Hal Hartley (born November 3, 1959 in Islip, New York) is an American film director and writer, and a pioneer of the independent film movement.
His films are often noted for their deadpan acting style and dialogue that is simultaneously philosophical and funny. He often composes and performs the music for his films under the pseudonym Ned Rifle. Unlike most feature film directors, Hartley also makes many short films, which have been collected in DVD anthologies.
Hartley's unique style has helped him develop a cult following. Many of his films have recurring themes, including settings on Long Island, where he was born; discomfort with technology; and foreigners at odds with local culture. He also uses many of the same actors repeatedly, including Robert Burke, Martin Donovan, Elina Lowensohn, Adrienne Shelly, Karen Sillas and Damian Young.
In 1997 Hartley was made Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).