by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
February 26th, 2008

Rooftop Films is more than a film festival–we are a community, and we aim to provide more than just a screening for our filmmakers. Obviously, we want to have their films seen by new, large audiences at our shows, but we also want to help the films be seen elsewhere–at other festivals, on our TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, online at, in theaters, even at The Academy Awards. We want to help them distribute their films and earn a living, we want to help them make new films (see news about the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund awardees below).

IFP_logo.gifAlong those lines, we are proud to be partnering with the Independent Feature Project (IFP), one of the country’s leading support organizations for independent filmmakers. In September, during IFP’s Market, we will be once again screening films from IFP’s Labs (and maybe more).

Given the pivotal role that festivals play in launching emerging filmmakers, IFP’s Rough Cut Labs are designed to assist in tackling the creative and technical challenges of completing projects before they are submitted to festivals. Led by seasoned independent producers, the Labs help independent filmmakers achieve the full potential of their material prior to industry exposure by providing four days of feedback and advice on the specific technical, creative and post-production issues such as editing, music selection and scoring, festival and press strategy, sales, marketing and distribution.

The program is open to all first-time, narrative & documentary feature filmmakers who have completed the majority of principal photography. As a commitment to diversity, IFP seeks to ensure that at least 50% of participating projects have an inclusive range of races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and physical abilities in key creative positions.

Many Rooftop alums have come out of these Labs, including Todd Rohal (“The Guatemalan Handshake”), Kat Candler (“Roberta Wells”), Alex Karpovsky (“The Hole Story”), Eun-hee Cho (“Spin”), and Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund awardee PJ Raval (“Best Kept Secret”). The advice and support filmmakers receive in these labs is invaluable, and we highly recommend them.

The Documentary Rough Cut Lab (May 6 – 9, 2008) and Narrative Rough Cut Lab (June 10-13, 2008) are held in New York City.
Full criteria and on-line application available at

If you’re applying, tell Milton Tabbot (documentary) and/or Amy Dotson (narrative) that you heard about it from Rooftop Films!


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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.


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