Rooftop Films works with our partners to help future productions by filmmakers whose work has screened at our festival. Only filmmakers who have screened a film at Rooftop's festival are eligible for grants. In the Summer 2014 round we have five grants for artists making short films and five grants for feature-length films. Click here for short film guidelines.

If you are an eligible filmmaker and plan on applying, please RSVP as soon as possible by clicking on this link  and filling out a simple form. This way we can gauge how many applicants to expect and will know to look for your application, lest it get lost in some way.  

The partners and grants are:
AT&TSince its founding in 1785, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne has been synonymous with quality, audacity and style. Piper-Heidsieck’s strong connection to bold and grand direction in cinema includes over two decades as the official champagne sponsor for the Cannes Film Festival as well as ongoing support for Rooftop Films in New York City and American Cinematheque in Los Angeles. Piper-Heidsieck remains one of the eponymous region’s most outstanding and award-winning wines. It is imported by Rémy Cointreau, USA, Inc. For more information visit: and


TCS LogoTechnological Cinevideo Servicesis a full service motion picture camera and lens rental company. As an independent rental house, we provide and support the latest and best technology from esteemed camera and lens manufacturers such as Angenieux, Arriflex, Canon, Cooke, Fujinon, Leica, Red, Sony and Zeiss. For over 30 years, we have supported clients making feature films, episodic televisions, commercial and special event projects. Our customers value individualized attention and personal service, as well as the peace of mind that comes with our gear. We are happy to share our knowledge regarding cinematography to find solutions to the specific needs of each project we work together on.




Founded 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.

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. Their mission is to provide customer service that exceeds our customer’s expectations, to deliver equipment of only the highest quality to satisfy the demanding needs of our customers, and to sustain a business founded on reliability, personal values, and good communication. 

Edgeworx StudiosEdgeworx 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. By fusing innovative ideas with technical savvy, Edgeworx has built an impressive roster of clients including, HBO, NBC, Bravo, Nova, ABC, Disney, Focus Features, USA Films, PBS Roadside Attractions, Discovery Channel, MTV, ESPN, A&E, BBC, Magnolia Pictures, IFC, Killer Films, Partizan Entertainment, ThinkFilm and New Line Cinema. From concept to execution, Edgeworx produces original, high-end design for a diverse range of creative projects. 

Who is eligible?  (important)  
What is the history of the grant?

Other frequenly asked questions and advice. (Please read! We tell you how to write a great grant!)

This $10,000 cash grant will be given to one Rooftop alumni filmmaker, awarded at a critical stage in their production of a new, independent feature film that is bold and distinctive. 

Rooftop Films is working with our partners at Technological Cinevideo Services to provide a camera and lens package to one feature-length film (over 50 minutes long). 

What we have:
$20,000 worth of camera equipment and lenses. The particular equipment will be based on a list of possible equipment, provided by TCS, with a base standard package that will be the minimum provided. The list is viewable here . Filmmakers must make a request for equipment at least two weeks in advance of checkout. TCS will work with the selected filmmaker to fill their needs within the range of the equivalent cost of the package. The package will be confirmed two weeks in advance. If the minimum package does not suit the needs of the filmmaker, you should not apply. Filmmakers must provide standard production insurance. For more details, please visit and email Rooftop Films Artistic Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg at filmfund [at] rooftopfilms [dot] com. 

For this grant, DCTV will provide our color correction/mastering suite for one film for up to 12 days.

Rooftop Films is working with our partners at Eastern Effects to provide 30 days of lighting and grip equipment to one feature-length film (over 50 minutes long). 

What we have:  
3 Ton Lighting and Grip Easy Gear™ Package (no vehicle) from Eastern Effects for 30 days. 
A complete package equipment list please is available here. Some substitutions and special requests are possible. Eastern Effects will work with you to fill your needs within the range of the equivalent cost of the package. The equipment must be picked up in Brooklyn, but can be used anywhere. Filmmakers must provide standard production insurance. Email Rooftop Films Artistic Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg at filmfund [at] rooftopfilms [dot] com if you have further questions.

Rooftop Films is working with our partners at Edgeworx Inc. to provide a post-production package to one feature-length film (over 50 minutes long). 

What we have:
Approximately 1-2 weeks of post production work valuing up to $10,000. The Edgeworx staff will work with you to fill your needs within the range of the equivalent cost of the package. This package may include a combination of the following: VFX, animation, titles and simple 2D graphics, and more. For more details, please visit or email Rooftop Films Artistic Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg at filmfund [at] rooftopfilms [dot] com. 

We are open to any genre or type of film, but in choosing our grantees, we are biased toward: 

•  People who we can be confident will actually produce another movie with these resources. 
•  People who do not have access to other resources. 
•  People who use money and materials sparingly and wisely. 
•  Films that are daring, unique, intelligent, soulful, honest, brilliant. 
•  Short films of any and all genres which operate outside mainstream, feature film traditions and aesthetics. 
• Films with women and people of color in primary production roles. 
•  Films that are socially responsible: whether documentaries or fiction, drama or comedy, experimental or animation, we admire films that are thoughtful, well-researched, well-reasoned and that actively seek to change our world for the better. 
•  These are NOT requirements, just qualities we value. We fund many films that do not fall into those categories, from comedies to experimental films, films with big budgets and small, films by all types of people. If it's moving pictures by our alums, and it's going to be great, we want to support it.)

