IFP Labs Showcase
Short Film Program

Monday Sep 16, 2013
7:00PMDoors Open
7:30PMLive Music by Amma Whatt
8:00PMFilms Begin
9:30PMReception courtesy of Red Stripe

Solar One
on the pier along the water
Kips Bay
24-20 FDR Drive, Service Road East at 23rd Street and the East River, New York, NY 10010
R/6 to 23rd St., walk all the way east.


This Show Presented in Partnership With
Time Warner Foundation
Red Stripe Lager
Free Show
Free Show!

Exclusive excerpts from the 20 projects participating in the 2013 Documentary and Narrative Independent Filmmaker Labs – see them before their festival premieres!

The Labs Showcase gives audiences a first-look at exciting new films, before their festival premieres. This outdoor screening features excerpts from the 20 new films from the emerging talent of the 2013 IFP Labs, the nation’s only program that supports diverse feature filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their first features.


AWOL (Excerpt) (Deb Shoval)
Weeks before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey, 19, returns home to rural, post-industrial Pennsylvania on a short assignment: hometown recruitment in the local mall. Infatuated with her older lover, Rayna, 27, a sassy, sexy, married mother of two, Joey navigates her way through a palpable hierarchy of class as she plots to flee the Army in the name of love.

Approaching the Elephant (Excerpt) (Amanda Wilder)
Given uncommon freedom and individual rights, a group of young children enroll in a newly opened ‘free school,’ where rules are created democratically – students and teachers have an equal vote – and classes are voluntary.

Below Dreams (Excerpt) (Garrett Bradley)
Including the New Orleans music scene as its backdrop and verite style visuals, this neorealist hybrid speaks to the vulnerability of three individuals who are pitted against their blood lines and whose self-worth and personal faith are tested at seemingly uneven lengths.

Beneath the Harvest Sky (Excerpt) (Aron Gaudet, Gita Pullapilly)
Beneath the Harvest Sky tells the story of Dominic, a headstrong teen working his final potato harvest to earn enough money to escape the pitfalls and boredom of his dying northern Maine town, while he fights to save his best friend Casper, who is drawn into smuggling illegal prescription drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father.

Bringing Tibet Home (Excerpt) (Tenzin Tsetan Choklay)
Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol sets out on a mission to bring Tibet closer to Tibetan exiles through an unprecedented art project, inspired by his late father’s unfulfilled wish to breathe his last breath in his homeland. Losing his father made Tenzing realize that wishing to return home is common among all Tibetan exiles. Thus an art project was born to make this common dream a reality as the artist struggles to bring 20,000 kilos of native soil from Tibet to Tibetan exiles in India.

Do I Sound Gay? (Excerpt) (David Thorpe)
Determined to overcome his shame about “sounding gay,” director David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious, poignant, taboo-shattering exploration of the phenomenon of the “gay voice.” With Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei.

Dig Two Graves (Excerpt) (Hunter Adams)
Dig Two Graves is a decade spanning gothic thriller that dramatizes the cycle of violence that perpetuates itself over generations in a small backwoods town. The story centers on a 14-year-old girl who is forced to wrestle with a morally uncertain proposition to save her broken family.

Dukhtar (Excerpt) (Afia Nathaniel)
Dukhtar (Daughter) is a thriller set in Pakistan. The story follows a mother on the run with her ten-year-old daughter on the eve of the child’s forced marriage to a tribal leader. They are relentlessly hunted for bringing dishonour to their families. As the chase intensifies, the mother meets a truck driver whose destiny entwines with hers kindling a forbidden attraction. The trio embarks on an epic journey through the stunning landscape of Pakistan where the quest for freedom comes with a price.

Evolution of a Criminal (Excerpt) (Darius Clark Monroe)
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

Gabriel (Excerpt) (Lou Howe)
Gabriel is convinced that finding his childhood girlfriend will solve all of his problems. But as he obsessively searches for her, reality shatters his idealized perception of the world and a psychological dam bursts open. He escapes from his family to head out on a final frantic quest for love that threatens the lives of everyone around him.

