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ROOFTOP FILMS 2024 LINEUP: See The Indie Hits Coming To NYC This Summer

2024 Rooftop Films Lineup Announcement

Do any New Yorkers have plans this summer? How about chilling under the sun to some of this year’s hot new indie films?

Rooftop Films has just announced its lineup for its 2024 Summer Series, which will take place throughout NYC from May 17 through August 23 with over 40 events, featuring new independent feature films, short film programs, family screenings, and live performances.

One highlight of the series is Chris Nash’s slasher In A Violent Nature, which will have its NYC premiere on Governors Island on Saturday, May 18. The Sundance horror depicts the enigmatic resurrection, rampage, and retribution of an undead monster in a remote wilderness – through his perspective.

Searchlight Pictures will also be celebrating its 30th anniversary by screening many of its hits, including Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, and Summer of Soul.

“The 2024 Summer Series isn’t just a celebration of groundbreaking new cinema,” Rooftop Films’ Executive Director Adnaan Wasey said. “It’s also a catalyst for connecting communities and a critical platform for independent filmmakers. Each screening is crafted to be an unmissable event, and I’m excited to experience this lineup with audiences across New York City this summer!”

“Every film in our lineup is full of life and energy,” Maria Rhodes, Rooftop’s Senior Programmer, said. “From — among many others — the glorious terror of ‘In a Violent Nature’ on Governors Island, to the irresistible funk sounds of Swamp Dogg in Sunset Park, we’ve curated a season full of unforgettable cinematic experiences for all attendees, and we couldn’t be more excited for our 28th summer.”

Take a look at the lineup below, with synopses provided by the festival.

Feature Film Programs

In a Violent Nature

2024 | Chris Nash | US, Canada | 94 mins | New York Premiere
Saturday, May 18th @ Governors Island | Free with RSVP

When a locket is removed from a collapsed fire tower in the woods that entombs the rotting corpse of Johnny, a vengeful spirit spurred on by a horrific 60-year-old crime, his body is resurrected and he becomes hellbent on retrieving it. The undead golem hones in on the group of vacationing teens responsible for the theft and proceeds to methodically slaughter them one by one in his mission to get it back—along with anyone in his way. Courtesy of IFC Films and Shudder. Presented in partnership with Governors Island Arts. Opens exclusively in theaters on Friday May 31st.
RSVPs Available Now

War Game

2024 | Tony Gerber & Jesse Moss | US | 94 mins Thursday, May 30th @ The Old American Can Factory

A real-life political thriller set on January 6, 2025, War Game imagines a nationwide insurrection in which members of the US military defect to support the losing Presidential candidate, while the winning candidate and his advisors—played by an all-star roster of senior officials from the last five administrations—war games the crisis in the White House situation room. They have 6 hours to save democracy as the country teeters on the brink of civil war. Tickets Available Now

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint

2023 | Tomás Gómez Bustillo | Argentina, US | 84 mins
Tuesday, June 4th @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

In a tiny rural village in Argentina, Rita Lopez, a pious yet insatiably competitive woman, decides that staging a miracle could be her ticket to sainthood. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson as part of the Chinese and Spanish Language Film Series.
RSVPs Available Now

Swamp Dogg Gets His Pool Painted

2024 | Isaac Gale & Ryan Olson | US | 97 mins | New York Premiere
Thursday, July 11th @ Industry City

Swamp Dogg, alongside housemates Moogstar and Guitar Shorty transform his home into an artistic playground.
Tickets Available Now


2024 | Levan Akin | Sweden, Denmark, France, Turkey, Georgia | 106 mins Wednesday, July 17th @ Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District | Free with RSVP

Lia, a retired teacher living in Georgia, made a promise to find her long lost niece Tekla. The search takes her to Istanbul, a beautiful city that seems full of connections and possibilities. There she meets Evrim, a lawyer fighting for trans rights, and Tekla starts to feel closer than ever… Courtesy of MUBI. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher and the Meatpacking BID.
RSVPs Available Now

The Night Visitors

2023 | Michael Gitlin | US | 72 mins
Wednesday, July 24th @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

The Night Visitors is an experimental documentary that closely examines moths as organisms, as aesthetic beings, and as carriers of meaning. Screening presented as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Science on Screen® series. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson.

