BIOGRAPHY - Darin Beckstead is an American director and screenwriter. His fantasy film, “Courage & Stupidity,” was inspired by Steven Spielberg's making of "Jaws." The 25-minute dramedy was shot on Super 35mm thanks to a sponsorship from Kodak and Panavision, and screened internationally at top festivals such as Fantasia and Sitges. The work was later championed by Ted Sarandos, who made it the first short to receive a stand-alone distribution deal with Netflix (Announced by Film Threat).
Marvin Levy, long-time publicist and Senior Advisor to Mr. Spielberg, penned a general letter of support, stating: “Darin showed Creativity & Sensitivity in developing and filming Courage & Stupidity. By contacting us - and keeping us informed throughout the process - he conveyed a confidence that let us give him some unofficial advice while giving us the comfort that his film would be clever." (Read the letter HERE)
In 2012, Beckstead made his feature length debut with “Somebody’s Hero." Production took place in New York City and employed 16mm film to support Beckstead's retrovision for the story. The family movie screened at the Heartland Film Festival, became an audience favorite at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and won Coney Island’s festival, taking home the award for “Best Feature.”
More recent, Beckstead directed a Live-Action FX Test for his creature creation, “Evil Nature." With an objective of demonstrating "innovative monster movement," he combined a unique blend of practical and digital effects, and upon completion, saw the work screen publicly at The LA International Short Film Festival and 2018's Indie Horror Film Festival, where it was awarded "Best Special FX."
During 2019, Beckstead's sci-fi animation, "Galactic Heat," was paired with a feature length screenplay - The draft became a ScreenCraft finalist, and that same year Fresh Voices ranked another of Darin's scripts, "The Retreat," in their TOP 10 thriller & horror screenplays. His writing was further recognized by The Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards, and in 2020 a reworked draft (titled "Repression") defied its genre by becoming a ScreenCraft sci-fi finalist.
In the world of advertising, Beckstead has directed commercial and promotional campaigns for clients such as The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, NordicTrack, Century 21, Sony Music, and The Children’s Miracle Network.
EXTRA TRIVIA: On Darin's Mother's side, his Great-Grandmother was a "Fitzgerald," giving him a matrilineal lineage that connects to John F. Kennedy. "Beckstead" was of the locational group of British surnames, meaning 'of Bickerstaffe' - a village and civil parish in West Lancashire, England. The name is found in early records as Bikerstat and Bikystath and first appears as "de Bikerstad" in records of English land grants at the end of the 12th century.