ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS' FUND

Rooftop Films not only exhibits films from around the world, we also collaborate with the filmmakers whose work we screen to make new movies through the Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund and Production Collective. At our annual festival, one dollar from every ticket sold is set aside for the future productions of filmmakers whose work we've screened. We also grant production services and mentorship by working with a grant from our sponsor, as well as local partners Technological Cinevideo Services, Domicile NYCEastern Effects Edgeworx Studios , The Adrienne Shelly Foundation , and DCTV.

Rooftop Films’ Founder and Artistic Director, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, said of the grants: “Every year, it is an honor for us at Rooftop to be able to support a new crop of amazing films thanks to the support of our community—our audience, partners and sponsors. We are proud to reflect the diversity of our community by awarding grants to a wide range of films this year, from comedies and wild new media projects to serious films addressing global political issues. Each of these filmmakers previously screened at our festival, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to give something back to them and help them make new films which will soon astonish the world.”

So often, filmmakers spend so much of their resources making one film that it's hard for vitthem to produce another. But unlike festivals which give away awards for filmmakers' past work, the Rooftop Filmmakers Fund is an opportunity to help deserving filmmakers make their next movie. We've been screening films since 1997, and every filmmaker who has ever shown a film with Rooftop is eligible for our grants—now over 2,500 artists. Past grantees have included David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints , Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene , Benh Zeitlin's  Beasts of the Southern Wild  and  Glory at Sea , Johannes Nyholm’s Las Palmas , Lucy Walker's The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom , and dozens more.

Rooftop Films has nine grants available—five for feature-length films and four for short films. In 2014, Rooftop Films will give away over $28,000 in cash grants, including a $10,000 cash grant from Piper Heidsieck Champagne that will be awarded to a feature filmmaker, and over $80,000 in equipment and services. 2014 Grantees will be announced in September. 

“Champagne Piper-Heidsieck is proud to partner with Rooftop Films,” says Romain Pianet, Senior Brand Director for Piper-Heidsieck. “Celebrating its 21st year as the official champagne of the Cannes Film Festival, Piper-Heidsieck has a strong history in supporting cinema. We felt it a natural fit to partner with a unique and supportive organization such as Rooftop Films, which regularly makes bold choices in its selection of films, filmmakers and screening locations. In addition to supporting screenings throughout the year, we’re very excited to launch the Piper-Heidsieck Feature Film Grant to help a talented filmmaker realize his or her vision.”

“At Rooftop Films, our mission is to act as innovators in independent cinema exhibition. We are proud to have enabled the success of many alumni through other Filmmakers’ Fund Grants ranging from production or post-production support,” says Dan Nuxoll, Rooftop Films programming director. “Thanks to the generous support of Piper-Heidsieck, this $10,000 grant will help another talented filmmaker reach a goal, tell a story, and realize a dream.”

The 2014 Rooftop Films Filmmakers’ Fund Grants are:

Rooftop Films and Piper-Heidsieck Feature Film Grant
Champagne Piper-Heidsieck has a long history of supporting cinematic achievement. For this grant, Piper-Heidsieck will provide a $10,000 cash grant to a Rooftop alumni filmmaker who has demonstrated grand and bold efforts in cinema, and who is at a critical stage in his/her production of a new, independent feature film. The recipient will be feted at an event in early Fall 2014.

Rooftop Films and Eastern Effects Equipment Grant
Eastern Effects is film production rental house based in Brooklyn. Since 1999, Eastern Effects has been providing Lighting & Grip Equipment Rentals for Independent Feature Films, Television Productions, Corporate & Industrial Videos, Student Filmmakers, and Live Broadcast. For this grant, Eastern Effects will award 30 days of lighting and grip equipment to one feature-length film.

Rooftop Films Technological Cinevideo Services Camera Grant
Technological Cinevideo Services has been the rental home for world-famous professional motion picture equipment for more than 30 years. For this grant, TCS will award 21 days of high-quality camera and lens equipment for one feature-length film.

Rooftop Films and Edgeworx Post-Production Grant
Edgeworx Studios is a post-production house based in Manhattan. With a fifteen-year track record, Edgeworx provides full service production and post-production. Their areas of expertise include motion graphic design, animation, VFX, editorial and finishing. For this grant, Edgeworx will provide 1-2 weeks of post-production services to one feature-length film.

