Rooftop Films Announces Opening Weekend of 2013 Summer Series

Rooftop Films at Open Road Rooftop - photo by Sarah Palmer

Rooftop Films at Open Road Rooftop – photo by Sarah Palmer

Our friends at Rooftop Films have announced the lineup for the opening weekend of their 17th Annual Summer Series.  They’ll be kicking off the summer season down here at the Open Road Rooftop at New Design High School (350 Grand St., formerly Seward Park High School) on Friday, May 10th with their beloved short film program, “This is What We Mean by Short Films.”

Rooftop Films Returns to Open Road Rooftop With Dark Toons and Kumaré

photo via

Rooftop Films has been showing films outdoors in some of the most stunning outdoor rooftop venues around NYC for the past 16 years. One of those rooftops is right here on Grand Street at Open Road Rooftop at New Design High School. If you weren’t able to attend the opening of Rooftop’s 16th Annual Summer Series two weeks ago, here’s another chance to experience ‘al fresco film watching’ in the heart of the LES.

Just in time to kick off Memorial Day weekend, Rooftop Films returns with two programs that will surely help get you into that ‘summer’s coming three-day weekend mood.’ Friday’s Dark Toons line up features eleven short films programmed to deliver an night of “enjoyably evil animation.” They note, “this year’s filmmakers use just about every trick in the book to conjure up their visual magic.” The band Softspot opens the evening with their hauntingly meditative music.

Rooftop Films Announces Summer Lineup

Open Road Rooftop via Rooftop Films

The popular independent film series, Rooftop Films, has announced it’s lineup for it’s 15th Annual Summer Series.  They will kick off their 15th season down on the Lower East Side at the Open Road Rooftop (formerly Seward Park High) on Grand St. on May 13th with an international short film series, “This is What We Mean by Short Films,” and May 14th with a world premier of the new black comedy, “Freeloader,” from New York based filmmaker Zachary Raines. Rooftop Films screens films on rooftops and various outdoor locations throughout the city every weekend through August 20th.

Special Screening Party for Rooftop Films, IndiWIRE and Snag Films’ Joint Birthday

Still from AARDVARK by Kitao Sakurai

Rooftop Films will be throwing a joint birthday party with indie film online companies indieWIRE and Snag Films this Thursday night, at the Open Road Rooftop, with a special preview screening of AARDVARK, the debut feature by Kitao SakuraiRooftop Films is turning 13 and indieWIRE is turning 14 (indieWIRE was acquired by documentary online hub, Snag Films in 2008).

Rooftop Films Back On The LES Tonight

Morgenrot150X115Rooftop Films is back on the LES tonight at the Open Road Rooftop at New Design High School (see our video about New Design Students here).  Tonight's films are a series of national and international short films in a collections called,"STORMS EXPECTED".  The shorts include themes around the unexpected. 350 Grand Street @ Essex // 8:00PM: Doors // 8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music by Summer People // 9:00PM: Films //
11:30PM – 1:00AM: Open Bar at Fontana's (105 Eldridge St), courtesy of
Radeberger beer //Tickets: $9

Videos from the Hood

Here are two recent videos in which the LES neighborhood is the star (or at least has a cameo).  They both, of course, tout clothing labels but they reflect the roots of the neighborhood skate and graffiti scene that has now become profitable for some.

We found this one on Animal and features a “Day in the Life” of skate legend Mark Gonzalez (shot for Four Star Clothing). He stops by the Open Road Rooftop, which we featured recently in our story about New Design High School.

We found this neighborhood vid at  Frank151.  It features the store Sneaktip (next to Frank’s Chop Shop)
and local Craig Hackey, who “gives the viewer a good little look into
the retail culture that Frank helped to pioneer in Downtown New York”.

Rooftop Films “Dark ‘Toons: Optical Illusions” at Open Road Rooftop Tonight

Part of the ongoing Rooftop Films series will feature animated shorts tonight at the Open Road Rooftop at 350 Grand Street. Program notes say these films "defy expectations and bring us images
that have never been seen before–kinetic visions that defy logic
yet seem to make sense to some dark corner of our subconscious."

Tix are still ONLY $9 and the open bar after party is still at Fontana's.  More about Rooftop Films here. More on tonight's show and to buy tix here.

Sneak Peak: Rooftop Films Summer Schedule

ImagesRooftop Films hasn't announced its summer schedule just yet, but we're pleased to provide a preview today. Yesterday we taped a really interesting interview with "Rooftop" founder Mark Elijah Rosenberg and the organization's program director, Daniel Nuxoll. We'll post that video next week. Meanwhile, they were nice enough to let us provide a sneak peak of their innovative summer series, which has a strong presence on the Lower East Side.

The series is about to begin its 13th year. From May 15-September 20, Rooftop Films will show dozens of independent films at venues all over the city, including the spectacular Open Road Rooftop at the New Design High School on Essex Street. Each evening begins with live music and, usually, a question and answer session with the filmmaker.

The series is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air. They showcase the undistributed works of local and emerging artists — and embrace stories about overlooked communities. The 2009 series will debut next Friday night on the Open Road Rooftop, with a series of short films. They'll be back in the neighborhood the following week with a series of romantic shorts – and five more times during May and June. Take a look at the May/June schedule by clicking on the "continue reading" link. The schedule for July-September will be released soon.