Skip to Content


Festival achieves gender parity, expands class offerings, and announces Closing Nite screening


NEW YORK (October 9, 2018) — Now in its sixth year, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival has become a bonafide home for the independent short film community. This year’s installment, taking place from November 7-12, will feature 60 short films under twenty minutes and has expanded with additional events that include educational classes and off-site workshops.

The NSF continues its mission to represent diverse backgrounds, voices, and perspectives with our selection of exceptional short-form films. The official slate includes 60 films by 70 filmmakers and, committed to equal representation, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival has gender parity for 2018.

A sampling of the films this year include Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel’s Happy Birthday, Marsha! that commemorates Black transgender activist and performer Marsha P Johnson while also marking the first time trans women of color are on both sides of the camera, the New York premiere of Roadside Attraction by Illy Short Film Award winners Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan about people in South Florida who flock to Palm Beach International Airport, and the New York premiere of Matthew Frost’s Boomerang, starring Mackenzie Davis, about a young women who attempts to quit social media.

“The Nitehawk Shorts Festival has become more than a film festival,” says Caryn Coleman, Nitehawk Cinema’s Director of Programming/Special Projects, “It is now the cornerstone of Nitehawk’s commitment to support new filmmakers and to be the hub for amazing short films in New York that extends throughout the year. We are creating a supportive family network here.”

The curation of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival prioritizes conversations over categorical listings; providing audiences with a unique experience during our Main Slate programs (Opening Nite, Matinee One, Matinee Two, and the inaugural Closing Nite), specialty music program (Music Driven), the popular horror program, co-curated with Shudder’s Sam Zimmerman, now at a reasonable hour (Midnite), and a new Science Fiction program co-presented with DUST (Sci-Fi Midnite).

The Nitehawk Shorts Festival furthers its commitment to assisting filmmakers by offering an off-site post-production tutorial with Nice Shoes, a “Music Rights in Film” class taught by the experts at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and “Crowdfunding to Build Independence” with Seed&Spark.

As always, the Nitehawk Shorts Festival celebrates its filmmakers with an Opening Nite Party, Filmmakers’ Gathering, and will culminate with a Closing Nite Party on November 12 where festival winners will be announced. Prizes this year are generously provided by HuffPost Arts + Culture, Heard City, Nice Shoes, Light Iron, AbelCine, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Grado, and Vimeo.

Nitehawk Cinema’s annual Nitehawk Shorts Festival is a celebration of independent short filmmaking, featuring six days of screenings, special events and parties that highlight and support a diverse range of voices in short films.

The Festival includes main slate programs (Opening Nite, weekend Matinees, and Closing Nite), specialty music program (Music Driven), the popular horror program (Midnite), and a new Science Fiction program with DUST (Sci-Fi Midnite). Programs consist of short films in all forms (animation, documentary, narrative, non-narrative, artist films, music videos, genre) by local, national, and international filmmakers.

Since 2013, the mission of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival has been to highlight exceptional short-form film and videos by artists and filmmakers. The Festival’s main slate programming features a range of filmmakers, from emerging film school students to Academy Award nominees, in curated screenings that prioritize conversations between the films over categorical listings. The Nitehawk Shorts Festival provides an inclusive platform for filmmakers to encourage an engagement with new audiences and to establish a dialogue with the New York film community.

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.


For press requests: Deanna Nokes at
For general festival questions: Liz Zimiles at