The 5th edition of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival features six days of screenings, special events and parties that will highlight and support a diverse range of voices in short films.

The Festival includes main slate programs (Opening Nite and weekend Matinees), speciality art and music programs (Art Seen and Music Driven), and the popular horror program (Midnite). There is an also an opening night celebration and Filmmakers’ Gathering in our Lo-Res Bar. This year will also include filmmaker workshops and hosted artist talks. Programs consist of short films in all forms (animation, experimental, 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.

Awards & Prizes

Post-production sound services from HEARD CITY ($16k value)
Post-production coloring services from NICE SHOES ($20k value)

Gift certificate from B&H ($1500 value)
Pro-Account from VIMEO ($199 value)

Equipment donation from PANAVISON ($7500 value)

Awarded to the 2017 Nitehawk Shorts Festival submission that best shines a light on a timely political, social or cultural issue resonating around the world, the winner will be selected by a small panel of HuffPost Arts & Culture writers and editors. The winner will be profiled in a Huffington Post Arts & Culture feature, and will have the opportunity to screen their film at our New York City headquarters.

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

Rules & Terms

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 2015-2017.

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.

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.

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.

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.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Fredric Lehne

    Very well run and curated festival in very hip Williamsburg. Well worth pursuing.

    November 2017
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    Patrick Bresnan

    I just want to say this is one of the best film festivals for short films in the US. There is no other festival that has such an intimate setting and incredible host like Caryn and Liz. No other short festival in the word has a $26,000 jury award for short film. They go the extra mile and really take care of the filmmakers.

    November 2017
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    Grace Rex

    Nitehawk Shorts Fest was a sweet, sweet dream!

    April 2017
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    John James Goldbeck

    NiteHawk Shorts Festival was such a great experience! The staff was helpful and communicative and the theater is a wonderful place to watch movies!

    November 2016
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    Julien Jauniaux

    I'm sad I couldn't be present but I'm honoured my short film was in the official selection (for the Midnite program). This theatre looks like a really interesting venue, too. Great communication and Caryn makes sure our work get exposure.

    November 2016