Rooftop Films Domicile NYC Sound Mix Grant
Domicile NYC is a post-production facility that caters to the independent film and television producer. They strive to produce the highest quality in picture and audio finishing. For this grant, Domicile will award a 5.1 Surround Sound Mix for one short fiction or documentary film.

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Feature and Short Film Grant DCTV Equipment Rentals is one of the only rental houses that does not require production insurance and is open 7 days a week, striving to make otherwise expensive pro camera, lighting and audio gear accessible. DCTV Workshops provide over 200 hands-on workshops in video production, post-production, producing, and graphic & web design each year, taught by working industry professionals in an intimate and interactive environment. For this grant, DCTV will provide 2-3 weeks of production equipment and workshop enrollment to two filmmakers making short films.

Rooftop Films and Adrienne Shelly Foundation Short Film Grant For Women
The Adrienne Shelly Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated in loving memory to the uniquely gifted actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly, whose highly accomplished life was tragically cut short November 1, 2006. ASF supports the artistic achievements of female actors, writers and directors through a series of scholarships and grants, providing recipients with financial support and consultative access to the Foundation's advisory board of actors, directors, producers, composers, law, publicity, academic and trade professionals. Reflecting Adrienne's spirit, generosity, courage and whimsy, its goal is to recognize the tremendous passion and commitment of women artists in creating their own work, and provide them with support and guidance particularly during periods of transition and struggle. For this grant, we will award one $3,000 grant to a female director.

Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund Short Film Grant
We believe that short films do not receive the attention they deserve in the world of film, and that all too often even a festival which prominently includes short films does little for the filmmaker in the long run. For the short film grants, Rooftop Films earmarks one dollar from every regularly-priced ticket sold and every submission fee received for the Filmmakers' Fund. Every year, filmmakers whose movies have screened at Rooftop Films are eligible to apply for grants for their future productions. We believe that instead of giving each filmmaker ten dollars, giving away a few larger sums (up to $3,000) toward specific projects is a better way to help the filmmakers and the independent filmmaking community in general.

 

READ MORE ABOUT PAST GRANTEES.


The recipients of the 2013 grants offered by the Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund are: 

ROOFTOP FILMS / AT&T FEATURE FILM GRANT
AT&T AT&T is the presenting sponsor of Rooftop Films 2013 Summer Series, and will award one filmmaker $10,000 cash for their feature film, at a critical stage of production.  For this grant, AT&T will award one filmmaker $10,000 cash for their feature film, at a critical stage of production. “AT&T is committed to New York City’s vibrant arts and culture scene, and we are thrilled to support independent artists through the Rooftop Films Feature Film Grant,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President - AT&T. “New York is a hub for filmmaking, aiding our cultural and economic development, and AT&T is proud to be a part of this important citywide movement. I am excited our support for the filmmaker grant has enabled the making of films like  A Chjana[2013 AT&T grantee], Western[2012 AT&T grantee] and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and look forward to their introduction to audiences across New York City.”  The 2013 recipient is:

A Chjana

Jonas Carpignano, A Chjana
Determined and courageous Burkinabé friends, Ayiva and Abas, must persevere through the difficult journey across Africa on their way to finding new opportunities in Europe. But with their family and new home, local hostility and intolerance all hanging in the balance, Ayiva and Abas must consider what price a ‘better life’ is really worth. Rooftop screened Carpignano’s award-winning short film, A Chjana in 2012 and Bayou Blackin 2011.


ROOFTOP FILMS / DCTV EQUIPMENT & SERVICES GRANT
DCTVFounded in 1972, DCTV is an established media arts resource for NYC’s independent filmmaking community. DCTV provides affordable workshops, production equipment rentals, post-production facilities, a signature screening series, renowned youth programming, and more – all under the same roof as its award-winning documentary production house.  DCTV Post provides independent filmmakers edit, color correction, and mastering suites with the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost. For this grant, DCTV will provide our color correction/mastering suite for one feature film for up to 12 days. The 2013 recipients are:


The Great Heart of Humanity Sam Green, The Great Heart of Humanity
The Great Heart of Humanityis a new feature-length ‘live documentary’ by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green. The film, which is inspired loosely by the Guinness Book of Records, will weave together portraits of record-holding people places and things to create a meditation on fate and the outer contours of the human experience. The film will be screened with live narration and live soundtrack performed by the chamber group yMusic. Rooftop Films screened Sam Green’s film “Pie Fight ’69” (co-directed with Christian Bruno) in 2000 and his live documentaries Fogand The Biggest Smallestin 2013.

