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Nitehawk Shorts Festival 2022 Reveals Majority Female-Directed Lineup

Leah Shore and Amber Schaefer are among the female directors premiering new shorts during the festival, which runs March 2–6.

PUSS, Nitehawk Shorts Festival

“Puss”

Nitehawk Shorts Festival

The eighth annual Nitehawk Shorts Festival is upon us!

IndieWire can exclusively announce highlights from the upcoming Nitehawk Shorts Fest, running March 2–6 at both the Nitehawk’s Prospect Park and Williamsburg locations.

The Nitehawk Shorts Festival celebrates independent filmmaking by featuring over 60 short films, with filmmakers in attendance for Q&As. Continuing its mission to represent diverse backgrounds, voices, and perspectives with a selection of exceptional short-form films, female-directed films make up a majority of this year’s festival program.

The festival will include six programs: 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,” Cristina Cacioppo, Nitehawk Cinema’s Director of Programming, said. “It has been energizing to see such a variety of outstanding work come through submissions.”

Each program features a range of genres, with several World Premieres including NSF alum Amber Schaefer’s “NYC Tips and Tricks,” about an aspiring vlogger whose attempt to capture the amusement park at Coney Island are thwarted thanks to parental duties, and Sam and Trip Cullman’s toddler-focused “The Soldier,” which was filmed during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The Music Driven program debuts music videos by noted directors Yann Gonzalez (“Knife + Heart”) and Alex Ross Perry (“Her Smell”), as well as Jeff Krulik’s “Fear on SNL,” a look back at the time John Belushi invited punk band Fear to perform on “Saturday Night Live.”

Yann Gonzalez-FouDeBassan

“Fou De Bassan”

Nitehawk Shorts Festival

For NoBudge, filmmaker Kentucker Audley serves as co-programmer to highlight films created with the “most minuscule of budgets,” per a press statement.

The Midnite program serves the after-dark crowd with several tales of the sensual, 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 innovative documentary “A Ship from Guantánamo,” which 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 reflects on her young self for “In Loving Memory (of Who We Used to Be),” and Todd Karehana’s “Night Ride,” which explores his relationship with his mother as he accompanies her on visits with stray cats.

The full program will be announced February 9, when tickets go on sale.

As every year, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival celebrates its filmmakers with an Opening Nite Party and culminates with a Closing Nite Party March 6, when 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.

Founded in 2013, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival is held exclusively at Nitehawk Cinema, New York’s premiere dine-in theater that pairs exemplary first-run and repertory film programming along with table-side food and beverage service. Programs consist of short films in all forms (animation, documentary, narrative, non-narrative, artist films, music videos, genre) by local, national, and international filmmakers.

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