Film Festival: NITEHAWK SHORTS FESTIVAL ’22 (March 2-6, Williamsburg and Prospect Park)

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by Nia Liat on February 24, 2022

in Film,Theater-New York


Festival Runs from March 2nd-6that Nitehawk’s Williamsburg + Prospect Park LocationsNow 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, 2022, 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.


Wednesday, March 2nd @7PM, Prospect Park
Post-Screening Q&A with the filmmakers moderated by Cristina Cacioppo, Nitehawk Cinema
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 PremiereStevie Szerlip / U.S. / 2020 / 15 minA Korean entrepreneur is entangled in a pyramid scheme that goes far beyond beauty product endorsement in an elliptical thriller about risk, survival and loss.

TRICHOTILLOMANIA!Kelly Schiesswohl / U.S. / 2020 – 2021 / 4 minTRICHOTILLOMANIA 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 PremiereMandy Marcus / U.S. / 2021 / 13 minA 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 PremiereRachel Knoll / U.S. / 2021 / 5 minIT’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!

ATROPHYNick Hartanto, Sam Roden / U.S. / 2020 / 15 minA stroke victim descends into a nightmare after her husband unearths a mysterious object from their garage.

180 SECONDSPerry Strong / U.S. / 2020 / 4 minA man travels six months into the past to warn himself not to gain weight during the pandemic shutdown.

THE SOLDIER – World PremiereSam Cullman, Trip Cullman / U.S. / 2020 / 17 minFilmed 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 PremiereHector Prats / U.S. / 2021 / 12 minAfter 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: 96 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.

Yann Gonzalez / France / 2021 / 4 minDead city. Foggy night. A saxophone is playing. Lust is lurking.

TRACESLee Milby / U.S. / 2021 / 4 minThrough a magical mirror-portal, artist Cate Hamilton traverses a pastel pink Alice-in-Wonderland inspired fantasy world.

NUEVO RICOKristian Mercado / Puerto Rico, U.S. / 2020 / 16 minA 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.

WALK RIGHTWilliam Breen / U.S. / 2021 / 3 minAn office worker stuck in the doldrums learns to hang up the phone and let loose.

FRIENDZONE LAAngel Kristi Williams / U.S. / 2021 / 3 minBest friends explore a day in LA but he’s quietly in love with her.

SEE YOU AGAINHector Prats / U.S. / 2021 / 5 minIn a time when the barrier between digital and physical is diluted, two humans fight to keep a meaningful connection across worlds.

TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTIONBrendan Yates / U.S. / 2021 / 11 minCritically acclaimed hardcore band Turnstile presents a short film based on their 2021 EP “TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION.”

FEAR ON SNLJeff Krulik / U.S. / 2021 / 10 minOn Halloween night 1981, a punk rock legend is born. Bill was there.

TOSHIBA GUTS “NO, MONEY DOWN!” – World PremiereJim Lopezzo / U.S. / 2020 / 3 min“No, Money Down!” is a music video interweaving playful textures and existential themes.

MERCYNalani Williams / U.S. / 2021 / 4 minLayering 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.

SILVER FEMMENico Reano / U.S. / 2020 / 4 minSilver 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 MUSEUMDave Horowitz / U.S. / 2019 / 12 minMick Rock was a legendary photographer who dedicated his life to capturing some of Rock & Roll’s most important artists. As a director, he was responsible for many of David Bowie’s early Ziggy Stardust videos, including the classic, “Life on Mars?”. In this short-film, taped at Brooklyn Museum in 2018, Mick reflects on his craft and the untold stories behind his notable videos for David Bowie.

LOT LIZARD 93Lizzie Armanto / U.S. / 4 minMusic video for “Lot Lizard 93” by punk band Surfbort.

PRESENT TENSEAlex Ross Perry / U.S. / 2022 / 12 minA music video trilogy for Yumi Zouma’s new album.

MIDNITEThursday, March 3rd @9:30PM, WilliamsburgPost-Screening Q&A Moderated by Nitehawk’s Desmond ThorneRun 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 titilate all of your senses with this diverse program of shorts, and stay for a tender romance with a sinfully slimy monster.

Tali Polichtuk, Kitty Chrystal / Australia / 2021 / 6 minForced into near-isolation during one of Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns, Jamie keeps themselves entertained bingeing on queer film and TV. What begins as mere escapism turns sensual when they start having delusions involving their favorite queer characters.

THE STRANGE MONSTER AT THE RIVERA HOUSE (EL EXTRAÑO EN LA CASA RIVERA) – World PremiereEsteban Bailey / Puerto Rico, U.S. / 2021 / 11 minAida 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.

PARELauren Sick / U.S. / 2020 / 8 minAfter 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 CARTOONSMatthew Holtzclaw / U.S. / 2021 / 7 minHey Poopy Podcast Cartoons Presents: Alicia’s Coffee, Takin’ The Piss and Pool Ball Story

TEN LEAVES DILATEDKate E Hinshaw, Ebony Blanding / U.S. / 2021 / 15 minDiscourses surrounding childbirth in the American South are explored through examining the make-believe world created by Cabbage Patch Kids.

LUCKY FEST 2000Mary Dauterman / U.S. / 2020 / 4 minA woman gets a supernatural pedicure.

