Rooftop Films is a non-profit film festival and production collective that supports, creates, promotes, and shows daring short films worldwide and in a weekly summer rooftop film festival.
Rooftop Films is more than a film festival; above all, we are a community. We are a collective collaboration between filmmakers and festivals, between audience members and artists, between venues and neighborhoods. Our goal is to create a vibrant independent filmmaking community that bridges cultural boundaries. At Rooftop Films, we bring the underground outdoors.
Our work includes:
+ Summer Series (festival of new, independent films)
+ Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund (grants for filmmakers)
+ Rooftop Films Production Collective (collaborations between filmmakers)
+ Tours (Rooftop Films in cities around the world)
+ Rooftop Films Discussions (seminars with filmmakers)
+ The Companion Guide to Rooftop Films magazine
+ Equipment Rentals (low-cost production and exhibition for artists and non-profits)
+ Classes (low-cost classes in editing, animation, film sound, screenwriting)
SUMMER SERIES (FESTIVAL) Movies that show us where you live and how you live
At Rooftop Films, we don't screen in theaters, we screen in communities. From an apartment roof in the Lower East Side to the top of a warehouse in Bushwick, from an atop an artist complex in Gowanus to the roof of a high school on Williamsburg, Rooftop Films has always been about place. To us, open air cinema is more than a spectacle; it's an artistic opening. And this creative choice is reflected in our programming. We screen films that show us where you live and how you live.
Rooftop Films' Summer Series provides a forum and an audience for emerging and established filmmakers who make deeply personal cinema, films that offer intimate looks into individual lives and distinct communities worldwide. In nine years, Rooftop Films has become one of the premiere venues, in New York City and beyond, for new, underground and independent short films and underexposed feature films. Our films come from around the globe, and include both world premieres and festival award-winners. The artists we present include first-time filmmakers, long-time outsider artists and seasoned film professionals.
But the thread that connects all our films is that rather than focus on grandiose topics or artistic abstractions, Rooftop Films shows movies that explore single moments in time and place.
Much of our programming is organized regionally, showcasing the grit and intensity of "New York Non-Fiction," the passion and insularity of "Cloudy Day Cinema" (Pacific Northwest), or the oversized and outcast Americana of "Bigger Than France" (Texas). These programs highlight the artistic trends in a locale, and get multiple perspectives on a place, like a dozen guided tours with the voices and styles of the people who know best and care the most. Even our annual 4th of July "Un-American Films" show, featuring political films about our country, favors the opinions of involved individuals instead of professional pundits or officials.
Other programs are based around detailed time, idea or genre. Every year we do a program of youth-produced films, tracking the concerns and visions of an often-overlooked segment of the population as they present themselves at a particular time in their own development. Another signature program is our "Home Movies" show, with films ranging from raw found footage to elaborate personal histories. But each film presents is the work of a single filmmaker, with a unique, individual perspective, creating a work without artifice, showing the beauty of people's lives without contrivances.
Within those coherent yet diverse programs, we mix film styles and genres, showing political documentaries with experimental comedies, animated dramas with home movies, exposing audiences to a variety of cinematic ideas and modes of expression. Each film hones in on and captures the minute textures of one personÕs or groupÕs lived experience, while the program as a whole provides a rich tapestry of ideas, stories, and identities; we achieve a broadness of scope while maintaining difference and detail.
Rooftop Films examines overlooked or misunderstood communities, and gives a stage to unheralded people who are operating outside the mainstream or under the radar. We work with filmmakers, curators and festivals around the world to find commonalities between artists and groups, and to bring people together through our diverse and popular screenings.
Rooftop Films: movies on a roof in Brooklyn, bringing the underground outdoors.