Rooftop Films Brings Fest Favorites to NYC’s Great Outdoors This Summer

"Rotting in the Sun," "Earth Mama," "Kokomo City," "Dreamin' Wild," and many more round out the annual outdoor screening series' 2023 lineup.
A still from Rotting in the Sun
"Rotting in the Sun"
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It’s almost summer in the city, and you might as well rot in the sun with some of the year’s best indie films.

Rooftop Films, one of the longest-running outdoor showcases for indie films globally, has revealed its 2023 lineup, which IndieWire shares exclusively below.

Throughout New York City parks and outdoor landmarks, the Summer Series runs May 25 through August 24 with over 45 events featuring new independent feature films, short film programs, and live performances. Highlights include screenings of Bill Pohlad’s Donnie and Joe Emerson biopic “Dreamin’ Wild,” Savanah Leaf’s A24 drama “Earth Mama,” Eva Longoria’s directing debut “Flamin’ Hot,” and Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s “Bobi Wine: The People’s President.”

But you can also catch festival favorites like Sundance Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema) winner “Scrapper” from writer-director Charlotte Regan, Laura Moss’s horror entry “birth/rebirth,” D. Smith’s Sundance Award-winning trans documentary “Kokomo City,” and Sebastian Silva’s “Rotting in the Sun,” the queer industry satire starring Jordan Firstman that has remained curiously up for grabs distribution-wise since premiering at Sundance.

Free events include a Juneteenth Weekend homecoming screening of Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro’s “Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes” in Von King Park to help kick off a centennial celebration of the iconic jazz drummer, plus the New York premiere of “Kite Zo A,” featuring Haitian music performances in Brower Park in Bed Stuy. There’s also a New York premiere screening of Sacha Jenkins’ “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” presented in the backyard of Louis Armstrong House Museum, and the New York premiere of Aristotle Torres’ Bronx-set directorial debut “Story Ave” in Van Cortlandt Park.

Tickets for select upcoming screenings are on sale now via the Rooftop Films website, with additional dates and tickets to be released in the coming weeks. See the full lineup below. Additional titles will be announced soon.

Feature Film Programs

“The Arc of Oblivion” | Ian Cheney | US | 98 mins Tuesday, August 1 @ Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park

“Biosphere” | Mel Eslyn | US | 106 mins Tuesday, June 13 @ Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park

“birth/rebirth” | Laura Moss | US | 98 mins Saturday, August 12 @ Industry City

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” | Moses Bwayo & Christopher Sharp | UK | 114 mins Thursday, July 27 @ SummerStage Central Park

“The Deepest Breath” | Laura McGann | UK, Ireland | 108 mins Friday, July 7th @ Brooklyn Army Terminal

“Dreamin’ Wild” | Bill Pohlad | US | 110 mins Date and Venue To Be Announced

“Earth Mama” | Savanah Leaf | US, UK | 97 mins Wednesday, June 28th @ The Old American Can Factory

“Flamin’ Hot” | Eva Longoria | US | 98 mins Saturday, June 3 @ Brooklyn Army Terminal

“Going Varsity in Mariachi” | Alejandra Vasquez & Sam Osborn | US | 104 mins Saturday, August 5th @ Brooklyn Army Terminal

“Joonam” | Sierra Urich | US | 100 mins Thursday, July 27th @ Brooklyn Commons

“Kite Zo A: Leave the Bones” | Kaveh Nabatian | Canada, Haiti | 70 mins Saturday, August 19th @ Brower Park

“Kokomo City” | D. Smith | US | 73 mins Tuesday, July 25th @ Fort Greene Park

“The Last Year of Darkness” | Ben Mullinkosson | China, US | 95 mins Saturday, July 29th @ The Old American Can Factory

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” | 2023 | Sacha Jenkins | US | 106 mins Tuesday, May 30th @ Louis Armstrong House

“Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes” | 2023 | Sam Pollard, Ben Shapiro | US | 82 mins Saturday, June 17th @ Von King Park

“Natalia” I 2023 I Elizabeth Mirzaei I US I 86 mins Date and Venue To Be Announced

“Ramona” | Andrea Bagney | Spain | 80 mins Friday, June 30th @ The Old American Can Factory

“Rotting in the Sun” | Sebastián Silva | Mexico, US | 109 mins Date and Venue To Be Announced

“Scrapper” | Charlotte Regan | UK | 84 mins Friday, August 4th @ Old American Can Factory

“Story Ave” | Aristotle Torres | US | 94 mins Tuesday, August 8th @ Van Cortlandt Park

“The Stroll” | Kristen Lovell & Zackary Drucker | US | 84 mins Monday, June 5th @ Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District

“WHAM!” | Chris Smith | US | 90 mins Thursday, June 29th @ Industry City

“You Were My First Boyfriend” | Cecilia Aldarondo & Sarah Enid Hagey | US | 97 mins Wednesday, July 12th @ Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District

Short Film Programs

“This is What We Mean by Short Films: Opening Night 2023” Thursday, May 25th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

“Cemetery Shorts” Friday, June 16th @ Green-Wood Cemetery.

“Dangerous Docs” Date and Venue To Be Announced

“Dark Toons” Date to be announced @ Brooklyn Commons

“Love is Strange: Romance Shorts” Friday, June 23rd @ Green-Wood Cemetery

“New York Non-Fiction” Saturday, July 22nd @ Green-Wood Cemetery

“Queerly Beloved: Pride Shorts in the Park” Wednesday, June 21st @ Fort Greene Park

“Vidas Vibrantes: Shorts en Español “(Vibrant Lives: Spanish-Language Shorts) Wednesday, June 14th @ Fort Greene Park

“Trapped: Uncanny Thrillers” Date to be announced @ Brooklyn Commons

“Rooftop Shots: Closing Night 2023” Thursday, August 24th @ Green-Wood Cemetery

Free Community Screenings

“Beat Street” | 1984 | Stan Lathan | US | 105 mins Saturday, May 13 @ Restoration Plaza

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” | 2022 | Ryan Coogler | US | 161 mins Tuesday, June 20th @ Helen Marshall Playground

“Chungking Express” | 1994 | Wong Kar Wai | Hong Kong | 98 mins Wednesday, May 17th @ Fort Greene Park

“Encanto” | 2021 | Jared Bush & Byron Howard | US | 102 mins Wednesday, May 31st @ Louis Armstrong House

“In The Heights” | 2021 | Jon M. Chu | US | 143 mins Tuesday, June 13th @ Hinton Park

“Love Jones” | 1997 | Theodore Witcher | US | 108 mins Saturday, July 15th @ Restoration Plaza

“Minions: Rise of Gru” | 2022 | Kyle Balda | US | 87 mins Wednesday, June 7th @ Helen Marshall Playground

“Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado” | 2020 | Cristina Costantini & Kareem Tabsch | US | 96 mins

“Police Story 3: Supercop” | 1992 | Stanley Tong | Hong Kong | 91 mins Thursday, June 1st @ Fort Greene Park

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” | 2022 | Joel Crawford | US | 102 mins Tuesday, May 23rd @ Park of Americas

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