Now in its eighth year, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival has become a bonafide home for the independent short film community. This year’s installment, taking place from March 2-6, will feature over 60 short films, with filmmakers in attendance for Q&As, including many based in New York City. Continuing its mission to represent diverse backgrounds, voices, and perspectives with our selection of exceptional short-form films, female-directed films make up a majority of this year’s festival program.
There will be six programs in this year’s festival, including Opening Nite, Music Driven, Midnite, Matinee, NoBudge, and Closing Nite. Opening and Closing Nite shows will take place at the Prospect Park location, with post-screening parties hosted in the Trees Lounge bar. Music Driven, Midnite, Matinee and NoBudge will be at the Williamsburg location.
“We have been eager to get the Nitehawk Shorts Festival back up and running, since it has become such an important part of the special programming we do,” says Cristina Cacioppo, Nitehawk Cinema’s Director of Programming. “It has been energizing to see such a variety of outstanding work come through submissions.”
Each program features an eclectic mix of genres, with several World Premieres including NSF alumni Amber Schaefer with NYC Tips and Tricks, about an aspiring vlogger whose attempts to capture Coney Island attractions are foiled by parental duties, as well as Sam and Trip Cullman’s The Soldier, a film made during quarantine featuring a resourceful four-year-old taking care of himself in the middle of nowhere. The Music Driven program will include music videos by noted directors Yann Gonzalez (Knife+Heart) and Alex Ross Perry (Her Smell) as well as Fear on SNL, a look at the time John Belushi invited punk band Fear to perform on Saturday Night Live by Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot).
For the NoBudge program, filmmaker Kentucker Audley serves as co-programmer, highlighting works created with the most miniscule of budgets. The Midnite program serves the after-dark crowd with several tales of the horny, including two pandemic era sex-panic films, the fantastical animation Are You Still Watching? by Australian duo Tali Polichtuk and Kitty Chrystal, and Puss, an imaginative portrayal of desperation by Leah Shore. Matinee program highlights include two coming-of-age stories (Hello from Taiwan, AmeriGirl) and A Ship from Guantánamo, an innovative documentary that looks at an artist working with limited resources while imprisoned. For Closing Nite, several personal stories set the tone including first time filmmaker Vicky Lee, who creatively looks back at her young self for In Loving Memory (of Who We Used to Be) and Todd Karehana with Night Ride, exploring his relationship with his mother as he accompanies her on visits to stray cats.
As always, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival celebrates its filmmakers with an Opening Nite Party, and will culminate with a Closing Nite Party on March 6th where festival winners will be announced. Prizes this year are generously provided by Heard City, Irving Harvey, Grado Labs, Boris FX, Nice Shoes, AbelCine, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and Vimeo. Drink specials inspired by a selection of shorts will be available at the parties and screenings.
Wednesday, March 2nd @7PM, Prospect Park
Post-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers, Moderated Nitehawk’s Cristina Cacioppo
Run Time: 96 min. Format: DCP
The shorts in this program get us off to a rollicking start with inventive animation, comedic pathos, and an assortment of characters that will win your heart. Expect cathartic karaoke, a beauty product pyramid scheme, and one surprisingly resourceful toddler.
NYC TIPS AND TRICKS – World Premiere
Amber Schaefer / U.S. / 2021 / 11 min
A small time travel vlogger’s tour of Coney Island is interrupted by an unexpected call.
YOUNG FOREVER – NY Premiere
Stevie Szerlip / U.S. / 2020 / 15 min
A Korean entrepreneur is entangled in a pyramid scheme that goes far beyond beauty product endorsement in an elliptical thriller about risk, survival and loss.
Kelly Schiesswohl / U.S. / 2020 – 2021 / 4 min
TRICHOTILLOMANIA tells the story of one girl’s Google-search-gone-wrong to find out why she can’t stop pulling out her hair.
COUSINS – NY Premiere
Mandy Marcus / U.S. / 2021 / 13 min
A Brooklyn teenager reunites with her Guyanese cousin for the funeral of a relative. On the last day of the wake the girls venture out into the city alone.
IT’S ROCKET SCIENCE – NY Premiere
Rachel Knoll / U.S. / 2021 / 5 min
IT’S ROCKET SCIENCE looks at the story of Ky Michaelson, and how his struggle with dyslexia and dropping out of school pushed him to forge his own unique future… building rockets!
Nick Hartanto, Sam Roden / U.S. / 2020 / 15 min
A stroke victim descends into a nightmare after her husband unearths a mysterious object from their garage.
Perry Strong / U.S. / 2020 / 4 min
A man travels six months into the past to warn himself not to gain weight during the pandemic shutdown.
