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Nathaniel Rateliff 'Heartless' by Kimberly Stuckwisch

Rob Ulitski - 19th June 2024

Kimberly Stuckwisch directs a poignant promo for singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff, weaving an affecting narrative about a young boy trying to escape his circumstances in his rural hometown, accompanied by Rateliff's performance of Heartless. 

In a Groundhog Day-style loop, we see the boy take multiple walks down the same street, unable to break free. Only when he shifts his perspective does a new outcome present itself.

The naturalistic cinematography and the winning performance of young actor Kevin Kelley creates an immediate connection to the character and his perspective, telling the story in an organic and inspired way. And the seamless addition of Rateliff's performance within the narrative is a cohesive way to bring everything together.

And as Kimberly Stuckwisch reveals, the story was inspired by her own personal experience as a youngster.

"Growing up poor as dirt, in a part of the world long forgotten, I often found myself running away from my tumultuous upbringing diving head first into books, studies, writing, and theater, all in search of a different life," she explains.

"Through the arts, I found and continue to find my freedom. In many ways, I modeled our lead character (Kevin Kelley) after myself. I was at first angry, blaming the world for what happened when we were kids, but eventually learned that by showing kindness, I was able to free myself of the pain.

"I am so thankful Nathaniel trusted me with such a personal and important song for the world." 

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Rob Ulitski - 19th June 2024


  • Director's notes
  • Americana
  • Indie
  • Folk
  • Narrative
  • Loop
  • Naturalistic
  • Arts
  • Rural
  • Poignant

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Kimberly Stuckwisch
Sam Shapiro
Production Company
A Dream Shepherd
Production Company
Pizza Bagel Studios
Executive Producer
Anthony A. Dimaria
Production Coordinator
Grace Haun
Assistant Production Coordinator
Jaye Hodges
Director's Assistant
Allie Barlow
Production Assistants
Amy Davidson, Nicholas Jackson, Madison Lewis


Director of Photography
Justin Hamilton
Focus Puller
Anne Freivogel
Kc Kennicutt


Tim Hawn
Key Grip
Dave Kube
Key Grip
Ben Burke


Art Director
Beth Thomas
Production designer
Jack Thomas
On Set Dresser
Clark Woodman
Art Swing
Kate Strembicki
Art PA
Ed Lyons


Charles Heuvelman, Francesca Willenberg, Terry Ewing III, Ella Grace Hopkins, Tyce Thomas, Rex Bouma, Kenleigh Miller, Thomas Kramer, Jay Martinez, Pierre Cochran, Quan Tran, Roderick Hopkins, Nicholas Jackson, Kristina Freese, Theresa Huling, Ken Marsh, Cortney Kelley, Felice Thomas, Brittany Stirrup, Jasmine Roberts, Bishop Richmond, Phyllis Roberts, Kelly Cicerelli, Lari White, Joan Dietz


Noah Radant


Kaitlyn Battistelli
Colour grade company


Noah Radant
Andres Jaramillo
Sound Design
Noah Radant


Director's Representation


Stax Records
Artist Management
7S Management

Rob Ulitski - 19th June 2024

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