The Sundance Film Festival, a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their storytelling, remains an essential part for independent film. For the seventh consecutive year, Rooftop Films is excited to team with Sundance to present some of our favorite short films from their most recent edition. Hailing from the next generation of independent filmmakers, these gorgeous documents of athleticism, found-footage send-ups, art world rants, human drams and surreal animations represent the best of independent shorts and a diverse array of storytelling from around the world.
Mario Radev | UK | 7
A film that imitates nature in its manner of operation, depicting animated cycles in a world entirely based on sound frequency and vibration.
Reema Sengupta | India | 15
In a country where marital rape is not a legal crime, it took a lot for Smita to escape an abusive marriage. She lives in a one room apartment in Mumbai, earning her living by making imitation mangalsutras (necklace worn by married women). But the recent tranquility of her life is shaken when the doorbell rings. Smita finds herself fighting beasts of a different kind as she discovers a strange pre-requisite to renting a house in middle-class Mumbai. Will Smita find her space? Is there any hope for liberation - societal and/or sexual? Will the doorbell ever stop ringing - again and again? Counterfeit Kunkoo isn’t a feisty feminist retort to the deep-seated misogyny that finds its way into everyday life. It is an exploration of the idiosyncrasies that come with it, the battles one must fight, and whether winning or losing those battles matters at all.
Carey Williams | USA | 12
Faced with an emergency, a group of young Black and Latino friends weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.
The Fisherman (El pescador)
Ana A. Alpizar | Cuba, Netherlands, USA | 15
A humble Cuban fisherman is having a harsh winter at the open sea. For the sake of his family and against all odds, he needs to capture a fish tonight.
Robin Comisar | USA | 7
A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.
Monika Kotecka, Karolina Poryzala | Poland | 14
Zuzia, 12, has been training vaulting for two years and has extraordinary role topping the acrobatic pyramid. She is a “flyer” lifted by the stronger and more experienced vaulters-“base”. Another intensive season begins. During training sessions it becomes apparent that the girl has lost some of her grace and lightness. At first the coach blames the “base” but they admit that Zuzia is too big to lift her. It became clear that she is “just growing” and her role is given over to a younger girl.
Katrelle N. Kindred | USA | 18
A young black girl in South LA experiences a series of events at the convergence of racism and sexism during the Fourth of July holiday.
Wild Wild West: A Beautiful Rant By Mark Bradford
Dime Davis | USA | 6
Where do artists come from? An answer explored through paper, percussion, and one provocative artist.
Yasser Tejeda & Palotré is an infectiously rhythmic and cutting-edge group originating in Dominican Republic and now based in NY. Conceptualized and led by guitarist and composer Yasser Tejeda, Palotré is comprised of drummer/percussionist Victor Otoniel Vargas, percussionist Jonathan Troncoso and bassist Kyle Miles. This unique group is a leading quartet in the emerging Afro-Dominican Jazz genre.Influenced by and infused with the edginess of Rock, the harmonic complexities of Jazz and the rhythms of Dominican music, the group is making folkloric music refreshing and more accessible. The arrangements also serve as a platform to express the musical diversity that is found in Dominican Republic.Palotré's debut album Mezclansa (2009) was dubbed one of the "100 essential recordings of Dominican music" by Dominican Republic's Association of Art Writers (Acroarte). Palotré has performed extensively throughout Dominican Republic and is currently working on their second album. They continue to inspire listeners to explore their roots and aim to share this traditional culture with wider audiences.