Rooftop Films Announces 15th Annual Summer Series Lineup

Posted: April 23, 2011 by TME (thats my e) in Movies
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Rooftop Films is proud to announce the lineup for their 15th Annual Summer Series, presented by IFC and New York Magazine, featuring:

+ Over 50 shows: every weekend from May 13th – August 20th

+ 23 feature-length films including 2 World Premieres and 15 US or NY Premieres

+ 183 short films from 26 countries, shown in themed programs such as Romance Shorts, Thriller Shorts, and New York Non-Fiction

+ Fiction, documentary, comedy, drama, animation and more

+ 15 spectacular outdoor venues with stunning views across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens & The Bronx

+ Live music, filmmaker Q&As, and after parties with complimentary drinks

+ Special events such as a live wrestling match at the screening of Robert Green’s Fake it So Real, featuring the semi-pro wrestlers from that film, and a sneak attack performance by the musical guerillas from the Swedish comedy The Sound of Noise

+ An expected 30,000 attendees

The 2011 Summer Series will begin on Friday, May 13th on the roof of the New Design High School in the Lower East Side and continue with screenings throughout the city every weekend through August 20.

Although Rooftop Films has continued to experience remarkable growth since their initial single screening on the roof of founder Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s tenement building in 1997, their focus remains on leveraging their grassroots popularity to bring out big crowds and shine a spotlight on new independent films that might otherwise never get the attention they deserve.

“15 years ago, screening films only available on 16mm prints, the problem was accessibility,” says Rosenberg, Rooftop’s Artistic Director. “Today, technology has made production and distribution available for thousands of films; the problem is getting people to watch them. Rooftop’s model builds a community around the world’s best independent films.”

Acting as innovators and leading an event-based marketing revolution, Rooftop Films has helped enable the success of many of alumni, including the films Wasteland, Trouble the Water, Holy Rollers, Winnebago Man, and numerous others. In addition, through their Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund, they are helping more powerful, understated films not only be seen, but made; films such as Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee Martha Marcy May Marlene, which went on to win Sean Durkin best director at Sundance and a distribution deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures.

However, the popularity and longevity of Rooftop Films comes primarily from the fact that their events take audiences beyond the average multi-plex movie going experience. This year is no different.

Rooftop Program Director Dan Nuxoll adds, “Outdoor film screenings are always special, but we strive to go one step further, to create unforgettable and meaningful events. We are really excited to continue that tradition in 2011 with some really remarkable shows, especially our screening of Robert Greene’s Fake It So Real, about a ragtag group of semi-professional wrestlers from North Carolina. For that show we’ll include a live wrestling match featuring a battle royale between the subjects from the film. We’ll also be screening Jarred Alterman’s documentary Convento, about the Dutch kinetic artist, Christiaan Zwankikken, who makes amazing robots out of local dead wildlife. But instead of just showing the film, we will also fly in Christiaan and have him create an installation of his robots onsite.”

Rooftop Films 15th Annual Summer Series Schedule for May 2011:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rooftop Films Summer Series Opening Night: This is What We Mean by Short Films

Opening Night of Rooftop Films 15th Annual Summer Series will feature grand stories in little packages, with some of the greatest new short films from all around the world.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Freeloader (Zachary Raines | New York | World Premiere)

A special World Premiere of a new film by New York based filmmaker, Zachary Raines. A serious comedy following Frank, a feckless young man recently dumped by his girlfriend. In need of a place to stay, Frank moves from couch to couch, testing the patience of friends – and the kindness of strangers – until his luck runs out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sound of Noise (Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stfarne Nillsson | Sweden | NY Premiere)

A clever and maniacally entertaining Swedish comedy about a group of “musical terrorists” who break into hospitals, banks, and other public places to play compositions using the surroundings as their instruments. The screening will feature a special live performance by the musicians from the film.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dark ‘Toons (Short Films)

Our popular annual program of enjoyably evil animation.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Short Film Thrillers: Trapped in the Machine

A selection of heart-racing, breath quickening, edge-of-your-seat films featuring all kinds of people and things struggling to break free.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Romance Short Films

Romance, served up with a twist.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bad Posture (Malcolm Murray | Brooklyn, NY)

A nuanced, visually inventive vista of young life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bad Posture follows Flo as he seeks to make amends – and make a connection – with Marisa, a beautiful girl whose car his best friend has stolen.

Screenings continue every weekend from May 13 through August 20.

A full schedule will be available soon.


Additional 2011 Feature Selections will include:

Green (Sophia Takal | Brooklyn, NY | NY Premiere)

A haunting meditation on jealousy and the ways women manipulate and attempt to destroy each other.

The Catechism Cataclysm (Todd Rohal | Brooklyn, NY | Part of BAM Cinemafest)

Rooftop continues our partnership with BAM Cinemafest with Rooftop alum Todd Rohal’s madcap story about Father William Smoortser, who drops his bible into a toilet at a rest stop just before embarking on a day-long canoe trip, breaking loose all glorious hell.

