When I first started Rooftop Films 22 years ago, it was just me and a few friends, working for free, because it was fun to do, because we thought filmmakers and audience members enjoyed it. I remember in those early years, when we were only doing a few events per year, when the audiences were relatively small, and most attendees were only separated by a few degrees. But soon Rooftop started to grow—to include people like you.
Maybe you are one of the audience members who came not knowing anyone, or anything about the films, just because you knew something exciting would happen. Or you are a volunteer who joined because you heard a dynamic kinship was being forged, and you wanted to be a part of it. Or maybe you’re a filmmaker who sent in your movies from around the world because we were gaining a reputation as an invigorating place to screen your work. My friends still came to shows, but Rooftop Films had become a network that is bigger than just them, a community that is bigger than me. Rooftop Films is your community.
It’s been a few years now since I’ve stepped away from Rooftop Films full-time, but it will always be a part of me. And if you’re reading this, I suspect Rooftop Films is a part of you, as well. You hang out with your friends at Rooftop, and explore new neighborhoods via Rooftop. You see amazing movies you wouldn’t otherwise see, or find an audience for a movie of your own. Maybe you’ve been coming to twenty shows a year for twenty years, or maybe you only came once, but surely Rooftop Films left a lasting impression on you. People often ask me if I’m sad to have stepped away, and yes, I am. But I’m also extremely proud that Rooftop continues without me. I’m thrilled that there are dedicated staff members and heroic volunteers who keep the spirit alive. I’m heartened that there’s people like you who support the wonderful mission of Rooftop Films.
Because these days, Rooftop is still a labor of love, but it’s also a functioning non-profit institution that needs funding to survive. You’re already a part of the community, and you always will be. But we need you to take that next step. Become a member via our Kickstarter campaign. Come hang out with us at our spectacular annual gala. Or just make a donation, of any size, to acknowledge your crucial part in all that Rooftop Films does. I’m honored to be a small part of this amazing thing called Rooftop Films. And I’d be honored to have you join me.
Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Founder and Director Emeritus