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Photograph: Courtesy Maike Schulz

NYC summer tradition Rooftop Films is back for 2021!

They'll be premiering Janicza Bravo’s Zola, a new ESPN doc and more this summer

By
Will Gleason
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Rooftop Films is back for the summer!

Following hot on the heels of the return announcements of fellow beloved NYC summer traditions like Celebrate Brooklyn and SummerStage, Rooftop Films announced this week that they’d be returning for a full season of outdoor screenings beginning next week. (In fact, it’s the 25th anniversary season of the festival!)

The non-profit series is partnering with SundanceTV on this summer’s programming and the impressive line-up includes the New York premiere of Janicza Bravo’s Zola in Fort Greene Park, the world premiere of ESPN’s Once Upon a Time in Queens which follow the championship run of the 1986 Mets and the New York premieres of a number of eagerly anticipated documentaries like Joshua Rofé’s Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal and Greed, and Sally Aitken’s Playing with Sharks.

"Last year, Rooftop Films was able to create drive-in venues across New York City and present more than 150 outdoor events - but nothing replaces the experience of being seated together in a crowd, watching a film that transports us to another place and reminds us that we are very much not alone," said Dan Nuxoll, President of Rooftop Films. "As we selected the films for this year's Summer Series, we sought out bold new works that focus the beams of light shining through the darkness, capture the celebrations that became acts of resistance, and depict the happy accidents that only come about when we gather as one.”

This summer’s outdoor screenings will again feature a number of cultural draws on top of the films being shown like live music, immersive performances and filmmaker Q&As. This year, the series will be collaborating with Jazz at Lincoln Center to curate special musical performances before films at select events, including with the trio New Jazz Underground at the June 17 opening night event at Green-Wood Cemetery.

You can find more information on the full selection in this summer’s series here. Films will be shown this year at amazing spots across the city including Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn; Brookfield’s Metrotech CommonsFort Greene Park, in partnership with the Fort Greene Park ConservancyThe Old American Can Factory in Gowanus; the rooftops of The William Vale in Greenpoint; The Queens Drive-In in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, created by Rooftop in partnership with New York Hall of Science and Museum of the Moving Image; and the pier at The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park

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