Underground Film Journal

Peggy Ahwesh

Peggy Ahwesh is an American experimental filmmaker based in New York City who has worked in a wide variety of styles and mediums. Her films typically explore issues of gender and cultural identity using alternative narrative structures.

Although Ahwesh studied with and was mentored by Tony Conrad at Antioch College in the '70s, her work typically rejects structuralist concerns. Her early personal Super 8 films instead documented the punk scene in her hometown of Pittsburgh.

Ahwesh also worked as a production assistant on George A. Romero's horror anthology Creepshow and, while her own films could not be classified as "horror," much of he work exhibits nods toward the genre.

She currently teaches at Bard College.

Watch Streaming Films By Peggy Ahwesh:


Bethlehem (2009)
Warm Objects (2007)
The Third Body (2007)
Beirut Outtakes (2007)
Dedication (2006)
Certain Women (2004) (with Bobby Abate)
The Star Eaters (2003)
She Puppet (2001)
73 Suspect Words (2000)
Heaven’s Gate (2000-01)
Nocturne (1998)
the vision machine (1997)
The Fragments Project (1985–1995)
The Color of Love (1994)
The Scary Movie (1993)
Strange Weather (1993) (with Margie Strosser)
The Deadman (1990) (with Keith Sanborn)
Martina’s Playhouse (1989)
I Ride a Pony Named Flame (1988)
Philosophy in the Bedroom (1987)
Ode to the New Pre-History (1984–1987)
From Romance to Ritual (1985)
Pittsburgh Trilogy (1983)


Flashback: 2nd Annual New York Underground Film Festival

Ed Halter has graciously donated to the Underground Film Archive the program books for almost every edition of the New York Underground Film Festival. While this donation does not include the still-elusive program for the first edition of the fest in 1994, it does begin with the 2nd edition held in 1995 at the Anthology […]

Flashback: 3rd Annual New York Film Festival Downtown

The third annual New York Film Festival Downtown was once again organized and presented by filmmakers Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano in 1986. In the festival’s program notes, the pair continued to bemoan the lack of attention given to Lower East Side filmmakers in their own city: Three years later the situation remains virtually unchanged […]

Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: January — May Screenings, 1999

Continuing into 1999 at the Collective Unconscious theater space in NYC, the RBMC — co-programmed by Brian L. Frye and Bradley Eros — went on hiatus for the first week of the year, but resumed on January 12. Below is a list of screenings from then until a May 18 event that celebrated the RBMC’s first full year of existence.

Short Film: Bethlehem

Interior and exterior spaces are transformed into mystical places in Peggy Ahwesh’s lyrical meditation of an experimental short film, Bethlehem.