Empire Drive-In: The Space Between: Public, Private, Borders, Edges
Short Film Program
Friday Oct 11, 2013
6:00PMDoors Open
7:00PMFilms Begin
Empire Drive-In shows are held rain or shine, however, extreme weather may result in cancellation. In the event of extreme weather, check NYSCI’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, or website after 4 p.m. on day of show. Refunds administered via Eventbrite.

Empire Drive-In
New York Hall of Science, Corona Park
Flushing Meadows
47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens


Empire Drive-In is a large-scale temporary installation built from junked cars and salvaged materials. Installation features a sound program about cars and manufacturing curated by Ann Heppermann and broadcast to cars by low-power FM. All nightly programs begin with a slideshow of late industrial images by photographer Stephen Mallon.

This short film program explores liminal spaces, tracing a history from obscure but purposeful construction (The Mechanicals, City of Cranes) to accidental migration and occupation (Found, The Commoners), to willful social breakdown and deconstruction (Dr. Breakfast, The External World, Welcome to Pine Point, Ich Bin’s. Helmut). With comedy, drama, animation, documentary, and interactive media, these short films harmonize the complex chaos of the modern world with the soothing reminder that all is artifice.

*Program subject to change.


The Mechanicals (Leon Ford | 8 min.)
This brilliantly conceived and gorgeously photographed film provides a clever metaphor for just how substantially the white-collar class still relies on Labor.

City of Cranes (Eva Weber | 14 min.)
London (like many modern metropolises) is a city in constant transformation—its skyline animated by “a ballet of cranes.” This gorgeous documentary traces those changes from the unique vantage of those at the top, while also exploring the impact of these powerful man-made structures on the drivers who operate them and spend most of their lives removed from the world they are building.

Found: Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard (trilogy) (Todd Bieber | 11 min.)
While skiing in Prospect Park – after THE blizzard - Todd Bieber found a lost roll of film in the snow, and made it his mission to find the owner. His wry voice-over speculations as he tries to decode the lost photos set the tone for this whimsical adventure.

DR. BREAKFAST (Stephen Neary | USA | 7 min.)
One day at breakfast, a man's soul bursts out of his eyeball. Two wild deer caretake his catatonic body in this meditation on the quirky, but rejuvenating, nature of friendship.

The External World (David O'Reilly | Ireland | 15 min.)
A boy learns to play the piano.

Welcome to Pine Point (Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons of The Goggles | Canada | 14 min.)
Imagine your hometown never changed. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. interactive.nfb.ca/#/pinepoint

It’s me. Helmut. (Nicolas Steiner | Ludwigsburg, Germany | 12 min.)
Helmut celebrates his 60th birthday on the day he is actually turning 57 (his wife miscalculated) as a façade of petit-bourgeois domesticity peels away.

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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.