Evolution of a Criminal

Darius Clark Monroe, Evolution of a Criminal
Deep in the heart of Texas, what begins as an innocent tale of family, sacrifice, and financial hardship quickly escalates into a true-crime thriller. Fusing together compelling interviews, striking re-enactments, and home video, we are forced to ask ourselves how a 16 year old honor roll student evolved into a bank robber. Rooftop screened Monroe’s short film Trainin 2011.

Everything Absolutely

Natalie Paul, Sweet Tea
It's a hot afternoon in gentrified Brooklyn, when Nicki, a tough native Brooklynite meets for the first time her boyfriend's "baby mother" Amy - who turns out to be a Southern blond belle. The two women, as opposite as they are, challenge each other and somehow come to see each other in ways only the other can.  Sweet Teaexplores the reality of complicated relationships and complicated people - and how they desperately try to hang on, move on, make things work or let things go. Rooftop Films screened Natalie Paul's first short film, Everything Absolutely(co-directed with Terence Nance) in 2013.


ROOFTOP FILMS & EASTERN EFFECTS EQUIPMENT GRANT
Eastern Effects Since 1999, Brooklyn-based Eastern Effects has been providing Lighting & Grip Equipment rentals for Independent Feature Films, Television Productions, Corporate & Industrial Videos, Student Filmmakers, and Live Broadcast. In 2012, they opened Eastern Effects Studios and now offer NYS Level 2 Qualified sound stages, production offices, and support services to the film community. For this grant, Eastern Effects will award 30 days of lighting and grip equipment to one feature-length film. Past recipients included Benh Zeitlin's  Beasts of the Southern Wild , Andrew Semans' Nancy, Please , and Lee Isaac Chung's  Lucky Life. The 2013 recipient is:

Sweet Cheeks

Todd Rohal, Sweet Cheeks
Sweet Cheeks is the story of two nine-year-old brothers, Tyson and Tyler Butterfield, growing up among the twenty-four adopted children that live together in a one-room house where they eat, sleep, and get raised up by their loving parents. The boys find a gift for their mother inside of an abandoned mailbox which leads them on a mission where they run afoul of a slick reverend with strange ideas about love, steal a car from a daredevil hobo, get chased by a 6-inch tall man in a balloon, and confront Jesus Christ in heaven above. Sweet Cheeks exists in the uncharted territory located somewhere between the  Our Gang shorts of the 1930s,  Paper MoonNight of the Hunter, Duck Soup and  Forbidden Zone. Rooftop screened Rohal’s short films Knuckleface Jonesand Hillbilly Robotin 2000 and 2001 and his feature-length films The Guatemalan Handshakein 2006 and The Catechism Cataclysmin 2012.


ROOFTOP FILMS & EDGEWORX POST-PRODUCTION GRANT
Edgeworks Edgeworx Studios is a post-production house based in Manhattan. With a sixteen-year track record, Edgeworx provides full service production and post-production. Their areas of expertise include motion graphic design, animation, VFX, editorial and finishing. For this grant, Edgeworx will provide 1-2 weeks of post-production services to one feature-length film. Past recipents included Ian Cheney’s  The City Dark , Sean Durkin’s  Martha Marcy May Marlene , and David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints. The 2013 recipient is:



Men Go to Battle Zachary Treitz & Kate Lyn Sheil,
Men Go To Battle  
In the fall of 1861, most Americans predicted that the War Between the States would end by Christmas. Henry and Francis Mellon couldn't care less. The two are struggling to hold on to their crumbling estate while bracing for another winter in central Kentucky. Living together in the last remaining structure on their family’s hemp farm, the two have become suffocatingly close. Francis’ practical jokes become more and more antagonistic until the night he accidentally injures Henry in a fight. Henry disappears in the night, leaving Francis alone to discover the hardship and deprivation that the war has in store for him. Rooftop has screened numerous films starring Kate Lyn Sheil, and showed Treitz’s short films The Mean Time(2008) and We’re Leaving(2011).


ROOFTOP FILMS EQUIPMENT GRANT
Rooftop Films
Rooftop Films strives to support as many filmmakers as possible. This year, one film had a particular need for generators for nighttime shooting. Through the Rooftop Equipment Rental program, we are pleased to be able to help one additional film through a special grant. The 2013 recipient is:


Five Star
Keith Miller, Five Star  
Five Starfollows Primo and John as they face the challenges of urban manhood. For Primo, who turned Blood at age 12 (in the movie and in real life), this includes understanding what it means to be a father and an honest man. John has to decide if gang life is the path for him. Connecting them is John’s father, who was Primo’s mentor, and whose recent death by a supposedly stray bullet sets the story in motion. Based closely on real life elements, the distinction between the story in the movie and events in the ‘real world’ is intentionally blurred. Five Staris a follow up to Keith Miller’s award winning feature Welcome to Pine Hill(Rooftop 2012) ,which was based off his short film Prince/William (Rooftop 2010).


ROOFTOP FILMS AND ADRIENNE SHELLY FOUNDATION SHORT FILM GRANT FOR WOMEN
The Adrienne Shelly Foundation

The Adrienne Shelly Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated in loving memory to the uniquely gifted actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly, whose highly accomplished life was tragically cut short November 1, 2006. For this grant, we will award one $3,000 grant to a female director. The 2013 recipient is:




Untitled Texas Project
Heather Courtney, Untitled Texas Project
“Untitled Texas Project” will follow one reproductive services clinic’s struggle to survive in a state that has made massive cuts in family planning funding.  In their efforts to get rid of abortion, Texas state legislators have also restricted access to contraception, women wellness exams, and pre-cancer screenings, resulting in 76 clinics either closing completely or cutting family planning services.  This short documentary explores the human side of policy decisions, as we follow a year-in-the life of one west Texas clinic and the fall-out for their patients. Rooftop screened Courtney’s feature documentaries Letters from the Other Side(2006) and Where Soldiers Come From(2011) [pictured].


ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS' FUND SHORT FILM GRANT  Rooftop Films
We at Rooftop Films believe that short films do not receive the attention they deserve in the world of film, and that all too often even a festival which prominently includes short films does little for the filmmaker in the long run. For the short film grants, Rooftop Films earmarks one dollar from every regularly-priced ticket sold and every submission fee received for the Filmmakers' Fund, dispersing grants up to $3,000. The 2013 recipients are:


The World's Longest Yard Sale


Riley Hooper,
The World’s Longest Yard Sale  
Now in its 26th year, the world's longest yard sale runs from Michigan to Alabama the first weekend of every August. It's a massive exchange of not only goods, but also cultures, customs, ideas, and narratives. Riley Hooper's short documentary focuses on objects being sold and bought along the route of the sale to reveal personal stories about the people buying and selling them — universal stories of family histories, love, loss, nostalgia, and the human experience. Rooftop screened Hooper’s film Floin 2013.


kickstarder

Yung Jake, kickstarder
“ayo this Yung Jake. i'm about to drop the most interactive rap video ever. 4 reel. it's gonna be a video that automatically inserts my supporters; the people who have my back from day one (through day 30) of the time that KS is release will be forever embedded into the video, they jus have to pay a little. my day 1-30 niggas. yeah, so whatever img you want can be dragged onto the video wherever/whenever and publicly displayed for the world to see. like on my shirt or you can be in the background of the shot in my hood. prices range on how dope the area of insertion is. Rooftop Films screened my Datamosh video in 20013 that's how they found me. email kickstarder@gmail.com to inquire about pre-ordering img spots.”


Giuseppe Makes a Movie

Mike Plante, Giuseppe Makes a Movie  
In Ventura, CA, Giuseppe Andrews makes movies in his trailer park. A former child actor, Giuseppe is inspired by the crazy independent filmmakers of history: Cassavetes, Bunuel and Fassbinder… and now has 30 features of his own. With a handwritten script, a video camera, an acting ensemble of neighbors and homeless men and a few hundred bucks, we follow Giuseppe and crew as he sets out to make a feature film in just two days and shows that filmmaking is not for a small elite group but for everyone. Made by Adam Rifkin and by Mike Plante, whose Orbit(film): Earthshort played at Rooftop in 2012.


Island

Tom Schroeder & Lisa Paclet, Island
Isola del Giglio is the smallest island of the archipelago that includes Elba and Monte Cristo.  One of the three small villages on the island, Campese, serves as a summer vacation retreat for middle class Italian families.  Islandwill be a 12 minute animated film documenting the course of one day in Campese rendered in an impressionistic, sketchbook style. Rooftop screened Paclet’s film Ursonate(2006) and three of Schroeder’s films:  Bike Ride(2002), Bike Race(2011) and Marcel, King of Tervuren(2013).

READ MORE ABOUT PAST GRANTEES.


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About Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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