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by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
May 19th, 2009

After a long winter of indoor shows and internal work, and a long hiatus where the blog was variously hosted on partner sites, Rooftop Films 2009 Summer Series burst forth on a beautiful Friday night, and herein blooms the blog to follow. 

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We began the Summer as we often do, with a show called “This Is What We Mean By Short Films,” highlighting the shorts that define the genre: daring films that aren’t merely abbreviated features, but have their own unique means of expression. In particular, we put together a show about people (and animals, and tiny pixel creatures) coming together, seeking companionship and love. 
It was the first completely gorgeous day in New York in . . . I don’t know . . . nine months? Felt that way. And people were eager to be outside. 800 advance tickets were sold out by Wednesday, but hundreds more lined up before 7pm door sales began, and the total number of exuberant audience members well exceeded 1,000. It was a boisterous but well-behaved crowd, and all the hard work our staff put in the weeks prior planning paid off brilliantly. We set up three screens on the sprawling roof, a technical feat that boggles my mind, some 13 years after that first ever Rooftop screening, when I balanced on a steam pipe to hold the 16mm reels on the spool as the wind tried to knock them off. Equally impressive was the crowd-management, as people filed into the various spaces with a finely tuned chaos. 
On this particular roof, at New Design High School, there are always more butts than chairs, and folks have to make do like at other outdoor screenings: bring a blanket or find a perch. (People should also check out some of our other, more secretive venues, particularly at Brooklyn Tech, The Old American Can Factory, and Automotive High School, where chair demand is lower and/or grass is growing.) 
Still, as evinced by Ryan Muir’s super cool photos of the show (courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan), with the graffiti-covered walls, skate park apparatus, glowing screens, and people chilling in all sorts of places, there’s a wild, old-school NYC joy in the disorderly chair-less vibe. It was an enthusiastic start to what promises to be a dynamic year for 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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