Rooftop Filmmakers Fund Grantees 2015 — 2014

View: 2015 2014 | 2013 - 2011 | 2010-2007

The 2015 Rooftop Filmmakers Fund Grantees Were:


 

 
Garbo

Rooftop Films and Garbo NYC Feature Films Grant
Garbo NYC is a transgressive clothing company that was created by stylist Anett Gabriel, who had a desire to pay tribute to working class women and their sacrifices during the westernization of Hungary. As proud supporters of Rooftop Films, Garbo NYC has made $25,000 available in cash grants for one ora two feature-length films to provide funding for key cast and crew.

 

The 2015 recipients were:

 

Kitty Green | Casting JonBenet
A sly and stylized exploration of the world’s most sensational child-murder case, the unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. After twenty years of media speculation and public hysteria that more or less accused her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, of killing their own child, Casting JonBenet presents audiences with a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction filmmaking that examines the macabre legacy of this tiny starlet. Inciting responses, reflections and even performance from members of the Ramsey’s own Colorado community, the film will examine how this heinous crime and its resulting mythologies have shaped the attitudes and behavior of successive generations of parents and children. Production on the film has already begun, and Green aims to complete the movie by the end of 2016. Rooftop Films screened Green’s short film "The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul” in 2015.

 

Sebastian Silva | Me Demon

 
Brigade

Rooftop Films and Brigade Marketing Festival Publicity Grant
Brigade knows that audiences are constantly evolving, so they stay a step ahead by pushing beyond the basic publicity and marketing model. Their cutting-edge campaigns generate buzz and demand attention by engaging with core consumers on every level. Brigade will offer one feature-length film full publicity services for the film's North American premiere. (Valued at $15,000 in services).

 

The 2015 recipient was:

The Fits

Anna Rose Holmer | The Fits
Toni, an 11-year-old tomboyish boxer, lands a spot on an after-school drill team in the West End community of Cincinnati. Enamored by the power and confidence of the team, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. As Toni descends deeper into the girls’ world, the lingering nostalgia for her brother’s guidance fades away. We witness the joy of her first friendships and her discovery of dance. Yet, she grapples with her individual identity amid her newly defined social sphere. At its heart, “The Fits" is a meditation on movement as seen from the perspective of teenage girls, juxtaposing the precise, powerful, and intentional movements of drill with subconscious, spontaneous, and uncontrolled movements of collective hysterics. “The Fits” was developed and produced through the Venice Biennale Cinema College, and had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2015. Rooftop screened Holmer’s feature documentary “Twelve Ways to Sunday” in 2010.

 
Eastern Effects

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 2015 recipients were:

The Strange Ones

Lauren Wolkstein & Chris Radcliff | The Strange Ones
Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to something more complex, dark, and potentially deadly. Wolkstein and Radcliff said, “We want to create a film where a seemingly simple story gives way to multiple possibilities, and where objective truth is a perpetually elusive thing. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the brothers relationship may not be what we think, and the trip may hold disturbing implications. The characters are of the type that we consistently find intriguing—those who find themselves navigating complicated emotional terrain, who lie as easily as they tell the truth, and keep their secrets hidden.” Wolkstein and Radcliff plan to shoot the film in the summer of 2016. In 2011, Rooftop screened the short film on which the feature is based.

 
TCS

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 2015 recipient was:

 

Khalik Allah | Jamaica
Can the ancestral herbs of Jamaica whose efficacy in healing the body is undeniable, also be the answer to the larger issues that plague the island of Jamaica? Using intimate portraiture and stylistic innovation, Khalik Allah is depicting the undepicted. Using an out-of-sync polyphonic audio track with a uniquely beautiful slow motion video component creates a break in the viewer’s conciseness which invites them to participate in the film in a similar way one would when reading a novel. Allah said, "This film is an herbal and spiritual take on Jamaica told from the inside out. It is an intimate quest of Faith through the mind of Jamaica’s rarest, most remote inhabitants: the Maroons. Throughout the film the question will be raised as to “what’s the answer?” The answer to the problems of poverty, crime and governmental negligence that plague the country.” Production on the film has already begun, with additional shooting continuing into 2016. Rooftop screened Allah’s documentary “Field Niggas" in 2015.

 
Edgeworx

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 2015 recipient was:

 

Anja Marquardt | Wolf
“Wolf” is a fictional feature film about a real-life elite unit of Native American trackers who patrol the Arizona border zone, targeting drug and human trafficking. Rooftop screened Marquardt’s feature film “She’s Lost Control” in 2014.

