Shorts and Talks, 56th New York Film Festival

Highlights include Talks with Alfonso Cuarón, Claire Denis, Jia Zhangke, Alice Rohrwacher, and Errol Morris;  Five World Premieres include new shorts by Michael Almereyda, Benjamin Crotty, and Ashley Connor & Joe Stankus.


Featuring films from nine countries as well as from burgeoning talent here in New York, the shorts section presents 21 films in four different programs. NYFF Talks will bring wide-ranging conversations with directors featured in NYFF56 to the public.

HBO® is the presenting sponsor of NYFF Talks, which includes Directors Dialogues and On Cinema. This year’s Directors Dialogues feature conversations with Centerpiece filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, Main Slate filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Alice Rohrwacher (NYFF54 Filmmaker in Residence), and Spotlight on Documentary director Errol Morris. High Life director Claire Denis is this year’s On Cinema talk, an in-depth discussion with NYFF Director Kent Jones. HBO® also sponsors NYFF Live, which will be announced in September.

The Shorts selection includes two International Programs, featuring a mix of narrative, animation, and documentary work by established and emerging directors; annual thriller program Genre Stories; and New York Stories, featuring some of the most exciting filmmakers living and working in New York today.

Highlights include the world premieres of To the Unknown and The North Wind’s Gift, directed by Michael Almereyda (Experimenter, NYFF53); The Chore, directed by Ashley Connor and Joe Stankus (The Layover, NYFF55); Quarterbacks, directed by Jason Giampietro (Unpresidented, NYFF55), and Eleanore Pienta’s Ada.

Shorts are programmed by Laura Kern, Dan Sullivan, and Tyler Wilson.



The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The NYFF56 selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming.

As previously announced, the NYFF56 Opening Night is Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA is Centerpiece, and Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate will close the festival. The complete lineup for the Main Slate can be found here, for Projections here, for Convergence here, Spotlight on Documentary here, Retrospective here, and Revivals here, and Special Events here.

Shorts tickets are $12 for Members & Students, and $17 for the General Public. Tickets to NYFF Live events are free and open to the public. Free tickets will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office (144 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam) on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour prior to the event. Ticketing pricing for Directors Dialogues and On Cinema may vary, please visit to learn more.

Tickets for the 56th New York Film Festival go on sale to the general public on September 9. Film Society Members at the Contributor Level will receive an early access period in advance of the public, along with $5 off all Festival and year-round tickets. Learn more at


International Shorts I
TRT: 72m

João Vladimiro, Portugal/France, 29m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
This vividly stylized and formally audacious work from Portuguese director João Vladimiro follows the life of a young man as he gradually becomes the last living person of his village.

Here There Is No Earth
Martin Diccico, USA/Turkey, 2018, 6m
Turkish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A testimony about a shepherd’s fatal encounter at the Turkish-Armenian border provides a haunting perspective on the countries’ physical and invisible lines of separation.

Laura Huertas Millán, Colombia/France, 2018, 7m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Footage of an abandoned Bauhaus-style building accompanies confessionals from Jeny, a self-described living work of art, in this fleeting meditation on architecture and biography.

Man in the Well / Jing li of ren
Hu Bo, China, 2017, 16m
Mandarin with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Desperation and ruin pervade this unsettling short from the late novelist-turned-filmmaker Hu Bo (An Elephant Sitting Still), in which two starving children encounter a dead body.

Yalda Afsah, Germany, 2018, 15m
U.S. Premiere
Yalda Afsah’s nonverbal documentary beholds the strange, subtly tense proceedings of a bullfight in the south of France, in which young men confront the animal inside the arena


International Shorts II
TRT: 77m

Black Dog
Joshua Tuthill, USA, 2017, 15m
New York Premiere
Through its uncanny blend of archival footage and stop-motion animation, Black Dog evokes a nightmarish conception of an American family during the 1960s Space Race.

Down There
Zhengfan Yang, China, 2018, 11m
U.S. Premiere
A single long take observes the collective psychology of an apartment building after a quiet night is interrupted by an off-screen sound.

Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin / Le Discours d’acceptation glorieux de Nicolas Chauvin
Benjamin Crotty, France, 2018, 27m
North American Premiere
Benjamin Crotty’s latest is this hilarious and unpredictable portrait of Nicolas Chauvin—a possibly apocryphal Napoleonic soldier whose name is the basis for the word chauvinism—as he recounts his travails via a lifetime achievement award speech.

Let Us Now Praise Movies / Y ahora elogiemos las películas
Nicolás Zukerfeld, Argentina, 2017, 15m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A young critic balances his time between a day job at a stationary store and managing a film magazine in this amusingly intelligent homage to the small yet boundless moments so many films leave out.

Veslemøy’s Song
Sofia Bohdanowicz, Canada, 2018, 9m
U.S. Premiere
Shot on hand-processed black-and-white film, Sofia Bohdanowicz’s wry, wistful narrative-doc follows a young woman (Deragh Campbell) as she investigates the legacy of the once celebrated Canadian musician Kathleen Parlow.


Genre Stories
TRT: 85m

Just Philippot, France, 2017, 18m
NY Premiere
As contaminated rain threatens to wipe out humanity, a married couple desperately battle to keep their young son safe.

Child of the Sky
Phillip Montgomery, USA, 2018, 15m
NY Premiere
Lost in the desert, a woman gets lured into a nightmarish world of cult violence in this deeply chilling Mesopotamian myth–infused tale told through ferocious dance movements.

Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre
Ilja Rautsi, Finland, 2018, 15m
NY Premiere
A female car-crash survivor offers a very definitive response to the incessant “educating” by the infantile male chauvinists of the household that’s taken her in.

The Slows
Nicole Perlman, USA, 2018, 20m
NY Premiere
In a regenerating post-apocalyptic world, the only remaining traces of naturally reproduced life face extinction.

Danny Lee, USA, 2018, 17m
NY Premiere
The career of an embittered former horror star (M. Emmet Walsh) who longs for his glory days comes gruesomely full circle.


New York Stories
TRT: 63m

Eleanore Pienta, USA, 2018, 11m
World Premiere
In her funny, expressive, and dialogue-free directorial debut, actress Eleanore Pienta plays an eccentric woman trying to get from point A to point B and, in the process, finding New York City an obstacle course of casual hostility and bizarre behaviors.

The Chore
Ashley Connor & Joe Stankus, USA, 2018, 8m
World Premiere
Ashley Connor and Joe Stankus’s latest quotidian miniature follows two brothers going grocery shopping together, musing on the products they come across, reminiscing about the past, and, finally, comparing notes on snickerdoodle recipes.

God Never Dies / Dios Nunca Muere
Barbara Cigarroa, USA/Ireland, 2018, 14m
Spanish with English subtitles
Filmed in New York’s Hudson Valley, Barbara Cigarroa’s captivating work of docu-fiction offers a rare, real glimpse into the secluded life of a migrant farmworker as she struggles to raise two children on her own.

The North Wind’s Gift
Michael Almereyda, USA, 2018, 19m
World Premiere
Michael Almereyda’s contemporary riff on an Italian folktale (shot in black-and-white 16mm by Sean Price Williams), in which a magic microwave ensnares a starving family and their landlord, is a delightfully peculiar moral tale of greed, trickery, and the elemental forces of nature.

Jason Giampietro, USA, 2018, 6m
World Premiere
In Giampietro’s comic latest, some friends’ dinner conversation about the impending NFL Draft becomes a frank discussion of the state of race relations within the league and amongst its fans.

To the Unknown
Michael Almereyda, USA, 2018, 6m
World Premiere
Almereyda’s reading of Kenneth Koch’s “To the Unknown” transforms footage of the everyday into a moving tribute to one of the New York School’s most treasured and inventive poets.


Film Society of LIncoln Center
FSLC is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Shutterstock, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO® and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Dolby and illy caffè, Supporting Partners Warby Parker, MUBI, and Manhattan Portage, and Hospitality Partner Hudson Hotel. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WABC-7, WNET New York Public Media, and The Village Voice