Rooftop Films, IndieWire and SnagFilms to celebrate anniversaries with sneak preview indie film screening and party


Scene from Aardvark
Scene from Aardvark

This Thursday, July 15th, Rooftop Films, IndieWIRE and SnagFilms will celebrate their birthdays with a special sneak preview screening of Aardvark, the debut feature film from noted cinematographer Kitao Sakurai.

Aardvark is perhaps the first narrative film to star a man blind since birth. In a role inspired by his own life, Larry Lewis plays a solitary man recovering from alcoholism and working towards stability. When he joins a Jiu Jitsu academy he finds a close friend in his young hard-partying instructor, Darren. But, as disturbing aspects of Darren’s life are revealed Larry soon finds himself alone and faced with unraveling the consequences of a horrific act of violence.

Since July 1996, IndieWIRE has been covering the business and art of indie film, becoming a mainstay in the global press and providing a crucial critical voice. Since July 1997, Rooftop Films has been attracting thousands of viewers to unique outdoor screenings of films that would otherwise go unseen, and supporting independent filmmakers through grants, partnerships, services and education. Since July 2008, SnagFilms has been finding the world’s most compelling documentaries and making them available to audiences world wide for free via the web, allowing other websites to easily “snag” a film and post it elsewhere.

This screening of Aardvark, the debut feature by Kitao Sakurai, represents so much of what the three organizations stand for: discovering emerging directors, supporting independent filmmakers, bringing new unseen films to audiences, building a community around cinema, and, of course, hosting great events. This unique event showcases Aardvark prior to its official U.S. and international festival premieres.

“Our organizations are all dedicated to giving exposure to exceptional independent films,” said Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Founder and Artistic Director of Rooftop Films. “Aardvark is the perfect film to celebrate this collective goal. Sakurai is a first-time filmmaker with a strong, distinctive vision who has crafted a thriller that transcends genre. Combining a tight plot with a disquieting mood, the film is suffused with a raw emotional power that immerses viewers in the psyche of a fascinating and wholly unique protagonist.”

The event will be held on top of the Open Road Rooftop on the Lower East Side. Before the movie, there will be live music by the film’s composer, Fall On Your Sword. After the screening, there will also be a Q&A with Kitao Sakurai and an after-party with free drinks courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner and Sailor Jerry Rum.

Open Road Rooftop
350 Grand Street at Essex (Lower East Side)

8:30 p.m.: Live music by Fall on Your Sword
9:00 p.m.: Film Screening
11:30 p.m.: After-party