Brendan Toller, Director, Writer, Producer

btoller at gmail dot com



Brendan Toller is a New York City and New Haven, CT based filmmaker, musician & artist.


Brendan’s film work has been featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Wire, Pitchfork, The Onion and Dazed & Confused Korea. Brendan has been awarded grants from New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts and Hampshire College Seed Fund.


Toller’s first feature documentary, I Need That Record! (featuring Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Ian MacKaye, and Noam Chomsky et al.) riled unprecedented sell-out riots at the National Film Board of Canada, beat out Davis Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud for the lauded Audience Award at Melbourne Int’l Film Festival and had over 80,000 views in the early days of Netflix Streaming. I Need That Record! played around the world at over 60 film festivals, centers, and events (Melbourne Int’l Film Festival, Independent Film Festival of Boston, Raindance UK). “I Need That Record! went on to help shape the "vinyl resurgence" in the 2000s, as it chronicled independent record stores and their importance in the digital age.” (Billboard)

Toller’s second feature film Danny Says chronicles the life and times of Danny Fields. Fields was a pivotal figure in music and culture of the late 20th century working in various roles with the Velvet Underground, the Doors, MC5, the Stooges, Patti Smith, the Ramones et al. Danny Says was awarded Kickstarter’s Project of the Day (out of 5,000 projects) raising over $20,000 in starter funds. Judy Collins’ personal pledge put Danny Says over the Kickstarter goal. In 2014, Danny Says was featured on the “Year in Kickstarter” next to “Reading Rainbow’s Huge Comeback” and “A Band Delivers Pizza to Space.”

Danny Says had its World Premiere at South By Southwest in 2015 where it was named one of Variety’s “13 Breakout Films of SXSW.” Rave reviews followed from Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone and Variety. Danny Says was selected as the 2015 Opening Night film for Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision Festival, selling-out in just three days. Danny Says was an official selection for The British Library’s Punk 40th Exhibition. The anniversary kickoff signified the Ramones & Flamin’ Groovies July 1976 bicentennial debut in London at the Roundhouse and Dingwall’s. The Ramones performance is largely cited as the explosion which ignited the London punk scene. Members of the Clash, the Damned, Chryssie Hynde, the Sex Pistols et al. were in attendance.

Danny Says was acquired by Magnolia Pictures in 2016. The film was the first original selection for Art House Theater Day, an annual weekend celebration celebrating brick and mortar theaters across the US. The Danny Says theatrical and online release followed with openings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and more. Noel Murray of the LA Times called Danny Says, "Superb... What emerges is a rich portrait of one of 20th century pop culture’s great facilitators, whose keen observations, quirky personality and natural affinity for the outré helped greatness happen."

Brendan also rattles vox/guitar in the New Haven based rock ‘n’ roll band Dust Hat (a name jokingly picked a la The Producers). Dust Hat has opened for the likes of the Plimsouls and Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman. Toller now sings Animals favorites with original Animal guitarist Hilton Valentine.