Meet the 2014 Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grantees!

Rooftop Films is pleased to introduce you to the 2014 Rooftop Filmmakers Fund Grantees – a group of talented, up and coming filmmakers who you should certainly be looking out for!

Every year, Rooftop Films extends support to independent filmmakers beyond film exhibition through the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grants. The Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund uses community and partner support to provide grants to filmmakers whose work has screened at Rooftop Films previously.

This year’s (first ever) Piper-Heidsieck Feature Film Grant, the largest cash grant awarded as part of the Rooftop Filmmakers Fund this year, was awarded to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night director Ana Lily Amirpour.

Selected for its grand and bold style of storytelling, Amirpour’s film is a highly twisted, unusual, romantic, and innovative movie set in a future dystopia. In a desert wasteland in Texas, a muscled cannibal breaks one important rule: don’t play with your food. The Bad Batch is a savage love story, like a psychedelic Road Warrior, inspired by films like El Topo and Wild at Heart. Shot in bold saturated hues and stylings of the ‘80’s & ‘90’s, the film will also feature a wicked techno & western-laced soundtrack.

The team from Champagne Piper-Heidsieck helped us raise a toast to Amirpour and The Bad Batch on Monday evening on the roof of John Jay College. Check out photos from the event here.

In total, fourteen different grants were awarded to Rooftop Films alumni in 2014, including grants supported by Eastern Effects, Edgeworx Studios, Technological Cinevideo Services, Domicile NYC, Downtown Community Television, and The Adrienne Shelley Foundation.

Check out the full list below, and make sure to watch out for these fantastic upcoming projects!

The 2014 Rooftop Filmmakers Fund Grantees:

Rooftop Films Piper-Heidsieck Feature Film Grant:

Ana Lily Amirpour, The Bad Batch
In a desert wasteland in Texas, a muscled cannibal breaks one important rule: don’t play with your food. The Bad Batch is a savage love story and a psychedelic Road Warrior, inspired by films like El Topo and Wild at Heart, and shot in bold saturated hues and stylings of the 80’s & 90’s, with a wicked techno & western-laced soundtrack.

Rooftop Films Technological Cinevideo Services Camera Grant:

Rachel Israel, Keep the Change
Based on Israel’s Columbia thesis short film, “Keep the Change” stars non-professional actors Brandon Polanksy and Samantha as two individuals with autism who fall in love. Polanksy stars as David, a man who tries to hide his high-functioning autism, but is nonetheless forced to attend a support group for people with disabilities. There he meets Elisofon’s character, a shy woman with autism.

Rooftop Films and Eastern Effects Equipment Grant:

Christina Choe, Nancy
Nancy, is a psychological drama about a 35-year old serial imposter who lives at home with her abusive, elderly mother. Desperate for love, she creates a fake blog and catfishes a lover, until her hoaxes cause epic and tragic consequences. NANCY will be Christina’s feature directorial debut.

Rooftop Films and Edgeworx Post-Production Grant:

Bernardo Britto, Jacqueline (Argentine)
Starring Camille Rutherford as a “25-year-old French Edward Snowden-type” who takes refuge in Argentina after leaking government secrets, Jacqueline (Argentine) is a live action feature film that will be shot from the perspective of a documentary crew she’s hired to trail her while awaiting the fallout.

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Feature Film Grant

Trey Shults, Krisha
Adapted from an award-winning short film of the same name, KRISHA tells the story of a multi-generational family that is gathering for Thanksgiving. Krisha has not seen her family for ten years, but when she decides to join her family for a holiday dinner, tensions escalate, and Krisha struggles to keep her demons at bay.

Rooftop Films / DCTV Equipment and Services Short Film Grant:

Frances Bodomo, Beatdown
Beatdown is a web series that follows a carefree black vigilante girl gang. Our protagonists skip school (“they’re not teaching our history anyways”) to loiter, chat, protect New York’s unprotected, and avenge the crimes that the NYPD won’t touch: from getting their hair petted to “columbusing” to gentrification. It begins as a series of vengeful (and comedic) wish fulfillments that grow bloodier and bloodier … until we start to question & complicate our discourse on brutality, power, female weakness, justice, etc. Beatdown asks the question: when the violence against us isn’t physical, how do we fight it?

Steven Girard, Floaters Dot Com
“Floaters Dot Com” is a half animated, half live-action short film about two men who work for a company that “collects” human beings. Floaters employees beam targeted civilians with a hallucinatory impulse to login to, where the victim is sucked into his/her computer and dragged through a slew of websites. After the victim’s deepest fantasies and worst nightmares come true, he/she is “ejected” from the computer’s drive as a Free Trial disk.

Rooftop Films Domicile NYC Sound Mix Grant:

Jarred Alterman and Ryan Scafuro, American Renaissance
AMERICAN RENAISSANCE is a short documentary that takes place at the largest outdoor Renaissance Faire in America. Knights, wizards, goths, fairies and demons all stood in front of our static lens and slowly, stories began to unfold… A family who chose to raise their 13-year-old son on the road. A Parisian expat, performing as a mime. A young woman who left the “real world” behind after the death of a close friend.

Rooftop Films and Adrienne Shelly Foundation Short Film Grant For Women:

Debra Granik, Second Act
Second Act is a documentary about inmate re-entry. Once released, felons often find themselves held apart from mainstream society, particularly in regards to employment. To survive, many turn to various forms of entrepreneurship. This film follows a man recently released from prison who is attempting to build his own business. In pursuing his dream, the subject of our documentary must navigate the transition from one lifestyle to another, negotiate a new and unfamiliar world, and wrestle with the question of who he is and what he wants.

Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Short Film Grant:

Joanna Arnow, Bad at Dancing
Bad At Dancing. A perpetual third wheel and awkward outsider, Joanna increasingly inserts herself into the relationship of her more charismatic roommate Eleanore. The two women test each other’s sexual and emotional boundaries in this surreal dark comedy.

Reka Bucsi, LOVE
An animated short film about love that will show love in three chapters: Longing, Love and Solitude. Haiku-like scenes will show different characters evolving along these states of emotions. The goal is to capture feelings through pictures and surreal situations which are undescribable by words.

Efren Hernandez, Ham Heads
Barry and Larry are the world’s oldest living conjoined twins. After retiring from the sideshow circuit, they move into their brother’s house. Barry is sick and he’s getting worse, Larry not far behind him. As their sickness develops, they take trips to the beach; they waltz together; they fight about the volume on their separate television sets. They look out of their living room window at their old-lady neighbor who drinks too much beer. They play games with their teenage nephew and Larry verbally harasses the doctor who checks up on them. They get visits from old friends and spend every moment of every day together. Whether it is good or bad, it is their life together.

Steven Girard, Floaters Dot Com

Frances Bodomo, Beatdown