Jun 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm
JUST TO GET BY: Preview in the Park & Party!
This is a community event free and open to the public!
We are so excited to share a sneak peek preview of work from the fellows in our 2017 Collaborative Studio program. These eight short films are part of the ongoing project, JUST TO GET BY, that focuses on creative solutions and exceptional sacrifices made ordinary at a time in NYC when, by many measures, inequality is increasing.
We are proud to present two programs of very strong work; one that enters on remarkable spaces of community and resistance, and another centered on unshakeable duos, odd couples, and partners in the struggle. To celebrate this new work, we will be gathering at nearby Lindsay (aka Sternberg Park Lorimer St & Boerum St, Brooklyn), on Saturday June 10th starting at 7:30pm for pre-screening festivities. Program 1 starts at sunset on the handball courts, while Program 2 kicks off at 11:00PM a few blocks away back at UnionDocs. Afterward party with us in the backyard with cheap drinks, a DJ set from Logan Takahashi (Teengirl Fantasy), and dancing all night. Swing by and say hello at any point in the night, but we recommend starting in the park – see you there!
Program I - AT THE PARK - 8:30PM
Into My Life
16 min., 2017
Co-Directors: Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, Grace Remington
Cassandra Bromfield grew up in Williamsburg’s Lindsay Park Housing Cooperative under the watchful gaze of her mother’s many cameras. Her mother’s keen photographic eye sought to capture daily existence in the housing complex as a way of proving the value of the lives that its inhabitants led and continue to lead. As she grew older, the camera was passed to Cassandra and the Bromfield’s archive was collaboratively assembled by the two women. Today, Cassandra lives in the same apartment in which she grew up and continues to engage with this audiovisual legacy by editing the super-8 films. She works as a fashion designer, a practice taught to her by her mother, which further embraces the idea these women held of fashioning one’s representation. This essay film uses Cassandra’s archive to place past and present in conversation with one another and discuss matriarchal heritage, self-definition, and community within this particular housing community and beyond.
Bubby & Them
20 min., 2017
Co-directors: Je’Jae Daniels & Davey Field
Co-editors: Daniel Goodman & Davey Field
Actors: Je’Jae Daniels & Razi Engelmayer
Assistant Directors: Rezarta Seferi, Daniel Goodman, Maya Yu Zhang
Composition: Samuel Lang Budin
Bubby & Them is a docufictional short video about the relationship between two liminal members of the Lower East Side Orthodox Jewish community: Je’Jae, a genderqueer college student, and Razi, their adoptive grandmother. The movie examines how the two femmes support each other in their struggles, share space, and create a chosen family.
Love & Labor
27 min., 2017
Co-Directors: Stephanie Andreou & Sarah Keeling
Producer: Adrián Gutiérrez
Cinematography: Victoria Catherine Chan
Following a long career creating art related to economic systems, Fran Ilich – an accomplished and internationally recognized writer, media artist and hacktivist – and Gabriela Ceja – an artist engaging with labor rights and union activism – find themselves in a small 1 bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Fran works part-time in retail to support them while she works with labor unions. They also rent out their living room on AirBnb to make extra income while spending as little money as possible so they don’t compromise their time to labor.
We see them working together while contemplating this city and how to penetrate a system that enslaves those who make it possible. What materializes between them is a shared vision which they work little-by-little to realize. Idealism, their love for each other and sacrifice make-up part of their everyday struggle. For both, love becomes an alternative to traditional forms of labor as they find a way to live in this city while supporting the causes they believe in
Connie and Corey
16 min., 2017
Director : Rezarta Seferi
Director of Photography: Ivana Hucikova
Editor : Adrian Gutiérrez
An unlikely relationship between Connie, an Italian-American caregiver in her mid-sixties, and Corey, an artist in his mid-twenties, who have chosen to live together in a small apartment in New York City, becomes a pseudo-familial bond that challenges traditional living arrangements.
Connie has lived in Williamsburg for 40 years. After her daughter moved out this past spring, she couldn’t afford to keep renting her place alone, so she put an ad on Craigslist. Corey, a recent fine arts graduate, responded to it and moved in right away.
