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.

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

FESTIVAL JURY RUNNER-UP
Post-production coloring services from IRVING HARVEY ($20k value)
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

MIDNITE PRIZE
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)

MUSIC DRIVEN PRIZE
Prize package featuring GS1000x headphones and phono cartridge from GRADO ($1195 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)

FIRST TIME FILMMAKER AWARD
Training certificate good towards any in-person educational workshops or classes ($500 value) + rental certificate good towards any equipment rental package ($500 value) from ABELCINE
$500 awarded to a selected debut short film by a filmmaker screening in the 2023 Nitehawk Shorts Festival.
One year Artist Membership from the VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS, New York ($200 value)

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

ELIGIBILITY
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 2021-2023.

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.

PROGRAMMING
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
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
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • This is the best festival I've ever attended! Loved the vibe, the hospitality, the even itself was so well organized and wonderfully curated!! The additional events surrounding the fest were great as well, I wish I could have attended them all :) I'm so happy to have been a part of such a special fest!!

    March 2022
  • The Nitehawk Shorts Festival was a great experience overall. Big screening rooms and very hospitable all around. Met some great people at their events. I recommend it!

    March 2022
  • Kate Hinshaw

    Nitehawk made a cocktail based on my film and I will never not love them for that. Such kind folks!! I love the care they took in building their program.

    March 2022
  • Nitehawk curates an excellent selection of short films, is generous to their filmmakers, and puts on great events to allow everyone the opportunity to network and enjoy. Would absolutely recommend any short filmmakers submit their work!

    March 2022
  • Atomic Abe Productions

    The Nithehawk Shorts Festival is superb, it's run by people who love films and respect filmmakers. The programming is daring. The venues are great. If you're participating you'll get very strong communication. The festival has a good reputation and they really promote it -- the screenings are sold-out. Will definitely work with them again.

    March 2022