Nitehawk Cinema’s annual NITEHAWK SHORTS FESTIVAL is a celebration of independent short filmmaking.

“There is a clear egalitarian outlook ingrained in the festival. [Caryn] Coleman’s programming stays away from the focus on stars, or the obsessive culture of selfies, photos ops and autographs. Nitehawk Shorts Festival shows instead a generosity of ideas that endeavors to spark a communal feeling and discourse.” – Patrick Devitt, Kinoscope

Since 2013, the mission of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival has been to highlight exceptional short-form film works 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. Programs at the Nitehawk Shorts Festival consist of short films in all forms (animation, documentary, narrative, non-narrative, artist films, music videos, horror) by local, national, and international filmmakers.

Our priority is to embrace inclusion and support diverse voices as the Nitehawk Shorts Festival provides an inclusive platform for filmmakers that encourages engagement with larger audiences and to establish a dialogue with the New York film community.

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)

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 the 2019 Nitehawk Shorts Festival.
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, Matinee Two, and Closing Nite screenings – $199 value each).

1. Nitehawk Cinema’s Shorts Festival is open to all filmmakers (regional, national, international) in all genres and categories (documentary, animation, fiction, experimental).

2. Submitted works must have been completed between 2019-2021.

3. Submitted works must be under twenty minutes in length.

4. Entrants must comply with these “Rules and Regulations” including all deadlines, film length, entry material, and other requirements.

5. Non-English language works must have English subtitles.

6. Short films online or from other film festival accepted.

Works invited to participate in Nitehawk Shorts Festival will be shown in the section, series/program, day, and time determined most appropriate by Festival programmers, in their sole discretion.

Festival programmers select and invite all the films to be presented at Nitehawk Shorts Festival either from submissions or independent curatorial selections. Invited filmmakers will be notified via email (please make sure to update us with new contact information or status changes prior to the Festival). Nitehawk may rescind an invitation if a film’s eligibility status changes.

If your work is selected you must fulfill the following requirements by the dates(s) designated by the Festival:

1) You/Filmmaker state you (i) accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film at Nitehawk Shorts Festival, (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at Nitehawk’s Shorts Festival; and (iii) indemnify and hold harmless Nitehawk Cinema Brooklyn LLC, its affiliates, and subsidiaries and any of their respective directors, officers, employees, and representatives against any claim arising out of exhibition of your film at Nitehawk Cinema.

2) You must upload the file of the accepted work to the preferred technical specifications and location Nitehawk will supply you upon confirmation.

3) You must provide a properly completed and signed official Nitehawk Shorts Festival “Film Information Form” including all specified in the “Materials Checklist.”

4) You must provide via email still images of your film (1000 pixels, 72dpi and 300dpi) with permission for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Natalie Johnson

    The Nitehawk Shorts Festival goes above and beyond. The programming is stellar, the communication transparent, professional and timely, the hospitality warm and abundant. The venue is awesome, screenings sold out, and I walked away having watched an amazing lineup of films, as well as making new friends. Highly recommend this festival.

    December 2019
  • Lydia Cornett

    We loved Nitehawk Shorts Festival! Caryn and Liz were incredibly welcoming and communicative, and the intimate screenings were always packed with a really exciting selection of shorts. Can't wait for next year!

    November 2019
  • Rachel Mills

    Great fest in the heart of Brooklyn. Loved that docs & narratives were programmed within the same blocks. Caryn and her team were warm and welcoming. Can't wait to return!

    November 2019
  • Kristian Mercado

    Love this festival, it's intimate, and easy to just flow into screenings, and meet a lot of the local NYC film community. They are so kind and engaged with filmmakers. They are thoughtful with their programming, and just have killer screenings. I always see shorts that are like whoa here. The Nitehawk theater is badass too, just super great quality for watching films.

    November 2019
  • Jackson Devereux

    Very awesome team, should continue to prosper

    February 2019