Rooftop Films series returns to New York for 22nd year

Cinemas News

New York’s 22nd annual Rooftop Films series will feature more than 45 outdoor screenings in more than a dozen spectacular outdoor venues, with live music, filmmaker appearances, and special enhanced screenings of new independent films from around the world.

The open-air festivities will kick off on Saturday, May 19, with “This Is What We Mean by Short Films,” a collection of innovative shorts from the past year, in the newest Rooftop Films venue, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The event will include live music from L’Rain.

The series will continue through August with screenings of several new films including Desiree Akhavan’s Sundance-winning The Miseducation of Cameron Post; Bart Layton’s true-crime heist movie American Animals; A24's Muay Thai prison drama A Prayer Before Dawn; the New York premiere of Suzi Yoonessi’s Unlovable, starring Charlene deGuzman and John Hawkes; Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud, starring Nick Offerman in his debut leading role; the U.S. premiere of Exit Music, a documentary celebration of the life of 28-year-old Ethan Rice as he faces terminal illness; and a special Rooftop Films members-only sneak preview screening of Carlos López Estrada’s Blindspotting, starring Daveed Diggs.

Over the years, Rooftop has screened all over the city, including Brooklyn's Coney Island, Sunset Park and William Vale Hotel, Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History, IFC Center and St. Bartholomew's Church, and Queens' Socrates Sculpture Park and Solar One.

This year, special activities include a special bring-your-dog sneak-preview of Slamdance-winning service-dog documentary Pick of the Litter; the LES all-girl skate crew, out in force, for a presentation of Crystal Moselle’s Sundance hit Skate Kitchen amidst the half-pipes of House of Vans; a performance by the Arkansas drag queens from Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s SXSW doc The Gospel of Eureka, and a NSFW performance following Gene Graham’s male erotic dancing documentary This One’s For the Ladies.

Green-Wood Cemetery events will include David and Nathan Zellner’s western Damsel, starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, on June 2, and the New York Non Fiction program, an annual collection of new short documentaries made by and about New Yorkers, on June 30.

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