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The 24th Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie festival Award Winners!

The 2nd Grand Prize Award Winner: Twice Upon a Time – Vojin Vasovic

The First Prize Award Winner:  High-Five the Cactus– Christopher Allan Thomas

Third Prize Award: Bounty – Katarzyna Kochany

Fourth Prize: Colorado Counties: A Journey in Watercolor – Ronnie Cramer

Fifth: The Oak Tree – Ethan Jahan

The Audience Choice Award: Suck – Anthony Sneed

And! The First Ever Brainwash Awesome Achievement Award! To: Dave Reda

More online in our Awards Presentation show on the Brainwash test broadcast so tune in!


Posted on August 27, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Shelby Toland, filed under Award Winners, Top of Brain

The 21st Brainwash Movie Festival Program!

A plethora of weird, unusual and just plain great short and feature movies, this year again promises to be worthy of the culmination of 21 years of fine movies for audience enjoyment and edification from Brainwash. Witness, also, the settings: Nimby, the original DIY industrial art space in Oakland, and the Palace, one of the grand old theaters from the Golden Ages of Cinema.

Friday, July 24th, 2015 @ Nimby:

Cine Drive-In – Cinema Sob o Céu – Claudio Moraes

Ein Mercedes für Sierra Leone – Robert Fuhrmann

Arcadia – Rick Fisher

Directors on Directing – Damien Patrik

Eclissi – Tygh Runyan

M-Theory – TL Westgate

N’kisi Concorde – Nikki Sass

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 @ Nimby:

aWake – Chris Harper

Coppersmith – Taylor Mosley

Alcachofas piraña del abismo prehistoric – Javier Lozano Sánchez

September Sketch Book – Ronnie Cramer

Helio – Teddy Cecil

Sweet Nothings – Valerian Zamel

Advanced Doodling – Mike Cantor

On my way to NYC! – Mélanie Duault

Tete Noise, an interview in Tbilisi / Georgia – Virginie Thérèse Colombe

Corto – Alexis de Vigan

Oak and Scott: Pausing at High Speed – Sinem Yilanci

Ocean – Stephanie Maxwell


Fri., July 31st @ the Palace Theater:

The Dirdy Birdy – Redux – John Dillworth

Being Dennis – Trish Sie

Dennis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – Michael Nardelli

I Was a Teenage Girl, Apparently – Lyn Elliot

Lilly’s Big Day – Xstine Cook/The Bum Family

Seventy Percent – Scott Campbell

Predatory Lender – Jim Meyer

Sat., Aug. 1st @ the Palace Theater:

The Bag – Phil Snyder

In the Course of Human Events (excerpt from City Symphony II) – Dominic Angerame

Advanced Doodling – Mike Cantor

G – Johnathan Ritter

Persistence of Vision – Scott Campbell

Atlantic Right Side Up – Katarzyna Kochany

And It Was Good – Graham Waterston

Cable Movie Classics Presents Fair Shake – Johnathan Ritter

Ballot Trailers

Awards Ceremony

Posted on July 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm by Shelby Toland, filed under Top of Brain

The 20th Annual Brainwash Movie Festival Award Winners!

The First Prize Award winner: A Farewell To Arm Phil and Robert M. Snyder

2nd Grand Prize: November – Eric Esser

Third Prize Award: Do What You Love – Katarzyna Kochany

Fourth Prize: The Spinster – Kristin Tieche

Fifth: Frogs, Phrogs, Frawgs – Bret Rogstad

The Audience Choice Award: Highway 15 – Rachel L. Meyers

Honorable Mention: EXpatZ – Jimmie Wing



More to come online in our Awards Presentation show on the Brainwash Movies’ Big Weird Time broadcast series, so stay tuned!


“Tell this to everybody, wherever they are. Watch the skies, everywhere, keep looking. Keep watching the skies.” The Thing (From Another World) (1951).

Posted on August 17, 2014 at 2:35 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Top of Brain

Here it is, folks, the lineup for this year’s Festival!

The 20th Annual Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie festival

will be at Nimby, 8410 Amelia St., at 85th Ave., Oakland, CA, USA,

Friday, July 18th, Saturday July 19th, Fri., July 25th, and Sat., the 26th, 2014.

All shows at 9:00pm, with a virtual plethora of weird, unusual and just plain great movies for audience enjoyment and edification.

The New York Times says it “pirat[es] a piece of that old Hollywood magic and challeng[es] conventions on the role of public space in the process”.

“We project movies onto a tarp in West Oakland,” counters festival director Shelby Toland.

