Billy’s Behemoth Blast

Nova Scotia gets blasted by accident while baby Billy is in his crib during the infamous Halifax Explosion.

Based on the true story of my grandad, William S. Owen, who was a six-month-old baby in Dartmouth during the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Josh Owen

Filmmaker’s statement

Billy’s Behemoth Blast was a lifelong dream come true to make. I’ve always wanted to make a Halifax Explosion movie and the story of my grandad, William S. Owen, as a six-month-old baby during the Halifax Explosion was always very shocking and interesting to me.

Grandad didn’t consider himself a survivor, purely because he didn’t remember the event, but I thought that facet of this story was really relatable to modern society’s connection with history as a whole. He was literally there but didn’t remember it, and here I am 100 years later trying to make something that tells the story and respects all those who were affected by this horrible event.

I animated BBB over seven months and had a blast the entire time. This movie has sparked a lot of interesting conversations and I am honoured by the opportunity to have it screen with NSI’s Online Short Film Festival.

About Josh Owen

Josh Owen

Josh Owen is an award-winning Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based filmmaker.

As a writer, director, animator and sound person, his goal is to create a short film for every letter of the alphabet as an opportunity to learn how to personally advance his style of cinematic storytelling, artistically and technically.

His short films employ imagination to try and speak to human emotion, with each film starring some sort of different alphabetic creature that tells a story about some sort of humanistic struggle.

Josh’s films have played Toronto After Dark, Festival Du Noveau Cinema, Festival REGARD, FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival and Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival.

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