Rooftop Films will present 5 free outdoor screenings as part of NYC Homecoming Week

August 5, 2021

Mockup of Rooftop Films’ Queens Drive-In, courtesy of Rooftop Films

In addition to five free concerts–four hip hop performances in the outer boroughs and one massive show in Central Park–New York City’s Homecoming Week will feature five free outdoor film screenings put on by Rooftop Films. Taking place in all five boroughs, the screenings range from documentaries about choreographer Alvin Ailey and Malcolm X/Muhammad Ali to a collection of short films and locally set television episodes. The events will take place from Monday, August 16 through Friday, August 20, and attendees are required to show proof of vaccination.

The lineup is as follows:

Walter Gladwin Park, Bronx
Monday, August 16
Director Jamila Wignot uses archival footage and interviews with those who intimately knew Alvin Ailey to “[trace] the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength, and unparalleled beauty.”

What We Do in the Shadows
Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island
Tuesday, August 17
Rooftop Films’ president Dan Nuxoll notes that Staten Island is the least-documented borough in film and television, but FX’s comedy series follows the exploits of vampire roommates in the borough. This screening will feature the season two finale and an exclusive sneak peek at the season three premiere.

Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali
Jackie Robinson Park, Manhattan 
Wednesday, August 18
Prior to premiering on Netflix, this will be the New York premiere of the documentary that tells the story of Malcolm X and Muhammed Ali’s unlikely friendship.

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn 
Thursday, August 19
Nuxoll noted how this film captures the importance of  “communal gathering in New York City’s parks.” The acclaimed documentary from Questlove is “part music film, part historical record” that visits for the first time the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969 in what is now Marcus Garvey Park.

New York Shorts
New York Hall of Science, Queens
Friday, August 20
As Nuxoll explains, short films have always been important to Rooftop Films, which is why it makes sense that they’re ending with this program of short films in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image at the location of the Queens Drive-In. The films “embody the collective fighting spirit of New York’s everyday heroes and showcases our communal courage and camaraderie.” Included will be the Queens-based season finale of the comedy series “How To with John Wilson.”

The film screenings are all free, but RSVP is required. Sign up here. Gates will open for each screening at 6:30 p.m., and films will begin at 8:30 p.m. Proof of vaccination is required for entry and must include at least one dose of an approved Covid-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Astrazeneca/Oxford.


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