AFI FEST Presented by Audi: Directors/writers David Charbonier and Justin Powell on THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR – American Film Institute


AFI FEST Presented by Audi: Directors/writers David Charbonier and Justin Powell on THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR

AFI FEST 2020 presented by Audi is going virtual – the festival runs online Oct. 15-22. THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR is available starting Oct. 17. BUY TICKET. 

Twelve-year-old Bobby and his best friend Kevin have been kidnapped. Bobby is stuffed in a trunk to suffocate, and Kevin is who knows where. Proving ever-resourceful, Bobby escapes and breaks into the house where he thinks Kevin has been locked up. Dodging danger at every corner and hiding in the shadows, Bobby searches for his friend – and answers.

Directors/writers David Charbonier and Justin Powell cunningly assemble a thriller that upends tropes and expectations and, yes, has you on the edge of your seat. Charbronier and Powell said they have always been drawn to horrors and thriller movies. “We just really love suspense, love creating tense scenarios, love ticking clocks, love real-time terror,” said Powell.

Knowing the lead roles were very complex especially for children, Charbonier and Powell credit their amazing casting director, Amy Lippens, in finding the perfect actors for the film. “We were originally going to go with the film back in 2018, and we had a scheduling conflict. We wouldn’t have been able to work with Lonnie at that time,” said Powell. “We literally delayed the movie just to make sure we had him on board. That’s how certain we felt he was our Bobby.”

And they were right. Actors Lonnie Chavis (Bobby) and Ezra Dewey (Kevin) boldly carry the film and deliver impressive performances. This thrilling and unrelenting film was produced by Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973) and Ryan Scaringe (AFI Class of 2017) and features the cinematography of AFI alum Julian Estrada (AFI Class of 2014).

The screening will be followed by a virtual Q&A with Eric Moore from the AFI Festivals team, directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell, and actors Lonnie Chavis and Ezra Dewey. BUY TICKET

Learn more about the festival here:


Comments (1)

Todd and Ellen Kobylski

This film was amazing and terrifying!, as I found myself covering my face in fear as I did in the in my highschool years in
the eighties. The cinematography, shot in a blue lens, and a small cast added to the intensity. In today’s climate of rampid child abductions the fear made me terrified for my own children! Very impressed by the child actors, they seemed truly tortured. If you are a horror movie junkie, than this is the film right up your alley! Excellent job! I give it five stars! My heart was pounding in my living room, cannot imagine viewing in the theater!

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