The Best of New York Nonfiction
Short Film Program

Friday Jul 29, 2016
6:00PMDoors Open
7:30PMLive Music by Michael Beharie
8:30PMFilms Begin
10:00PMQ&A with filmmakers

Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place
Ground level, along the water between West Street and the Hudson River
Financial District
230 Vesey Street, New York City, NY, 10281
A, C to Chambers Street; E to World Trade Center, 2, 3 to Park Place


This Show Presented in Partnership With
Arts Brookfield
Tribeca Shortlist
This is a free event

It's your city. Take another look.

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we look back on some of the greatest hits of one of our greatest programs: New York Non-Fiction. These short documentaries remind us that ours is a city full of opinionated walkers, bike messengers, bike thieves, Shakespearian birds, and street furniture--and we like it that way. Though the city has changed, these documents live on.


The Last Butcher in Little Italy (Laura Terruso | USA | 6 min.)
Unlike most Italian Americans, Moe Albanese never left Little Italy. Born on Elizabeth Street in 1925, Moe grew up on this street and helped his parents run their small butcher shop. Today, this shop is the last that remains of Elizabeth Street's Italian American history. At eighty two, Moe is the shops only employee. Shown in 2008.

SOLO PIANO – NYC (Anthony Sherin | USA | 5 min.)
On a cold winter morning, a lone piano stands curbside in New York City. Passersby slow, stop, and play. Plinking slightly out-of-tune over the white noise of Broadway’s cars, buses, trucks, and sirens, the piano awaits its fate. A plaintive reminder to never pass up a unique opportunity in NYC. Shown in 2012.

The Commoners (Penny Lane and Jessica Bardsley | New York, NY | 12 min.)
In 1890, a wealthy eccentric named Eugene Schieffelin collected every bird ever mentioned by Shakespeare and released them into Central Park. The only one to survive in the New World was the European Starling, now among the commonest - and most despised - birds in America. Shown in 2010.

How To Walk to Manhattan (John Wilson | 10 min.)
A distracted walking tour of an exhausting commute. Shown in 2013.

Bike Thief (Neistat Brothers | USA | 7 min.)
An average of 8,300 bicycles are reported stolen each year in New York. Long time bike advocates the Neistat Brothers wanted to know how this is possible, so one warm Tuesday they stole five bikes before noon without anyone looking twice. It's amazing what New Yorkers will ignore, and here the bike owners caught the whole thing on camera!

Last Address (Ira Sachs | New York, NY | 8 min.)
A meditation on New York City buildings - both familiar and anonymous - that once housed artists who helped shape the cultural fabric of New York City. All of these artists, including Joe Brainard, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Reinaldo Arenas, died of AIDS. Shown in 2010.

Grand Luncheonette (Peter Sillen | USA | 5 min.)
Grand Luncheonette documents the final days of one of 42nd streets unforgettable lunch counters. The closing of Fred Hakim's hot dog stand marks the end stage of Times Squares much publicized gentrification. Shown in 2005.

Aaron Burr, Part 2 (Dana O’Keefe | USA | 8 min.)
An American revolutionary updates his place in history in this radically inventive and modern bio-pic. Shown in 2012.

One Man's Trash (Kelly Adams | USA | 17 min.)
In an East Harlem garage sits the unusual museum: Treasures in the Trash. The museum is the life’s work of Nelson Molina, a 34-year veteran of the New York City Department of Sanitation and a collector of discarded ephemera of interest. The film follows Molina on his route as, with a keen eye and an open mind, he plucks gems from what others have thrown away and assigns new value to them. Shown in 2015.


Michael Beharie
If you ever get a chance to visit Michael Beharie in his miraculous rent-stabilized Bed Stuy digs, you might notice a strange harp heaped next to kitchen pots, wood and clay drums from around the globe, and a vintage echo box gifted by a rapper friend.

Welcome to Michael Beharie, vortex of creativity. Lettered as one half of Tezeo, a regular composer for dance and film, and an accomplished studio musician, Beharie’s solo releases on Words + Dreams and Shinkoyo showcase the limits of his instrumental and editorial virtuosity. Michael studied classical guitar at Oberlin, but his musical proficiency is freewheeling and boundary-defiant. Listening habits are correspondingly omnivorous, as this Astrocast attests.

From the opening soaring free jazz of Pharaoh Sanders, Beharie drops a trap door into polyrhythmic African hyper drums, lazer snaps, and bumping Jamaican dancehall and club tropes, culminating in the blissed/blipped-out digitalia of Nobukazu Takemura. Summer barbeques beware!

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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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