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 Grant recipients 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. The 2014 recipient is:


Ana Lily Amirpour | The Bad Batch
In a desert wasteland in Texas, a muscled cannibal breaks one important rule: don’t play with your food. The Bad Batch is a savage love story and a psychedelic Road Warrior, inspired by films like El Topo and Wild at Heart, and shot in bold saturated hues and stylings of the 80’s & 90’s, with a wicked techno & western-laced soundtrack.


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. The 2014 recipient is:

Christina Choe | Nancy
Nancy, is a psychological drama about a 35-year old serial imposter who lives at home with her abusive, elderly mother. Desperate for love, she creates a fake blog and catfishes a lover, until her hoaxes cause epic and tragic consequences. NANCY will be Christina's feature directorial debut.


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. The 2014 recipient is:

Rachel Israel | Keep the Change Based on Israel's Columbia thesis short film, "Keep the Change" stars non-professional actors Brandon Polanksy and Samantha as two individuals with autism who fall in love. Polanksy stars as David, a man who tries to hide his high-functioning autism, but is nonetheless forced to attend a support group for people with disabilities. There he meets Elisofon's character, a shy woman with autism.


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. The 2014 recipient is:

Bernardo Britto | Jacqueline (Argentine)
Starring Camille Rutherford as a “25-year-old French Edward Snowden-type” who takes refuge in Argentina after leaking government secrets, Jacqueline (Argentine) is a live action feature film that will be shot from the perspective of a documentary crew she’s hired to trail her while awaiting the fallout.


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. The 2014 recipient is:

Jarred Alterman and Ryan Scafuro | American Renaissance
AMERICAN RENAISSANCE is a short documentary that takes place at the largest outdoor Renaissance Faire in America. Knights, wizards, goths, fairies and demons all stood in front of our static lens and slowly, stories began to unfold... A family who chose to raise their 13-year-old son on the road. A Parisian expat, performing as a mime. A young woman who left the "real world" behind after the death of a close friend.


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. The 2014 recipients are:

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Feature Film Grant:

Trey Shults | Krisha
Adapted from an award-winning short film of the same name, KRISHA tells the story of a multi-generational family that is gathering for Thanksgiving. Krisha has not seen her family for ten years, but when she decides to join her family for a holiday dinner, tensions escalate, and Krisha struggles to keep her demons at bay.

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Short Film Grant:

Frances Bodomo | Beatdown
Beatdown is a web series that follows a carefree black vigilante girl gang. Our protagonists skip school (“they’re not teaching our history anyways”) to loiter, chat, protect New York's unprotected, and avenge the crimes that the NYPD won't touch: from getting their hair petted to "columbusing" to gentrification. It begins as a series of vengeful (and comedic) wish fulfillments that grow bloodier and bloodier ... until we start to question & complicate our discourse on brutality, power, female weakness, justice, etc. Beatdown asks the question: when the violence against us isn't physical, how do we fight it?

Steven Girard | Floaters Dot Com
"Floaters Dot Com" is a half animated, half live-action short film about two men who work for a company that "collects" human beings. Floaters employees beam targeted civilians with a hallucinatory impulse to login to, where the victim is sucked into his/her computer and dragged through a slew of websites. After the victim's deepest fantasies and worst nightmares come true, he/she is "ejected" from the computer's drive as a Free Trial disk.


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. The 2014 recipient is:

Debra Granik, Second Act
Second Act is a documentary about inmate re-entry. Once released, felons often find themselves held apart from mainstream society, particularly in regards to employment. To survive, many turn to various forms of entrepreneurship. This film follows a man recently released from prison who is attempting to build his own business. In pursuing his dream, the subject of our documentary must navigate the transition from one lifestyle to another, negotiate a new and unfamiliar world, and wrestle with the question of who he is and what he wants.


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. The 2014 recipients are:

Joanna Arnow | Bad at Dancing
Bad At Dancing. A perpetual third wheel and awkward outsider, Joanna increasingly inserts herself into the relationship of her more charismatic roommate Eleanore. The two women test each other’s sexual and emotional boundaries in this surreal dark comedy.

Reka Bucsi | LOVE
An animated short film about love that will show love in three chapters: Longing, Love and Solitude. Haiku-like scenes will show different characters evolving along these states of emotions. The goal is to capture feelings through pictures and surreal situations which are undescribable by words.

Efren Hernandez | Ham Heads
Barry and Larry are the world’s oldest living conjoined twins. After retiring from the sideshow circuit, they move into their brother’s house. Barry is sick and he’s getting worse, Larry not far behind him. As their sickness develops, they take trips to the beach; they waltz together; they fight about the volume on their separate television sets. They look out of their living room window at their old-lady neighbor who drinks too much beer. They play games with their teenage nephew and Larry verbally harasses the doctor who checks up on them. They get visits from old friends and spend every moment of every day together. Whether it is good or bad, it is their life together.

Frances Bodomo | Beatdown

Steven Girard | Floaters Dot Com



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.