Jason Lei Howden

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Jason Lei Howden
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Born (1979-01-03) January 3, 1979 (age 44)
NationalityNew Zealander
CitizenshipNew Zealand
  • Writer
  • director
  • visual effects artist

Jason Lei Howden (born January 3, 1979) is a New Zealand writer, director and visual effects artist. He is best known for his action and horror comedy feature films Deathgasm and Guns Akimbo.

Personal Life

Jason Lei Howden was born in a small town called Greymouth[1] in the South Island of New Zealand. He moved around a lot of small towns before settling attending Nelson College for Boys. He moved to Wellington in 2002 where he studied film and started writing and directing.


Jason left high school at the age of seventeen and began his career as a television cameraman and editor at a local television station in Nelson. He gained an NZQA Certificate of Television and Video Production in 1999. Howden moved to Wellington and attended Avalon Film and Television School in 2003 and then New Zealand Film School in 2005[2]. In order to finish his final film, he taught himself visual effects. Since 2005 Howden has been a visual effects compositor on films such as War of the Planet of the Apes, Gods of Egypt, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Man of Steel, Avengers, Wolverine, The Great Gatsby and Prometheus [3]. During this time he wrote and directed several short films. In 2014 Howden wrote his first feature Deathgasm as an entry into the Make My Horror Movie film making competition. He won NZ$200,000 to make the film[4] funded by MPI Media Group and the New Zealand Film Commission. The resulting splatter film was a hit with genre fans and played in over

seventy film festivals [5]. In 2017 his second feature script Guns Akimbo was acquired by Occupant Entertainment. Guns Akimbo stars Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving and Ned Dennehy. It premiered at Toronto Film Festival in 2019. Writing and Directing Filmography and Festival Recognition Deathgasm 2015 South by Southwest - Premiere Toronto After Dark Film Festival - Best Feature Film, Best Special Effects, Best Music, Best Kill, Best Gore Frightfest UK - Selection Festival de cine de Terror de Molins de Rej - Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Milo Cawthorne) Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival – Audience Award Hard Line Film Festival, Germany – Audience Award L’Absurde Séance Film Festival – Audience Award Arizona Underground Film Festival – Audience Award Vancouver International Film Festival – Selection Melbourne International Film Festival – Selection Sydney International Film Festival – Selection Guns Akimbo 2019-2020 Toronto Film Festival – Premiere Fantastic Fest, Austin Texas – Selection Sitges International Film Festival – Selection Future Work In 2015 there was brief speculation of a sequel to Deathgasm, titled Deathgasm Part 2: Goremageddon was in development [6]. It was announced on the 10th of May 2019 that Grimmfest Films would produce the film [7]. Controversy Leading up to Guns Akimbo’s release, Howden drew criticism for a series of tweets voicing his outrage and naming several writers he claimed bullied Dilara Elbir, editor of Much Ado About Cinema into attempting suicide [8]. Elbir had a private message leaked that used a racial slur and Howden’s comments about online bullying were perceived as trivialising racism. [9] The subsequent accusations of racism negatively impacted Guns Akimbo’s box office takings.

In the media



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