philip said.

“A Farewell to Arm” was the last short shown on July 18, right after “Love Stuck” by Sierra Fein. Day Two of the festival featured the Academy Award nominated “Saint Dracula” by Rupesh Paul, Day Three “Bulimia: The Musical” by Joe DiSanto and Day Four the final eight films, followed by the awards presentation.

The Snyder Brothers began making films as teenagers, growing up in Lawrence.