This session of DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS is about shooting and directing your next documentary. Filmmakers produce and shoot in a wide variety of locations under many different practical, financial, technical and legal constraints. What kind of equipment do you need? Who do you need on your production team? How do you deal with emergencies during shooting and how do you pick out a camera and DP? Should I be thinking of archival material in advance?
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Jun 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Documentary Fundamentals: Shooting and Directing
With Sara Jordenö, Gabriel Sedgwick, Christopher Waldorf & Naiti Gámez
Sara Jordenö is a NYC-based documentary filmmaker, visual artist, researcher and educator. Jordenö’s longitudinal projects often engage with communities who reside in the margins, focusing on their strategies of survival. In the process of making these works, Sara has collaborated with (and at times shared authorship with) sociologists, activists, community organizers and members of the communities that she investigates. Her feature documentary KIKI, which premiered in the US documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, has since been shown in over 60 festivals on five continents. KIKI, which was co-written with community leader Twiggy Pucci Garcon and produced by Story and Hard Working Movies, was awarded the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at Full Frame Documentary Festival, The German Queerscope Award and Outfest’s Emerging Talent Award, among other awards. KIKI was released theatrically in Sweden in the summer of 2016 by Folkets Bio and the US in the spring of 2017 by Sundance Selects/IFC. For KIKI, Jordenö was nominated for the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award. In 2016 she was named by Variety and EFP as one of “Ten Women Filmmakers to Watch.”
Gabriel Sedgwick hails from Sweden but lives in New York City, where he has produced several award-winning films that have screened at festivals such as SXSW, New Directors/New Films, Urbanworld, BAM’s New Voices in Black Cinema, and Karlovy Vary, including Lanre Olabisi’s fiction features AUGUST THE FIRST and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE (both distributed by Film Movement in the US). As Head of Production at Brooklyn-based production company Hard Working Movies, he also co-produced Jeremiah Zagar’s feature-length documentary CAPTIVATED: THE TRIALS OF PAMELA SMART, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2014 and was broadcast on HBO in the US and on television all over the world, and recently line produced Sara Jordenö’s KIKI, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2016, won the Teddy for best feature-length doc at the Berlin International Film Festival 2016, and is distributed in the U.S. by IFC Films. He most recently produced Penny Lane’s short documentary JUST ADD WATER for CNN Films, and is currently in production on a bunch of wacky things. He is a National Board of Review fellow, a Berlin Film Festival Talents alumni, and when not making movies, can be heard emitting falsetto noises in the Brooklyn-based musical constellation Odd Rumblings.
Christopher Waldorf was born and raised in Harlem, NY, Christopher wasn’t always allowed to express himself with dance due to his upbringing. Since elementary school, his favorite class was art until he joined a dance class in his after school program. This is where he learned to express himself: through dancing! Christopher was introduced to the Ballroom Scene in 2007, when he attended his first Ball and was captivated by the art of Voguing. Four years later, after attending several Balls, Christopher thought he had built the courage to step back into his passion for dancing by joining The Opulent Kiki Haus Of PUCCI, where he learned to establish his own style of Voguing.
Naiti Gámez is a NYC-based filmmaker from Miami/Cuba. She has worked as a cinematographer & director on award-winning films and television series. Her film, Love, Sadie, screened in the Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner.
As a cinematographer, her film credits have screened at Festival de Cannes, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, SXSW, Festival du Cinema de Paris, Woodstock Film Festival, Hampton’s International FilmFestival, and Festival de Cine Internacional de Barcelona among others. Her TV credits include HBO, Showtime, PBS, ESPN, MTV/MTV2, DiscoveryChannel, Animal Planet, & Nova.
Naiti has also worked at non-profit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. As a youth-media educator, she’s collaborated with young people to produce videos about social, cultural, and political issues that affect them. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Smith College, and an M.F.A. in Film Production (Cinematography concentration) from the University of Texas at Austin.
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DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS! A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals at UnionDocs is a six-part program taking place over the course of one weekend. Buy a SERIES PASS ($125) or choose to attend individual sessions ($25/each). This program has been an ongoing series at UnionDocs for many years. It developed from our experience with documentarians who needed a better foundation across the board to navigate production and distribution as an independent filmmaker in today’s landscape.
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