Celebrate Fabulously and Showcase Your Pride at Nitehawk Cinema

On June 28, 1969, riots broke out in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, which is now the country’s first national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights. To honor the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots, NItehawk Cinema celebrates representation, inclusiveness, and the LGBTQ community with special screenings of queer films and events in association with NewFest and Queer Soup Night. The Pride program will run at both Nitehawk locations between May 25th – June 9th and will showcase a diverse range of stories to open hearts and eyes to the queer experience.

Cult classic BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER will be the first 35mm print to screen in Prospect Park

Caryn Coleman, Director of Programming/Special Projects at Nitehawk divulges, “We’re extremely proud to celebrate the LGBTQ community by highlighting iconic and contemporary independent films directed by women and people of color.” To kick off Pride at Nitehawk Williamsburg is Wanuri Kahiu’s vibrant and tender love story between two young women set in Kenya, Rafiki. Followed by Caroline Berler’s documentary Dykes, Camera, Action which features commentary on how Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s helped to build visibility around lesbian filmmakers that completely transformed society’s imagination about queerness. “To be able to honor LGBTQ experiences in film with the directors, partners like NewFest and Queer Soup, and our audiences this June fills us with, pardon the pun, PRIDE,” proclaims Caryn.

Alice Wu’s directorial debut and beloved romance film Saving Face is presented on 35mm as Shayana Filmore leads an intimate conversation with the director after the film. Collaborating with NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ Film & Media Arts Organization, Nitehawk is thrilled to screen a rare 35mm print of a legendary film that depicts the vivacious romantic lives of African-American gay men while candidly exploring the universal aspects of friendship. The special screening requires the purchase of a $15 voucher as each audience member will receive a copy of the book, PRIDE: Fifty Years of Parades and Protests, courtesy of Abrams Books. “NewFest is delighted to be working with Nitehawk this June to celebrate our community on the momentous 50th anniversary of Stonewall, bringing contemporary queer cinema to Brooklyn to expand the visibility and reach of LGBTQ stories throughout New York City,” affirms Nick McCarthy, Director of Programming at NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ Film & Media Arts Organization.

The documentary DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! screens at Nitehawk Williamsburg

Nitehawk Prospect Park is excited to present its first ever screening on 35mm with the cult-classic film But I’m A Cheerleader by Jamie Babbit. The award-winning director will participate in a Q&A after an introduction by drag performers Brie Y.O.B. and Maddelynn Hatter/MaDd. In partnership with Queer Soup Night, the Brooklyn born queer party with soup at its center, Chefs Jenn de la Vega, Blessing Schuman-Strange and Caroline McAuliffe serve up a fabulous selection of soups to raise funds for interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth. Liz Alpern, Creator of QSN, expresses, “Hosting QSN at Nitehawk is a dream come true! We can’t wait to sip on soup surrounded by community while watching the setting sun over Prospect Park.” Donations for interACT will be collected by QSN, while tickets for the film screening portion are strongly encouraged to be purchased in advance.

In classic Nitehawk flair, a special Pride cocktail has been created so a portion of the proceeds raised during the month-long celebration will support local LGBTQ organizations. As WorldPride takes over New York City, Nitehawk Cinema is thrilled to elevate the global event with additional entertainment offerings to the estimated 4 million visitors expected to celebrate the historic and citywide festivities. Tickets are available at www.nitehawkcinema.com.

Full schedule includes:

Nitehawk Williamsburg

May 25 and 26 – RAFIKI
Jun 1 and 2 – DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION with Q&A with director Caroline Berler on June 1st
Jun 6 – SAVING FACE with Q&A with director Alice Wu; Hosted by Shayana Filmore (35mm presentation)
Jun 7 and 8 – A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (35mm presentation)
Jun 8 – QUEER BRUNCH WITH NEWFEST and NITEHAWK (35mm presentation)

Nitehawk Prospect Park

Jun 5 – HIGH ART
Jun 6 – MIDNIGHT COWBOY
Jun 8 – BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER (35mm presentation)
Jun 9 – BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER with Queer Soup, Drag Show, and Q&A with director Jamie Babbit (35mm presentation)

It Never Ends: a conversation with Emma Tammi, director of THE WIND

Interview by Caryn Coleman, Director of Programming/Special Projects at Nitehawk Cinema

I am of the belief that there’s never been a bad time for horror films, particularly if you’ve known where to look. But there is certainly a moment happening where filmmakers are creating works that relate to audiences more immediately than ever before. Perhaps it’s that horror is becoming increasingly inclusive, offering us more diverse perspectives on the world around us. Or maybe the idea of a genre filmmaking is more fully embraced by a new generation of independent filmmakers. Whatever way in which we can think about it, there’s no mistaking that we live in a time when we are getting really fucking good and unique horror stories.

Films like Emma Tammi’s The Wind are a part of this genre revolution. It’s expansive and isolating; shot like a true-blue western, The Wind tells the tale of “prairie madness” in the 19th century midwest as it tackles the frontier, demons, gender roles, and the ever-maddening howl of the wind. It’s beautiful, it’s haunting, it’s the real deal.

