Rooftop Films announces 2022 Summer Series lineup

Rooftop Films announces 2022 Summer Series lineupPublished: May 2, 2022photo: Maike Schulz

After two years of truncated programming due to the pandemic, Rooftop Films will be back in force for its 2022 Summer series, with movie screenings and live music performances on rooftops and outdoor spaces across NYC.

“Inspired by the resilience of our fellow New Yorkers as well as the independent filmmaking community, Rooftop Films has persevered, presenting hundreds of outdoor screenings of all types over the last two years,” said Dan Nuxoll, President of Rooftop Films. “This summer, Rooftop Films is excited to return to its roots: championing the amazing work of emerging filmmakers at immersive in-person screenings in unforgettable locations, presenting vibrant Q&As and panel discussions, pairing thrilling live performances with the movies, and throwing festive film parties in communities all across NYC. It has been a complicated time to make and present movies, which makes these impressive films–most of which were made by first-time feature filmmakers–that much more inspiring.”

The 2022 Rooftop Films slate includes NY premieres of recent festival favorites like: Adrien Murray’s Retrograde, Andrew Semans’ Resurrection, John Patton Ford’s Emily the Criminal, James Morosini’s SXSW winner I Love My Dad, Chloe Okuno’s Watcher, Sierra Pettengill’s Riotsville, USA, and Slamdance winner Hannah Ha Ha preceded by a live musical performance by lead actress Hannah Lee Thompson, and more. There's also Saul Williams' sci-fi musical, Neptune Frost.

As usual, Rooftop Films officially kicks off its 2022 season with "This is What We Mean By Short Films" on May 20 at Green Wood Cemetery with live music from J Hoard and The Timeless Torches.

Before that, there is a special "pre-summer Sneak preview event" on May 9 at Von King Park Amphitheatre featuring a screening of documentary Hold Your Fire with a Q&A to follow featuring director Stefan Forbes, producer Fab 5 Freddy, and special guests. That's free with RSVP.

Check out the initial 2022 Rooftop Films lineup below and head to their website for more info.

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2022 Rooftop Films Summer Series Programming
Additional films and programs to be announced soon

Feature Film Programs

May 9 – Special Pre-Summer Sneak Preview Event
Hold Your Fire
Von King Park Amphitheatre
(dir. Stefan Forbes I Documentary Feature I USA I 95 mins)
Brooklyn 1973. When Shu’aib Raheem and friends attempted to steal guns for self defense, sparking the longest hostage siege in NYPD history. The screening will take place in Von King Park in Bed-Stuy, just blocks from the location of the historic events depicted in the film. Following the screening we will present a conversation with filmmaker Stefan Forbes, producer Fab 5 Freddy, and special guests.
Courtesy of IFC Films and AMC Networks

May 25
Watcher
Industry City
(dir. Chloe Okuno | Fiction Feature | USA | 96 mins)
A woman moves into an apartment with her fiancé and is tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by someone in an adjacent building. Starring Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman.
New York Premiere
Courtesy of IFC Midnight

May 27
Neptune Frost
The Roof of the Old American Can Factory
(dir. Saul Williams & Anisia Uzeyman | Rwanda, USA | 105 mins)
Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a sci-fi punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. Co-directed with his partner, the Rwandan-born artist and cinematographer Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region's natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry.
Courtesy of Kino Lorber

June 3
The Janes
The Roof of the Old American Can Factory
(dir. Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes | Documentary Feature | 101 mins)
In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago. Seven women were arrested and charged. Using code names, blindfolds, and safe houses to protect their identities and their work, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves Jane. Facing off against the mafia, the church, and the state, the Janes exhibited unparalleled bravery and compassion for those most in need.
Courtesy of HBO Original Documentaries

June 18
Beba
The Roof of New Design High School
(dir. Rebecca Huntt | Documentary Feature | USA I 79 mins)
Beba is a poetic and raw coming of age tale, in which a young NYC born and bred Afro-Latina stares down trauma with unflinching courage.
Courtesy of Neon

June 24
The Sacred Spirit (Espíritu sagrado)
The Roof of the Old American Can Factory
(dir. Chema García Ibarra | Fiction Feature | Spain | 97 mins)
The uncanny and the unexpected combine to devastating effect in The Sacred Spirit, the
extraordinary debut feature from Chema Garcia Ibarra.
US Premiere
Presented in partnership with Festival Rizoma

June 25
Let the Little Light Shine
The Pier at Brooklyn Army Terminal
(dir. Kevin Shaw I Documentary Feature I USA I 86 mins)
A high-achieving elementary in Chicago’s expanding neighborhood is a lifeline for Black children, until gentrification threatens its closure
New York Premiere

June 29
Dos Estaciones
Fort Greene Park
(dir. Juan Pablo Gonzales | Fiction Feature | Mexico | 99 mins)
In the bucolic hills of the Jalisco Highlands, iron-willed businesswoman María García fights the impending collapse of her tequila factory.

