Rooftop Films is screening the documentary, "Battle for Brooklyn," directed by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, who were on our show yesterday. I had the chance to talk to Dan Nuxoll from Rooftop Films after the show and learned that Galinsky and Hawley are among a group of directors who Rooftop has worked with over the years. Another filmmaker who has had multiple films screened through Rooftop is Todd Rohal whose "The Catechism Cataclysm" is screening in the parking lot across the street from BAM later this month. He is often grouped in with the mumblecore movement. However you might feel about that movement or just the word mumblecore, the fact that one of the stars is Steve Little, who is hilarious in the TV show "Eastbound & Down," may demand that you suspend judgment.
Rooftop Films’ programming—from indie films to documentaries with social commentary—seems to be based in its homegrown roots. Begun in 1997 as a hobby, films were first screened on Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s East Village tenement building and later on the roof of Dan Nuxoll’s loft building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, which would become known as the McKibben lofts. Nuxoll told me that when he lived there he was one of only a few tenants with a landlord who didn’t care much about when they did there. Since then Williamsburg and adjacent neighborhoods like Bushwick and Greenpoint have become much more popular with young artists and hipsters.
Just as these neighborhoods have developed, Rooftop Films has also grown and matured, allowing its founders to work on it full time. Rosenberg and Nuxoll have made time to work on some of their own film projects. Rosenberg has a film going into production called "Ad Inexplorata," which was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Nuxoll told me about a documentary he’s been working on about Queens International Film Festival Director, "Marie Castaldo," who was charged with, among other things, third- and fourth-degree grand larceny in August 2010. One her victims was Rooftop, which led Nuxoll to uncover enough interesting information about her history for a film.
Check out Rooftop Films' website to get more information about their Summer Series, which runs into the latter half of August.