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Jun 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Collaborative Studio Preview in the Park + Party: Just To Get By

Public preview at the Farm on Kent. After-party at UnionDocs.

Over the past nine months, twelve fellows in the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio (CoLAB) have developed short documentaries for a new project entitled, JUST TO GET BY. This collection focuses on the creative solutions and exceptional sacrifices made ordinary at a time in NYC when, by many measures, inequality is increasing. Multiple perspectives on this central theme are considered: from health care and disability, to homelessness and the 24 hr service economy, from police brutality and the right to memorial after death, to access to the internet and support from spiritual communities. Examples have been found in people across the city who’s personal actions, both everyday and at times difficult imagine, enrich our shared social fabric and create new definitions of opportunity.

In recording and producing these stories, images, and sounds, CoLAB fellows have also been challenged to resist conventional approaches to the filmmaker-subject relationship, seeking modalities that might extend or complicate the idea of individual authorship. Some projects have involved adaptations of works by other artists and craftspeople outside of the group, while others have forged creative partnerships across perceived boundaries of generation, race or class. The resulting body of work grapples with the ideal of equality and realities of difference, in process as well as product.

To celebrate this new work, a special public preview will be held at The Farm on Kent (320 Kent Ave), a riverside green-space situated with an incredible view of the Williamsburg Bridge on Saturday June 4th starting at 8:30pm.

Stay tuned for updates to the timeline for the night! The programs will be preceded by festive drinks, food and performances followed by an after-party over at UnionDocs.


7:30pm – 8:15pm (closed Bar): Reception with complimentary beer from Lagunitas and food from Sazon Perez, suggested donation.

Featuring a performance by artists John Bjerklie, Matt Blackwell and others:

In an effort to paint a portrait of every person in the world by the end of the 21st century, Super Duper Pleinaire Painter “BigHat”, under the direction of John Bjerklie and with the help of Matt Blackwell and other visiting artists, will be painting in a LIVE on TV performance with the use of the “Portrait Painting Video Machine”, a device that operates through the alchemical mashup of analog surveillance cameras, shellac, TV monitors, paint and canvas.

8:15pm – 9:30pm (Sunset): Program 1 of short films from the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio

The program will be proceeded by two films from Brooklyn Prep High School Students, who created trailers as part of a six-week course on the basics of film production. They were introduced to the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and collaborative production using UnionDocs’ Living Los Sures project as a model. The resulting films are:

A Day in the Life of a Teenager in Southside (1:46min) by Cristina Figueroa, Mariana Garcia, Danielle Marshall, Elazia Skinner

Interviews with teenagers who either attend school or live in Williamsburg and their thoughts about the neighborhood.

9 Stops (3:06min) by Maribel Garcia and Nayelis Lopez

A personal film about the daily commute between Bushwick and Williamsburg and the differences between the neighborhoods.

9:30pm – 9:45pm: Break 

9:45pm – 10:45pm: Program 2 of short films from the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio

11:30pm – 4:00am: after-party at UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211

With DJ set by Stewey Decimal


The UnionDocs Collaborative Studio is a fellowship program for non-fiction media research and group production. It seeks to bring together individual talents, voices, and stories to create multi-dimensional documentaries. For the past 10 months, fellows have been immersed in research, idea generation, planning, recording, edits, critiques, and re-edits. Teams were formed around a set of select proposals, which all moved through the stages of production in tandem. In addition to this production work, fellows engage in masterclasses, seminars, and workshops on the history, theory and practice of documentary arts. Applications for the 2018 Collaborative Studio will closed in January.  

2016 Project Details


Alphabet on Air

In Alphabet City, a group of filmmakers began broadcasting podcasts from inside a tiny glass box.

Alphabet on Air is a cinematic collage of collective memory, of process and of the people who came.

