Jesse Jams, courtesy of Lyle Bell

This is What We Mean by Short Films 2020

Part of Queens Drive-In
Thursday, August 27, 7:30 p.m.

Queens Drive-In, on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is located at 47-01 111th Street, Corona, New York 11368

With Andrew Wonder (The Great Fair) and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich (Spit on the Broom) in person

Life might be feeling long and difficult, but these films are short and offer the cure for what ails us all. For 24 years, Rooftop Films has been presenting our annual This is What We Mean by Short Films program, a collection of daring new bursts of brilliance from around the world that showcase the cinematic possibilities of short-form filmmaking. This year’s program is bursting with joyous musical valentines; cinematic explorations of erased Black histories; a queer, Indigenous mumblepunk take on the rock ‘n’ roll survival story; and the tragic tale of a pair of dinosaurs who fell in love. We’ll even present the world premiere of Andrew Wonder’s documentary The Great Fair on the grounds that once hosted history’s greatest World’s Fair! These mesmerizing short-film spectacles will transport us away from our troubles and into the ecstatic experiences of artists across the globe, all from the comfort of your own automobile.

And the People Could Fly
Dir. Roni Nicole Henderson-Day. US, 13 mins. And the People Could Fly will explore an 10 year old girl’s adventure in a parked ‘84 Bonneville. A gorgeous soundtrack unfolds as she pushes the heavy buttons on the car radio and waits on her Mama, Jeannie, to finish whatever business she has beyond the deep orange porch light. When the street grows too hectic for her, she ventures into the house of a gentrifying heroin dealer and discovers her power to truly awaken and transmute.

The Great Fair
Dirs. Andrew Wonder, Colleen Dodge. US, 8 mins. Blue ribbon bunnies, galloping porkers and ginormous pumpkins. Come one, come all through this kaleidoscopic journey of the people and places that make up this most beloved but quickly disappearing American tradition.

Jesse Jams
Dir. Trevor Anderson. Canada, 16 mins. A young Indigenous musician and his rock band bring mumblepunk to the Interstellar Rodeo. A rock ‘n’ roll survival story of a different stripe.

The Shawl
Dir. Sara Kiener. US, 7 mins. After years of long distance, a pair of big and beautiful boyfriends celebrates their reunion at a Stevie Nicks concert, where they share a brush with magic.

Something to Remember (Något Att Minnas)
Dir. Niki Lindroth von Bahr. Sweden, 5 mins. A lullaby before the great disaster. Two pigeons visit a zoo without animals, a snail measures his blood pressure at the doctors, in the CERN laboratory something has gone terribly wrong. Six moments from our time, like memories of the world we leave behind.

Spit on the Broom
Dir. Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich. US, 11 mins. Spit on the Broom is a film that is the result of two years of research in partnership with historic women’s group the United Order of Tents, a secret organization of black women founded on the underground railroad. Out of respect for the groups continued secrecy the film is structured around excerpts from the public record, newspaper articles related to the Tents from over the course of 100 years, and a visual tapestry of fable and myth as a way to introduce a history that remains secret.

Waiting For Sun
Dir. Zelene Pineda Suchilt. US, 3 mins. An ode to the art and music of El Barrio, this poetic film celebrates joy in the fear of displacement and the solidarity between friends DJ Bembona, poet Maria Fernanda, and filmmaker Zelene Pineda Suchilt.

Wong Ping's Fables 2
Dir. Wong Ping. China, US, 13 mins. Wong Ping’s Fables 2, comprises two back-to-back animations, each of which presents a fictional story with imaginary characters, communicating a moral lesson to the viewer. Jumping between the tales of a wealthy imprisoned cow and a con-joined triplet rabbit, Wong Ping’s Fables 2touches upon issues of greed, incarceration, digital consumerism, narcissism, and desire. Despite the vibrant and childlike aesthetic, the films address systemic issues that affect our contemporary daily lives. Ultimately, Wong Ping’s Fables 2 is a cynical and cuttingly wry source of insight into societal behavior. His unique visual language helps to diffuse the lewd and offbeat stories that explore the dark corners of human nature.

Tickets: Starting at $35 per car (up to 5 passengers per car). Members of the presenting organizations will receive a 15% discount. Order tickets online. Learn more about membership and join here. Doors will open each night around 7:30 p.m., events will begin at 8:30 p.m. and end by 11:00 p.m.

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