The two filmmakers were honored with the Garbó NYC Feature Film Grants, which comes with a $15,000 cash prize. Hittman will use the money support her new film, “A,” and Lane will use it on her next project, an untitled film about religious activism.
Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and showcasing the work of New York City filmmakers and musicians. As part of its mission, Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, rents equipment at low-cost to artists and non-profits, and organizes film screenings. The group has backed some of the leading lights in independent film, among them Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Glory at Sea”), David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), Gillian Robespierre (“Obvious Child”), and Kitty Green (“Casting JonBenet”).
All told, Rooftop gave out 15 prizes or grants. The Rooftop Films Brigade Festival Publicity Grant will be awarded to Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher for an untitled project about LGBT Christians in the American South. Other grantees include awards supporting the feature film debuts of Michael Tyburski and Elizabeth Lo, and the upcoming films by Theo Anthony and Joanna Arnow, whose “Bad at Dancing” was also supported by the organization.
Six of Rooftop’s previous grantees were just selected for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival: Robert Greene’s “Bisbee ’17,” Christina Choe’s “Nancy,” Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “Monsters and Men,” Marc Johnson’s “Ultraviolet,” Alexa Lim Haas’ “Aqua Viva,” and Niki Lindroth Von Bahr’s “The Burden.”
Hittman’s previous credits include 2013’s “It Felt Like Love,” a drama about a virginal young girl’s sexual exploration; and 2017’s “Beach Rats,” a coming-of-age drama about a teenager struggling with being gay. Her latest project will take her to the Western Pennsylvania to tell the story of a teenager struggling to find access to abortion services.
Lane has primarily worked in the documentary space. Her past works include “Our Nixon,” a portrait of Richard Nixon painted through the home videos of aides, and “Nuts!,” a look at a successful medical quack. Not much is known about her next film other than it focuses on a religious movement in modern American history.