Admission is $12ea. per show, with discounts to City Car Share members: 2 for the price of one if “you flash your fob” and ALL occupants for free in a City Car Share Car!

or… get the Festival Pass$35.00 for ALL shows!  Get Tickets >>


Fri., July 18th

Super Camilla - Vitor Torao Akeda

The Man In White – Kyra Gardner

Candice is Currently Online - Patrick Schechter

Friendship - Xstine Cook

Traveler - Ron Hurley

Dearly Departed - Ashley Sinn

Love Stuck - Sierra Fein

A Farewell To Arm - Philip Snyder/Robert M. Snyder


Sat., July 19th- Special “Double Feature” show with Academy Award nominated Saint Dracula – a Bollywood classic!

Independent Film Maker - Andreas Goldfuss

Lullaby - Dana Brawer

F#*k Off - Berin Tuzlic

Highway 15 - Rachael L. Meyers

Bleach Formula - Heejin Jang

Dresden - Tahnee Gehm

Game Companion - Brian Morelan

Pop Psychology - Paul Fletcher

Warsaw January 2011 - Juliet Palmer

Cough - Jason Kempnich

Frogs Phrogs Frawgs - Brett Rogstad

Saint Dracula - Rupesh Paul/All Lights


Fri., July 25th

Bulimia: The Musical - Joe DiSanto

The Cabining - Mike Kopera


Sat., July 26th

Can We Be Happy Now? – Tahnee Gehm

Boome & Slade - Eric Jaffe

Kyrie Eleison / Transforming Gods - Volker Schlecht

Expatz - Jimmie Wing

Frenzbook - Paul Fontaine

The Spinster - Kristin Tieche

November - Eric Esser

Do What You Love - Katarzyna Kochany

Awards Presentation



Posted on June 22, 2014 at 6:33 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Top of Brain

The 19th Annual Brainwash Movie festival – 2013

The movies shown at the Brainwash Movie Festival are a great mix of original humor, experimental art movies, innovative animation, and short live-action stories and features with high production values. The moviemakers are unique and skillful storytellers, and the movies themselves pack a real punch into anywhere from 5 to 18 to 100 minutes.

Who won awards?

1st Prize: American Ubiquity – David Sutera
2nd Grand Prize: Space Out – Aidan Fraser
3rd prize: The Incendiary Adventures of a Scientist Gone Mad – Tanner Shay
4th prize: L & R – Jeff Toye
5th prize: Drink the Gloom – Yigit Kalyoncu

Audience Choice: Mirror Lies – Adam Rosenberg

AND – Delusional – Jeremy Scripter

How do I enter my film?

To submit your movies for 2014, please see our Call for Entries.

(Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or join the email list).


The 19th Annual Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Festival Program

Music at 8:00pm, Movies at 9:00pm

The first patrons received a free Barf Bag just for showing up!

At Nimby’s: 8410 Amelia Street off 85th Ave., Oakland, CA

All shows broadcast in FM stereo!



Friday July 19th, 2013

American Ubiquity – David Sutera

(Barf Bag trailer)

We Bought a Ghost – R. & M. Etheridge

When I Met Dottie – The Bum Family

Consignment – Justin Hannah

Bob Hope – Careen Ingle

Car Alarm-B-Gone – Bill Ross

Day of the Spectre – Chris Peters

A Stroll Through the Park An Asbury Symphony – Sage Seb

Space Out – Aidan Fraser

Kayip – Mete Sozer


Saturday July 20th, 2013

The Can-Cannibals Double Feature (Grindhouse Trailers) – Matthew Ragsdale

Smoked – Jamie DeWolf/Joshua Staley

American Ubiquity – David Sutera


Friday July 26th, 2013

American Ubiquity – David Sutera

Dust Bunnies – Katarzyna Kochany

Dance of the Books – Lorena Fernandez

Asshole Robot and the Benefits of an Artificial Mind – Eric Caselton

Mirror Lies – Adam Rosenberg

Refugio 115 – Ivan Villamel Sanchez

Blue Sheep Suit – Kevin Lonano

I Am Sorry About What Happened – Jon Kiefer

Drink the Gloom – Yigit Kalyoncu

The Incendiary Adventures of a Scientist Gone Mad! – Tanner Shay


Saturday July 27th, 2013

Living Canvass – Ronnie Cramer

The road led here – Jennifer Hardacker

Nigga… Nigga… NIGGA! – Michael Blevins

Little House of the Big Cry – Alfred Hernandez

Delusional – Jeremy Scripter

It’s Not Saturday – Martha Pinson

L&R – Jeff Toye

So Far Above Humans They Are – Elizabeth Lawrence/Amanda Stymeist

American Ubiquity – David Sutera


Awards Presentation (w/Jesus Festival Trailer)

RiP Les Blank — A Life Well Lived — 1935-2013. Photo by and via Barbara Traub

This year’s festival in memory of Les Blank – A great example & true inspiration to all moviemakers.

