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Nitehawk Shorts Fest 2022 Recap

Announcing Awards Winners and Encore Screenings

We continue to revel in the joy of last week’s Nitehawk Shorts Festival, which took place from March 2-6 at both our Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations. Over the course of six sold out shows with nearly all films represented by directors, crew and/or cast in person, plus an Opening and Closing party with three incredible cocktail specials, there was such warmth and good spirits to share.

If you missed out, we have good news: we have a couple of Encore programs including this year’s award winners and other programmer favorites! Tickets are now on sale for:

Prospect Park
Jury Favorites, Saturday, March, 19
Audience Award Winners, Sunday, March, 20

Jury Favorites, Saturday, March, 26
Audience Award Winners, Sunday, March, 27

Below are winners for this year, and a selection of pictures from Opening and Closing Nite shows and parties.

Jury Prize Winner
NYC Tips and Tricks / Amber Schaefer

Jury Prize Runner Up
Cousins / Mandy Marcus

Music Driven Winner                   
Mercy / Nalani Williams

Midnite Winner                   
Inheritance / Annalise Lockhart

New Filmmaker Award
In Loving Memory (Of Who We Used to Be) / Vicky Lee

Audience Award: Opening
The Soldier / Sam & Trip Cullman

Audience Award: Matinee
Threads of Desire / Bianca DiMarco

Audience Award: Music           
Nuevo Rico / Kristian Mercado

Audience Award: NoBudge
Please Enjoy Your Stay / Tynan Delong

Audience Award: Midnite
El Extraño en la Casa Rivera / Esteban Bailey

Audience Award: Closing
You and Me This Summer / Emily Berge, Spencer Thielmann


Thanks to our sponsors for providing incredible prizes to our incredible filmmakers! Here’s what each prize winner receives.

Post-production sound services from HEARD CITY ($16k value)
Post-production coloring services from IRVING HARVEY ($20k value)
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

Boris FX Bundle (featuring Boris FX Sapphire, Boris FX Continuum, Boris FX Mocha Pro) one-year subscription from BORIS FX ($1195 value)
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

Boris FX Bundle (featuring Boris FX Sapphire, Boris FX Continuum, Boris FX Mocha Pro) one-year subscription from BORIS FX ($1195 value)
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

Prize package featuring GS1000e headphones and photo cartridge from GRADO LABS ($1350 value)
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

Post-production coloring services from NICE SHOES ($20k value)
$500 awarded to a selected debut short film by a filmmaker screening in NSF19
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

Pro-Accounts from VIMEO (eligible during Opening Nite, Midnite, Music Driven, Matinee One, NoBudge and Closing Nite – $199 value each).

Nitehawk Celebrates National Tater Tot Day

Coming to watch THE BIG GAME at Prospect Park or Williamsburg? Well, we’ve got a treat for you!

February 2nd is not only football’s biggest day, it’s also National Tater Tot Day! Our chefs have created a special sure to make your mouth water (and hopefully help your team win)!

tater tots, queso, black beans, pickled jalapenos, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream $13
add house made chorizo $2

See you on game day!

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

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 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)

Plan Your Next Special Event at Nitehawk Prospect Park

Nitehawk Cinema, New York’s original curator of dinner and a movie, launches private event rentals at its new Prospect Park theater which showcases breathtaking views of Brookyln’s flagship park.

“We are now offering customizable, private events at Nitehawk Prospect Park. We have had huge success with these at Nitehawk Williamsburg, from world premieres, corporate outings, birthday parties to weddings and proposals. We have a dedicated events team that handles all the details in putting these together, and we’re excited to offer these memorable experiences at Prospect Park.” states Deanna Nokes, Event Director at Nitehawk.

Nitehawk Prospect Park features seven state-of-the-art screens, hosts two bars and is a Brooklyn landmark with design elements that date back to 1928. Once known as the Sanders Theatre, the 650 seat cinema is located in the historic and completely redesigned Pavilion Theater. Situated on Bartel-Pritchard Square, the theater is easily accessible by public transport and the restored mezzanine is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday, happy hour or professional function.

The catering menu, which utilizes locally-sourced ingredients, features a delectable selection of platters including Grandma’s Meatballs, Jerk Chicken Dumplings, and Chorizo Patata Brava Taquitos. A queso fountain is also available that comes flowing with Nitehawk’s staple tater tots, chips, a toppings bar, and a dedicated chef. The beverage choices include signature cocktails, local beers, and specialty drinks that may be crafted to thematically align with a special event hosted at the cinema.

