Batman Fan Film “The Oath” Racks Up Festival Wins

September 6, 2023

Since its release on YouTube in December 2022, The Oath: A Batman Fan Film has racked up nearly a half-million views with no signs of slowing down. The fan-made prequel takes place one week before the events of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and focuses on Gotham City police officer Sgt. Frank Kelly (played by Virginia actor Jerry Morgan).

The Oath has won several festival awards, including Best U.S. Fan Film, Best Lighting, and Best Portrayal of an Existing Character at the 2023 Fan Film Directors Choice Awards. The cast won for Best Performances at the Fan Fiction Film & Screenplay Festival in Toronto. The movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography and is a contender for Best Fan Film at the Various Artists Independent Film Festival (VAiFF) coming up this October in Chicago.

Filmed in Virginia between November 2021 and summer 2022, the 18-minute short film has also collected its share of positive reviews and was even labeled “studio quality” by Comic Book Resources (CBR).

So what does this praise mean to the cast and crew?

“I’m thankful that what we set out to achieve has resonated with so many people,” said writer/director Johnny K. “The Oath was never going to be a big, high-stakes, Batman action movie. It’s a small story about a day in the life of a Gotham City cop and other characters that lurk in the shadows of this larger world.”

Director Johnny K. filming The Oath (photo credit: Dana Franz).

“There’s a lot of risk with going in that direction,” Johnny continued, “since it works against most peoples’ expectations of what a Batman film should be, and I knew from day one that our story wouldn’t be for everyone. This was two years of work for a non-profit passion project that no one will ever see a dollar from. I’m just happy it’s found its audience and that our cast and crew are being recognized for their hard work.”

Jerry Morgan as Gotham cop Sgt. Frank Kelly in The Oath.

“I’m excited to see that this film has entertained so many folks”, said actor Jerry Morgan, who plays Sgt. Frank Kelly. “It’s no surprise that The Oath has been so well-received with the amount of effort and planning it took to execute. Hoorah for Johnny and the team!”

Actors Guillermo Mejía and Jerry Morgan on the set of The Oath (photo credit: Dana Franz).

“I’m grateful for all the support and positive reactions that this passion project has received”, said Batman actor Guillermo Mejía. “It’s one thing to be proud of something you made with a group of talented people, but it makes it so much better to have the effort we all put in be recognized.”

Filming The Oath: A Batman Fan Film on location in Petersburg, Virginia. (photo credit: Dana Franz).

“What an amazing accomplishment by everyone involved,” said actor Oz Keenum, who plays one of Carl Grissom’s mobsters – an original character named Jimmy Atlas. “I mean, I knew we would make something very top of the line, but did I imagine this much exposure at the time? No way, but it’s great to see dreams come true.”

Oz Keenum, Johnny K., Jerry Morgan and 1st AD Romel Punsal watch playbacks. (photo credit: Dana Franz).

“Being part of The Oath was a rewarding experience for me,” said actor Chris Konke, “and the recognition the movie is receiving is icing on the cake.”

Chris Konke as Officer Joey Barnes in The Oath: A Batman Fan Film.

“I’m not surprised by the love this film has received from the audience,” said composer Francesco D’Andrea. “It’s well written and directed and looks at Batman’s saga from a fresh new angle. Working on it was lots of fun, and this film makes me want to see where director Johnny K. is going with his next 10 works. I hope he receives the attention of big Hollywood productions he deserves.”

Composer Francesco D’Andrea.

The Oath premiered in December 2022 and can be seen on YouTube, along with several behind-the-scenes features on the making of the movie, including costumes, interviews, music, outtakes, and more.

Did you like The Oath? Be sure to follow @KaoticaStudios on all social media for more!

Director Johnny K. and the cast of The Oath: A Batman Fan Film answer audience questions at the premiere party.

* Batman and all related marks, logos, and characters are solely owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment. This non-profit fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with DC Comics or Warner Bros. Entertainment.*

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