The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of Jose Gonzalez (Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand | Sweden | NY Premiere)

Shot over a three year period in José González’s studio, at home and on tour, using a combination of video diary, surveillance camera, tour footage and animation, filmmakers Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand provide a look into the life of one of Sweden’s most interesting artists.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Madeline Olnek | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

Special Gay Pride Weekend celebration. Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same is a joyously campy nod to 50’s sci-fi, following the adventures of lesbian space aliens on the planet Earth, and the romance between Jane, a shy greeting card store employee, and Zoinx, the woman Jane does not realize is from outer-space.

The Redemption of General Butt Naked (Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion | Washington, DC)

Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked, has reinvented himself from the murderer thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war to the evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi. In a riveting cinema vérité journey that unfolds over the course of five years, filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion follow Blahyi’s unrelenting crusade to redeem his life.

Where Soldiers Come From (Heather Courtney | Austin, TX)

From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends and their town, forever changed by a faraway war.

Northside DIY Film Competition Winner

Rooftop partners with Brooklyn’s Northside Festival to present a special outdoor screening of Northside’s first annual DIY Film Competition winner. (

La Bocca del Lupo (Pietro Marcello | Italy)

Pietro Marcello’s elegant, mysterious and moving film tells an epic love story from the ancient Italian port city of Genoa. As Marcello artfully weaves a gorgeous array of archival footage from Genoa’s rich history, breathtaking modern-day 35mm recreations and a sweeping orchestral score into this incredible Italian chant d’amor.

Family Instinct (Andris Gauja | Austria)

Family Instinct is a film about incest – social taboo and a violation of religious norms. The film provides an extraordinarily intimate look into the lives of several people that live on the extreme margins of Latvian society, drawing you into a claustrophobic but compelling world that few viewers will have ever experienced.

Neurotypical (Adam Larsen | New York, NY | US Premiere)

What is the standard that identifies one person as whole and capable and another as disabled and broken? Neurotypical parallels the lives of three individuals on the autism spectrum, each facing a pivotal stage of growth.

Bellflower (Evan Glodel | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

An apocalyptic love story for the Mad Max generation, Evan Glodell’s impressive feature debut paints a classic, yet urgently contemporary, tale of the destructive power of love.

Convento (Jarred Alterman | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

With gorgeous, flowing camerawork filmmaker Jarred Alterman transports us into the world of Dutch kinetic artist Christiaan Zwanikken, who resurrects the deceased local wildlife by reanimating the skeletal remains with servomotors and robotic engineering. Christiaan Zwanikken and his robots will be there in person at the screening.

Fake it So Real (Robert Greene | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

Filmed over a single week leading up to a big show, the film follows a ragtag group of independent, semi-professional wrestlers in North Carolina, exploring what happens when the over-the-top theatrics of the wrestling ring collide with the realities of the working-class South. The show will include a live wrestling match featuring the film’s subjects before the screening.

At the Edge of Russia (Michal Marczak | Poland)

Alexei is a nineteen year old recruit being flown in to perform his military service on the frontier of northern Russia. The base is one of few such remaining outposts on the Arctic Ocean. There are five other seasoned and long serving soldiers stationed here, each with their own personal story or secret that has caused them to retreat from the real world. Their training and breaking in of the new arrival is sometimes humorous, at times harsh. Gradually, they each reveal something of themselves in their daily interactions and private moments as they continue their absurd duty in this snow covered no man’s land, hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement.

World’s Best Dad (Joshua Gross | New York, NY | World Premiere)

Miles hasn’t seen Matt since their father passed away. Now, they’re going to blast him into space. Once they steal his ashes. And figure out how to launch the rocket. And get him to Nevada…

Falling Overnight (Conrad Jackson | Los Angeles | New York Premiere)

Falling Overnight tells the story of twenty-two year old Elliot Carson on the day before he has surgery to remove a brain tumor. Facing what could be his last night, Elliot’s path intersects with Chloe Webb, a young photographer who invites him to her art show. Elliot welcomes the distraction and as the night descends, Chloe takes him on an intimate and exhilarating journey through the city. But as morning approaches, and Chloe learns of Elliot’s condition, the magic of the evening unravels, and they must together face the uncertainty of Elliot’s future.

Additional 2011 Summer Series Short Film Programs include:

New York Non-Fiction

Scratches, beats, and elegies from the city of cities.

Clermont Ferrand

Rooftop works with the world’s premier short film festival to bring you a stunning selection of short gems from across the globe.

Animation Block Party

Some call it punk rock, some call it grass roots, but labels aside, NYC-based Animation Block Party is dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation.

Kill Screen Video Game Night

Rooftop partners with the avante garde video game magazine Kill Screen to bring you an evening of short films that ask the question, “What does it mean to play games?”

Orbit (Film) (NY Premiere)

A collaborative, feature-length omnibus movie about our solar system where every planet is represented by a short film. Co-produced by Rooftop Films and Cinemad.

Rural Route

A program of film offering city dwellers a glimpse of the rural life, where the grass is indeed greener. This program will be fittingly screened on a brand new Rooftop Venue: The Brooklyn Grange, an organic rooftop farm in Long Island City, Queens.


Razor sharp short films about the changing industrial and agricultural landscape in urban and rural America and beyond.

Rooftop Shots

The official Closing Night of Rooftop Films 2011 Summer Series includes short films all about endings. Films so sharp we call them shots, fired from the roof one last time this year


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