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by Kate Gellene
December 19th, 2013

Meet the Sundance stars of tomorrow: Buy a Rooftop Films Membership today.

Though 2013 is not over just yet, 2014 is looking to be a great one for Rooftop alumni. Following the recent Sundance Film Festival announcements, we’re pleased to share that many of our alumni filmmakers will be heading to Park City in January! If you’re heading to the festival, be sure to make room in your schedule for these great projects. And for those of you staying home, we’re sure you’re going to here more about these films throughout the year!

We are proud to announce that quite a few Filmmakers Fund projects will be in the fest this year! Getting a film to Sundance is a goal for any indie filmmaker, so we are especially happy to see the projects we’ve backed being recognized. Our funding for these projects comes directly from ticket sales, so if you’ve been to a show in the past few years, you helped make this happen!

So keep your ear to the ground for these great projects:

The Notorious Mr. Bout / U.S.A., Russia (Directors: Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin, 2012 ROOFTOP FILMS & DCTV COLOR CORRECTION GRANT) — Viktor Bout was a war profiteer, an entrepreneur, an aviation tycoon, an arms dealer, and—strangest of all—a documentary filmmaker. The Notorious Mr. Bout is the ultimate rags-to-riches-to-prison memoir, documented by the last man you’d expect to be holding the camera. World Premiere

Obvious Child / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre, 2011 ROOFTOP FILMS & EASTERN EFFECTS EQUIPMENT GRANT) — An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind. World Premiere

The Obvious Child / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stephen Irwin, ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS’ FUND SHORT FILM GRANT) — Somebody broke the girl’s parents. The rabbit was there when it happened. It was an awful mess.

Blue Ruin / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Saulnier, 2012 ROOFTOP FILMS EQUIPMENT GRANT) — A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.

The Measure of All Things (Sam Green, yMusic, 2013 ROOFTOP FILMS / DCTV EQUIPMENT & SERVICES GRANT RECIPIENT FOR THE GREAT HEART OF HUMANITY) — The Measure of All Things is a live documentary featuring a series of portraits of record-holding people, places, and things. Inspired loosely by the Guinness Book of Records, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green and yMusic create a poem about fate, time, and the contours of the human experience.

Rat Pack Rat / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Todd Rohal, 2013 ROOFTOP FILMS & EASTERN EFFECTS EQUIPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT FOR SWEET CHEEKS) — A Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator, hired to visit a loyal Rat Pack fan, finds himself performing the last rites at the boy’s bedside.

The Lion’s Mouth Opens / U.S.A. (Director: Lucy Walker, 2011 ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS’ FUND SHORT FILM GRANT RECIPIENT FOR THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM) — A stunningly courageous young woman takes the boldest step imaginable, supported by her mother and loving friends.

Person to Person / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa, 2009 ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS’ FUND SHORT FILM GRANT RECIPIENT FOR FAMILY NIGHTMARE) — Waking up the morning after hosting a party, a man discovers a stranger passed out on his floor. He spends the rest of the day trying to convince her to leave.

The Bravest, the Boldest / U.S.A. (Director: Moon Molson, Screenwriters: Eric Fallen, Moon Molson, 2009 ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS’ FUND SHORT FILM GRANT RECIPIENT FOR CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME) — Two army casualty-notification officers arrive at the Harlem projects to deliver some news to Sayeeda Porter about her son serving in the war overseas. But whatever it is they have to say, Sayeeda ain’t willing to hear it.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, ROOFTOP FILMMAKERS’ FUND SHORT FILM GRANT  RECIPIENT FOR PART TIME JOBS) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.

Plus many more from Rooftop Films Alumni:

Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

Hellion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob’s delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts.

Happy Christmas / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) — After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.

Life Itself / U.S.A. (Director: Steve James) — Life Itself recounts the surprising and entertaining life of renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert. The film details his early days as a freewheeling bachelor and Pulitzer Prize winner, his famously contentious partnership with Gene Siskel, his life-altering marriage, and his brave and transcendent battle with cancer.

The Foxy Merkins / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Olnek, Screenwriters: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Madeleine Olnek) — Two lesbian hookers work the streets of New York. One is a down-on-her-luck newbie; the other is a beautiful—and straight—grifter who’s an expert on picking up women. Together they face bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, and each other in this prostitute buddy comedy. Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Alex Karpovsky, Susan Ziegler, Sally Sockwell, Deb Margolin.

Land Ho! / U.S.A., Iceland (Directors and screenwriters: Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz) — A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. This bawdy adventure is a throwback to 1980s road comedies, as well as a candid exploration of aging, loneliness, and friendship. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Nelson, Alice Olivia Clarke, Karrie Krouse, Elizabeth McKee, Emmsjé Gauti. World Premiere

Afronauts / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frances Bodomo) — On July 16th 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon. Inspired by true events.

Syndromeda / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Patrik Eklund) — Leif wakes up on the road—naked and bloody—with no memory of what has happened. No one believes him when he claims he was abducted by aliens.

Tim and Susan Have Matching Handguns / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Callander) — Love is swapping clips with your spouse in the middle of a three-gun problem.

Marilyn Myller / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Mikey Please) — Marilyn maketh. Marilyn taketh awayeth. Marilyn is trying really hard to create something good. For once, her expectation and reality are going to align. It will be epic. It will be tear-jerkingly profound. It will be perfect. Nothing can go wrong.

Catherine / U.S.A. (Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Screenwriters: Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate) —Catherine returns to work after a hiatus.

Jonathan’s Chest / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff) — Everything changes one night for Alex, a troubled teenager, when he is visited by a boy claiming to be his brother—who disappeared years earlier.

Mi nina mi vida / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Yan Giroux) — Jack and his giant stuffed bear move through the bustling crowds and noisy rides at an amusement park. In this strange world he can no longer relate to, he searches for a reason to smile.

Chapel Perilous / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matthew Lessner) — Levi Gold is paid an unexpected visit by Robin, a door-to-door salesman with nothing to sell. The ensuing encounter forces Levi to confront his true mystical calling, and the nature of reality itself. A metaphysical comedy trip-out with Sun Araw.

Choreography / U.S.A. (Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin) — Donkeys gaze at those who gaze at them.

Godka Cirka (A Hole in the Sky) / Spain, France, U.S.A. (Directors: Alex Lora, Antonio Tibaldi) — Young Alifa looks up at the Somali sky and thinks about her daily life as a shepherdess. She knows the day that will change her life forever is about to come.

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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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