This picture first appeared to promote the First Annual Cacophony Drive-In Short Film Video festival in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Pink Section” in 1995. It is now the Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie Festival – showing the movies above, still going 18 years later. Thank you, Les Blank, for such great art – a true measure of a life’s well lived success.

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm by Shelby Toland, filed under Brainwash Movies, The Festival, Top of Brain


That’s Right! The 19th Annual Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie Festival this year features The Incendiary Adventures of a Scientist Gone Mad FREE Barf Bag

The first 100 patrons this year will receive a free Barf Bag just for showing up! Get yours!

Shows Fris. and Sats., July 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th at Nimby’s: 8410 Amelia Street off 85th St., Oakland, CA. Music and food at 8:00pm, movies at 9:00pm.

All shows broadcast in FM stereo! Bring a blanket and a chair and see ya there!

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 12:42 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Top of Brain

18th Annual Festival Winners! 2012!

Who won awards?

1st Prize: Secret of Goat – Park BenchA Woman and a Man live in a cabin in the woods. They are in love. One autumn they buy a goat. Something starts happening to the Woman and Man, they begin to change… and so does their love.

2nd Grand Prize: Odokuro – Aurelio Voltaire – The skeleton of a rat-monkey comes to life in a room full of cursed objects in this Gothic tale with a sci-fi twist.  Narrated by electro-Goth, New Wave icon, Gary Numan, who did “Cars” (what could be more appropriate for a drive-in movie festival?).

3rd prize: Statue  – Olga Wilhelmine - A lonely, ‘living-statue’ street performer in the French Quarter of New Orleans tries to win the heart of a nearby street musician. Check out 219 Records for more of Olga’s many excellent projects.

4th prize: Another Dress, Another Button – Lyn Elliot –  The spare buttons have a field day on the dresser top. The spare button saver talks about why she does it, and how it makes her feel.  A stop-motion animation that explores the plight of the spare buttons: carefully saved, but never used.

5th prize: Trailer Park Jesus – Sean GerowinInspired by a true misadventure, a college student bargains his way home with a sheet of acid as he becomes stranded at a trailer park in rural Mississippi. Another remarkable award winner this year from Louisiana (the other LA). Reviews.

Audience Choice: Doctor Glamour – AndrewJonesA genius scientist contacts another dimension to save the woman he loves, summoning a flamboyant rock n’ roll superhero. (Note: Brainwash fans may remember the excellent movie “Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer“, also by Andrew Jones, from our 2010 festival).

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 2:44 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Award Winners


Greetings Brainwashers,

Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Bekah Barnett, the Urban Minstrel, and I am really looking forward to playing for you at this year’s Brainwash Movie Festival. I find it pretty appropriate because I have been told on multiple occasions that my music tends to be cinematic in feel and scope. My songs vary widely and range from humorous and upbeat to mournful and haunting and everything in between. I even have a song that is about Amelia Earhart.

I studied Classical and Operatic Voice at Mills College (class of 2002) and also started writing songs during that time. I have been writing songs for over ten years and performing them at venues in the Bay Area such as The Freight and Salvage, The Hotel Utah, and The Bazaar Cafe. I recently completed a very successful collaborative show at The East Bay Media Center with a local cellist, and I am pretty sure I’ll be able to convince him to join me on one or more days of the festival.

People often ask me about the process of writing songs. For me, songs are like journal entries, they are just natural byproducts of my life. Each one brings to life a different moment or mood that struck me at a particular time. My style has been described as Tori Amos meets Leonard Cohen, and I have also been compared to Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Laura Nero, and Dar Williams to name a few.

I am honored to be a part of the 2012 Brainwash Movie Festival, and I look forward to seeing you all there.


“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 3:38 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Brainwash Movies

The 2012 Festival!

Brainwash Movie Festival

Brainwash Drive-in Bike-in Walk-in Movie Festival Returns, Bigger, Better, and Weirder

18th Annual Festival on 9/15, 9/21-9/23 in Oakland to feature feature and short movies, live video and entertainment, food trucks, and more

The New York Times says the Brainwash Movie Festival “pirat[es] a piece of that old Hollywood magic and challeng[es] conventions on the role of public space in the process.” (“Now Playing, a Digital Brigadoon,” 7/29/04, Chris Thompson)

“We project movies onto a tarp in West Oakland,” counters festival director Shelby Toland.

Continues in 2012: The 18th annual festival kicks off on September 15th at 8 pm with popular local food trucks, music by Bekah Barnett, urban minstrel and Head Trip, John Law & Flecher Fleudujon’s adventure doc(?) about a cruise with the Cyclecide bus hauling three Doggie Diner Dogheads across country from San Francisco to New York City, preceded by the short movie Surviving Your Bear Attack. Movies start at 9pm.