July 15
The Sea Ahead
The Roof of the Old American Can Factory
(dir. Ely Dagher I Fiction Feature I France, Lebanon, Belgium, USA I 115 mins)
Jana suddenly returns to Beirut after a long absence. She finds herself reconnecting with the familiar yet strange life she had once left.
US Premiere

July 21
We Met in Virtual Reality
The Roof of the Old American Can Factory
(Joe Hunting | Documentary Feature | United Kingdom | 91 mins)
Filmed entirely inside the world of VR, this verité documentary captures the excitement and surprising intimacy of a burgeoning cultural movement, demonstrating the power of online connection in an isolated world.

July 22
Memoria
Green-Wood Cemetery
(dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Fiction Feature | Columbia | 136 mins)
After hearing a loud ‘bang’ at daybreak, a Scottish woman begins experiencing a mysterious sensory syndrome while traversing the jungles of Colombia.
Courtesy of Neon

July 23
A Love Song
Green-Wood Cemetery
(dir. Max Walker-Silverman | Fiction Feature | USA | 81 mins)
At a campground in the rural West, a woman waits alone for an old flame from her past to arrive, uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own.
Courtesy of Bleecker Street

July 30
I Didn’t See You There
The Pier at Brooklyn Army Terminal
(dir. Reid Davenport I Documentary Feature I USA I 76 mins)
A disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on spectacle, (in)visibility, and the corrosive legacy of the Freak Show.
New York Premiere

July 30
I Love My Dad
The Roof of New Design High School
(dir. James Morosini | Fiction Feature | USA | 90 mins)
A hopelessly estranged father catfishes his son in an attempt to reconnect. Inspired by a true story. Like, this literally happened to me.
New York Premiere
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

August 3
Mija
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage
(dir. Isabel Castro | Documentary Feature | USA, Mexico | 88 mins)
An ambitious young music manager, Doris Muñoz, discovers singer Jacks and launches her career while bonding over having undocumented family.
Preceded by live musical performances by Silvana Estrada, Doris Muñoz, Jacks Haupt and special guests to be announced!
New York Premiere
Courtesy of Disney Original Documentary

August 11
Hannah Ha Ha
Brooklyn Commons
(dir. Jordan Tetewsky | Fiction Feature | USA | 75 mins)
A kindhearted townie living with her father is pulled in different directions by her brother who returns and imposes his lifestyle on the family.
New York Premiere

August 18
Retrograde
Brooklyn Commons
(dir. Adrian Murray | Fiction Feature | Canada | 74 mins)
A minor traffic citation spirals into an all-consuming obsession for a neurotic young woman.
New York Premiere

DATE AND VENUE TBA
Riotsville, USA
(Sierra Pettengill | Feature Documentary | USA | 91 mins)
Welcome to Riotsville, USA, a turning point in American history where the protest movements of the late 1960s came into conflict with increasingly militarized police departments. Focusing on unearthed military training footage of Army-built model towns called “Riotsvilles,” where military and police were trained to respond to civil disorder in the aftermath of the Kerner Commission created by President Lyndon B. Johnson, director Sierra Pettengill’s kaleidoscopic all-archival documentary reconstructs the formation of a national consciousness obsessed with maintaining law and order by any means necessary. Drawing insight from a time similar to our own, Riotsville, USA pulls focus on American institutional control and offers a compelling case that if the history of race in America rhymes, it is by design.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

DATE & VENUE TBA
Emily the Criminal
(dir. John Patton Ford I Fiction Feature I USA I 94 mins)
Faced with a series of dead-end job interviews, Emily soon finds herself seduced by the quick cash and thrills of black-market capitalism.
Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

DATE AND VENUE TBA
Resurrection
(dir. Andrew Semans I Fiction Feature I USA I 103 mins)
Margaret's life is in order. Everything is under control. That is, until David returns, carrying with him the horrors of Margaret's past. Starring Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth
New York Premiere
Courtesy of IFC Midnight

Short Film Programs 

May 20
This is What We Mean By Short Films (Opening Night)
Green-Wood Cemetery
Hi Strangers, It’s Been Awhile. For 26 years, Rooftop Films has celebrated the coming of summer with the best short films of the last year. Come party with us at the cemetery!

June 4
Love is Short (Films): Romantic Short Films
The Roof of New Design High School
Short films about people who swiped right and the sexy, disastrous, hilarious and unexpected circumstances that ensued

June 17
Cemetery Short Films
Green-Wood Cemetery
A bittersweet program about joy and sorrow, love and loss, celebration and mourning

July 1
New York Non-Fiction
Green-Wood Cemetery
It's Your City. Take a Look!

August 25
Rooftop Shots (Closing Night)
Green-Wood Cemetery
All good things must end before they begin again. Closing Night!