Homemakers (Excerpt) (Colin Healey)
After jeopardizing her young career with an onstage tantrum, rootless and reckless Austin musician Irene McCabey arrives in Pittsburgh to claim her inheritance: her grandfather’s crumbling, three-story row house on the city’s East End. With help from an estranged cousin, Irene must finally overcome her destructive impulses to transform the forgotten family house into a home worth taking care of.

Farmer Veteran (Excerpt) (Alix Blair, Jeremy Lange)
Watching a chicken hatch makes combat veteran Alex Sutton smile, so he decides to become a farmer. The sense of purpose he once felt as a soldier returns, but his crippling PTSD remains. Along with his wife, Jessica, he toils through four seasons on a different kind of battlefield and wonders if, for him, the war will ever end.

In Country (Excerpt) (Meghan O’Hara, Mike Attie)
War is hell. Why would anyone want to spend their weekends there? “In Country” is a cinematic feature documentary following a “platoon” of historical reenactors who are recreating the Vietnam War in the woods of Oregon. Not just a film about the aftermath of the Vietnam War or the fantasies of grown men; it’s a meditation on how the drums of war continue to draw men to battle despite devastating consequences.

The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest (Excerpt) (Gabriel London)
Mark DeFriest is an American prison legend, an escape artist who has spent 32 years behind bars, most of it in long-term isolation, with little light, hope, or human contact. When the doctor whose diagnosis originally condemned DeFriest to prison admits he was wrong, a new chance for freedom is borne. But is it too late for redemption?

Kick Me (Excerpt) (Gary Huggins)
Setting out to purchase a bunny for his daughter, well-meaning guidance counselor Santiago Vasquez veers into scruffy Kansas City, Kansas to help a troubled student, Luther. Entangled in Luther’s schemes, Santiago triggers bloody betrayals and comic comeuppances that send him racing to retrieve his rabbit, reunite with his family, uncover Luther’s secret – and get the hell out of KCK.

Mateo (Excerpt) (Aaron Naar)
Mateo follows L.A.’s most notorious troubadour, Matthew Stoneman, as he fulfills his most recent obsession, “Una Historia de Cuba,” a record of original compositions recorded over the course of six years piece meal style in Havana, Cuba. Ultimately, “Mateo” is a study of barriers — cultural, geographic, and moral — and a man who doesn’t believe in any of them.

Kasamayaki (Made in Kasama) (Excerpt) (Yuki Kokubo)
Shaken by the tsunami and nuclear disasters, a grown daughter returns to her rural Japanese artist community to reconnect with her estranged parents and hometown. Meditative moments at the pottery wheel punctuated by tense family conversations, sudden earthquakes and radiation level readings, Kasamayaki exposes the fragility of life and the imperfect nature of human relationships.

Roots and Webs (Excerpt) (Sara Dosa)
If you lose your family, you must build it anew. Amid the desolate Oregon wilderness, the lives of two former soldiers intersect. Roger, a former US Army sniper in Vietnam, and Kouy, a platoon leader with the Khmer Freedom Fighters who fought against Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, come together each autumn for the matsutake mushroom hunt. The two each wrestle with wounds from Southeast Asian wars, attempting to find the high-priced mushroom before snowfall. An odyssey into the woods, into the memory of war and survival, we tell a story of family from this enigmatic woodland realm.

Something, Anything (Excerpt) (Paul Harrill)
When her new marriage starts to disintegrate, a would-be suburban mom sets out on her own. But after receiving a postcard from a monk, her life turns upside down spiritually and romantically. Austere and tender, Something, Anything is a film about the pressures we feel to consume and conform, and the search for something bigger than ourselves.

Stay Then Go (Excerpt) (Shelli Ainsworth)
Based on the writer/director’s personal experiences as a mother of a child with autism, Stay Then Go is an authentic and nuanced portrayal of a woman whose life takes a series of surprising turns as she adapts to her son’s disability.


Amma Whatt
"Brooklyn native Amma Agyapon, known better as Amma Whatt, is a rising star who has been on the music scene for awhile—from working as a background singer supporting other artists to making it to the finals in Hollywood on American Idol. After years of building her craft, she has declared this moment her own, releasing her new EP MAYBE independently to critical acclaim." -Soul Train

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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.