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Rooftop Films starts outdoor movie season with cemetery party

You might be cuddling with a ghost at Rooftop Films' dramatic welcoming party for its 2018 Summer Series at Green-Wood Cemetery.
Rooftop Films is throwing a spooky welcome for its 2018 season at Green-Wood Cemetery.
Rooftop Films is throwing a spooky welcome for its 2018 season at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Summer is blockbuster movie season, but Rooftop Films has been broadening our cinema education with the essential indies, documentaries and shorts for 22 years. Not only that, they do it in the coolest settings, from Brooklyn’s Old American Can Factory and the lawn at Industry City to the American Museum of Natural History and the terrace at Williamsburg’s trendy William Vale Hotel.  

For 2018, they’re upping the cool and spook factors by raising the curtain on their Summer Series with This Is What We Mean By Short Films at Green-Wood Cemetery on May 19. The short film series on the first night of Rooftop Films always has the same theme, and it’s especially fitting for Green-Wood: new beginnings, created by filmmakers who push technical and artistic boundaries with their storytelling.

Among the roster of new short films from around the world will be the very appropriate “The Burden,” by Rooftop Filmmakers Fund grantee Niki Lindroth Von Bahr, about how the apocalypse can be a chance to free yourself and live a new life (yes, it’s dark humor, but she does have a point).

Like all Rooftop Films screenings, your night at New York’s oldest graveyard, whose permanent artists-in-residence include “West Side Story” writer Leonard Bernstein and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, begins with live music at 8:30 p.m. And once your world view has been thoroughly adjusted — what does it say about us that the apocalypse doesn’t sound so terrible? — stay for the after-party with drinks by Freixenet and Ketel One vodka. 

Tickets are $16 and on sale now, and if you want to be the first to know about all Rooftop Film events — not to mention getting free and discounted tickets all season, access to special events and priority entry to screenings — it’s just $40 to become a member.

And if you just can’t get enough of cemetery parties, Rooftop Films will also be holding its New York Non-Fiction short film series at Green-Wood on June 30.