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Home Super Deluxe’s THE PASSAGE Wins at Fantastic Fest

Super Deluxe’s THE PASSAGE Wins at Fantastic Fest


Super Deluxe’s original short film The Passage won Best Picture in the Shorts with Legs category at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, September 25.

It is the fifth festival win for the modern-day silent comedy. The Passage has previously won the Grand Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival, Best Late-Night at SeriesFest, Best Director for Comedy at the New York Television Festival, and Best Comedy at Aspen Shortsfest, making it an Oscar-qualifying live action short film.

The Passage follows Phil, a sweetly mysterious and childlike wanderer, as he adventures across a surreal multicultural landscape in order to escape the clutches of two bumbling pursuers – all without uttering a single word.

Through a comedic lens, The Passage deals with resonant themes of immigration, the longing for human connection, and the tragedy of never being able to find peace.

“Philip Burgers is one of a kind. He’s a true artist whose physical comedy not only reminds us of brilliant performers from another era, but also conveys genuine emotion. Making projects like this is what Super Deluxe was founded to do,” says Wolfgang Hammer, president of Super Deluxe.

The Passage will screen at the Savannah Film Festival on October 27-November 3.

Super Deluxe will release The Passage on November 2 on its multi-platform channels. 



An award-winning performer and creator, Philip Burgers spent half of his life traveling the world and mastering various languages before training at the prestigious French clown school Ecole Philippe Gaulier, a workshop that has trained Sacha Baron Cohen and Roberto Benigni, among others. Burgers has toured the globe with solo and ensemble clown shows, earning the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show in 2012. He went on to create and star in television shows for Channel 4 in the UK and a pilot for FX. He also starred in Netflix’s The Characters in 2016. In 2018, he co-starred in the Carlos Reygadas film Nuestro Tiempo, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.


When not on screen, Burgers continues to create, perform, teach, and direct at his Silver Lake theater, The Lyric Hyperion Theatre, which has emerged as the vanguard for the new clowning community and a breeding ground for fresh comedic voices in Los Angeles.


After serving as the Lyric Hyperion’s creative director, Burgers, who directs and performs under the moniker Dr. Brown, took over ownership of the theater in 2018. He turned it into a non-profit and has transformed it into a  place for “process” over “product.” His goal is to give artists the opportunity to develop work outside of financial stress and industry pressure by creating a safe space for vulnerability, humanity, playfulness, and experimentation; a place where failure is embraced as a necessary step in the process of creation.


Burgers has refocused the programming with an emphasis on workshopping material, for which Jamie Loftus, Natalie Palamides, Johnny Pemberton and Rory Scovel are regulars. He’s also incorporated feminist acting classes, master-clown workshops, and a lecture series. On (most) Mondays, Burgers live-directs an ensemble cast of Lyric Hyperion regulars in an improvised performance.


“Phil Burgers is one of a kind. He’s a true artist whose physical comedy not only reminds us of brilliant performers from another era, but also conveys genuine emotion. Making shows like this is what Super Deluxe was founded to do.” –Wolfgang Hammer, President of Super Deluxe


“Phil is an incredible talent. I’ve been chasing him for years! I’m so glad we were able to make this project together.” –Dave Kneebone, Partner at Abso Lutely Productions


*Pronunciation: Key-tao / Sock-ooh-rye


Known for directing and executive producing Adult Swim’s groundbreaking late-night comedy The Eric Andre Show, Kitao Sakurai began his eclectic career as a child actor in Cleveland, Ohio. As a teenager Kitao dropped out of school, moved to New York and entered the world of opera and experimental theater, collaborating with renowned director Doug Fitch on productions at the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic, Lincoln Center and elsewhere. Kitao then shifted his focus to cinematography, lensing numerous rap videos and indie features such as Ry Russo-Young’s You Won’t Miss Me. In 2010 Kitao wrote and directed the internationally celebrated feature Aardvark and shortly thereafter began his collaboration with comedian Eric Andre.


Stay tuned: Kitao recently directed a feature film to be announced by MGM.




“It’s an absolute honor to be recognized by NYTVF for this work. Without Phil’s vision and Super Deluxe’s trust and support, the special magic that we experienced during this production would not have been possible. I feel very lucky to have been involved in such a special collaboration for such a unique project. I hope that the spirit within the film — that sense of humanity, joy and playfulness that connects all of us regardless of our culture, race, or language — can keep on resonating. It’s a message that feels especially important in these times, and I’d like to thank NYTVF for giving us such a platform.”


–Kitao Sakurai on winning Best Director for Comedy at the New York Television Festival




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