Program II - AT UNIONDOCS - 11pm
TOTAL MODERN ELECTRICAL LIVING
15 min., 2017
Samuel Lang Budin - director, photographer, writer, editor, presenter
Sarah Keeling - additional camera and assistant editor
Rezarta Seferi - sound recordist/sound editor
Grace Remington - archival producer and production consultant
A narrated slide lecture detailing the author’s journey from Electchester, a union sponsored cooperative housing development in Pomonk, Queens (built on land that was once a golf course) to Bayberry Land in South Hampton, NY, once a resort and retreat owned and operated by the same labor union that built Electchester (and now a golf course), stopping along the way to assess the utopian ideals of said planned cooperative community, the technological optimism of Rene Shapshak, a sculptor who used to run the annual Spring Arts Festival at the co-op, the narrator’s youthful brushes with Pete Seeger and the labor movement, and the struggle that Joey, a third generation Electchester resident and union member, faces in deciding whether to continue to enjoy the stability the union offers or leave to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician.
What We Have Built
18 min., 2017
Co-Directors: Adrián Gutiérrez, Grace Remington
Sound: Daniel Goodman
An examination of notions of home, identity, and solidarity as articulated through members of a single Mexican hometown (remittances) association in New York City, the infrastructure projects they pursue in their town of origin in Mexico, and their lives in the United States.
10 min., 2017
Co-directors: Tuff Guts & Daniel Goodman
Producer and Assistant Director: Davey Field
Producer: Christopher Paul Harris
Creative Collaborators: Picture the Homeless
Acting Erratically is a term typically used by law enforcement to describe someone who is neurodivergent or in the midst of a mental health crisis.. This short film explores the connections between freedom of movement and state sanctioned violence in the lives of NYC-based women and gender-non-conforming people of color. We use found footage as metaphorical architecture to illustrate the history and connections between different practices and experiences of state violence for neurodivergent women of color. A narrative of resistance will be explored through acting and movement, re-appropriating the term Acting Erratically as a powerful and performative response to systemic oppression and police violence.
14 min., 2017
Director: Victoria Catherine Chan
Editor: Stephanie Andreou
Cinematography: Karoline Morwitzer
9:36 PM tells the story of sound artist Phill Niblock’s loft and the tight-knit artist community that revolves around this half-century old space. The 83 year-old minimalist composer lives, works and curates, with his artist partner Katherine, in this 4285 sq foot loft in New York’s SoHo. Phil and Katherine run Experimental Intermedia (E.I.), an art foundation that organizes experimental art performances in the loft and which was originally part of New York’s Fluxus scene. This film explores the resilience and resistance of Phill and Katherine, as they navigate this old way of organizing an art community and fighting to keep E.I. alive. 9:36 PM dives into the farfetched world they live in and a rare space – which seems like a time capsule – hosting artists young and old from around the globe to express their voices. The film seeks to capture a moment in time for this loft and its community that is on the verge of disappearing.
PARTY - AT UNIONDOCS - 12am
Stay and hang out at UnionDocs after the programs for drinks, and dancing. The backyard will be open, drinks will be cheap and we are excited to have Logan Takahashi spinning so we can all celebrate the hard work of the fellows from the Collaborative Studio on the dancefloor.
ABOUT THE UNIONDOCS COLLABORATIVE STUDIO
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 2019 Collaborative Studio open in January.
ABOUT JUST TO GET BY
This is the second year that the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio is focusing on the new multi-platform production JUST TO GET BY. This project highlights the creative solutions and difficult choices that individuals in NYC make everyday to survive the city, at a time when 50% of the population lives near or below the federal poverty level. The project brings attention to the difficult choices and resourceful solutions this underrepresented population must make in order to survive the city today. To access such stories, images, and sounds, fellows will pursue partnerships with local, low-income artists and craftspeople who have—so far—been unable to reach privileged networks of creation and distribution, often called ‘outsider artists.’
Through JUST TO GET BY, we are developing ways that the authorship of documentary can be shared with the subjects at the same time that fellows are encouraged to develop work across perceived boundaries of social class, age and race. Projects are not intended to be “outsider artist” biographies or portraits, rather each short documentary project produced will offer a different answer on what it takes “just to get by” and a different attempt to break with the conventions of documentary and address the problematics of representing people under the pressures of poverty.