• Films are encouraged to request support from all five grants (Eastern Effects, Edgeworx, DCTV, TCS and Piper-Heidsieck), but it is unlikely that the same film will receive support through more than one grant. If only one service is applicable to your production, please specify which one. If you are interested in receiving any of the grants, please explain how each service would help your production. 

Crucial elements:  
• We need to be convinced that you will make this film as it as presented and in a timely fashion—within 18 months. If you can provide a production schedule and convincing reasons as to why you will adhere to it, that’s great. 
• We are more likely to fund films for which we will have a large impact. That is, we are more likely to fund a film which can do all the shooting and lighting with this package than a film for which use of this package will be only a small portion of the production. 
• We are more likely to award films that make the most of their resources and community. That is, we are more likely to fund films that have creative, independent funding resources than films with a single corporate funder. 
• That said, those are guidelines, not requirements, and we will fund films of any budget, scale or production means. Most of all, we want to support great cinema in crucial ways. 

Please read our FAQ and ADVICE section. In addition, all filmmakers are encouraged to email Rooftop Artistic Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg at filmfund [at] rooftopfilms [dot] com with a draft of their application for advice, or call 718-417-7362. When asking for advice, please focus on specific questions. We can only really advise how to make your application more clear, or offer personal non-binding advice on the filmmaking. The advice we most often give is to descibe what we will see on screen more clearly. Due to time constraints, we can only provide one round of notes, and cannot guarantee feedback in the final week before the deadline, but simple questions are welcome any time. 

Selection Process:
Filmmakers must first submit an initial proposal—a simple, short description of their project (no more than 3 pages; 1 page is great.) The Rooftop Films staff will read all the proposals and invite certain projects submit a more full proposal, which may include a script or detailed treatment, a detailed budget, a production plan/schedule, and more. At the end of the second round, the Rooftop Films, Eastern Effects and/or Edgeworx staffs will determine which projects to support, and we will work together to establish a schedule and set other logistics. 

The Application:

Download the essay questions and the budget form for the Rooftop Films Feature-Length Film Grants (the same application applies to all grants). 

The application asks for the following information: 
• Your name and contact information.
• A description of the film you want to make.
• A rough cut or test footage (if you have such).
• A production and/or post-production plan.
• What you want from Rooftop, Piper-Heidsieck, TCS, DCTV, Eastern Effects, Edgeworx Studios.
• A rough budget. (Use our form or your own.)
• A few lines about yourself.

Please keep in mind that this application is merely an initial proposal. At this stage, we do not want more than basic details, a rough budget, and no more than 3 pages about the film. 1 page is great. Selected projects will be invited to submit a more complete proposal, including a full script or treatment.  

1. If you plan on applying, please fill out this quick RSVP form, so we know how many applications we might be expecting and we can keep an eye out for your application. 

2. Complete the online Feature Film Grant Application Form

    2a. Use the Short Film application if your film is less than 50 minutes and you are applying for a short film grant; use the Feature Film application form if your film is over 50 minutes and you are applying for a feature film grant.

   2b. If you are applying with more than one film, fill out a separate application, essay questions, and budget form for each film.

3. You are also welcome and encouraged to send footage, rough cuts, fine cuts, etc. in any format. Online links are preferred (password protection is acceptable). Please include a link and password in your application form. If you must send a DVD, please contact us at

4. You cannot edit this form once you submit. We strongly recommend you fill out a copy your application in a separate document and save that for reference.

• Initial applications must be received by 11:59pm on  August 9, 2014.
• Some applicants will be notified about the 2nd round of the application. Applicants will need to complete the 2nd round application by September 1, 2014.
• All applicants will be notified about the status of their application by October 1, 2014.

Please note: not all applicants will be asked to submit further information for a 2nd round. If you are not asked, this does not mean your film was eliminated. 

Payments / Reporting:
If you are awarded a grant, you will be expected to file one simple progress report and one simple completion report, which we will send to you at the appropriate times. You will need to sign a grant contract before receiving support. You can read a full copy of the contract here. The key provisions are:

• The filmmaker must produce the film as outlined, to the best of their ability.
• The filmmaker must produce the film within 18 months of the grant award.
• Funds and services will not allocated immediately, but for specific services as needed.
• The filmmaker must allow Rooftop Films the right to screen the film within 12 months of the official world premiere, before theatrical or TV release and preferably before any New York screenings.
• The awarded applicants will work with Rooftop Films, and either TCS, Eastern Effects, Edgeworx or DCTV to determine a specific production schedule and you will be expected to complete your project on schedule.

Good luck! We’re excited to hear about your films, and to help them get made and get screened on the roof. 


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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.