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by Alison Joy
August 1st, 2013

For those outside the Midwestern realm, Branson, MO might not ring any familiar bells. Boasting just 10,520 residents, it is nevertheless the self-described “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,”  its strip of Missouri State Route 76 aglow with a wash of neon light from the countless theaters, restaurants and motels whose signs blink furiously in the fight for attention. In fact, Branson is home to so many musical theaters, and hosts so many shows each day that a 1991 episode of “60 Minutes” went so far as to call it the “live music capital of the entire universe!” and The Simpsons added their two cents by dubbing Branson “Las Vegas if it was run by Ned Flanders” in a 1996 episode.

So why should you care about this “urban” oasis nestled in the Ozarks over 1,200 miles from the cosmopolitan world capital of New York City?  In addition to its role as a musical haven and breeding ground for colorful characters, Branson is also the setting for Todd Sklar’s new film Awful Nice, screening with us on Friday, August 9th on the rooftops of Industry City. A feature-length adaptation of Sklar’s 2012 short film “‘92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card,” Awful tells the story of two estranged brothers thrown together in the wake of their father’s death after they inherit a deteriorating lake house in – you guessed it –  Branson, MO. Opposite in every way – Jim, the responsible family man; Dave, the lovable loser – their ensuing story is a comic tour de force with a whole lot of heart (and a fist fight or two.)

Branson Comes To Brooklyn – Teaser from Steve Japan on Vimeo.

Since we can’t screen in Branson, we decided we’d bring the energy, the atmosphere, and the Midwestern flair to all you folks by hosting a Branson Jubilee right here in Brooklyn! We’re transforming a warehouse into a bona fide country grandstand with free beer and bourbon cocktails inspired by the movie as well as  Branson’s own Oakwood Boys emceeing and performing live! So come out on 8/9 to Industry City (220 36th St in Sunset Park, Brooklyn) for the midwestern celebration you won’t want to miss! Music starts at 8, Movie at 9, and after-party at 11!

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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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