The Burien Film Festival and the Burien UFO Festival recently announced the winners of the 2023 BFF – BUFO Edition film contest, and in this post we’re featuring the third place winning film “Weekend at Maury Island,” Directed by Bradley Wilkinson.

Watch “Weekend at Maury Island” below:

  1. GRAND Prize: “Echos,” Directed by David Over.
  2. 2nd Prize: “4:21,” Directed by Torrin Tse (see full film below).
  3. 3rd Prize: “Weekend at Maury Island,” Directed by Bradley Wilkinson.

A special “Thank You!” to judges Kirk Nordenstrom and Gevin Booth.

Q&A with ‘Weekend at Maury Island’ Director Bradley Wilkinson

What inspired you to enter and make your film?

“Me and my wife have always been interested in the UFO phenomenon. We didn’t even know Burien had a UFO festival until my friend Blake sent us a link about a year ago. I was super stoked to check out all the festivities! My wife was the one who suggested I compile all my previous animations of aliens from my shorts and music videos. From there, I realized that the compilation was a little too short for the competition and didn’t meet all of the festival’s criteria. So I started writing and used my wife and friends as inspiration. I got everyone to play themselves for the role. It was easy finding everyone’s voice while writing. Us all being such close friends, having a close encounter while vacationing did seem like much of a stretch.

“The funny thing is, one time me, my wife, and the couple in the film saw something in the sky after hours at our home. We were lounging in front of a fire outside our house in Burien. It was this long strip of light that kept getting brighter and closer in the sky. We were flipping out. The next day, I immediately made sure that it wasn’t star-link. Plus, I had seen star-link in the sky, and it was definitely not that. Eventually, it just disappeared. We never found out what it was…

“From there, I used my love of UFO and Alien lore to inspire the rest of the film. The Maury Island Incident is the first of its kind and a fascinating story. Very sad for the folks who witnessed the event. The Men in Black have always had an eerie messy history.

“One instance in particular that spiked my overall curiosity was a siting I had on my friend’s front lawn in Austin, Tx. Me and her saw three glowing orbs up in the sky, gyrating and morphing in and out of each other over the Austin State Capital. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and almost as soon as we saw them, they morphed into one and shot out into space faster than I could blink. At that time (2009), I was a skeptic. My friend looked at me (who was an avid believer) and said, “See, I told you they were real.” And since then, I have been a devoted believer. #iknowwhatisaw”

What is your film called and why?

“I titled it ‘Weekend at Maury Island,’ and the story is about two Washington couples on a romantic log cabin getaway on Maury Island. They soon catch multiple UFOs dumping metallic debris in the distance over the water. The night is a call back to the Maury Island Incident.”

What is your background?

“I am a self-taught animator who makes shorts and submits to selected film festivals all over the globe. I have won awards for best animations and music composition in different parts of the country and have been screened all around the world. I started doing this around 2019, and began to teach myself animation around 2013.

“My filmography includes TDEOMMVDH, Rhino N Bird, Truck Dad, Poop Shoes, and Little Judas. My short list of inspirations includes Matt Groening, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Tom Snyder, Mike Judge, Don Hertzfeldt, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Joe Murray.

“I am also a musician who writes original compositions for the majority of my films. I love it because I can bring an eclectic fruit basket of genres to the table. Whatever fits the mood the best! To hear more of my stuff, check out my musical project: @breakfast.tacos

Who else is on your team, including crew credits & actors?

“Visually, everything you see on screen was created and edited by me. I did all the audio on the film as well. Where I did receive some tremendous help was from my best friends, the actors: my beautiful and supportive wife, Jamie Petersen, and our two compadres, Holly Richardson and Blake Lyles.”

Where did you shoot your entry?

“I animated the whole thing in my basement, where I create the majority of my projects, from film to music.”

What was your response to winning?

“I felt really good going into it. I really thought we were going to be a contender. I am very grateful for winning the third prize, and it was fantastic to be a part of this group of creators. That said, ‘We was robbed.’ Of course, I am just kidding. We were just surprised the twerking aliens didn’t take it all home. To add, I was delighted with the crowd. My favorite part of these festivals is seeing the crowds’ response. It helps me figure out what specific groups find funny or not.”

Are you pursuing filmmaking? How so?

“I am. As a creator, I am always working on multiple projects. There are a couple of shorts underway right now, all personal projects. But I and another team are trying to get a series picked up titled, ‘Little Judas.’ It is about Judas of Iscariot and Jesus of Nazareth as pre-teens finding themselves wedged in the throes of becoming an adult. It has The Flintstones meet South Park/Bob’s Burgers feel. The writer and creator is really talented, Greg Boose. He is the author of five Young Adult novels, two of which were ghostwritten, and spent several weeks at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. His scripts are hilarious. Right now, we have a seven-minute version of the cartoon making its rounds in the film festival circuit. We’ve already won several awards since we started submitting earlier this year.”

AND…any other comments on participating in this year’s Film Fest?

“I want to thank Shelli and BUFO for the opportunity to have such a good time and to witness so many creative films. Everyone was so friendly and ready to talk about film and/or UFOs. Everything was a blast! Including meeting you, Scott; thanks for letting me talk about the movie for The B-Town Blog. I feel special to be included.

“Also, UFOs are real! Keep looking up at the skies! And be friendly to your fellow human beings and the earth!”

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