The Kayla Thomas Filmmaker Grant


The Kayla Thomas Filmmaker Grant

To be awarded to one or more Rooftop Films alumni filmmakers to help them to complete a short film that communicates the power of hope, collaboration and togetherness to make positive change. This grant is in commemoration of our dear friend and teammate Kayla Thomas. Each year when we award this grant we will be reminded of her and of how she made our lives more beautiful and helped us to create special moments. She made our burdens lighter and this grant is one small way in which we can emulate her and do the same for others. As we were creating this grant we knew we wanted to help new films get made, and particularly to support films that we thought would make Kayla happy.

Rooftop Films will donate $1,000 towards this new filmmaker grant and any money that we raise from this campaign up to $5,000 will also go towards this new grant. We will then select and announce the grant winner(s) each winter.

Thank you for your support and helping us remember this talented, kind and lovely young woman.

Donate online or mail a check payable to Rooftop Films, Inc. to:

Rooftop Films, Inc.
232 Third Street, Suite E106
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Rooftop Films Inc. is a 501(c)3 public charity; all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



The 2016 Kayla Thomas Filmmaker grantees

Cara Cusumano | Shipwrecked (currently in post-production)
Cara Cusumano’s short film Shipwrecked tells the story of Cornwall, a charming seaside town in England whose beachfront was transformed for decades when a rogue wave capsized a container ship that was transporting 4.8 million pieces of shipwreck-themed Lego pieces. Cara is the Senior Programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to Tribeca, she programmed for the Hamptons International Film Festival and has also worked with film organizations including the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Brooklyn International Film Festival, IFP, POV, and Chicken & Egg. Her debut film The Bloop screened with Rooftop during the 2016 Summer Series

Laura Stewart | Welcome (currently in pre-production)
Laura Stewart’s quirky and heartwarming animated short film Welcome tells the story of a tiny blob of a man who makes cookies for his neighbor and falls into his oven and through to a parallel dimension. Laura is a director & stop motion animator living in Montreal, Canada. Her films Blobby and 93 both were selected for the Rooftop Films Summer Series.


Thank you to the 2016 supporters of the Kayla Thomas Filmmaker Grant

Kathy Berry
Abigail Disney
XO Projects
Jerome DeHey
Seth Unger
Angela Pablo
Megan Masur
Sarah Brundage
Ilene Danuff
Danielle DiGiacomo
Laura Heberton
Kara Krupnick
Leib Sutcher
Joseph Tullio
Marjorie Wechsler
Liz Zimiles
Tara Kini
Emily Cameron
Nicole Bergman
Kyle Brunette
David Ciancio
Sara Dosa
Ted Eschweiler
Samantha Garland
Mara Gerstein
Arlene Gilbert
Jeanette Ling
Theresa Meyer
Taylor Smiley Wolfe
Adrienne Smith
Shonda Smith
Ecaterina Burton
Gregory DeLaurier
Reinaldo Green
Dana Krieger
Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Gigi Agius
Jeffrey Bowers
Nichole Davis
Ella Fleming
Megan MacMurray
Stephanie Palumbo
Michael Rodriguez
Sara Sampson
Melanie Valencia
Adam D’Arpino
Enid Ryce
Rhonda Smith
Daniel Rosenfeld
Deborah Rudolph


Rooftop Films
232 3rd Street, #E106
Brooklyn, NY 11215