 
DCTV

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 / DCTV Color Correction Feature Film Grant:

Swarm Season

Sarah J. Christman | Swarm Season
“Bees taught us how to die.” Against the backdrop of social and environmental uprising, a traveler encounters an endangered species in its last gasp. Filmed on the Big Island of Hawaii, ""Swarm Season"" combines observational documentary and speculative fiction to reexamine the relationship between human beings and the natural environment in the past, present, and future. If honeybees—one of the most resilient and cooperative species on the planet—are being pushed to the point of extinction, what kind of future do humans have on earth? Production on the film has already begun, and Christman aims to complete the movie by the end of 2016. Rooftop Films screened Christman's short films ""Dear Bill Gates” in 2006 and ""Broad Channel” in 2010.

 

 

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Short Film Grant:

Sloof's Supershop

Ryan Mauskopf | Sloof's Supershop
“Sloof's Supershop” is the beginning of a cartoon series about a big red fuzzy wizard-scientist who, along with his swiss-army robot, runs a fantastical shop where people can buy potions, genies, and everyday time machines. Upstairs, however, in Sloof's amazing laboratory, unbelievable things happen all the time. Rooftop screened Mauskopf’s short films “Professor Soap - Spirit Quest Journey” (2013), "Spacetime Fabric Softener" (2013) and “Positronic” (2015).

Managed Retreat

Nathan Kensinger | Managed Retreat
“Managed Retreat” is a short documentary portrait of three communities in Staten Island inundated by Hurricane Sandy, now purchased by the State government, to be torn down and returned to nature as rising sea levels reclaim New York City’s coastline. Rooftop screened Kensinger’s short film “Covered Tracks” in 2008.

 
Adrienne Shelly

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 2015 recipient was:

Rooftop Filmmakers Fund

Jennifer Reeder, All Small Bodies
In the aftermath of a catastrophe, two young girls are lost in the woods. Abandoned by all adults, the girls’ sense of the world that was and what will be is influenced by treasured artifacts. When harsh weather and a menacing hunch force Z and Bub to abandon their hand built shelter, they must carve out a utopic new world—reclaiming their autonomy and also their childhood. This feminist speculative fiction is a loose variation of Grimms' Hansel and Gretel and presents coming-of-age as a supernatural process. The film will be shot in Germany in April 2016. Rooftop screened Reeder’s short film “A Million Miles Away” in 2015.

 
Rooftop All Small Bodies

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 2015 recipients were:

Beast of Man

Christopher K. Walker & Michael Beach Nichols | Beast of Man
Young men seek salvation and learn to ride bulls at an annual christian camp in western Oklahoma. A verite documentary that promises to be dramatic, compelling, and visually stunning, "Beast of Man" will be an immersion into a world where the summer camp experience for kids as young as six years old blends religion with the most dangerous organized sport in the world. Filming is already complete, and Nichols and Walker aim to complete the movie by April 2016. Rooftop screened Nichols and Walker’s feature documentary “Welcome to Leith” in 2015.

Market Place

Niki Lindroth von Bahr | Market Place
"Market Place" is an animated musical with apocalyptic undertones, shot in analogue stop motion technique with puppets and models. The film is divided into four episodes that respectively take place in a supermarket, a long term hotel, a call center and a hamburger restaurant. All of the settings are located in a modern market place next to a large freeway somewhere in Sweden at night. Rooftop screened Lindroth von Bahr’s short films “Tord and Tord” (2011) and “Bath House” (2015).

Managed Retreat

Nathan Kensinger | Managed Retreat
“Managed Retreat” is a short documentary portrait of three communities in Staten Island inundated by Hurricane Sandy, now purchased by the State government, to be torn down and returned to nature as rising sea levels reclaim New York City’s coastline. Rooftop screened Kensinger’s short film “Covered Tracks” in 2008.

 
 

In addition to the above grants, Rooftop Films helped negotiate post-production services at Metropolis Films for:

Kate Plays Christine

Robert Greene | Kate Plays Christine
This nonfiction psychological thriller follows actor Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the role of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida television host who committed suicide on air in 1974. Christine’s tragic death was the inspiration for Network and the mysteries surrounding her final act haunt Kate and the production. The film will premiere in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Rooftop previously screened Greene’s films “Ye Are the Light of the World” (2003), “Ghost Towns of Arizona” (2006), “Fake it so Real” (2011), and “Actress” (2014).

 

 

The 2014 Rooftop Films Filmmakers’ Fund Grant recipients were:

 

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 floaters.com, 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 the Fall of 2015.

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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.


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