Rooftop Films Alumni and Grantees At SXSW

Recently the festival features lineup for SXSW was posted. When we pursued the list to see what made the cut, we were delighted to see several filmmakers we have featured in the past. If you would like to see the full line-up, click here.

Here are some highlights from the line-up that if you are journeying to Austin starting March 13th in order to eat some BBQ, experience new music and of course watch some movies, you should check out:

Krisha: Winner of the 2014 Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Feature Film Grant

Director: Trey Edward Shults

After years of absence, Krisha reunites with her family for a holiday gathering. She sees it as an opportunity to fix her past mistakes, cook the family turkey, and prove to her loved ones that she has changed for the better. Only, Krisha’s delirium takes her family on a dizzying holiday that no one will forget.

Funny Bunny: Winner of the 2012 Rooftop Films and Eastern Effects Equipment Grant

Director: Alison Bagnall

Gene spends his days canvassing about childhood obesity. One day he canvasses Titty, an emotionally-arrested 19-year-old who has successfully sued his own father to win back a large inheritance and gotten himself disowned in the process. Gene discovers that Titty has an ongoing online relationship with the beautiful but reclusive Ginger, who is an animal activist. Gene convinces Titty to make a pilgrimage to meet Ginger where the two men form a close bond despite both of them being drawn to the enigmatic Ginger, who is in need of rescue.

Western: Winner of the 2012 AT&T $10000 Cash Grant

Directors: Bill and Turner Ross

In Eagle Pass, Texas, where the U.S. and Mexico meet along the Rio Grande, a cattleman and the mayor face the dawn of a new reality. In the matter of a few turbulent months, the specter of cartel violence begins to loom from upriver, leading to an indefinite border closure and its rippling consequences on the home front.

Uncle Kent 2: Winner of the 2013 Rooftop Films and Eastern Effects Equipment Grant for Sweet Cheeks

Director: Todd Rohal

In a desperate search to create a follow-up to Joe Swanberg’s 2011 film Uncle Kent, Kent Osborne travels to a comic book convention in San Diego where he loses his mind and confronts the end of the world.


Director: Jessica Edwards

Mavis! is the first documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From freedom songs in the ‘60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There” in the ‘70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince in the ‘80s and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has managed to transform herself as she goes, yet never alter. After 60 years performing, she’s making the most vital music of her career, and her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

Madina Dreams

Director:  Andrew Berends

After decades of civil war, South Sudan achieved its independence from Sudan in 2011. But inside Sudan, the conflict continues. Sudan’s government employs aerial bombings and starvation warfare against the inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan or remain trapped in the war zone. Eleven- year -old Madina and countless others dream of a brighter future for the Nuban people.

God Bless the Child

Directors: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

Five siblings, from one to thirteen, spend a day on their own, uncertain whether this time their depressed and unreliable mother is really gone for good. Harper, the eldest and the only girl, looks after her brothers as she always does, as their day descends into fantasy and chaos. Set in Davis, California.

Best of Enemies

Directors: Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon

Best of Enemies is a documentary about the storied debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. Best of Enemies delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, “What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?”


Director: Rick Alverson

An aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement and the possibility of rekindling a relationship with his daughter, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters.

Heaven Knows What

Directors: Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie

Based on the experiences of Arielle Holmes — a homeless teenager with a ferocious Jersey accent — the film stars Holmes as Harley, a fictionalized version of herself: a heroin-hooked panhandler unable to get either the junk or her wicked boyfriend Ilya (Caleb Landry Jones) out of her system. Locked into the relentlessly repetitive cycle of the addict’s life — the never-ending search to score, the squabbles with dealers and fellow junkies, the violence ever ready to erupt as either farce or tragedy — she is still driven by a strange (and surely self-destructive) desire for beauty, the explosive moments of rapture that puncture the drabness of her existence.


Director: Kris Swanberg

When thirty-year-old science teacher, Samantha Abbott, begins the final semester at Hawkins High School, an inner-city school in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Few of Samantha’s students have plans beyond graduation, but senior Jasmine Davis is one of Sam’s favorites, and one of the few who shows a drive to attend college and aspire to a life beyond her neighborhood.