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by Kate Gellene
March 8th, 2012

Don’t miss the theatrical premiere of Rooftop alum Convento, by Jarred Alterman, at the ReRun Gastropub Theater March 9-15! Tickets are available for pre-order online. Watch the trailer here!

Last year Rooftop and Convento were everywhere, from screens on the rooftops of Brooklyn and Philadelphia, to the Camden International Film Festival and the Museum of Natural History (in conjunction with the Margaret Meade Film Festival.) Thanks to their new distributor Factory 25, the film is set for continued success. Presented by Factory 25 and SXSW, Convento will have its theatrical premiere at Brooklyn’s ReRun Gastropub Theater on Friday, March 9!

“Prima ballerina Geraldine, photographer Kees, and their two boys, Christiaan and Louis, left Holland in 1980 to take up residence at the Convento São Francisco de Mértola, a vacant monastery in southeastern Portugal. Strategically situated at the convergence of two rivers, the monastery was left decaying for centuries until the Zwanikken family arrived and transformed it with their eccentric and earthy endeavors. In the airy studio converted from the estate’s chapel, son Christiaan builds kinetic sculptures from discarded electronics and the skulls and bones of deceased wildlife. Combining the family’s home movies with his own observant photography, filmmaker Jarred Alterman casts these fantastical creatures as supporting characters in the film, as they literally move across the landscape, animating the ancient grounds.” – Margaret Mead Film Festival Guide

Convento, which I had the good fortune to see at the Old American Can Factory this past summer, is an idiosyncratic film that blurs the lines between video installation and documentary. Alterman’s camera does not simply document the decidedly unconventional lives of the Zwanikken family. The film also gives life to Christiaan’s kinetic sculptures, an array of robotic figures that combine scavenged organic matter with industrial trash; though curiously breathtaking, still photographs of his work cannot do justice to his walking, talking and otherwise animated creations. Still, these photos from the screening this summer can offer a preview of what’s in store for viewers: (photos by Irwin Seow)
Alterman spent months with the Zwanikken family at Sao Francisco in Portugal, and assuredly has a number of quirky and inspiring insights to share at the screenings’ Q&A sessions, on March 9th and 10th (twice on Friday!). If you can’t make it to those, don’t fret, because there are 5 more screenings throughout the week, Monday March 12 – Thursday March 15. The screening space, DUMBO’s ReRun Gastropub Theater, has quickly become one of my favorite (indoor) film venues. The theater is equipped with cozy seating made from reclaimed car seats, a full bar, and a creative selection of gourmet theater snacks. Best of all, if you arrive 30+ minutes before the screening, your admission is included with the price of a drink!

SXSW and Factory 25 Present: Convento
ReRun Gastropub Theater

One week only! (March 9 – 15. 2012)
147 Front Street (DUMBO, Brooklyn)
Buy Tickets!

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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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