Supernova is a docufiction short following Astro Erle, an aged ex-Club Kid, as she prepares to re-enter queer nightlife after years of leading a nomadic crust-punk lifestyle in the squats of New York City.

  • Jacob Kessler
  • Lorenzo Rugiero
  • Astro Erle
    Key Cast
  • Michael Alig
    Key Cast
  • Ernie Glam
    Key Cast
  • Max Gunkel
    Key Cast
  • Liam Dillon
    Director of Photography
  • Steven Marcario
  • Alex Frontera
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Docufiction, LGBTQ
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - NYU
  • NoBudge
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
  • Nefiltravanae Kino
  • NewFilmmakers
    New York, NY
    United States
  • Alexandre Trauner Art/Film Festival
  • Zlatý Voči
    Czech Republic
Director Biography - Jacob Kessler

Jacob Kessler is a documentary filmmaker based in Chicago, IL working at the intersection of experimentation and ethnography. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Documentary Media and Certificate in Critical Theory at Northwestern University.

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Director Statement

Supernova is a film about queer death drive in a city with an ambivalent relationship towards it, leading to alienation, resentment, and excess. By discarding any clear distinction between its fiction and non-fiction elements, the film aims to highlight both performativity and its failure.

I first met Astro at the end of a drunken night sitting in Tompkins Square Park. Many New Yorkers can say the same. Astro has been a longtime fixture of the downtown nightlife and punk music scenes. Her style and charisma are unforgettable to all who've met her, but beneath them is an emotionally complex and contradictory individual often at odds with her public persona. I hope this film can offer a glimpse of the internal turmoil behind Astro's remarkable presence and highlight the ways she reacts to a world that accepts and rejects her at its own convenience.

This film would not have been possible without the support of the 5 Ninth Avenue Project, who generously granted us access to the archives of legendary documentarian Nelson Sullivan. We hope to honor Nelson's legacy with a portrait of the remnants of an era he captured so intimately.