by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
March 6th, 2008

Woodpecker_Poster.jpgA lot has been written about the South by Southwest Film Festival and their support of the Austin film community and the “Mumblecore” movement. Personally, I love the idea of indie filmmakers bonding, working together, supporting each other. You can say that the importance of the those scenes is blown out of proportion, and that might be true–the community is a bigger and more diverse than Austin and Mumblecore.

A look below at the Rooftop alums who are screening films at SXSW this year shows filmmakers from all around the country, and filmmakers working in a variety of genres and styles. (Racial diversity is another matter, something both Rooftop and SXSW work to address in our programming. Our overlapping lists, unfortunately, don’t reflect this diversity). We’re proud to see so many filmmakers we like screening at this excellent fest, and we’re excited to get a chance to hang out again.

From March 7-12, Rooftop’s staff will be down at SXSW, scouting for new films, supporting our alumnae filmmakers, and enjoying the cheap tacos and warm weather with our friends. In town will be Artistic Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Program Director Dan Nuxoll and Managing Director Genevieve DeLaurier. If you’re in Austin, drop us a line so we can meet up.

sxsw AT rooftopfilms DOT com — That email will reach all three of us.

Glory-at-Sea.jpgAt the top of our list here is Benh Zeitlin’s “Glory at Sea (pictured left). Rooftop gave a grant to support this film, so we’re particularly proud of it. “Glory at Sea” is a retelling of the classic myth of Orpheus, who descended into Hades to rescue his lover. Originally, the film was going to be made in Greece, but when the Rooftop funding came through, Benh changed his plans. “Part of what drew me toward New Orleans was the populist attitude of my backers.  Imagining being on a roof and having a film that spoke to Americans about America, was something that got my insides moving, that got me realizing that the resurrection I wanted to tell was a story I had to tell in the states, in New Orleans.”

The film is stunning, and everyone should go check it out. I’m heading to New Orleans for a cast and crew screening on March 6, and then rumbling over to Texas after what is sure to be a grand night in NOLA. I’ll certainly write about those adventures soon.

In the meantime, go see the latest films from these Rooftop alums:

Glory at Sea Director: Benjamin Zeitlin
34 x 25 x 36 Director: Jesse Epstein
Upwards March Director/Writer: Kaveh Nabatian
Fish, But No Cigar Directors: Tara White and Lyn Elliot
Shut Eye Hotel Director/Writer: Bill Plympton
The Rambler Director: Calvin Reeder
LOVEolution Director: John Bryant
Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks Director/Writer: Aaron Katz

Woodpecker Director: Alex Karpovsky.
The Pleasure of Being Robbed Director: Josh Safdie.
Living with the Tudors Directors: Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope.
Intimidad Directors: David Redmon & Ashley Sabin.
Goliath Director: David Zellner.
The Marconi Bros. Director/writers: Marco Ricci, Michael Canzoniero.
The New Year Parade Director/writer: Tom Quinn.
Rainbow Around the Sun Directors: Kevin Ely and Beau Leland.
My Effortless Brilliance Director: Lynn Shelton. Starring: (Rooftop Alum) Calvin Reeder


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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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