THE SOLDIER – World Premiere
Sam Cullman, Trip Cullman / U.S. / 2020 / 17 min
Filmed while sheltering in place and made for no money other than Legos to pay one of our actors, THE SOLDIER is the story of 4 year old Sid, left to fend for himself after his family dies. A man shows up, having walked the barren road, and a simple and life sustaining truce is negotiated.
ENLOQUECER – World Premiere
Hector Prats / U.S. / 2021 / 12 min
After losing her lead actor last minute, a music video director goes to extreme measures to get her new talent to perform, pushing the production to the brink of madness.
Thursday, March 3rd @7PM, Williamsburg
Post-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers Moderated by Nitehawk’s John Woods
Run Time: 95 min. Format: DCP
This companion program to our Music Driven monthly series gives us the opportunity to spotlight music videos from all eras as well as short documentaries. The 2022 selection is easily of the the most diverse musically from ambient to hardcore punk, yet fits together in a very cohesive way. The new golden age of the music video continues and we’re happy to be able to share it with you all on the big screen.
FOU DE BASSAN
Yann Gonzalez / France / 2021 / 4 min
Dead city. Foggy night. A saxophone is playing. Lust is lurking.
Lee Milby / U.S. / 2021 / 4 min
Through a magical mirror-portal, artist Cate Hamilton traverses a pastel pink Alice-in-Wonderland inspired fantasy world.
Kristian Mercado / Puerto Rico, U.S. / 2020 / 16 min
A brother and sister stumble upon a celestial secret that changes their lives forever and propels them into Reggaetón stardom, but they soon discover that their newfound fame comes at a deep price.
William Breen / U.S. / 2021 / 3 min
An office worker stuck in the doldrums learns to hang up the phone and let loose.
Angel Kristi Williams / U.S. / 2021 / 3 min
Best friends explore a day in LA but he’s quietly in love with her.
SEE YOU AGAIN
Hector Prats / U.S. / 2021 / 5 min
In a time when the barrier between digital and physical is diluted, two humans fight to keep a meaningful connection across worlds.
TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION
Brendan Yates / U.S. / 2021 / 11 min
Critically acclaimed hardcore band Turnstile presents a short film based on their 2021 EP “TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION.”
FEAR ON SNL
Jeff Krulik / U.S. / 2021 / 10 min
On Halloween night 1981, a punk rock legend is born. Bill was there.
TOSHIBA GUTS “NO, MONEY DOWN!” – World Premiere
Jim Lopezzo / U.S. / 2020 / 3 min
“No, Money Down!” is a music video interweaving playful textures and existential themes.
Nalani Williams / U.S. / 2021 / 4 min
Layering stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, this experimental piece created for the song “Mercy” by musician Domino Kirke, illuminates—through ethereal landscapes and painterly figures—the grief and loss of miscarriage as metaphor for the shared universal cycle of hope and despair.
Nico Reano / U.S. / 2020 / 4 min
Silver Femme is a digital ode to the moon; a poetic film that envisions a future and space where trans people are safe.
DAVID BOWIE IS – AN EVENING WITH MICK ROCK AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM
Dave Horwitz / U.S. / 2019 / 12 min
A master of capturing the aura of an artist, Mick Rock is a living legend who chronicled the golden age of rock & roll. In this short film, he recounts his iconic work for Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and others – leading up to a presentation at the Brooklyn Museum, where he goes in-depth about his classic music videos for David Bowie.
LOT LIZARD 93
Lizzie Armanto / U.S. / 4 min
Music video for “Lot Lizard 93” by punk band Surfbort.
Alex Ross Perry / U.S. / 2022 / 12 min
A music video trilogy for Yumi Zouma’s new album.
Thursday, March 3rd @9:30PM, Williamsburg
Post-Screening Q&A Moderated by Nitehawk’s Desmond Thorne
Run Time: 96 min. Format: DCP
The Midnite program serves the after-dark crowd with several tales of the horrific, hilarious, and horny. From creatively drawn pandemic sex fantasies, visceral animated poop stories, eerie tales of isolation, and an experimental look at birth and Cabbage Patch dolls, come titlate all of your senses with this diverse program of shorts, and stay for a tender romance with a sinfully slimy monster.
THE STRANGE MONSTER AT THE RIVERA HOUSE (EL EXTRAÑO EN LA CASA RIVERA) – World Premiere
Esteban Bailey / Puerto Rico, U.S. / 2021 / 11 min
Aida and her daughter Aidita are struggling to survive the ravages of a hurricane that has devastated the island of Puerto Rico, when they suddenly find a strange creature living in their backyard.
