11th CUFF.Docs Documentary Film Festival

November 22-26, 2023 Globe Cinema

21st Calgary Underground Film Festival

April 18-28, 2024 Globe Cinema

Uncle Howard

United States, United Kingdom, 2016 : Canadian Premiere
Archives 2016
In Cinema Globe Cinema
Tue, Apr 12 7:30 PM Buy


The story of New York filmmaker Howard Brookner whose work captured the late 1970’s and early '80’s cultural revolution—and his nephew’s personal journey 25 years later to discover his uncle’s films and the legacy of a life cut short by the plague of AIDS.

Howard's body of work was buried in William S. Burroughs’ bunker for 30 years, including more than 300 cans that offer a glimpse at Howard’s life and career. Among them are outtakes from his 1983 debut BURROUGHS: THE MOVIE, the first and most revealing film about the iconic writer. 

Through conversations with family and friends – including Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, and Sara Driver – and long-lost footage and archival photos of William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, John Waters, and more, comes an exploration of the cultural revolution, a bankrupt New York City, the eruption of the AIDS plague, sex, drugs, politics, and the artistic determination of a filmmaker who died well before his time.

Sundance Film Festival 2016
Berlin International Film Festival 2016

Aaron Brookner is a director and screenwriter born in New York City. He began his career working on Jim Jarmusch’s COFFEE AND CIGARETTES and Rebecca Miller’s PERSONAL VELOCITY before making the award-winning documentary short THE BLACK COWBOYS. In 2011 Brookner initiated a project to find and restore the films and archive material of his late uncle and earliest filmmaking influence, director Howard Brookner. The undertaking lead to the successful recovery and restoration of the cult classic BURROUGHS: THE MOVIE, about beat generation icon William S. Burroughs.

press for Uncle Howard

"Aaron Brookner’s excellent documentary about his uncle…an indelible, must-see ode to gay New York."
- The New York Times
"Refreshing...lovely...The doc’s beautiful final sequence rips your heart out."
- The Hollywood Reporter

screened with a short film


Bacon & God'S Wrath

Canada, 2015, 9 minutes, Director Sol Friedman


Documentary / Art / Biography / LGBTQ+

18+ Licensed Screening
96 minutes


Aaron Brookner

Paula Vaccaro

Executive Producer
Jim Jarmusch

Gregg De Domenico
André Döbert

Howard Brookner
William S. Burroughs
Jim Jarmusch





Community Partners