John J Budion

writer / director / vfx

John J. Budion is an award winning writer, director, and visual effects artist, with over 15 years of experience in the film and television world. He started out his career at the tender age of 17, while concurrently working towards his degree at New York University.


What to Stream This Weekend: “Rockaway,” a Boy’s Stark and Moving Tale of Surviving Domestic Violence

THE NEW YORKER - Jan 11, 2019 - by Richard Brody

John J. Budion’s first feature, “Rockaway,” which opens Friday, January 11th, in limited release as well as streaming (including on Amazon and iTunes) and on video-on-demand, is an old-school independent film. It’s the work of an outsider, though one of a very insider-y kind. Budion, who wrote and directed the film, is a young veteran of the movie business—a longtime video-effects artist (on films including “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Zoolander 2”) and a prominent director of TV commercials. As a title card at the beginning of “Rockaway” states, the film is “inspired by true events,” and its basis in Budion’s painful experience accounts for both its terrifying emotional urgency and its aesthetics. The film is at the same time intensely personal and riddled with occasionally cringe-inducing clichés. No matter: “Rockaway” is an agonized and sharply moving film.

Read the full NEW YORKER article HERE.

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ROCKAWAY wins BEST FILM & BEST DIRECTOR at LongBeach Int. Film Festival!

ROCKAWAY took home the awards of BEST FILM and BEST DIRECTOR at their New York Premiere as part of the Long Beach International Film Festival. This was their 5th such award for Best Film, and the first Best Director nod for John J. Budion.

Tickets for the premiere of the film went on sale at the brand new Regal Theater in Lynbrook, and 10 minutes later, they were sold out! The festival then added on an encore screening of ROCKAWAY at the Madison Theater at Molloy College to adhere to the demand. One day later, another 600 seats had sold out!

Their story was covered in Newsday as well as the LI Herald! We hear major distribution news is coming very soon, for a much wider audience to get the chance to see this coming of age gem!



ROCKAWAY was honored this weekend as a special Jury Selected Film at Paramount Studios as part of the Hollywood Film Festival. The festival vetted through over 6,000 film submissions from around the world to narrow the field to 50 films, representing the Jury Selected being honored. Additionally, ROCKAWAY took home the award of "MOST IMPACTFUL NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM!"

ROCKAWAY will be screened throughout the Hollywood Film Festival's showcase events in 2018.


ROCKAWAY receives Standing Ovation and Top Award in CATALINA!

ROCKAWAY, the coming of age drama, penned and directed by John J. Budion, received the first ever standing ovation at the CATALINA FILM FESTIVAL!  The film also took home the festival's top award of BEST FEATURE FILM - BEST OF FESTIVAL.  Many could be heard toting the film as "Oscar worthy" and the next Stand By Me, as John and his young talented cast walked the red carpet!



Chris Pratt’s ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’ film due in 2019; LI native’s ‘Rockaway’ debuts


THE MOVIE “Rockaway”

THE DEAL The debut feature from North Shore native John J. Budion will have its premiere at Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival on Sunday. Previously titled “Life Now, Life Then,” Budion’s semiautobiographical film is set in East Rockaway (and was partly filmed there) and tells the story of two brothers raised by an abusive father. Budion’s young cast includes Keidrich Sellati (FX’s “The Americans”), Maxwell Apple (“Person to Person”) and James DiGiacomo (CBS’ “Kevin Can Wait”). Read the full article here.

John J Budion

Writer / Director / VFX Artist • New York & Los Angeles