MY DEEP DARK FEARS (MES PEURS NOIRES)Louis-David Jutras / Canada / 2021 / 3 minWe are in Simons’s head, an agoraphobe who is afraid of everything. He shows us his deep dark fears.

INTO THE SILVER ETHERVito A. Rowlands / U.S., Belgium / 2020 / 6 minNew York, 1927. An aspiring model goes to have her picture taken, but a camera can have a mind of its own.

INHERITENCEAnnalise Lockhart / U.S. / 2021 / 14 minA Black family strives to shield their rural Vermont home from the gaze of the spirits that surround it.

CONTINUUMWilliam Breen / U.S. / 2021 / 5 minAn innocent trip to the cinema turns nightmarish as reality and dreams clash and not everything is as it seems.

COLD FEET ON THE LAST RODEOTaryn Ward / U.S. / 2020 / 3 minA desperate delivery boy seeks good fortune.

CRAZY MEL’S AUTO EMPORIUM – World PremiereKevin Maher / U.S., Australia / 2021 / 1 minUsed car salesman “Crazy” Mel outlines his customer guarantee.

PUSSLeah Shore / U.S. / 2021 / 9 minSamantha 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 PremiereKaye Adelaide, Mariel Sharp / Canada / 2021 / 4 minA 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.

MATINEESaturday, March 5th @11:30AM, WilliamsburgPost-Screening Q&A Moderated by Nitehawk’s Cristina CacioppoRun 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.

Tiffany Frances / U.S. / 2019 / 16 minA 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 PremiereAna Valeria Castillos / U.S., Dominican Republic / 2020 / 6 minThe 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 SWEATKana Hatakeyama / U.S. / 2020 / 12 minA titillating spiritual comedy about finding your deepest nature through technology, human connection…and sweat.


AMERIGIRLSamina Saifee / U.S. / 2021 / 10 minWhile away at AmeriGirl camp, shy 11-year-old Aaliyah Khan has one goal: to make a friend.

A SHIP FROM GUANTÁNAMOVeena Rao, Dara Kell / U.S. / 2021 / 7 minImprisoned 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 PremiereBianca Di Marco / Italy, U.S. / 2021 / 9 minA farmer’s monotonous life in the Italian countryside is unsettled after she steals an elegant dress.

QUEENIECai Thomas / U.S. / 2019 / 19 minQueenie, a 73-year-young Black lesbian and resident of Marcy Houses, navigates applying for Stonewall House, NYC’s first LGBT elder affordable housing.

NOBUDGESunday, March 6th @11:30AM, WilliamsburgPost-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers Moderated by Kentucker AudleyRun 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. They’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 minA 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.

HANNAHSIndia Donaldson / U.S. / 2019 / 14 minA woman cons her way into another woman’s apartment, resulting in a strange and intimate encounter.

IMPORTANT POLICE SHIT – NY PremiereAndrew T. Betzer / U.S. / 2020 / 12 minA group of police cadets are mercilessly hazed as they suffer through the worst day of their training, their hell day.

BIG CRUSH – World PremiereSophia Bennett Holmes / U.S. / 2021 / 10 minGrace 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.

HI MOMTij D’oyen / U.S. / 2019 / 10 minJune 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 STAYTynan DeLong / U.S. / 2021 / 10 minAn anxious musician finds himself unable to leave his hotel room.

6FT.Francesca Pazniokas / U.S. / 2021 / 6 min6FT. is a surreal fever-dream about the isolation and suffocation of the quarantine experience.

DIRTY – NY PremiereMatthew Puccini / U.S. / 2019 / 11 minMarco cuts class to spend the afternoon with his boyfriend. Things do not go as planned.

THE LOVE SPELLJane Stiles, Meryl Jones Williams / U.S. / 2020 / 19 minA babysitter and child perform an astrological ritual together to honor Venus.

CLOSING NITESunday, March 6th @6:00PM, Prospect ParkPost-Screening Q&A with the Filmmakers, Moderated by Nitehawk’s Cristina CacioppoRun Time: 100 min. Format: DCP

For the final program, we have innovative approaches to documentary, an assortment of young women making sense of their worlds, and people searching for connection.

Emily Berge, Spencer Thielmann / U.S. / 2021 / 16 minSet 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.

SITTINGJONES / U.S. / 2019 / 13 minBryn’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 DREAMSTristan Scott-Behrends / U.S. / 2021 / 6 minTwo gorgeous magnetic male lovers traipse around the streets of NYC enmeshed in a dreamy romance.

WHAT I SEE WHEN I LOOK – East Coast PremiereLindsay Calleran / U.S. / 2020 / 14 minThe filmmaker recreates memories from their childhood to paint an impressionistic and sensorial portrait of one family, as observed by a child.

NIGHT RIDETodd Karehana / New Zealand / 2021 / 10 minA 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 PremiereLeah 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 minIN LOVING MEMORY (OF WHO WE USED TO BE) is reminiscent of the growing pains and awkward tween years of a Chinese-American girl.

BURROSJefferson Stein / U.S. / 2021 / 15 minA young Indigenous girl discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who has been separated from her father in the beautiful but dangerous Sonoran desert.

THE ISOLATEDJay Giampietro / U.S. / 2020 / 15 minA lonely New Yorker struggles to find connection during the early months of the COVID-19 shutdown.

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