Rooftop Films Kicks Off!

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Andrew CatauroPOV production assistant Andrew Catauro reports back from the 2009 Rooftop Films premiere in New York City.

I know it’s a few days after the fact (I definitely can’t keep up with blogger Brooklyn Vegan, who blogged about the event later that night) — but I want to write about what a great time I had at the Rooftop Films premiere in New York City for the summer season. A program of short films aptly titled “This Is What We Mean By Short Films” was projected high over the Lower East Side, on the roof of the New Design High School. One of my favorite new bands, Cymbals Eat Guitars, kicked off the evening with a short set. The sightlines were awful — with hundreds of people in attendance, my group was one of many who were stuck watching the band from around a corner — but the overall atmosphere was top-notch.

The first film of the evening was Beholder, a short doc by POV alum Eric Daniel Metzgar (The Chances of the World Changing, Life. Support. Music.), who was in the audience. Rooftop called it “A perfect opening film… crafted in our signature style… and investigating our home town.”

Eric Daniel Metzgar

Eric Daniel Metzgar at his POV filmmaker interview. Be sure to catch Eric’s full-length feature Life.Support.Music when it airs on POV in July.

I might be biased, but overall I felt the doc shorts in the program stood out. Ken Waldrop‘s The Herd was a particular highlight for me, as he returned to Rooftop after a couple of memorable showings last year.


If you’ve been to a Rooftop Films screening, you know the night is usually just getting started when everyone folds up their blankets and climbs down from the roof. Friday was no exception, as much of the audience headed to a party at Fontana’s. I’ll spare you the details of that event, but let it be known that I’m looking forward to a full summer of Rooftop Films screenings.

Take note of the POV films in their May-June lineup (below) and stay tuned for the announcement of their full summer schedule, at rooftopfilms.com!

Saturday, June 20
New Muslim Cool
(Jennifer Maytorena Taylor | San Francisco | 82 min.)
A Puerto Rican Muslim rapper fights oppression and finds peace in Pittsburgh.
Venue: On the roof of El Museo Del Barrio
Address: 1230 Fifth Ave. @ 104th St. (East Harlem)
Filmmaker and subjects will be in attendance.

Thursday, June 25
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
(Sarah and Emily Kunstler | Brooklyn, NY | 85 min.)
He might have been the most hated and most beloved lawyer in the world, but did anyone really know William Kunstler?
Venue: Outdoors across from BAM Cinematek
Address: Parking lot across from BAM @ Fulton and Ashland (Ft. Greene, Brooklyn)
Filmmakers will be in attendance.

Andrew Catauro
Andrew Catauro
Andrew Catauro is a former Series Producer at POV. While at POV, he served on editorial panels and presented at festivals and conferences including the Sundance Film Festival, Doc/It in Trento, Italy, and the Asian Documentary Forum in Kolkata, India; as well as juries for the Brooklyn Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and East Silver Market in Jihlava, Czech Republic. His studies in Italian Cinema earned him the Immersion Award from the Milan International Film Festival. Andrew previously worked for the New York AIDS Film Festival and assisted Alexandra Kerry on documentary films in development. He holds a dual bachelor's degree from the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. Andrew's favorite documentaries are: Dark Days - Marc Singer The Gleaners & I - Agnès Varda Silverlake Life: The View from Here - Peter Friedman & Tom Joslin Manufacturing Consent - Mark Achbar & Peter Wintonick Tongues Untied - Marlon Riggs American Dream - Barbara Kopple Family Portrait Sittings - Alfred Guzzetti In Search of Our Fathers - Marco Williams The Education of Shelby Knox - Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt Nobody's Business - Alan Berliner
  • Shelley

    FOREIGNID: 18274
    FOREIGNPARENTID:
    As a regular subscriber to the POV blog, I am delighted to read that you guys showed up at Rooftop! There’s nothing I appreciate more than discovering that the people I appreciate also appreciate other things that I appreciate. It’s just like the time I found out Krulwich loves The Wire. Or that other time you blogged about how Obama loves The Wire.
    The docs were definitely stand-out (the deer-cow!), but I really loved all the animated shorts as well. John and Karen and Ledo and Ix especially were understated in the most cleverly charming way! That polar bear’s facial expressions! Oh boy.
    Caveats: My foot fell asleep, and the afterparty was kind of lame. But I’m not one to enjoy those types of things anyways.
    But doesn’t a night like that just make you appreciate how lovely it is to live in NYC? Where else are you going to find cool movies in a SKATEPARK on the ROOF OF A SCHOOL with loads of babely people and bands that if you don’t like you can at least tell people you saw because they carry enough street cred to impress yr “friends” all for $9? Nowhere, probably.