Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grantees Find Success at Festivals and in Theaters

Rooftop Films is proud to announce the recent achievements of their Filmmakers’ Fund Grantees:

  • Lucy Walker’s short documentary The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’11) has been named among eight shortlisted contenders for the 84th Academy Awards’ best Documentary Short Subject category, of which three to five films will earn Oscar nominations.
  • After premiering with great acclaim at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Sean Durkin’s debut fiction feature Martha Marcy May Marlene (Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’10) was sold to Fox Searchlight Pictures for $2 million. The film made its New York Premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival, and will make its theatrical premiere this Friday, October, 21, 2011.
  • Melanie Shatzky and Brian M. Cassidy’s documentary feature The Patron Saints (Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’07) made its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Susan Youssef’s fiction feature Habibi (Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’04) made its World Premiere at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and its North American Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Ian Cheney’s documentary feature The City Dark (Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’09) has begun a successful theatrical run, hitting Boston, MA, Minneapolis, MN, Bellingham, WA, and Washington, DC, with more cities to follow.
  • Moon Molson’s fiction short Crazy Beats Strong Every Time (Rooftop Filmmaker’s Fund Grantee ’09) premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and played the 2011 Rooftop Films Summer Series along with many other festivals across the country.
  • Dustin Guy Defa’s fiction short Family Nightmare (Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’09) played the 2011 BAMCinemaFEST and the 2011 Rooftop Films Summer Series.
  • James M. Johnston’s fiction short Knife (Filmmakers’ Fund Grantee ’09) played at this year’s Sarasota Film Festival, Rooftop Summer Series, and many other festivals across the country.
  • Heidi Brandenburg and Matt Orzel’s feature documentary When Two Worlds Collide has received support from both Cinereach and the Sundance Institute.

Rooftop Films congratulates the grantees on all of their recent successes. Rooftop is excited to continue supporting the vital filmmaking of their alumni through the Filmmakers’ Fund. 

Rooftop Films not only exhibits films from around the world, they also collaborate with the filmmakers whose work we screen to help make new movies through the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund. At our annual festival, one dollar of every ticket sold is set aside for the future productions of filmmakers whose work we’ve screened. We also grant production services and mentorship by working with local partners Edgeworx Studios, Eastern Effects, and The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. 

Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and inspire the diverse communities of New York City by showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers and musicians. In addition to our Summer Series – which takes place in unique outdoor venues every weekend throughout the summer – Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, teaches media literacy and filmmaking to young people, rents equipment at low-cost to artists and non-profits, and produces new independent films. At Rooftop Films, we bring the underground outdoors. For more information and updates please visit our website at