‘Zola’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Queens’ to Screen at New York’s Rooftop Films— Film News in Brief

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Rooftop Films Returns for 25th Anniversary Summer Series in NYC

Rooftop Films, the non-profit organization and film community celebrated as New York’s home for independent films, announced the return of their annual Rooftop Films Summer Series.

Among the films set to screen are Janicza Bravo’s “Zola,” presented by A24 on the lawn in Fort Greene Park, and “Once Upon a Time in Queens,” ESPN’s new series detailing the uniquely wild championship run of the 1986 Mets.

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Joshua Rofé’s “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal and Greed,” and Sally Aitken’s “Playing with Sharks,” are the documentaries will also screen when the series begins June 17 at Green-Wood Cemetery.

The screenings will follow all CDC and state guidelines which allow for more New Yorkers to gather safely for cultural events. The Rooftop Films Summer Series is presented by SundanceTV.

The Summer Series will run from June 17th through mid-September and will include more than 40 outdoor screenings featuring new independent feature films, short film programs, and episodic events. Programming highlights include:

Special screenings of new festival favorites from around the world will include Amalia Ulman’s “El Planeta,” Natalie Morales’ “Language Lessons,” Graham Mason’s “Inspector Ike,” Aneil Karia’s “Surge,” Todd Stephens’ “Swan Song” and Salomé Jashi’s “Taming the Garden.”

“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.”

Rooftop films also announced partnerships with iconic New York organizations to create new guest experiences.

‘A Week in Paradise’ Cast Announced

MSR Media announced that Malin Åkerman (“Watchmen”), Connie Nielsen (“Wonder Woman”), Philip Winchester (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) and Jack Donnelly (“Atlantis”) have been cast in the upcoming romantic comedy film “A Week in Paradise.”

The film will follow Maggie (Åkerman), a film star who escapes to a tropical hotel in Nevis after discovering her film director husband (Donnelly) got his new leading lady pregnant. After a week in paradise, she discovers herself and meets a new love interest (Winchester), but the outside world soon comes crashing back in.

“A Week in Paradise” is directed by Philippe Martinez, and will begin shooting this week on Nevis. Produced by MSR Media’s Martinez and Highfield Grange Studios’ Alan Latham, the film is executive produced by Lee Beasley and Karinne Behr from MSR Media, Alastair Burlingham and Charlie Dombek of Sherborne Media and Jacob Katsman.

‘Black Widow’ to Open with Expanded Aspect Ratio Exclusively in IMAX

IMAX announced that select scenes of Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” will debut on IMAX screens with an expanded aspect ratio. With 22 minutes of footage specially formatted for IMAX theatres, film fans can experience the film at 1.90:1 aspect ratio — showing up to 26% more of the onscreen image.

Aspect ratio is the technical term for the proportional relationship between an image’s width and height. While most films are presented in an aspect ratio called CinemaScope (2.40:1) which is why they appear very wide but not very high. IMAX provides filmmakers with the ability to use an expanded aspect ratio – allowing them to use more of the original image. Watching a film with an expanded aspect ratio provides audiences with a full immersive view that fills the peripheral vision more than any other cinematic experience.

Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. It will debut in IMAX theatres on July 9.

Filmhub Expands International Reach with rlaxx TV, PlayerPlus and Zuzu — EXCLUSIVE

Filmhub announced that it has closed three new international distribution deals with rlaxx TV (Germany), PlayerPlus (United Kingdom) and Zuzu (Canada). The deals will grant filmmakers further access to streaming services worldwide.

“One of the keys to monetizing film in today’s distribution landscape is being able to reach all streaming services as a filmmaker,” Filmhub CEO & co-founder Alan d’Escragnolle said in a statement. “These services are becoming increasingly fragmented worldwide as they each develop their own unique brand and audience. By partnering with these services, we can increase the likelihood of a film’s monetary success by bringing access to our filmmakers.”

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