RSVPs Available Now


2024 | Natalie Rae & Angela Patton | US | 107 mins | New York Premiere
Thursday, August 8th @ Brooklyn Army Terminal | Free with RSVP

Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail. Courtesy of Netflix.
RSVPs Available Now

Three Promises

2024 | Yousef Srouji | Palestine, US, Lebanon | 61 mins
Wednesday, August 14th @ Brooklyn Commons Park | Free with RSVP

A mother films her family’s life while sheltering from Israel’s attacks during the Second Intifada in the West Bank. Her son revisits the past through this footage, delivering a heartbreaking portrait of the anguish of parents forced to choose between their children’s safety and the emotional upheaval of leaving home. Presented in Partnership with ArteEast’s Unpacking the Archive.
RSVPs Available Now

Look Into My Eyes

2024 | Lana Wilson | US | 108 mins | New York Premiere
Friday, August 16th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

A group of New York City psychics conduct deeply intimate readings for their clients, revealing a kaleidoscope of loneliness, connection, and healing. Courtesy of A24.
Tickets Available Now

Luther: Never Too Much

2024 | Dawn Porter | US | 100 mins
Saturday, September 21st @ Brower Park | Free with RSVP

Using a wealth of rarely seen archives, Luther Vandross tells his own story, with assistance from his closest friends and musical collaborators, including Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick, Valerie Simpson, and Roberta Flack. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Chi Ossé.
RSVPs Available Now

Seeking Mavis Beacon

2024 | Jazmin Renée Jones | US | 102 mins | New York Premiere
Date and Venue To Be Announced

One of the most influential Black women in technology is a figment of our collective imagination. Mavis Beacon was invented by the Co-Founder of Myspace to sell the world’s most popular typing software, but the real woman she was modeled after disappeared in 1995. Seeking Mavis Beacon poses critical questions regarding anthropomorphization and the consumption of marginalized bodies in the tech industry, while reimagining the legacy of a missing historical figure.
Tickets Coming Soon

Short Film Programs

This is What We Mean by Short Films: Opening Night 2024

Friday, May 17th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

Kick off the summer right with one of Rooftop’s biggest and best short film programs of the season! Tunnel through life with us, under the stars at Green-Wood Cemetery, and bathe in absurdist worlds made up of pennies, car washes, and personality tests. Watch as siblings’ bonds get tested and artists confront their self doubts in imagined gardens. Go on the journey with frazzled assistants and bubbly conspiracy theorists as they suck people down the drain with them. Each piece will show you exactly what we mean by short films.
Tickets Available Now

Cemetery Shorts

Saturday, June 8th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

When confronted with death, it’s difficult to know whether to look forward or think back—here, you can do both. Come for our annual gathering in Green-Wood Cemetery, where together we’ll dive into family drama at a funeral, carve into the meaning of life with a headstone sculptor, and hang out with nuns who just can’t wait to die. With this collection of short films, we’ll experience how death can bring heartbreak, humor, clarity, and sometimes, nothing at all. Screening presented as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Science on Screen® series.
Tickets Available Now

Vidas Vibrantes: Shorts en Español

Wednesday, June 12th @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

A program of our favorite international Spanish-language films highlighting community, family, and identity. The shorts in this year’s lineup explore the many complexities of these relationships, taking a darker outlook on the ties that bind. From hypnotic and strangely immersive portraits of place and memory and an unconventional memorial to a lost friend, to slightly twisted coming-of-age tales and a harrowing look at an unusual summer job, Vidas Vibrantes is a transportive study and celebration of Spanish-speaking communities around the world. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson as part of the Chinese and Spanish Language Film Series.
RSVPs Available Now

Queerly Beloved: Pride Shorts in the Park

Tuesday, June 25th @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

Dearly beloved, our Queerly Beloved program makes its grand return to Fort Greene Park! Come celebrate NYC PRIDE with a collection of our favorite new short films spotlighting the LGBTQIA+ community. This year’s lineup boldly explores the depth and breadth of queer people, spaces, and relationships in New York and beyond! Don’t miss these whimsical portraits of home and our evolving understandings of family; an unconventional musical about the pitfalls of casual dating; awkward and intimate accounts of burgeoning sexuality; and an unflinching fever dream exploration of sex, loneliness, the internet, and cat emojis. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson. RSVPs Available Now

Growing Pains: Coming-of-Age Stories

Friday, July 12th @ Jackie Robinson Playground | Free with RSVP

Adulthood is hard, but getting there can be even harder. This genre-spanning program showcases stories as deep and varied as adolescence itself. Whether saddling up for a rodeo competition, encountering ghosts in a new country, or racing around the city, these films feature familiar and fascinating stories about the challenges of growing up—and the resilience of those who do it. Come celebrate youth through all its complications, in the city and beyond. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson.
RSVPs Available Now

