Nighthawk Shorts Fest Returns with Prep, Free Noir Papillon, Kentucker Audley's NoBudge, and More

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Nighthawk Shorts Fest Returns with Prep, Free Noir Papillon, Kentucker Audley's NoBudge, and More

Winter days and nights are made for movie watching - in a cinema, if you feel comfortable, and while you might think March is a slow season for cinema, you'd be wrong. For those in the Brooklyn or general New York area, the wonderful Nitehawk Cinema is once against hosting its amazing festival of short films. Short on duration, but never short on story, character, or style. And the festival brings an amazing variety and selection, from comedies to dramas, from midnight stories to music videos. You can catch it all early next month, and you can find the full programme and tickets. on the Nitehawk website. Check out the press release below.

Nitehawk Shorts Festival will return for its ninth year, running from March 1-5 2023.This year marks a few exciting additions. For one,  an unprecedented amount of submissions, the festival will present seven programs total, one more than past years. Another remarkable feature is that of the 60+ shorts included, almost 100% are from submissions. As in previous years the line-up includes filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, with at least half made by female or non-binary filmmakers. Taking place at both Nitehawk venues in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, the festivities will include an Opening and Closing Nite party, many filmmakers in attendance for Q&A, and audiences will be treated to a new commissioned work by animator Leah Shore, who will create an original festival bumper that will play before all programs.

The seven programs in this year’s festival, including Opening Nite, Music Driven, Midnite, Matinee One, Matinee Two, NoBudge, and Closing Nite. Opening, Matinee 2, NoBudge and Closing Nite shows will take place at the Prospect Park location, with post-screening parties hosted in the Trees Lounge bar on Opening and Closing nights. Music Driven, Midnite, and Matinee 1 will be at the Williamsburg location.

Another addition to this year’s festival comes in the form of a new prize from Future of Film is Female (FOFIF), which will award one filmmaker $250 and inclusion in the ongoing series hosted by Nitehawk.


The festival line-up includes at least six World Premieres, including Prep, a body builder’s fever dream by Raymond Barnett Knudsen; Balikbayan, the story of a Filipina immigrant wishing for more closeness with both her daughters and the family she left behind by Rebecca Rajadnya, and The Singles Retreat, the directorial debut of comedian Jo Firestone about seniors venturing out for romance.

An essential mainstay of the festival, linked to Nitehawk’s monthly series Music Driven, puts front and center an array of music videos and musically themed films. This year includes videos for Mitski’s "Stay Soft", Tove Lo’s "Grapefruit", and the World Premiere of Jaboukie’s "BBC", which he directed. Narrative films in the program include Big Three, set in 1961 about a music label’s attempt at using focus groups on their upcoming acts and Record Shop, a very NYC story of two DJs in search of a rare salsa record.

As in previous years, Kentucker Audley’s NoBudge will have a special program, featuring three first time filmmakers. Audley says, “NoBudge is thrilled to be a part of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival, which is continuing to grow into an essential Brooklyn event in the short film landscape. The talent and ingenuity on display in the films is remarkable and Nitehawk is a perfect place to watch short films and chat with filmmakers afterward. Often overlooked, the short film format is a vital playground for discovery in young filmmakers and it deserves to have its own space and time to shine.”

This year’s jury includes actress/musician Jessica Pimentel (Orange is the New Black), critic/curator Monica Castillo, entertainment lawyer Alex Threadgold, indie film distributor Matt Grady (Factory 25), and festival alum Amber Schaefer, who currently directs pre-taped films for Saturday Night Live.

As always, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival celebrates its filmmakers with an Opening Nite Party, and will culminate with a Closing Nite Party on March 5th where festival winners will be announced. Prizes this year are generously provided by Heard City, AbelCine, 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.

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