By Invitation In 2017
In partnership with The Pocantico Center of The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, UnionDocs hosts a two-week Editing Retreat to support short or feature-length documentary films at any stage of the editing process. The retreat offers the opportunity to two collaborative teams (director-and-editor team or co-directors) to carve out time and space without everyday distractions to fully concentrate on editing. This opportunity to work intentionally for a two week retreat can help teams achieve a level of focus and creativity that will advance a project a great distance in a short period of time. The UnionDocs Editing Retreat at The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and UnionDocs, with editing equipment support from AbelCine.
The Editing Retreat takes place on the RBF Pocantico Historic Area among their manicured gardens, collections of fine art, and views of the Hudson River. For a period of two weeks, participants live and work in a house designed by Marcel Breuer for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. The Marcel Breuer House is equipped with four private bedrooms, three bathrooms, and team workspace.
Compliance with all rules for residency at the Pocantico Center and with UnionDocs mission is required.
In addition to lodging, Rockefeller Brothers Fund will provide approximately $125 per week for food. Participants choose their own food items and prepare the meals together as a group.
UnionDocs executive staff will be available for feedback and project consultations during the retreat.
UnionDocs Screening & Reception
To conclude the two week retreat, fellows will travel to UnionDocs in Brooklyn for a public reception to celebrate the work completed during the retreat.
In addition, as part of this Editing Retreat fellowship, each team will be offered a one-time use of UnionDocs’ screening space for a work-in-progress screening. The work-in-progress screening is subject to space availability and is available to book up to one year after the retreat.
About The Pocantico Center of The Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Pocantico Center is a venue for conferences and meetings on critical issues related to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s mission of advancing social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. The Pocantico Center also serves as a community resource and offers public access through a visitation program, lectures, and cultural events, as well as support to artists and arts organizations in the greater New York City area. The RBF’s stewardship of the Pocantico Historic Area includes overseeing the maintenance, care, conservation, and restoration of the historic buildings, gardens, and collections of decorative and fine art. Located 20 miles north of Manhattan in the Pocantico Historic Area, The Pocantico Center is managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Breuer House
The Breuer House, commissioned in 1948 for an exhibition to be displayed in the Museum of Modern Art’s garden, was architect Marcel Breuer’s vision of how the average American family could live in a well-designed, modern, expandable, and affordable home. His design influenced modern residential architecture with its use of glass, wood and natural stone, as well as by its use of distinct activity zones to define the interior and exterior spaces and the motion and flow of space. At the close of the exhibit, the house, which had been slated for demolition, was purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Mr. Rockefeller had it cut into four sections and driven upstate to Pocantico Hills, where it was reassembled as a guest house. From 1950 until 2007 the house was used by various family members. Today, the Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, administered and maintained by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and used for the Fund’s philanthropic and educational programs, which include residencies that support artists in their creative process.
AbelCine is a leading provider of products and services to the production, broadcast and new media industries. We help make technology easier for productions and content creators to understand, access and employ. AbelCine was established in 1989 as a film camera service and repair company by brothers Pete and Rich Abel. Today, this foundation in technical expertise and customer service remains at the very heart of everything we believe and everything we do. With a host of cohesive services, AbelCine offers the knowledge, experience and support that creatives need at all stages of production to achieve their vision – on time and within budget. AbelCine’s philosophy is that creative intent should always drive the choice of the technology. Staff is comprised of individuals with unique talents, technical experiences and skill sets who have real-world experience in both established and emerging formats.
Past Editing Retreat Fellows
2016 Fellow: Joseph Mangat (Philippines), Holy Crafts
Joseph Mangat director and editor of Holy Crafts is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He was born in Manila, Philippines and moved to San Diego when he was eight years old. He wrote, directed and edited multiple short films that garnered awards and screened at various festivals. He began making films during his undergraduate study at the University of California, San Diego where he was mentored by Professor and Avant-garde Filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin. He holds MA in TV, Film and New Media from San Diego State University. He won the Student Emmy Award for his 35mm short film, Exorcism, adapted based on an early work of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Eugene O’Neill. More recently he has produced and edited videos for Tribeca Film Institute and directed web spots for Ikea, Ogilvy and Mather and the Chicago Theological Seminary.