Nitehawk Prospect Park theaters vary in size from 48 to 194 seats and are available Mondays through Thursdays for screenings, birthday parties, graduations, and corporate meetings. Rental prices vary based on the specifics of the event and can be personalized to create an ideal way to commend any occasion. If you wish to book a private event at Nitehawk Prospect Park, please email

Special Benefit Screening of THE FLORIDA PROJECT to Aid Win

On Wednesday, February 13th, Win (formerly Women in Need) and Nitehawk Williamsburg will be the first in New York to screen a new 35mm print of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project to increase public awareness and build momentum around Win’s mission to help support homeless women and children.

The Florida Project stars Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe and follows a precocious six-year-old and her ragtag group of friends whose summer break is filled with childhood wonder, possibility and a sense of adventure while the adults around them struggle with hard times. $7 of each movie ticket sold will benefit Win. In addition, Nitehawk will be offering a specialty cocktail during the screening and $1 from each drink sold will go directly to the organization.

The event will begin with a short film and introduction by Chris Valens, Director of Special Events at Win. “Women and children in need make up more than 70 percent of New York City’s homeless, and we’re grateful for Nitehawk Cinema’s support to help Win break the cycle of homelessness and put families on the path to stability,” said Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Win. “The proceeds from this benefit screening will help further our efforts to provide the solutions and services needed to support this vulnerable population.”

Caryn Coleman, Director of Programming at Nitehawk states, “We’re thrilled to be one of the first theaters to screen a brand new 35mm print of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, one of the best films in recent memory, the way it was intended. More crucially, the issues of hidden homelessness and the impact on single-parent families explored in the film provides a perfect opportunity to partner with Win in order to highlight and support the important work that Win does within the New York community.”

The need to expand social services for homeless children and women is a dire one. Nitehawk Cinema is beyond humbled to support Win in helping decrease the number of homeless families in New York City’s shelter system and will continue to advocate for important community issues surrounding homelessness.

Movie-Inspired Poems at Nitehawk Prospect Park

Special thanks to Max Cavanaugh, Kevin Maher and Nick Nadel for helping to make this possible. Also to Nicki Lilavois and Bob Hoff for their essential help with the first installation of the marquee poems. The final poems appeared January 2018. 

About Saint Flashlight:

Saint Flashlight is the art installation duo of Molly Gross and Drew Pisarra, two lifelong friends and published poets currently devoted to placing verse in public spaces. One previous project involved haikus written in black electrician’s tape on the walls of the Crest True Value Hardware in Williamsburg.

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at

Drew Pisarra has been known to stage Gertrude Stein plays, turn Fassbinder movies into poems, and blog weekly about Korean cinema. He recently grew a mustache to play Nietzsche in an opera by the Austrian-American composer Gisburg.




A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
seed from a book not
the screen she cracked it open
under the skylight

-Karen Hudes (written for Leonard Library)

Karen Hudes took her first swing at NYC signage as a kid in the 1980s, when she wrote the winning slogan to relaunch the Times Square Zipper. Later she conceived and curated a 2010 exhibition about Williamsburg’s handmade shop signs for The City Reliquary in Brooklyn. Check out more of her projects here.

Saturday Night Fever

right down to my blood
fast-footed strut this disco
love these teenage feet

-Diane Mehta

Diane Mehta is a fan of lyrical epigrams and jagged sonnets, the metaphorical equivalent of Emir Kusturica and Werner Herzog. Her poetry collection, Morning of the Monsoon, comes out in 2019 with Four Way Books.

She’s Gotta Have It
Nola Darling dreams
a story in black and white
loving herself first

-Molly Gross

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at



Blue in the Face

lives intersect here
situational drop ins
at the cigar store

-Kate Lutzner​

Kate Lutzner is a Pushcart Prize nominee who loves movies, but whose dyslexia keeps her in local language films. Even so, she loved the French film Betty Blue and fancies herself a dark heroine.

Just Another Girl on the IRT

flygirl rides fast rails
pre gentrified Brooklyn world
yield delays ahead

-Pamela S. Booker

A former longtime Brooklyn resident, though never a “fly girl”, Pamela Booker is an interdisciplinary writer and educator who now lives in North Jersey. She misses the 1990s, and dreams of providing IRT riders with compelling new reads with her Charlie Brown inspired essay forthcoming this fall and a novel that explores drag activism and a murder, soon to follow.


because you’re lactose
intolerant our love is
not a pizza pie

-Regie Cabico (dedicated to Brendan Gillett)

Regie Cabico won the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and produces Capturing Fire, an international queer slam and summit. His “Moonstruck” moment was being kissed by Stanley Tucci onstage.



