Mark Elijah Rosenberg

Director/ Writer/ Editor/ Producer

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Mark Elijah Rosenberg is a film director, writer, editor and producer, and is the Founder and former Artistic Director of Rooftop Films. Mark’s feature film directorial debut, Approaching the Unknown, tells the story of a man alone on a one-way journey in space. The film stars Mark Strong and Luke Wilson and was theatrically distributed by Paramount Pictures in 2016, now available on iTunes and Amazon. The film was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and was given the NHK Screenwriting Award and the Indian Paintbrush Award. 

Mark directed, co-produced and created the story for Year Million, a six-hour fiction/documentary hybrid mini-series about the effects of technology on the future of humanity. The show aired on National Geographic in May 2017. 

Mark has shot, directed, and edited numerous short films, and was a producer-editor on the Emmy Award-winning WNYE television show IMNY. Mark co-produced Orbit (Film), an omnibus movie about our solar system, and directed the Mars film titled No Message Received

Born and raised in New York City, Mark received his BA from Vassar College and began making and showing movies on his roof in 1997 as the Founder and Artistic Director of Rooftop Films, a non-profit organization committed to building community through the medium of film.

Artist's Chosen Interview:
Approaching the Unknown": Filmmaker Mark Elijah Rosenberg on the Agony and Joy of Making Art

Artist's Work:

Inspirational Resources/Recommendations: 

  • Podcasts: Everything is Alive, Planet Money, Alice Isn’t Dead, Heavyweight, Mystery Show (RIP), Invisibilia, Limetown, Nocturne, The Nod, Uncivil, The Memory Palace 
  • Short Stories: One Story magazine  
  • Comic Books: 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, My Favorite Things Are Monsters, Y the Last Man 
  • Writers: Cesar Aira, Jesse Ball, Rebecca Solnit, Herman Melville, Samantha Hunt, Don Carpenter, Kelly Link, Ben Marcus, Zadie Smith, George Saunders, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, e. e. cummings, Mary Ruefle, David Markson (particularly Wittgenstein’s Mistress,) Nell Zink 
  • Music: Cecil Taylor, The Clash, The Mountain Goats, Big Thief, Japanther, June of 44, Le Tigre 
  • Artists: Julie Mehretu, Gerhardt Richter, Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois 
  • Television: The End of the F***ing World, The Americans, Rick and Morty, The Kids in the Hall, Fargo, The Wire 
  • Filmmakers: Denis Villeneuve, Claire Denis, Andrei Tarkovsky, The Dardenne Brothers, The Safdie Brothers, Debra Granik, Robert Bresson, Werner Herzog, Charlie Chaplin, Bill Morrison, Jean-Pierre Melville, Abbas Kiarostami, Bela Tarr, Chris Marker, Paul Schrader, Ken Loach (particularly “Kes”), Gus Van Sant (“Gerry”)  
  • Film Books: Robert Bresson’s Notes on Cinematography, Walter Murch's In The Blink of an Eye, Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies, Michael Shurtleff’s Audition
  • Other things that inspire me: My wife, my family, my dog, carnivorous plants, outer space and quantum physics, spicy food from around the world, baseball. I love baseball. 
  • Also, for my first feature (the one Sundance supported), I kept a list of inspirations on my website
  • Film InspirationsOne piece was an essay by a US Air Force pilot, and he emailed me to say thanks