On September 21st and 22nd, food vendors will open for business and Bekah will start singing at 1357 5th St. starting at 8 pm, and each unique 90 minute show of original short movies will start at 9 pm. In addition, Sunday, 9/23 features, of course, an all-show tribute to Jesus, starting with our own Jesus Festival Trailer, followed by the short Loaded Paradise and a remarkable feature from Louisiana (the other LA) Trailer Park Jesus, movies and food only both starting at 8pm. You won’t want to miss it!

“Brainwash has a great mix of original humor, experimental art movies, innovative animation, and short live-action stories with high production values, and some new surprises in 2012,” notes 2011 festival judge Jason Gohlke. “The moviemakers are unique and skillful storytellers. You don’t want to miss Brainwash this year.”

Advance tickets will be just $10 per person per night OR $50 for a Festival Pass for Two, which gets two people into all four nights of the festival (four nights for just about the price of two). Buy advance tickets at or at the gate for $12.

Flash your City CarShare fob or come in a City CarShare car and pay just $9 or $12 for two at the gate.

This year the festival returns to 1357 5th St (Mandela Village Arts Center), which means intrepid moviegoers can drive in, bike in, walk in, or take BART in to the festival. The movies will be projected on an outdoor screen, and the soundtrack will be available through your FM stereo (as well as played on amplifiers). “It’s a lot of fun, or my name isn’t Shelby Toland,” claims Toland. “Also, bring your favorite chair!”

For more info, visit us on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 1:22 am by Shelby Toland, filed under Brainwash Movies, Top of Brain

Congrats to My Friend Peter – Audience Choice 2011!

My Friend Peter still
Congratulations to the Kopera brothers, makers of the short My Friend Peter, which won the “Audience Choice Award” at this year’s festival!

Written, produced, and starring Mike Kopera, directed by Steve Kopera, and produced by Matt & John Kopera, My Friend Peter is a heartwarming and funny 11-minute short about a man and his monkey puppet. It also received one of the best audience reactions I’d ever seen in six years of Brainwash. Though we are a drive-in festival, a lot of our patrons sit outside their cars, so we are able to hear their reactions… and they were big.

To choose the Audience Choice Award, we handed out ballots as people entered the venue. Members of the audience each wrote down their ratings of each of the movies (0-5 stars), and we tallied them up this week.

My Friend Peter won decisively with an average rating of 4 2/3, but several other movies were also extremely well-received by our audience, including The Lost Samurai, 5 Minutes Each, Spirit of the Bluebird, and Earthship, which all averaged ratings of four stars or more.

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm by Jason Gohlke, filed under Award Winners, Our moviemakers, The Festival, Top of Brain

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2010 Brainwash program t-shirt
The Official Lilly @ Brainwash T-Shirt! (click on pic. for Women's, here for Men's)

Brainwash thanks our generous sponsors!

And many thanks to the following contributors — past, present, and future:

Founders: Shelby Toland, Dave Krzysik, Barbara Traub & Scott Arford
Exec. Producer: Duncan Maddux
2018 judges: Linda Lord, Dave Krzysik, Kamala and Shelby Toland

Special Thanks to:
Neil Kaplan, David Sutera, Mike Snook and Nimby, Amy Stabler, Dionne Stevens, Jason Gohlke, (General Partner Emeritus), Ron Baker, Simon Lang, Michael Mohr, Jalal Elhayek, Steve Mobia, Bekah Barnett, Ben the awesome fiddle and banjo player, Doug Campbell, Mark McGothigan, Gary Nakamoto, Dave Reda, Emmanuel Jonas, Steven DeCaprio, Sarah Fisher, Yvette Hochberg, Andy Kirk, D.J. Neel N. Kizmiaz, Lillian Phaeton, Bev Reiser, The Rhythmic Revolution, Hal Robins, Betty Tweedy, Jonathan Logan, Jesse Block, Ed Holmes, Vikki Vaden, Mark States, Victor Ho, John Law, The SF Cacophony Society, (we're on pgs. 230-231), Scott Beale, Rob Schmidt, J.D. Boggmann, Mr. Mystic, M2, Burning Man, Phil Shuey, Kathy Vaquilar, Annie Coulter, Mike Dingle, SomArts, Jabari Herbert, Monsa, Phil Snyder, Mark Thimijian, ALL of our moviemakers! and, in memoriam to Michael Hawk and Les Blank, whose movies live on.

Theme Music for the Festival and Big Weird Time Webisodes: Traffic Man, written by Dave Krzysik & Ed Bullins.
Performed by:
Hot Tub Man: Benny Lewis, Joe Shelby, Gaylord Birch, Nik Phelps, Joe McKinley, & Dave Krzysik.

Not To Mention The Doggie Diner Dogheads: