Rooftop Films not only exhibits films from around the world, we also support the filmmakers whose work we have screened to help them to produce new movies through the Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund. At our annual Summer Series, one dollar from every ticket sold is set aside for the future productions of filmmakers whose work we've shown previously. We also grant production services and mentorship by working with a grant from our sponsor Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, as well as local partners Technological Cinevideo Services, Domicile NYCEastern Effects Edgeworx Studios ,  The Adrienne Shelly Foundation , and DCTV .

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 Gillian Roespierre’s Obvious Child, David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Shaka King’s Newlyweeds, 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 also award equipment and service grants valued at more than $80,000.

“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.


Rooftop Films Filmmakers Fund Grants are only open to filmmakers whose work has screened previously as part of a Rooftop Films Summer Series event. Unfortunately, if you have not screened a film with Rooftop Films in the past, you are not eligible to apply for our grants. Will re-open our grant submissions in July of 2015.

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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.