Rooftop Films & The Fledgling Fund present No Impact Man

On June 11th, 2009 Rooftop Films and The Fledgling Fund will host a special community-engagement screening of No Impact Man, a documentary directed by Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein.
May 27, 2009 - PRLog -- A local family drama with global implications, the film follows the inspirational (and controversial) No Impact Man and family as they challenge themselves to make no environmental impact for one whole year. Rooftop Films and The Fledgling Fund invite you to join the challenge with an exciting carnival-like screening event.

The lawn of Automotive High School will host a celebration of environmentally-friendly activities, as Rooftop Films and The Fledgling Fund utilize the screening of No Impact Man to engage audience members in making environmentally-friendly lifestyle commitments . There will be information about local foods, opportunities to volunteer in local environmental projects, composting demonstrations, ideas about reusing old products, and a demonstration of biodiesel cars from the students of our hosts at Automotive High School. Audience members who make personal video pledges to change aspects of their lifestyles will be entered into a raffle to win various prizes. The Hungry March Band, New York’s legendary political street brass march band will help create a festive atmosphere as they perform in the anarchic style that has become their trademark.

Rooftop Films and the Fledgling Fund share a common goal: to generate social change through the medium of film. However, the power of film is only evident when it has an audience, and even excellent films often have trouble building an active network of viewers and supporters. Rooftop films creates unique and memorable screening events, events rooted in the value of community-building, events which shape people's awareness and stimulate action. Rooftop provide, for filmmakers and audiences alike, an immediate and engaged community, in a way that no other festival or screening can provide.

Rooftop’s events are more than just film screenings. All Rooftop shows include live music, a unique outdoor venue, a Q&A with the filmmaker or a panel discussion of the film. On top of that, Rooftop works closely with local groups to co-present events—past partners include The Center for Urban Pedagogy and Solar One—ensuring that there is interactivity, and relevant information available to the community. The goal of Rooftop Films screenings is to create an integrated event with connections between the film, the music, and the venue. By creating multi-faceted events, we forge a community between filmmakers, musicians, activists, the audience, and the neighborhoods where we screen.

“No Impact Man” is an endearing and riveting film that invites us to question our impact on the world around us. It challenges us by posing the question, "what can we do as individuals to combat the systematic collapse of our environment?" The film uses this query to guide an experiment in lifestyle redesign. Collin Beavan expounds on the subject in his book, No Impact Man (scheduled for publication in September 2009 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), as well as on his provocative environmental blog, Colin gathers lessons from his experiment and its aftermath to promote a more sustainable lifestyle, encouraging people around the country to make small and large changes and to participate as engaged citizens in their community.

Most everyone agrees that changes need to be made to save our environment. But most people think someone else should be making those changes. How many among us are willing to make changes in our lives? How much will these changes affect our lifestyles? Are these adaptations helpful? Is it possible that they could not only improve the environment, but our level of happiness as well?

Program Notes:
No Impact Man (Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein | New York, NY | | 90 min.)

Colin Beavan, a writer living in Manhattan with his wife and daughter, decided to find out what it means to live a “no impact” life.

For one year, Beavan becomes “No Impact Man,” attempting to live his normal life in New York City, without leaving an impact on the environment. No new products. No chemicals. No non-local food. No electricity. He sacrificed his personal comfort, risked his self-esteem, and even jeopardized his relationship with his family, all for this strange test.

The challenge is, of course, rather quixotic. Couldn’t Beavan simply reduce, reuse, recycle, like so many of us (try to) do? But his obsessiveness generates immediate, widespread attention for the project, generating acclaim and disdain, including detractors that range from dismissive major media outlets to mean-spirited personal attacks. Beavan is forced to re-examine No Impact Man, to question this idea that’s the driving force in his life. But will he renounce it?

The public scrutiny provides the intellectual spark for the film, but the tension between Colin and his wife Michelle Conlin is the emotional core of the film. Conlin lives like so many of us: proudly eating takeout, compulsively buying the latest products, taking for granted the excessive habits of consumerism. Sneaking an espresso here and there seems a minor offense, but the guilt from Colin is burdensome. I’m sure many of us think we could handle a year without chemical laundry detergent or new handbags, but what about a fly-infested compost bin in the kitchen, or a pot-within-a-pot refrigeration experiment? And what of her job at Business Week, examining (and in many ways promoting) the essence of the culture No Impact Man is critiquing?

No Impact Man will hit theaters in New York and beyond in September. Check for updates.

Venue: On the lawn of Automotive High School
Address: 50 Bedford Ave. @ North 13th St. (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location
7:00PM: Doors open
8:00PM: Sound Fix Records presents live music by The Hungry March Band
9:00PM: Film
11:30PM-1:00AM: After-party: Open Bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner
Tickets: $9 at the door or online at
Presented in partnership with: The Fledgling Fund, Cinereach, New York magazine, IndiePix, Shooting People, Council Member David Yassky & Automotive High School

Download the Rooftop Films online press kit here:

Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and inspire the diverse communities of New York City by showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers and musicians. In addition to our Summer Series – which takes place in unique outdoor venues every weekend throughout the summer – Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, teaches media literacy and filmmaking to young people, rents low-cost equipment to artists and non-profits, and produces new independent films. At Rooftop Films, we bring the underground outdoors. For more information and updates please visit our website at


The Fledgling Fund seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities by supporting innovative media projects that target entrenched social problems. The Fledgling Fund is interested in making strategic grants and investments that help fledgling projects take flight.  The fund looks for opportunities where funding can play a key role in the life of a creative media project that has the potential to ignite social change. Typically, these are grants at a critical stage of a media project where timely funding could amplify its social impact.

The Fledgling Fund leverages resources by funding projects around a cluster of critical issues, including: girls' empowerment and women's leadership, environmental sustainability, health, immigration, U.S. justice system, and systemic poverty, among others. In this way, they select media projects that not only highlight the complexity of these social problems but also offer solutions.

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Rooftop Films Summer Series: Independent films/live music every weekend, all summer, in outdoor locations in NYC. As a non-profit organization, Rooftop also provides grants, teaches filmmaking to young people, and rents low-cost equipment to artists.

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