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by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
August 20th, 2010

As we officially end Rooftop’s 2010 Summer Series tonight, it amazes and thrills me how much we’ve accomplished. Over 50 screenings in 16 different outdoor locations. Hundreds of films shown, dozens of bands played, tens of thousands of audience members attended. For each event, we set up two truckloads of equipment and hundreds of chairs. We watched 3,000 film submissions, wrote 150 program notes, hosted filmmakers from around the globe, and promoted the heck out of films nobody’s ever heard of. We battled the weather, negotiated permits and insurance, assembled funders and sponsors, and doled out tons of free drinks at the end of the night.

Given all that we do, it blows my mind that we’re able to pull it all off smoothly and happily with such a small staff. After 14 years of steady growth, our budget is still relatively small, but our team’s heart is enormous. The people who work (and volunteer) for Rooftop possess unbelievable ambition, dedication and skill, and we wouldn’t be anything like the organization you see without them.

Someday a documentary should be made about a Rooftop summer, but until then, a hearty thanks on the blog will have to do for these awesome folks. Please thank them yourself when you come to a show, or leave a comment below.

DAN NUXOLL (Program Director)
From co-programming the festival to overseeing all the tech, from negotiating sponsorships to updating our website, Dan is the central nervous system of Rooftop Films: every tiny bit of our work runs through him. He works tirelessly and brilliantly, with a vision for Rooftop Films that is clear and brave. There is no one in independent film with more guts and determination than Dan.

GENEVIEVE DELAURIER (Managing Director)
Gen joined Rooftop in 2007 into a wide-open brand new position and has done an astonishing job wrangling the internal workings of an unruly beast of an organization into a smooth and harmonious machine. What we do is impossibly complex, and we’ll admit we are not always easy people to work with, but Gen is the hero behind the scenes who has fit all the square pegs into round holes.

CHANTEL ELASSAAD (Festival Manager)
Ask Chantel to dub a tape, file a liquor permit, book a trip for a filmmaker, organize a 1200-person guest list, and clean up the party, and she’s probably already done it. With style. Chantel’s like a circus performer, juggling a million details and catching everything that falls through the cracks, and doing it all with an unflappable charm.

DAISY ROSARIO (Show Manager)
If you’re one of the 100,000+ people who’ve come to Rooftop in the last four years, Daisy brought you in. She took your ticket, ushered you upstairs, handed you your program, set up your chair, swept the floor when you left, and locked the door. Of course, there was a fleet of volunteers and interns helping, but Daisy organized them so well, and loved them so dearly, it was Daisy’s personal touch that put our audience at ease.

AARON WISTAR (Technical Manager)
When 1,000 people pack in to see an 8-piece live band synced to a movie playing simultaneously in three separate screening areas spread over 20,000 square feet of outdoor potentially-rainy space, things can get pretty stressful for the dude responsible for making sure the show goes on. Aaron is that dude, it all got done, and still he’s remarkably chill.

LELA SCOTT MACNEILL (Marketing Coordinator)
This here is one of the few blog posts on our website not written by Lela, but she’ll be sure to Tweet it, Facebook it, email it, and get it into 1,001 different publications. If you’d never heard of Rooftop Films before Lela worked here, you have now. This year’s record attendance and fantastic press is due to her inventive, attuned, and ceaseless promotion. An intern just a few months ago, Lela has quickly become an indispensable part of our staff.

DANIELLE KOURTESIS (Music Programmer)
We need an Israeli band for hipsters, a quiet duo for a film about noise rock, a Latino circus music act, and 52 other bands who will draw good crowds and play on the cheap, on specific dates, at specific locations. Booking the music to match the films and venues at Rooftop is crazy complex, and only someone as completely cool as Danielle could pull it off and add so much entertainment to our events.

AD WASEY, Festology (Festival Consultant)
Last March, we were pining for a new website, thinking how great it could be, but realizing there wasn’t time or money for it. Then Ad from Festology came along out of nowhere and was like, “I’ll build the website of your dreams, add in some functions beyond your dreams. And, while I’m at it, I’ll even interview filmmakers for your blog.” The website is fantastic and Ad’s interviews are wonderful. Everyone should hire Festology to power their festival and event websites and lock Ad Wasey up to do great entertainment journalism.

MC ABBOTT, SARAH FEUQUAY, DANIELLE DIPAOLO, MIKE SAPP (Show Assistants)
Our boots on the ground who get you in and out, happy and healthy. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders.

IRWIN SEOW, TYLER CASH, WILL CHU, ST. JOHN MCKAY, MAX BROWNSTEIN, JON SARGENT, TED QUINLEN, TRISTAN SHEPHERD, CHRISTOPHER WIEDEMAN (Tech Assistants)
Sweaty, shirtless, sexy. From Rooftop events to little kid’s birthdays, from diplomat conferences to the World Cup, if you need projection and sound, these are the most deft, badass techies since Motorhead’s “(We Are) The Road Crew” . . . but in a skinny, sensitive, indie kind of way. Facebook them. They’re single.

And me, MARK ELIJAH ROSENBERG (Founder and Artistic Director)
I am humbly awed to be surrounded by such wonderful people, working so hard to accomplish what has become a collective dream. You make all the long hours worth it and all the crazy ideas possible. Thank you.

Love,
Mark

Rooftop Staff 2010 (L-R): Irwin Seow, Chantel Elassaad, Sarah Feuquay, MC Abbott, Genevieve DeLaurier, Will Chu, St. John McKay, Dan Nuxoll, Daisy Rosario, Aaron Wistar, Tyler Cash, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Lela Scott MacNeill

St. John McKay (shoulders!) and Aaron Wistar set up the screen Rooftop Films

Dan Nuxoll (left) and Aaron Wistar at the tech table at Rooftop Films

Daisy Rosario (center) and MC Abbott (right) talk to a volunteer at Rooftop Films

Daisy Rosario directs volunteers at Rooftop Films

More photos to be added soon. Look for pics on our Facebook page.

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One Response to “Rooftop’s Incredible Staff”

  1. Dina Elkan says:

    You guys all individually and collectively rock so hard it’s almost scary! Thanks for all you do to make our city even more exciting, and on a more personal note, thanks for being such great partners for Solar One! Hearts, hugs and kisses to you all, and congrats on a great season!

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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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