A documentary film that examines the peculiarities of religion, labor and capital intersecting in a Catholic goods factory in the Philippines. During 2015 Pope Francis visited the Philippines, a country where over 80 million devout Catholics reside. He briefly mentions the statue of sleeping Saint Joseph that he keeps by his bedside so that he can pray to it during difficult times often writing down his prayers and placing them underneath the statue hoping to dream about the answers. The statue was quickly mass produced and became highly sought after. The film follows the production of the statue and its transformation from secular to sacred while underlining the lives of the people that indirectly benefited from the Pope’s endorsement.
2016 Fellow: Camila Donoso (Santiago de Chile), Casa Roshell
Camila Donoso, from Santiago de Chile, co-directed (with Nicolás Videla) Naomi Campbel (2013), experimenting with the boundaries of documentary and fiction. The film received wide acclaim and screened at FICValdivia, CPH:DOX, BAFICI, Indielisboa, FICCI, IFF Göteborg, Distrital, La Habana’s film festival and DOK Leipzig, among others and received the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Documentary. Her second feature film Nona (2014), based on the delirious personality of her grandmother, participated in numerous labs such as 3 Puertos Cine by BAFICI BAL and FICValdivia, Riviera Maya FF’s RivieraLab and received support from TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund. Donoso shot Casa Roshell (in production) in Mexico, with a residence grant from AMEXCID, and is a co-production between Cine Tonalá and Interior XIII. She is founder of a nomad school of experimental film called Transfrontera, participating in Chile, Perú and Bolivia.
A documentary about a couple of transvestites, Roshell (51) and Liliana (43), who together run Casa Roshell, in Mexico City. Casa Roshell is a utopic place that serves as a hideout for men who seek to freely express their desire to present female. A small room with a stage receives guests with intimacy, among political performances and playbacks, conversations turn existential when frustrations and dreams come out. A duality of the genres and their reality as biological men. On their innate desires and the constant search of identity.
2016 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Alumni Fellows: Annie Berman (US) and André Valentim Almeida (Portugal), The Faithful
Annie Berman (Director/Producer of The Faithful) is a media artist living and working in New York City. Her background in photography and psychology inspires work about visual culture, religion, and the changing media landscape. Her films, videos, performances, and installations have shown internationally in galleries, festivals, universities, and conferences including the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight, Rooftop Films, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger Berlin, Kassel Hauptbahnhof, and the Rome Independent Film Festival where she was awarded the Best Experimental Film Prize. Past President of Women in Film and Video New England, and founder of Fish in the Hand Productions, her work has received support from the Puffin Foundation, Wave Farm, the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts, the Center for Independent Documentary, Signal Culture, and UnionDocs. Credits include Director of ‘Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D!,’ ‘Street Views’ and ‘Of Birds and Boundaries.’ She earned her MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College. Annie is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Andre Valentim Almeida (Editor of The Faithful) is an editor, filmmaker from Portugal and PHD candidate whose work has screened at MoMA, the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, and DocLisboa. His most recent film, The Quest of the Schooner Creoula, was awarded Best Film from the Doc Alliance, presented at Cannes. More importantly, Andre is a long-term collaborator, the rarest of types who shares a stylistic and thematic affinity with my own work and process. Together, we bring this film somewhere greater than either of us ever could alone.
The Faithful is a feature length essay film exploring the enduring phenomenon of three global icons: Elvis Presley, Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana. Launched by the discovery of a Pope lollipop for sale at the Vatican, the filmmaker embarks on what will become an obsessive 15-year journey to the annual memorials of these icons documenting the rites and rituals of their followers, in this meditation on fans, faith, and image. From the dawn of a new millennium to well into our digital era, the film traces our complex relation to the photographic image. What began as a voyeuristic encounter slowly envelops the filmmaker, the person behind the camera. She finds herself returning year after year to the annual rituals, making her own pilgrimage, obsessively collecting more and more footage.
The UnionDocs Editing Retreat at the Pocantico Center is made possible with the support of
All applications are to be submitted online.
To be considered complete, applications require
Stage of Project
Description of Goals
Names & Bios
Media Sample & Description
The opportunity is open to one team from the general public and one team from UnionDocs Collaborative Studio and Summer Documentary Intensive alumni.
Applicants who are enrolled in a degree program or whose film is part of a degree program as of the date of the application are ineligible.
Filmmakers not living in the USA are eligible to apply but keep in mind that travel costs will not be covered.
Editing for fiction films is not eligible. Only documentary and non-fiction at any stage or of any length.
By Invitation In 2017