Nominated, Best Narrative Film - 42nd Student Academy Awards Winner - Best Student Short, Woodstock Film Festival Winner - Best International Short, KINOFILM Manchester International Short Film & Animation Festival Winner - National Jury Prize, USA Film Festival Winner - Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award Winner - Cinematic Achievement Award, THESS International Short Film Festival Winner - Best Student Film, Cine Gear Film Series Winner - Best Art Direction, Long Island International Film Expo Winner - Best Editing, Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival Winner - Best Editing & Best Ensemble Cast, LAIFF Awards Finalist, Windrider International Student Film Festival Honorable Mention, Ojai Film Festival Honorable Mention, Rochester International Film Festival Nominated - Best Short Film, Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival Official Selection, Newport Beach Film Festival Official Selection, Filmfestival Kitzbühel Official Selection, Guam International Film Festival Official Selection, LA Shorts Fest Official Selection, Twin Cities Film Fest Official Selection, Heartland Film Festival Official Selection, Southampton International Film Festival Official Selection, Polish Film Festival Official Selection, Beijing International Student Film and Video Festival Official Selection, MOLODIST Kyiv International Film Festival Official Selection, AFI FEST Official Selection, NDU International Film Festival Official Selection, Bahamas International Film Festival Official Selection, Mumbai International Film Festival Official Selection, Beloit International Film Festival Official Selection, Taos Shortz Film Fest


The late 1960s, heyday of the Soviet space program. A Soyuz capsule carrying two cosmonauts violently reenters the atmosphere, burning up. Miraculously, both men survive, landing far off-course in the remote frozen steppes of Mongolia.

One of the men sets off, in the midst of a violent snowstorm, to search for rescue. On the verge of freezing to death, he finds a yurt in the wilderness, and seeks shelter inside. But this is no ordinary place, and no ordinary night, and the dawn is still very far away…

Director’s Statement

Against Night is not a film about a cosmonaut. It’s a film about a father. In my mind, though, the ideas of father and cosmonaut overlap a little. The distance, the suit. A father inherently starts from outside the family and has to work his way in.

Fundamentally, we’re made up of time and memory. The older we get, the more we become accumulations of memory, and the more we’re defined by the past. A child, or an animal, is free of this predicament. Time is the chain and memory the ball, growing heavier each day.

We have the choice of defining ourselves through our memory, our past, or against it. But whichever is the case, we’re still defined by it. And as we age, we take damage. Our bodies, cells, DNA all take damage, and our psyche too. It’s memory that does the damage.

We do funny things to memory: repress it, wallow in it, blow it up to great proportions until it crowds out all sense and reason. I believe this is a defining characteristic of being human, and it’s the reason I made this film.


Stefan Kubicki

Stefan Kubicki


Raised between the nuclear silo-studded plains of North Dakota and Eastern Europe, Stefan worked for a UN think tank before training in cinematography at the Polish National Film School in Łódź, where he gravitated towards directing and made EAST — a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale shot in the Chernobyl Zone.

As an AFI Directing Fellow, his short, AGAINST NIGHT, won the 2015 Richard P. Rogers Award, was nominated for a Student Oscar, and earned a dozen other accolades during its 30+ festival run, which included Beijing, Thessaloniki, Kiev, Mumbai, and AFI FEST. He lives in Los Angeles. Website

Saba Zerehi

Saba Zerehi


Saba graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and a minor in cognitive science. After finishing school, she worked on her first short film as a PA, where she realized that she wanted to be a producer. Over the last two years, she has been gaining more and more experience in the film industry. For the last year, she has been working at Funny or Die, starting as an intern and slowly moving her way up to becoming an accountant and a producer. The bulk of her experience there is on Web content; however, she has occasionally worked on television shows and commercials.

Nico Navia

Nico Navia


Nico was born in Bogota, Colombia, where he spent the first 10 years of his life before moving to Miami and making that his permanent home. He graduated in 2011 from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television Production. During his time in New York he discovered his sensibilities and passion for composition, movement, and light among other photographic elements and quickly shifted his aspirations of becoming a director into dedicating his life’s work to the art and craft of cinematography. Since then he has had the privilege of working on countless projects ranging from narrative to documentary and commercial work. In 2010, he was chosen to study for a semester at one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious film schools, FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic, where he was exposed to experiences that have deeply impacted his work as an artist and storyteller. He was recently awarded the Bronze Award in the Kodak Student Scholarship Program for his work on THE SUPERMAN, a production exercise at the AFI Conservatory. Website

Aleksandra Zgorska

Aleksandra Zgorska

Production Designer

Aleksandra, originally from London, grew up with a strong love of the arts. She got her BA in Classical Studies from Royal Holloway University of London, after which she moved out to Los Angeles to study film. Since then she has interned at a production company, worked as a casting assistant for an award-winning independent feature, studied acting, and crewed on a number of short productions as script supervisor, grip, art department and production designer. After graduating from the Los Angeles Film School with a scholarship and a passion for design, Aleksandra came to AFI to enhance and focus her skills as a production designer, further nourishing her love of creating a beautiful frame.

Shayar Bhansali

Shayar Bhansali


After graduating with a degree in Psychology, Shayar spent a few years navigating the indie circuit in India. He worked primarily with production company Oijo! to produce content for The Big Indian Picture and Balcony TV Delhi before working as an assistant editor on a feature and TV series for Yash Raj Films, Mumbai. He is currently a second year fellow at AFI, where he is the recipient of a Tom Yoda and Auerbach-Stuart Scholarship for 2013-14. A dreamer and foodie, he is serious about powerful story telling but really spends most of his time looking for perfectly baked butter croissants. Website


Screenings & Awards

The AFI Conservatory

At the world-renowned AFI Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow’s storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools.

More information is available at the AFI Conservatory website.

Notable Alumni