New York Non-Fiction

Friday, July 26th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

Get a closer look at the people and places that make New York the place we call home, through thick and thin. Escape the man-made horrors of Penn Station, explore one family’s history through the lens of baking, and clock in with an MTA worker—without having to deal with train delays. Join us for another nostalgic trip around the boroughs, and experience a portrait of chance encounters in the greatest city in the world.
Tickets Available Now

Rooftop Shots: Closing Night 2024

Friday, August 23rd @ Green-Wood Cemetery

Gather around, one more time, as we celebrate the innovative work of some of Rooftop’s favorite short filmmakers. As always, our Closing Night is full of wistful memories, longing moments, and devastating realizations. Reflect on launching rockets, sad love songs, existential travel, and bingo halls. Come to cry, stay to experience something profound, and dance all the emotions away with us in Green-Wood Cemetery. After all, all good things must come to an end…
Tickets Available Now

Dark Toons

Date and Venue To Be Announced | Free with RSVP

This year’s Dark Toons program is a showcase of all of the strange and twisted storytelling only animation can offer. Cross into new worlds, both beautiful and bleak, traversing the psychedelic hallucinations of a far-off hospital patient. Witness a whimsical nun’s reawakening, a love affair ripped to the bone, and spiral out with one man’s cursed act of selflessness. These animated shorts are sure to surprise and rattle you—you won’t want to miss them.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Genre in Translation

Date and Venue To Be Announced | Free with RSVP
Everyone remembers their first international film—and the realization that some of the most mind-blowing cinematic experiences were ready to be discovered at the click of a closed-captioning button. These six shorts from Asia to Latin America run the gamut of vampires, talking fish, girl gangs, and just plain stomach-churning tension, leaving you breathless as your heart nearly skips ahead of your reading comprehension. Thrilling and chilling, these genre highwire acts never get lost in translation.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Love is Strange: Romance Shorts

Date and Venue To Be Announced | Free with RSVP
Experience the heartfelt stories in our annual program of romantic short films, where each narrative explores the essence of falling in love—or something that vaguely resembles it. Witness as women react to the questionable relationship advice only a man could give, a marinara-flavored porn parody, and a punk-rock swan song for the hunky construction worker just outside our heroine’s window, join us for a cinematic journey celebrating the myriad forms of deep, dazzling, and sometimes all-too-fleeting romantic connections.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Poetic Portraits

Date and Venue To Be Announced

Join us for a beguiling night of docu-shorts that explore the depths of the human experience. Wade into the waters of Toni Morrison’s prolific prose, look behind the curtain of an emotional day at a medical center, and undergo a week-long boot camp for girls in Copenhagen. Dually immersive and challenging, let yourself fall in and out of the worlds depicted by these exceptionally poetic filmmakers.
Tickets Coming Soon

Short Films, Big City

Date and Venue To Be Announced | Free with RSVP
When thinking about the city we most times love, sometimes hate, everyone has a different story to tell. Come for films that find our communities in unexpected moments—whether it’s through pick-pocketing locals, a textual bond between neighbors, or a candy-colored haven for artists. Fact or fiction, these films brilliantly capture the ever-evolving ecosystem that is New York.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Trapped: Mind-Altering Shorts

Date and Venue To Be Announced

Trapped is back for another dose of staggering film madness! Microdose eight future cult classics featuring lightyears-spanning flatulence, mystical MLMs, a society of enslaved hamsters, and all manner of uncharted mental pathologies. Creepy dreamers and fame-seekers converge in a maelstrom of dually uproarious and dark delusions. Seek comfort in discomfort and stay open to all possibilities, and maybe you’ll make it out in one headspace.
Tickets Coming Soon

Special Events

Orphan Black: Echoes — Special NY Premiere Screening
2024 | 47 mins
Tuesday, June 11 @ Green-Wood Cemetery | Free with RSVP

Set in the near future, Orphan Black: Echoes takes a deep dive into the exploration of the scientific manipulation of human existence. It follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other’s lives and embark on a thrilling journey, unraveling the mystery of their identity and uncovering a wrenching story of love and betrayal. Presented in partnership with AMC Networks. RSVPs Coming Soon

Starring and executive produced by Krysten Ritter (Marvel’s Jessica JonesLove and Death), the ten-episode, highly-anticipated Orphan Black: Echoes premieres Sunday, June 23 at 10pm ET/PT on AMC, AMC+ and BBC AMERICA.


This summer, Rooftop Films will present four beloved and acclaimed titles from the 30-year history of Searchlight Pictures: 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite on the roof of New Design High School in the Lower East Side, a screening of the 2021 Academy Award-winning documentary Summer of Soul in Crown Heights’ Brower Park, 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine at a to-be-announced venue, and 1998’s Slums of Beverly Hills at Tompkins Square Park.