The Lords of Flatbush
sly leather jackets
punch drunk studs with jukebox dreams
hair as slick as spit

-Drew Pisarra

Drew Pisarra has been blogging on Korean movies at since 2007 and has written a poem for every movie that R.W. Fassbinder ever made.

Vampire in Brooklyn
when faced with a choice
love or everlasting life
she chose right poor thing

-Christine Fall

Christine Fall is a writer and documentary film producer. Her favorite vampire comedy (yes, it’s a genre) is the 1963 short Transylvania 6-5000, starring Bugs Bunny. You can find out more about Christine here.

The Warriors
at 96th Street
delayed of course mta
everyone must wait

-Jennifer Lam

Jennifer Lam is an arts advocate raised on a bracing diet of Masterpiece Theater and Hong Kong crime dramas. She can find felicity anywhere.

The Babadook

tonight we eat glass
with a side of psychosis
your mother will scream

-Octavio Roscioli (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Octavio Roscioli is a 25-year-old Brooklyn Software Engineer who also finds time to paint, bike, and front a post-punk rock band. Some of his biggest influences in life are Oscar Wilde, Kermit the Frog, and Kurt Cobain.
It Follows
trading sleep for love
as shadowing gambits wait
only steps away-Erick Szentmiklosy (The Haiku Guys & Gals)

Eric Szentmiklosy is a former payroll salesman who co-founded a national poetry brand, The Haiku Guys & Gals, by accident when working on another project and produces a monthly comedy series called Comedy Commune.

The Ring
your vcr is
ready for a garage sale
oh wait you are dead
-Lisa Ann Markuson (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Lisa Ann Markuson is co-founder/co-owner of The Haiku Guys, Poet Ambassador for Bowery Poetry, founder/host of A Revolutionary Woman podcast, and currently working on the political verse project #PoemsForSenators. No one knows where she lives.


Volume 5 haikus were chosen by Saint Flashlight via social media contest.

Mean Girls
queen bees score mad burns
high school is for wannabees
put it in the book

-Seth‏ Rosenbaum

Seth Rosenbaum is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn. He has written and performed three solo plays presented as part of the Hot! Festival at Dixon Place. He enjoys reading science fiction novels, long city walks with headphones, and dropping sick Mean Girls one liners whenever possible.

The Shining
too much space and time
daddy gets stressed and flips out
writing books is hard

Jessica van Campen​

When not semi-fervently writing her second screenplay, Jessica van Campen divides her time between urban hikes, her Brooklyn rooftop okra farm and wine.

The Taking of Pelham 123
I thought I was free
I sneezed, he said “Gesundheit”
He knew it was me

Steven Santos

Born in Brooklyn, Steven Santos is a freelance television editor currently transitioning into becoming a writer/producer with a show currently in development and other projects cooking. “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” is the embodiment of his sense of humor. 


cursed by ice and cold
winter is not eternal
the snowman knows so

-Nicki Lilavois

Nicki Lilavois recently received a grant to visit schools in Finland and returned with a guiding principle for her life: less is more.

Home Alone

never was trapping
thieves in home easier than
packing your suitcase

-Genevieve Wollenbecker

Genevieve Wollenbecker will watch just about any movie and is currently working on her first novel.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
pointy hats swiped from
the shop around the corner
the elf has been scrooged

-Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian lives between Brooklyn and Berlin, and is aware that this is a cliché. She often looks to the mundane things that surround her for inspiration and has recently made projects about things such as dust, eye floaters, and on hold music.

For this final chapter of the Movie Marquee Poems the poets wrote about the act of watching a film.

the story begins
in the dark with you and me
light beams popcorn crunch

-Molly Gross

Molly Gross’ love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at

nothing greener than
the preview screen or whiter
than movie set snow

-Matthea Harvey

Matthea Harvey is a poet and artist who lived right next door to this movie theater for eleven years. She has now moved three blocks away.

should the frames speed up
you will quickly realize
this life is slapstick

-Drew Pisarra

Drew Pisarra has been blogging on Korean movies at since 2007 and has written a poem for every movie that R.W. Fassbinder ever made.

Holiday book drive with Nitehawk and Out of Print to benefit NY Foundling!