Lauren Sick / U.S. / 2020 / 8 min
After discovering a bloody jacket on a secluded road in the woods, a lonely woman is haunted by insidious forces in a winter not-so-wonderland.
HEY POOPY PODCAST CARTOONS
Matthew Holtzclaw / U.S. / 2021 / 7 min
Hey Poopy Podcast Cartoons Presents: Alicia’s Coffee, Takin’ The Piss and Pool Ball Story
TEN LEAVES DILATED
Kate E Hinshaw, Ebony Blanding / U.S. / 2021 / 15 min
Discourses surrounding childbirth in the American South are explored through examining the make-believe world created by Cabbage Patch Kids.
LUCKY FEST 2000
Mary Dauterman / U.S. / 2020 / 4 min
A woman gets a supernatural pedicure.
MY DEEP DARK FEARS (MES PEURS NOIRES)
Louis-David Jutras / Canada / 2021 / 3 min
We are in Simons’s head, an agoraphobe who is afraid of everything. He shows us his deep dark fears.
INTO THE SILVER ETHER
Vito A. Rowlands / U.S., Belgium / 2020 / 6 min
New York, 1927. An aspiring model goes to have her picture taken, but a camera can have a mind of its own.
Annalise Lockhart / U.S. / 2021 / 14 min
A Black family strives to shield their rural Vermont home from the gaze of the spirits that surround it.
William Breen / U.S. / 2021 / 5 min
An innocent trip to the cinema turns nightmarish as reality and dreams clash and not everything is as it seems.
COLD FEET ON THE LAST RODEO
Taryn Ward / U.S. / 2020 / 3 min
A desperate delivery boy seeks good fortune.
CRAZY MEL’S AUTO EMPORIUM – World Premiere
Kevin Maher / U.S., Australia / 2021 / 1 min
Used car salesman “Crazy” Mel outlines his customer guarantee.
Leah Shore / U.S. / 2021 / 9 min
Samantha is locked up in her New York apartment, she’s lonely, she’s horny AF, and having a hard time getting laid for some reason.
MONSTERDYKË – NY Premiere
Kaye Adelaide, Mariel Sharp / Canada / 2021 / 4 min
A transgender sculptress who is unhappy with her experiences dating men, has a lesbian awakening when a monster sculpture she is making comes to life and rocks her world.
Saturday, March 5th @11:30AM, Williamsburg
Post-Screening Q&A Moderated by Nitehawk’s Cristina Cacioppo
Run Time: 102 min. Format: DCP
This year’s all Female directed Matinee shorts program zeroes in on several emotional, mental, and physical journeys. Whether the subject is coming of age, fighting for basic human rights, or finding a way to break a sweat, this strong collection of shorts is all at once humorous, moving, and artistically eclectic.
HELLO FROM TAIWAN
Tiffany Frances / U.S. / 2019 / 16 min
A Taiwanese American family struggles to reunite across language and cultural barriers, set in the late 1980s and told from a child’s perspective.
LOOKING FOR CHANTAL (BUSCANDO A CHANTAL) – World Premiere
Ana Valeria Castillos / U.S., Dominican Republic / 2020 / 6 min
The Staten Island Ferry sails towards downtown Manhattan. Ana Valeria meanders New York City as she grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and an evermore strained relationship with her mother in Santo Domingo, hoping to find Chantal, if not herself, in the process.
FITNESS! OR A STORY ABOUT SWEAT
Kana Hatakeyama / U.S. / 2020 / 12 min
A titillating spiritual comedy about finding your deepest nature through technology, human connection…and sweat.
Sydney Clara Brafman / U.S. / 2021 / 2 min
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS.
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS.
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS.
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS.
Samina Saifee / U.S. / 2021 / 10 min
While away at AmeriGirl camp, shy 11-year-old Aaliyah Khan has one goal: to make a friend.
A SHIP FROM GUANTÁNAMO
Veena Rao, Dara Kell / U.S. / 2021 / 7 min
Imprisoned without charges for almost 20 years, an artist finds solace and joy from making intricate ship models out of found materials.
THREADS OF DESIRE – NY Premiere
Bianca Di Marco / Italy, U.S. / 2021 / 9 min
A farmer’s monotonous life in the Italian countryside is unsettled after she steals an elegant dress.
Cai Thomas / U.S. / 2019 / 19 min
Queenie, a 73-year-young Black lesbian and resident of Marcy Houses, navigates applying for Stonewall House, NYC’s first LGBT elder affordable housing.
