This weekend join us for a reception and a preview of excerpts from the work at the UnionDocs Editing Retreat at the Pocantico Center of The Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Filmmakers Camila Donoso (Casa Roshell), Joseph Magnat (Holy Crafts), Annie Berman (The Faithful), and André Valentin Almeida (The Faithful) will be in attendance and show short excerpts of their progress from the retreat before a group reception with complimentary beer and wine.
Films & Filmmakers
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Annie Berman 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 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.