I’m thrilled that Tammi took the time to answer some of my questions about her debut narrative film. Take a read and then be sure to see it in the cinema (as it should be seen) at Nitehawk Williamsburg this week.


Caryn Coleman: I’d love to start off by asking how you connected with The Wind’s writer Tessa Sutherland to develop her short film, based on such a fascinating aspect the western frontier in the 19th century, into a feature?

Emma Tammi: We connected through one of the film’s producers, Chris Alender (Soapbox Films). He and Teresa are both Florida State University alums, and he had seen her short film several years ago and encouraged her to develop it into a feature script. Soapbox Films had come on to help with post-production for a documentary (Fair Chase) that I co-directed a while back, and they thought of me as a potential director for The Wind. Teresa and I met, and hit it off. We shared a vision for what the film could be, and really enjoyed the process of refining the script together. I hope to continue collaborating with her on other projects for many years to come.

CC: Can you talk a little bit about how you approached marrying elements of the western genre with the horror genre exploring themes inherent to both like isolation, madness, and the female experience?

ET: At its core, this film is a psychological thriller. The framework is a western, and the brutality of our characters’ daily lives pushes us into the horror space throughout the film (sometimes even heightened by the supernatural). This is all to say, we were dealing with an incredibly fun mash up of genres! But the theme of isolation and the specifically female POV of our protagonist (Lizzy) was the guiding compass that held all these elements together. As long as the creative choices supported Lizzy’s journey and internal struggles – which often manifest externally, as well – the blending of genres worked to strengthen the whole.

CC: The Wind, much like Robert Eggers’ The Witch, visualizes stories from American folklore that involve conquering land, religion, and the effects of solitude. And it does so in a way that centers around the relationship between a woman and nature (and makes the audience question as to whether or not what’s happening to these women is real or imagined). What is it about this sort of historical storytelling that interested you?

ET: When writing this script, Teresa had been inspired by actual historical accounts of women homesteading at the end of the 19th Century. I loved that this story drew upon a folkloric element of American history – the belief that women used to go mad on the plains because of the incessant wind – and then jumped off the deep end, into a totally new realm. One of the books Teresa used for research (“Pioneer Women”) was coincidentally a book I had picked up as a teenager, after visiting the west (Wyoming) for the first time in my life. I also visited the location of the classic western film Shane on that trip, which was awe inspiring. On multiple levels, The Wind was tapping into things that had captured my imagination growing up – only this time, with a much darker lens! But the most surprising and compelling element of the story was that it also felt incredibly relatable today. Lizzy’s emotional arc resonates in 2019, and I think that is the most exciting kind of historical storytelling – when it taps into the now.

CC: How did you work with your cinematographer, Lyn Moncrief, to develop the visual language of this film?

ET: During pre-production, Lyn and I were referencing a bunch of different films (as well as paintings, photos, etc.) to develop the visual language of this film. We decided to shoot with anamorphic lenses, to convey the vastness of the landscape and also capture a lot of empty space within the frame for our characters to interact with – often times increasing the sense of solitude and isolation, which ultimately escalates to fright. Once we got to our locations in New Mexico, our shot lists changed daily. We were continually trying to find ways to film the same cabins in new and interesting ways, and help emphasize the emotional and psychological states of the characters within each scene.

CC: And lastly, the cast. Caitlin Gerard is a revelation! Can you tell us how she got involved with the project and how you incorporated speaking German into her character?

ET: She is a revelation! Caitlin was one of the last actors who auditioned for this role, and we cast her within an hour. She brought huge range to this role, upon which the whole film hangs, and grit. I don’t think the character of Lizzy would’ve worked without either of those things, and she nailed it. We had a last minute table read of the script in LA before heading to New Mexico to start filming, and in a side-bar conversation, Caitlin mentioned that her mom’s side of the family is German and that she spoke the language fluently. Teresa and I had previously discussed incorporating an immigrant background (very common at the time) to the character of Lizzy, adding another layer to her struggle with this inhospitable land. Caitlin presented the perfect opportunity to develop that idea, so we tweaked the script at the eleventh hour to incorporate that element.

Interview: Nitehawk Shorts Festival Winner Saj Pothiawala

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The top prize for the 2016 Nitehawk Shorts Festival went to the very short that opened the festival: the odd, wistful and funny VEGAS directed by New York filmmaker Saj Pothiawala. We caught up with Saj, still caught in the glow of his win, at the Shorts Fest after party and talked the late night inspiration for the short, modern dating, loneliness and his plans for his prize post-production package from Heard City and Nice Shoes

Nitehawk: Tell us about your short.
Saj Pothiawala: It’s called Vegas and it’s about a man who gets stood up on an online date, and on his way home he encounters an eccentric prostitute at a bus stop, and he makes the decision to solicit her.

NH: I mean she’s more than eccentric, she’s a cosplay prostitute.
SP: Yeah, she’s a cosplay prostitute.

NH: What made you want to make her a cosplay prostitute? Was it like a commentary on nerd culture or was it based on something that actually happened?
SP: I think any time you pick a unique theme or take on something, because everyone has seen a movie about a prostitute before, if you pick something that’s a little bit more unique, then you by necessity have to figure out what those implications are.