After giving thanks this week, give books to kids! On December 2, in conjunction with our screening of Scrooged, Nitehawk and Out of Print are hosting a book drive for the screening to benefit The NY Foundling

Tickets to the movie may be sold out but that doesn’t mean you’re out! We’re still encouraging people to come by and donate books or, heck, even some cold hard cash. And if you un-Scrooge status isn’t enough, you’ll also receive some pretty amazing benefits from Out of Print.

The details are…

1) Donate at least one new book (appropriate for ages ten and younger) and receive a $25 gift card to Out of Print’s website. 

2) Donate $15 onsite and get a $25 gift card to Out of Print’s website — 100% of this donation will go to The NY Foundling. 

Non bah, humbug!

Q&As from the 2015 Tribeca Film Institute Summer Documentary Series at Nitehawk Cinema

In July, Nitehawk teamed up with Tribeca Film Institute for the second year  to present a curated series of documentaries from the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. We hosted reprise screenings of three documentary highlights of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival: Live From New York(T)Error, and Very Semi-SeriousEach screening hosted a Q&A afterwards with the films’ directors, producers, and subjects which, lucky for you, we recorded and have posted here!



Interview: Leslie Buchbinder, Director of HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS


This month, Nitehawk’s Art Seen presents the New York premiere of Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists. (Get your tickets here!) The new documentary centers around an incredibly unique group of artists in Chicago who, whether you know them or not, you will certainly recognize the artists they have influenced (like Gary Panter who will be at the April 23 screening). Art Seen programmer Caryn Coleman chatted with first-time director Leslie Buchbinder about the film, Hairy Who, New York and what’s up next…

Nitehawk: You grew up in Chicago and knew some of the “Hairy Who” artists. How did this influence you and when did you decide that this was a documentary you wanted to make?

Leslie Buchbinder: Well…it so happened that at the same time I entered adolescence, this extraordinary group of artists – later known as the Chicago Imagists – entered my family’s life. There was (happily, now!) no way to avoid either the art or the artists! While gazing at this powerhouse scene with pubescent eyes, I was alternately disturbed and relieved, perplexed and enlightened. Plus, I had the remarkable privilege of occasionally ‘hanging out’ with this group. For example, at the age of 14, I somehow coerced Ed Paschke and Roger Brown to spend an afternoon making holiday tree decorations with me. While we sat together forging ornaments out of flour, salt, and water, I watched Ed’s and Roger’s agile hands transform the goop into fully-painted forms, including genetalia-replete torsos adorned with sparkles & pins. The day was uncanny and magical: It reaffirmed my goal to live a life devoted to un-adult-erated creating within grownup time.

Bruce LaBruce on THE DRIVER’S SEAT (1974)

unnamedArtist, filmmaker, provocateur Bruce LaBruce talks about The Driver’s Seat, a film he selected and will introduce on April 29 at Nitehawk (get your tickets here)…

In the mid-eighties, my roommate Candy and I rented a movie called The Driver’s Seat at After Dark, the local video store. It starred Elizabeth Taylor, with a cameo by Andy Warhol, so we couldn’t have been more excited. I’d always heard it was a Eurotrashy B-movie and the VHS copy quality was terrible, as if it had been ripped from a television broadcast, so somehow I didn’t get it at the time. About five years ago I re-watched a much better quality version online and it was a revelation. 

Elizabeth Taylor’s performance in an extremely challenging role struck me as one of her best. (She made the film on two conditions: that she could choose the cinematographer, and that it should be as faithful as possible to Spark’s novel.) The direction, by Italian theatre, opera, and film director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, adapting a very bizarre and audacious novel by Muriel Spark (she also wrote The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), seemed remarkable. And it was shot by legendary cinematography Vittorio Storaro, who had already worked with Bertolluci on The Conformist and Last Tango in Paris, and would go on to shoot Apocalypse Now.

The Driver’s Seat, bathed in a magical golden light, represents one of my favourite pieces of cinematography. Beyond that, the film seems totally prescient and relevant today, with its numerous cataclysmic terrorist events, and Taylor’s complaints of violation at the airport security check. It’s also one of the most complex feminist statements of the seventies, serving as a kind of allegory for a woman in search of her ultimate orgasm. Incidentally, the film was produced by the nephew of director Roberto Rossellini, Franco, whose lover, Antonio Falsi, who also starred in Griffi’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (also shot by Storaro), plays the hot garage mechanic in The Driver’s Seat. Franco Rossellini also produced Caligula, which Falsi acted in, and both men were reputedly lost to AIDS.

See The Driver’s Seat in 35mm at Nitehawk Cinema on April 29 (purchase tickets here). And don’t miss the Bruce LaBruce film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (April 23–May 2, 2015).