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2023 Nihilist Film Festival
2023 Nihilist Film Festival

Fri, Dec 15



2023 Nihilist Film Festival

Films from around the world ranging from the troubling to the hilarious, from the profound to the completely silly. Pretty much something for everyone (except children and clergy!).

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Time & Location

Dec 15, 2023, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Highways, 1651 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA

About The Event

Films from around the world ranging from the troubling to the hilarious, from the profound to the completely silly. Pretty much something for everyone (except children and clergy!). 

Festival Director Elisha Shapiro says, “Twenty years of hilariously offensive short films…I really thought we would have caused the rapture by now. Guess there’s no downside to mocking all that’s holy.”

Films include:

Teach and His Mom  (Ryan Tristram Eakins, Pat Cavanaugh) Los Angeles

Local loser ‘Teach’ talks to the bartender at his neighborhood watering hole about his complicated connection to his mom.·

Dripping with Tension  (Ben Murphy)  Seattle

A quirky, dark comedy that explores the strain on a couple's relationship when an embarrassing secret is revealed.

Hope Chest  (Dycee Wildman, Jennifer Bonior) United States

Class Assignment: An oral essay on your hopes and dreams for your future. Eve’s Opening Statement: “I hope the FBI agent who finds my body is predisposed to sadness.”

Bunny Dip (Nolan Barth) United States

Val, a directionless young woman, must try and ace her interview at the local Playboy club - or face the bitter reality of being a nobody forever...

The Reflection of the Cranes  (Juan Ballesteros) Venezuela

Lucia, a 45-year-old woman, leads a routine life in her roadside inn, when one day Amelia, a young traveler trying to find part of her past in some local waterfalls, shows up at her reception. When an immediate attraction arises between them, the insecurities of one and the fears of the other will hinder the contact between them. It is only through a game of reflexes that one will be able to approach the vulnerabilities of the other.

The New Flesh  (Rupert Jörg) Germany

In "The New Flesh" chatbots advocate for the idea that it is meaningful for humans to merge entirely with a virtual world. Gradually, some of these bots begin to generate hallucinations, thereby raising questions about the fundamental rights of all humanity to exist.This portrayal of physically merging with a cyber world is depicted in a grotesquely distorted manner, where genders, locations, and times blend together.Utilizing artificial intelligences at various stages of development, images were generated and subsequently animated to convey this concept.

Wreck Room  (Becca Kozak) Canada

In this punk rock-infused exploitation film a woman seeks revenge on her captor within a BDSM dungeon.

Ziúr - Eyeroll  (Sander Houtkruijer) Germany

Sander Houtkruijer is a Berlin based director, editor and visual artist.

Erotomania  (Francis Levy & Joseph Silver) United States

Two sex addicts meet over an anonymous encounter. Food, art, and even the therapy that is supposed to help them all become compulsions as they try to evolve and remember each other’s names. Erotomania is an adult animation based on Francis Levy’s novel of the same name.

A Friendly Turn (Boris Schaarschmidt) United States

Two couples meet for dinner to reconnect after they haven’t seen each other since high school. Let's see what secrets come out and if they still get along.

Peanut Head  (Ryan McNulty) United States

A man trapped in a loveless marriage experiments with unorthodox pleasures.

Rough Draft  (Kaitlin Moose)  Los Angeles

An absurd comedy micro-short about the struggles of the writing process, including the current topic of the dangers of AI. As the WGA and SAG unions jointly strike in order to demand fair treatment for their craft, as well as protections against these new technologies, ROUGH DRAFT cheekily places the audience inside the writer's mind. Writer/director Kaitlin Moose shows a quick look at the frustrations of creativity with the very human heart and humor that we risk losing to current and future generative AI software. ROUGH DRAFT is a final plea to be mindful of these exciting new technologies before we eat our own kind in the process. After all, some progress just can't be deleted.

Assumption Cafe (Pete Macnamara) New York

Assumption Café: 3 actors each play 3 characters at 3 stations in a breakneck daisy-chain of "My bads." Can you keep up? Offendee becomes offender and so on, 'til it winds back on itself. We've all been there. After all, it's HOW WE DO. Filmed in B&W in a Black Box theater in homage to 50's Teleplays. Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Darius Levanté and Denise Reed. Written & directed by Pete Macnamara.

Crappy Christmas - Operation Christmas Child  (Jürgen Kling)  Germany

Kid is lured out of his House and kidnapped. He is held captive in a little cell in an underground Dungeon / Bunker Church and raped by 3 Clerics. One Night a mysterious furry Visitor unlocks Kids cell door and leaves him a Sack full of X-Mas presents.

Gilipollas  (Joan Bentallé, Pol Diggler) Spain

Lolo and Dick meet again after a long time in a friendly bar and they catch up.

Symphony Number Two  (Bil Richardson) United States

A humorous film about doody.

Vitamin D (Natasha Pollack)  United Kingdom

Vitamin D: A 20 second solution to alleviating lethargy.


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