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Romance at Rooftop Films in New York!


Spike Jonze "I'm Here" was one of the shorts screened in the recent Rooftop Films Program

Spike Jonze I'm Here was one of the shorts screened in the recent Rooftop Films Program

Balmy and breezy early spring nights in New York City are best spent outside, which is why I was glad that I got to spend my most recent Friday night as a guest at Rooftop Films. In its 14th year showcasing the best in exciting cinema in New York City, the non-profit organization’s yearly Summer Series aims to engage the diverse communities of the city in nurturing the vibrant independent filmmaking scene. This particular Friday, the team at Rooftop Films put together a selection of short films dedicated to exploring the idea of romance, entitled “Hopelessly Devoted”.

Oktopadi, a humorous romantic animated short.

Oktapodi, a humorous romantic animated short.

The night began with a six-flight stair climb to the top of the New Design High School, on the Lower East Side. A high school catering to the artistically inclined, the rooftop was the perfect ambiance for the screening, as the walls are covered in graffiti. We piled in to a full house, with three large projection screens set up. Although my date and I weren’t able to grab a folding chair (or any of the free Vitamin Water for that matter), we cozied up on the concrete floor and enjoyed the tunes of opening band Frances.

Animated shorts were a part of the program as well.

Animated shorts were a part of the program as well.

However, it was the after-tunage, that really drove the idea of “Hopelessly Devoted” home! Post performance, Program Director Mark Elijah Rosenberg took to the stage for what I believed to be your standard program-intro. Standard it was not, because MARK PROPOSED! That’s right!!! There was not a dry female eye in the house as Mark propsed to his girlfriend Stephanie (a member of Frances) and pulled out a ring! Of course she said yes, amid the “oooohs” and “ahhhhs” from the crowd. Even my date, who is not much of a romantic, couldn’t help but utter a “that was pretty damn sweet”.

Obviously Child was an awkwardly charming short directed by Brooklyn local Gillian Robespierre.

Obvious Child was an awkwardly charming short directed by Brooklyn local Gillian Robespierre.

The rest of the evening was smooth sailing, with the best shorts (in my date and I’s opinions) bookending the evening–the animated Oktopodi, directed by Julien Bocabeille, and I’m Here, which I’ve raved about in the past. The films were carefully selected to showcase love of all sorts, from same-sex love, to kissing cousin love, to accidental pregnancy love. Love comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and Rooftop Films’ “Hopelessly Devoted” program reminded us of just that!

Rooftop Films will be hosting nights of cinematic mayhem throughout the summer that you can enjoy, with or without a date on hand! Check out the Rooftop Films Website for a schedule of summer screenings, and remember that all screenings benefit independent filmmakers and student filmmakers!

Graphics courtesy of Phaymiss.

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One Response to “Romance at Rooftop Films in New York!”

  1. Wow, I love seeing (yes) proposals and all of the films sound fantastically cute!

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