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Hey there, short stuff! Nitehawk celebrates mini movies

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They’re taking their shows on the road!

Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema has compiled some of the best entries from its annual short film festival into a single feature length film, which will tour the country this summer. “Nitehawk Shorts Festival Selects” will premiere at the Williamsburg movie house on June 21 and screen there for a week before traveling to other cinemas. The seven short films in the anthology truly capture the art of short filmmaking, said the project’s curator.

“These particular films stood out to me in part because of their ability to tell such full, beautiful, striking stories in such a short time frame — this is not an easy task,” said Caryn Coleman, director of programming at Nitehawk.

The films also shared a very modern theme, she said — difficulty in reaching out to people

“While each of these shorts is different, as a whole they echo our current climate of desperately trying to connect with others in this terribly disconnected world.”

One film that embodies both aspects is the Brooklyn-set comedy “Vegas,” about a man who encounters an eccentric prostitute at the bus stop, shortly after his Tinder date falls through. The short looks examines the impact of technology on modern dating while still making viewers laugh, said Coleman.

“ ‘Vegas’ was actually the first submitted film I saw last year and it stuck with me throughout the whole process,” she said. “Comedy in such a short time frame is a difficult thing to do and ‘Vegas’ is genuinely funny — it does a fantastic job of tackling the notion that the Internet is actually creating more distance than connection in a sincere way that sidesteps any cliches.”

The film’s director used a real-life encounter with a boldly dressed woman on a train platform to inspire a original story about modern day connections.

“It speaks to fact people have a lot of options now, and a lack of respect and time,” said Saj Pothiawala, who also wrote and produced the film. “There’s a theme of loneliness and grappling with it — and always feeling like you’ve lost something. That was a good vehicle for me to tell this story, and what can happen when you’re alone and go on the Internet in search of company.”

The other six short films include a wide variety of film genres, including the feminist horror story “Consomme,” and a documentary about the first gay country album. The films were chosen to illustrate the range of the annual festival, said Coleman.

“Some of them were festival winners and some were true highlights. The general idea with this touring program is to have a grouping of films that best represent the diversity of stories one finds at our annual festival,” she said.

The 2017 Nitehawk Shorts Festival, scheduled for Nov. 7–12, is currently accepting submissions.

“Nitehawk Shorts Festival Selects” at Nitehawk Cinema [136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 782–8370, www.nitehawkcinema.com]. Premiere June 21 at 7:30 pm. Other showings June 23–29 at various times. $16.

Updated 5:58 pm, July 9, 2018
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