The Diverse Filmmakers Alliance (DFA) will present two programs on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 at UnionDocs. DFA is a group of documentary, narrative, experimental, and transmedia filmmakers from diverse backgrounds who meet weekly to workshop their media projects. The alliance’s goal is to provide and receive feedback designed to make their media projects more fundable, more watchable, more entertaining, more educational and ready to meet their audience. The group meets once a week at the Women Make Movies office in Chelsea.The programs will feature work from their members along with former UnionDocs CoLab fellow Arisleyda Dilone and former UnDo programming intern, Melissa Saucedo.
Semiotics of Islam by Fouzia Najar (7 min)
Inspired by Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen, this film highlights the media’s role in Islamophobia.
To Germany, With Love by Desireena Almoradie (7 min)
n 1985, Kathleen lost her brother Eddie, an American soldier, at the hands of the Red Army Faction, a German leftist terrorist organization. Thirty years later, she seeks out the women convicted of his murder. This is a work-in-progress preview of the feature length documentary.
Small Delights by Hena Ashraf (13 minutes)
Small Delights is a short fiction film that centers on teenage Aziza, who is in the middle of figuring herself out. But one thing she does know is that she loves music.
Mami y Yo y Mi Gallito by Arisleyda Dilone (17 minutes)
In this personal short documentary, Aris and her mother sit down to discuss her intersex body for the first time.
Oya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa! by Seyi Adebanjo
Follow Seyi’s journey as a Queer Gender Non Conforming Nigerian as I connect with Òrì?à tradition (African God/dess) and the powerful legacy of my great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá ?l??ya.
The Tunnel Man by Katya Soldak (2 min)
A story of Bob Diamond and a mysterious forgotten tunnel underneath Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
I Said, Listen by Martyna Starosta (20 min)
Welcome to the bizarre land of language exorcism. It all began when Martyna signed up for an “accent reduction class.” What followed was an investigation into the American battlefield of language, identity and power. Her fundamental question was a political one: who has the authority to speak and to be listened to?
Desireena Almoradie is a queer immigrant filmmaker born in Manila and living in NYC since the age of 11. In her works, she explores collective history and the representation of marginalized communities, especially as it pertains to LGBT and people of color. A graduate of NYU’s film program and its Interactive Telecommunications Program, she was nominated for an Emmy in 2002 and won a GLAAD Media Award in 2009 for her work with the seminal LGBT television program In the Life on PBS. Her films and interactive video installations have shown at MIX NYC, Queens Museum of Art, and the British Film Institute, among other venues. Most recently she received an Artist As Activist travel and research grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for her work-in-progress documentary To Germany, With Love, which poses the question: Can an act of radical forgiveness create a more peaceful world?
Hena Ashraf is a filmmaker and artist. Hena’s roots are from the subcontinent, and she spent her early years in the U.K. before immigrating to America. At the University of Michigan, Hena concentrated in Film and Video Studies and Political Science. During her following 7 years in NYC, Hena worked for various media institutions such as Black Public Media and the Tribeca Film Institute, amongst others. Her films feature characters whose multiple identities characterize them as outsiders and who thus struggle to fit in. These themes have been developed from her own personal experiences as a young Muslim woman growing up in the U.K. and America. Small Delights (Best Emerging Filmmaker, Queens World Film Festival) is Hena’s second short fiction film that she wrote and directed, and features a young Muslim teenager struggling with her dreams and of belonging. Hena’s current material focuses on the largely untold intersectional experiences of queer Muslims
Arisleyda Dilone makes film work about her life and her family. Born in Santiago de Los de Caballeros, Dominican Republic, she spent her formative years in a hillside village outside of the city of Santiago. At the age of seven she was brought to New York and raised in a suburb of Long Island. As filmmaker, she was awarded a NALIP mentorship and she was a 2012 Jerome Foundation-Travel and Study Grant Fellow. Arisleyda was a 2014 UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and a 2015 Queer Art/Mentorship/Program Fellow, in which she completed her short film, Mami y Yo y Mi Gallito/Mom and Me and My Little Rooster (2015). Arisleyda is a member of Diverse Filmmakers Alliance and Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Seyi Adebanjo is a Queer gender-non-conforming Nigerian MFA artist. Seyi is a media artist who raises awareness around social issues through digital video, multimedia photography and writings. Seyi’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual and politics. Seyi Adebanjo has been an artist in resident with Allgo and exhibited at Leslie-Lohman Museum. Seyi has been a Queer/Art/Mentorship, The Laundromat Project, Maysles Institute, IFP and City Lore Documentary Fellow. Seyi is the recipient of the Best International Short Film Award, Pride of the Ocean LGBT Film Festival Award and Hunter College’s Dean of Arts & Science Master’s Thesis Support Grant. Seyi presented at NYU, UFVA Conference, AWP & Lambda Literary Foundation & Brazilian Queering Paradigms Conference. Seyi’s short Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles screened on PBS and at 17 festivals including Official Selection at the 28th BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival, Black Star and Al Jazeera America.
Katya Soldak is a New-York-based multimedia journalist. She’s working on a documentary about her family in Eastern Ukraine — where she was born and raised in the city of Kharkiv — and their lives in the post-Soviet country as it transitioned through two revolutions and eventually found itself at war with Russia. A Columbia School of Journalism alumna, Katya now works as an international editor for Forbes Magazine, having previously toiled in the world of documentary production.
Martyna Starosta is Polish-German documentary filmmaker. She is working on a short about the phenomenon of accent reduction classes in New York which examines language, communication and power. Martyna works as a video journalist at the Jewish Daily Forward. Prior to that she was a yearlong Video/TV News Production Fellow at the daily news hour Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Martyna graduated from the University of the Arts in Berlin and is currently pursuing her MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College.