Sunday, March 6th @11:30AM, Williamsburg
Post-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers Moderated by Kentucker Audley
Run Time: 102 min. Format: DCP
NoBudge is happy to partner with Nitehawk Shorts Fest for a program of new work from a group of emerging indie filmmakers, mostly based in New York. We’re screening nine short films, predominantly dramatic narratives, that focus on a range of themes from identity building to body exploration. Each film is crafted with intimacy and intelligence and illustrates unique emerging voices and visions.
Joe Stankus / U.S. / 2019 / 10 min
A struggling novelist throws a dinner party to announce his acceptance into a prestigious writer’s program. But his big plans are soon overshadowed by a more pressing matter.
India Donaldson / U.S. / 2019 / 14 min
A woman cons her way into another woman’s apartment, resulting in a strange and intimate encounter.
IMPORTANT POLICE SHIT – NY Premiere
Andrew T. Betzer / U.S. / 2020 / 12 min
A group of police cadets are mercilessly hazed as they suffer through the worst day of their training, their hell day.
BIG CRUSH – World Premiere
Sophia Bennett Holmes / U.S. / 2021 / 10 min
Grace is an odd girl with an odd fetish. She goes out one night in search of a boy, any boy, to bring home and prove that she’s actually very normal.
Tij D’oyen / U.S. / 2019 / 10 min
June celebrates her 25th birthday with an existential crisis. HI MOM is a fragmentary, heart-on-its-sleeve depiction of a young woman beginning to question everything about her life/life choices. Full of bad decisions, too many cigarettes, and lots of manic phone calls to mom, the film is a love letter to our 20’s.
PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY
Tynan DeLong / U.S. / 2021 / 10 min
An anxious musician finds himself unable to leave his hotel room.
Francesca Pazniokas / U.S. / 2021 / 6 min
6FT. is a surreal fever-dream about the isolation and suffocation of the quarantine experience.
DIRTY – NY Premiere
Matthew Puccini / U.S. / 2019 / 11 min
Marco cuts class to spend the afternoon with his boyfriend. Things do not go as planned.
THE LOVE SPELL
Jane Stiles, Meryl Jones Williams / U.S. / 2020 / 19 min
A babysitter and child perform an astrological ritual together to honor Venus.
Sunday, March 6th @6:00PM, Prospect Park
Post-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers, Moderated by Nitehawk’s Cristina Cacioppo
Run Time: 100 min. Format: DCP
For our final program, we have innovative approaches to documentary, an assortment of young women making sense of their worlds, and people searching for connection.
YOU AND ME THIS SUMMER – World Premiere
Emily Berge, Spencer Thielmann / U.S. / 2021 / 16 min
Set in the backwoods of rural Iowa, this is Regan and Addisyn’s last summer before college. As Addisyn tries to manage her mother’s addiction, Regan reckons with her Native culture and decision to leave their small hometown behind.
JONES / U.S. / 2019 / 13 min
Bryn’s week goes from bad to worse, when her latest babysitting gig turns out to be a grown man. Kyle is terminally ill, and wants company for the last hours of his life – he intends to kill himself by the end of the evening.
THE MAN OF MY DREAMS
Tristan Scott-Behrends / U.S. / 2021 / 6 min
Two gorgeous magnetic male lovers traipse around the streets of NYC enmeshed in a dreamy romance.
WHAT I SEE WHEN I LOOK – East Coast Premiere
Lindsay Calleran / U.S. / 2020 / 14 min
The filmmaker recreates memories from their childhood to paint an impressionistic and sensorial portrait of one family, as observed by a child.
Todd Karehana / New Zealand / 2021 / 10 min
A 66-year-old mother has an unusual ritual of returning to her old family home to care for stray cats. Worrying about the implications of her obsessive routine, her son wants to understand why. Joining her night rides, it’s time to unravel the truth.
LAUNCH – NY Premiere
Leah Shore / U.S. / 2021 / 3 min
“Thirty-five years after Moon-walking astronauts placed special reflectors on the lunar surface, scientists have used these devices to test Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity to unprecedented accuracy. The findings, which also confirm theories from Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, may help to explain physical laws of the universe and benefit future space missions.” – Nasa
IN LOVING MEMORY (OF WHO WE USED TO BE)
Vicky Lee / U.S. / 2021 / 8 min
IN LOVING MEMORY (OF WHO WE USED TO BE) is reminiscent of the growing pains and awkward tween years of a Chinese-American girl.
Jefferson Stein / U.S. / 2021 / 15 min
A young Indigenous girl discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who has been separated from her father in the beautiful but dangerous Sonoran desert.
Jay Giampietro / U.S. / 2020 / 15 min
A lonely New Yorker struggles to find connection during the early months of the COVID-19 shutdown.
Tickets are onsale now at https://nitehawkcinema.com/NSF22/
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