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A little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil. This is the second film written and directed by VFX Artist / Previsualization Supervisor A.J. Briones (AVATAR, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, TOMORROWLAND, PIXELS).

“The Smiling Man” will be featured during the “Child’s Nightmares” Short Film Block, starting at 5:00pm on Friday, September 11th!

Part of Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego‘s full line-up! Get Full Festival Passes or single screening tickets HERE!


Abbi Chally

Mellisa Chally

Strange Dave


Director Bio: A.J. Briones

AJ has over 13 years of film and games experience with an emphasis on animation, motion capture and visual storytelling. In 2007, AJ moved to Los Angeles to animate on Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, then led the creation of key action sequences for James Cameron on Avatar as a Lead Virtual Cinema Artist. As a Previsualization Supervisor, AJ has collaborated with directors Bill Condit, Peter Berg, Chris Colombus, Brad Bird, Matt Reeves and others, designing action and visual effects heavy sequences for films such as World War Z, Iron Man 2, Battleship, 47 Ronin and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Carolina Parakeet, which he also wrote and edited, is his directorial debut. AJ is currently in post-production on his next short film: The Smiling Man. The Smiling Man was featured on Horror Film Central, Legless Corpse and Film Shortage and will be in film festivals in 2015.

Director’s Statement

The Smiling Man is my twisted take on a “boy meets girl” story; an allegory about men and women.

The Smiling Man is not a monster, he’s not a man.

He IS man.

He is the worst of us: a physical manifestation of everything ugly and dangerous that man can be to woman.

Moreover, The Smiling Man is my attempt at creating a narrative through only visual storytelling, completely devoid of dialogue. I also wanted to explore that feeling of dread that we sometimes feel when we are home alone, in a place where we should feel the most safe.

– AJ Briones

The Smiling Man – Trailer from A.J. Briones on Vimeo.

Logline: A little girl home alone finds herself face-to-face with pure evil.

The Smiling Man is a short horror film by AJ Briones, produced by AJ Briones, Tefft Smith II and Nathan Hopkins.

A.J: Briones
[email protected]

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