Dances With Films Indie Festival to Celebrate 26th Anniversary in New York

by Susan Ryant

A long-time favorite of movie buffs and a landmark event for independent filmmakers, the Dances With Films film festival announced today an important development. The event, which celebrates its 26th anniversary in 2022, is taking a short break from sunny Los Angeles to brave the cold New York winter and gather film lovers next month. The first-ever iteration of the event at the Big Apple will take place in the very first week of December and stretch out for four days at the Regal Union Square.

From December 1 to 4, the Dances With Films festival will do what it became famous for: championing innovation, talent, and creativity by spotlighting important, diverse, and quality films across every genre. The event will also seek to form meaningful and lasting relationships with filmmakers, whether they are local or from anywhere else. The festival will kick off its I-heart-NY run with 70 never before seen short, documentary, and feature films, some of which received the incentive of big industry names.

Dances With Films Lineup Revealed

Among the new titles, festival attendees will be able to check out BEAU , a movie that is all about New York: Inspired by Broadway stage musicals and the general feeling of excitement with theater, the musical drama centers around a struggling musician who learns the value of perseverance and self-worth through the music of his guitar. The movie is directed by Josh Rhodes, who makes his feature film directing debut. The musical stars Jeb Brown (The Namesake) and Matt Rodin, who also makes his feature film debut.


Among its slate of short films, feature films, and documentaries, the Dances With Films festival made a point of selecting voices who bring to the table themes like women’s rights, the war in Ukraine, religion, concentration camp survivors, mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, conversion therapy, and more. In an official statement, festival founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent revealed their excitement with the expansion of the event to New York and celebrated the Dances With Films legacy:

“We are so excited to be expanding our unique brand of curated films to the city that never sleeps. Giving exposure to new films and filmmakers is what Dances With Films has always been about - a true discovery film festival, DWF is what Sundance was supposed to be.”

Familiar Names Pop up in the Dances With Films Festival

Additional titles that will premiere throughout the festival include Nick Cassavetes’ produced The Difficulties of Being Drunk Alone , Doo Wop singers documentary Heart Soul , Richard Linklater's executive-produced documentary Help Her Live , with Alana Haim, and Double Down South , written by Academy Award winner Tom Schulman.

Dances With Films takes place from December 1-4 at the Regal Union Square in New York.

You can check out the full slate of titles at the Dances With Films website. Check out the poster for Beau below:

BEAU Poster Artwork