Co-Directors: Carly Anne Kenneally & James Nguyen

Editor: Patrick Offenheiser

Co-Producers: Ann Chen, Carly-Anne Kenneally & James Nguyen

Broadcasters: Beata Calinska, Ann Chen, Sarah Jacobson, Carly-Anne Kenneally,

James Nguyen & Patrick Offenheiser


Featured artwork by:

Lori Der Hagopian

Luis Mitchell

John Bjerklie

Matt Blackwell

What Will You Leave Behind


The Big Party on the Other Side


“The Big Party on the Other Side” follows Rosalee Grable as she comes to terms with her impending death, while reflecting on her relationship with her family, her mental illness and her last wish, to be buried in New York City’s pauper cemetery, known as Hart Island.

Director: Jenny Catherall

Cinematographer: Livia Vonaesch

Additional Camera: Jenny Catherall

Editor: Carly Anne Kenneally

Additional Editing: Jenny Catherall

Sound: Jenny Catherall, Carly Anne Kenneally, Livia Vonaesch

Music: Fraser Campbell

Featuring an except from Rosalee Grable’s “Pages From the Book of Life”

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.21.36 AM

Coming Soon

A short visual essay exploring the geography of internet infrastructure in New York City, how it is charted and situated in our urban landscape as seen through the different people who build it, research it and use it.

Director: Ann Chen

Cinematography: James Nguyen, Ann Chen

Editor: Beata Calinska

Sound: Angel Urrutia, James Nguyen, Ann Chen

Music: Todd Brozman

Content Advisor & Illustrator: Ingrid Burrington

Adapted from Ingrid Burrington’s book and project “Seeing Networks in New York: a field guide to Internet infrastructure”

Have No Fear Film Still

Have No Fear

Led by founder and choreographer, Adia Whitaker, The Ase Dance Theatre Collective prepares a piece in New York City on police brutality, as a form of resistance, a way to empower their community and pass lessons of strength to their children through performance.

Co-directors: Beata Calinska & Sarah Jacobson in collaboration with Adia Whitaker

Director of Photography: Tracie Williams

2nd Camera Operator: James Nguyen

Sound and Editing: Sarah Jacobson, Beata Calinska

Additional Camera: Sarah Jacobson and Beata Calinska

Calinda Still

It’s All Academic

A black guy and a white guy who hate racism join forces to make a film together. As their relationship deepens and their cliche personas unravel, the film takes a life of its own.


Director, Writer: Jon Appel

Writer, Co-Director: James Calinda

Sound: Emile Klein

Camera: Angel Urrutia

Editor: Sarah Jacobson

Second Camera: Jenny Catherall



Love you Madly

Love you Madly is an experimental documentary film shaped by the encounters and conversations with Mr. Steve Cannon – a playwright, mentor, poet, and retired professor – who has been a fixture in the Lower East Side art scene since the 1960’s.

Director: Tracie Williams

Creative Consultant: Angel Urrutia

Producer: Carly Anne Kenneally

Sound Design: Emile Klein

Director of Animation: Jon Appel


Moved Every Way

Drifting through the boroughs of New York, a LGBTQ church, surviving on meager funds and with no place to call its own, holds itself together with labor and devotion. Moved Every Way reveals the work it takes for a church to survive and why its members refuse to let it disappear.

Direction: Emile Klein (Sound) – Patrick Offenheiser (DP)

Editing: Jon Appel

2nd Camera and Sound: Beata Calinska – Livia Vonaesch

Still Ray

Night Shift. Every Day!

Ray has not taken a night off in 43 years. His day is our night.

Sometimes Whitney and Arya come and help him in his 24-hours candy store. Why did it become a second home for them?

Audio-diaries will give us an intimate view of this micro-cosmos on Avenue A.

Director: Livia Vonaesch

Cinematographer: Livia Vonaesch

Second Camera: Jenny Catherall

Sound: Jenny Catherall, Emile B. Klein, Livia Vonaesch

Editor: Ann Chen

Music: Cam Scott

With support from:

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is a leading independent advocacy organization that inspires, educates, and empowers New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of their city. This year, MAS welcomes you to join Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100, a celebration dedicated to legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs on the 100th anniversary of her birth.


Jun 4, 2016
7:30 pm – 4:00 am

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