Rooftop Hosts Fundraiser, Honors Filmmakers

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Wed, 01/25/2017 - 14:59 -- Nick Dager

Kirsten Johnson on location. Photo courtesy of Janus Films.Rooftop Films will host their first ever Gala on January 31 at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan to raise funds for Rooftop’s vital community programs as well as celebrate two gifted, creative and fearless artists who have made a contribution to the art of filmmaking this past year: Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson) and Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople).

Other attendees include filmmakers Joe Berlinger (Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru), Crystal Moselle (The Wolfpack), Vikram Ghandi (Barry), Marshall Curry (Point and Shoot), Reinaldo Marcus Green (Stop), Cara Cusumano (The Bloop), and Merete Mueller (Tiny).

The Gala will also include a live cinema performance by Academy-Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green and critically acclaimed animator Brent Green.

Kirsten Johnson has worked in the documentary field for 25 years and shot for over 60 directors as a cinematographer, including for acclaimed filmmakers Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, Gini Reticker, Raoul Peck, Amy Ziering, and Kirby Dick. She has followed people in conditions of war, poverty, and violence, during emergencies in hospitals as well as in the joys of unexpected victories.

She has filmed the subtleties and extremities of the range of human emotion. In her critically acclaimed 2016 feature Cameraperson, Johnson revisited footage from her quarter century tenure to engage with the questions of ethical dilemmas and unintended consequences in the filming process. The result was a formal and collaborative innovation that pushed the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking.

Taika Waititi’s career began with a bang when his short film, Two Cars, One Night, was nominated for an Academy Award. His following feature-length films have won awards at Berlinale, as well as the Maui, Sydney, Melbourne and AFI Film Festivals, with Boy becoming the highest grossing local film in New Zealand’s history.

Waititi is best known in America for his 2014 vampire mocumentary What We Do In The Shadows, and his latest feature, and 2016 Summer Series Selection Hunt for the Wilderpeople. On its opening weekend Wilderpeople took in 1.3 million dollars in New Zealand, more than half of which was taken in on that Saturday, making Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Saturday the highest grossing single day for a New Zealand film ever.

Waititi was tapped to direct the latest Avengers feature Thor: Ragnarok.

For more information about the event visit the Rooftop Films website