Napoleon Dynamite: 20th Anniversary Celebration
2004 | Jared Hess | US | 96 mins
Friday, May 24 @ New Design High School | Free with RSVP

Searchlight Pictures and Rooftop Films present a special 20th anniversary celebration of the cult classic debut by Jared Hess atop the roof of an NYC high school. From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). With a red ‘fro, his moon boots, and illegal government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. When his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for class president, it is Napoleon to the rescue to help him triumph over adversity. Presented as part of Searchlight Pictures 30th Anniversary Celebration. RSVPs Available Now

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

2021 | Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson | US | 118 mins
Saturday, June 15 @ Brower Park | Free with RSVP

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). Winner of the 2021 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. Presented as part of Searchlight Pictures 30th Anniversary Celebration, in partnership with New York City Council Member Chi Ossé.
RSVPs Available Now

Little Miss Sunshine

2006 | Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris | US | 101 mins
Date and Venue To Be Announced | Free with RSVP

Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette, Steve Carrell, Paul Dano and a riotously funny Alan Arkin star in this star-studded instant indie classic about the Hoovers, a mismatched family who pile into their VW Bus to embark on a highly eventful cross-country trip, determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant. Presented as part of Searchlight Pictures 30th Anniversary Celebration.

RSVPs Coming Soon

Slums of Beverly Hills

1998 | Tamara Jenkins | US | 91 mins
Date To Be Announced @ Tompkins Square Park | Free with RSVP
Natasha Lyonne gives a star-making performance in this hilarious and too-relatable cult classic indie about a lower-middle-class teenager struggling to cope living with her neurotic family of nomads on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. Presented as part of Searchlight Pictures 30th Anniversary Celebration.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Community Repertory Screenings

July Rhapsody

2002 | Ann Hui | Hong Kong | 103 mins | New 4K Restoration Tuesday, May 14th @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

Brimming with unspeakable serene beauty, July Rhapsody by Hong Kong’s director Ann Hui (A Simple Life) and scriptwriter Ivy Ho (Comrades: Almost a Love Story) is a profound and soothing tale about how one paddles through life’s chaos as many seemingly eternal inspiration sources of times, like the Yangtze river, quietly fade away. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson as part of the Chinese and Spanish Language Film Series. Weekly theatrical run starts on July 19th at Film Forum.

RSVPs Available Now

Happy Together

1997 | Wong Kar Wai | Hong Kong | 96 mins
Tuesday, May 21st @ Fort Greene Park | Free with RSVP

A couple takes a trip to Argentina in search of a new beginning, but instead finds themselves drifting even further apart. Presented in partnership with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson as part of the Chinese and Spanish Language Film Series.
RSVPs Available Now

Robot Dreams

2023 | Pablo Berger | Spain, France | 102 mins
Wednesday, May 22nd @ Corona Golf Playground | Free with RSVP

Dog lives in Manhattan and he’s tired of being alone. One day he decides to build himself a robot, a companion. Their friendship blossoms, until they become inseparable, to the rhythm of 80’s NYC. One summer night, Dog, with great sadness, is forced to abandon Robot at the beach. Will they ever meet again? Courtesy of NEON. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Francisco Moya.
RSVPs Available Now

One Hand Don’t Clap

1991 | Kavery Dutta Kaul | US | 92 mins
Tuesday, June 11th @ Louis Armstrong House Museum | Free with RSVP

One Hand Don’t Clap captures the vibrant story of calypso and the emergence of soca, through the eyes of two legendary artists, Lord Kitchener, the Grandmaster of the music and Calypso Rose, the first woman to break through in a traditionally male arena. Forging onscreen the connections between American communities and where families come from, the documentary leads audiences from New York recording studies to the awesome magic of Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago. Courtesy of Kino Lorber. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Francisco Moya. RSVPs Available Now

Roll Bounce

2005 | Malcolm D. Lee | US | 112 mins
Tuesday, August 6th @ Jackie Robinson Playground | Free with RSVP

1970s roller-skate jams fuel this coming-of-age comedy as a group of young friends head over to the Sweetwater Roller Rink, where they find their modest talents are – at first – no competition for the trick skaters who rule the rink. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson.
RSVPs Coming Soon

Bob Marley: One Love

2024 | Reinaldo Marcus Green | US | 107 mins

Saturday, August 17th @ Brower Park | Free with RSVP

Bob Marley: One Love celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. On the big screen for the first time, discover Bob’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music. Presented in partnership with New York City Council Member Chi Ossé.

RSVPs Available Now

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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