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Jun 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Collaborative Studio: Preview in the Park + Party!

This is a community event free and open to the public!

We couldn’t be more excited to preview new work made by the fellows in the 2018 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio. These eight short films were developed by eleven documentary makers over ten months in response to a shared prompt.

UnionDocs: 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Sternberg Park: Intersection of Lorimer St & Boerum St in Brooklyn

4pm at UnionDocs: Screening Program 1 – films by the Collaborative Studio
7:30pm at Sternberg Park: Celebration with food, games, festive music
8:30pm at Sternberg Park: Screening Program 2 – films by the Collaborative Studio
10:30pm at UnionDocs: Party, celebratory toast, continued drinks, and DJ set with late-night dancing! The backyard will be open.

Swing by and say hello at any point, but we recommend coming for the whole thing. See you there!

New York proudly calls itself the ultimate city for immigration. More than a third of all current residents are foreign born, the largest number in the city’s history, and —  in opposition to unremitting xenophobic policies and rhetoric from the Trump administration — the consensus in NYC calls for further support of diversity and inclusion. Still, have our images, stories, and understanding, our imaginary of the city, kept up with the city’s current complexity? Fellows were challenged to connect to individuals, families, and communities whose pathways to NYC are recent, whose circumstances reflect the contemporary moment, and whose presence broaden and update a picture of life in the city.

The resulting body of work will be split into two programs that will screen on Saturday, June 9th.

Program I - 4:30PM - UnionDocs


Director & Editor: Ansh Vohra
Producer: Yuri Tavares
Camera: Ansh Vohra & Yuri Tavares
Additional Camera: Lydia Cornett
Assistant Editor: Omar Al-Fotihi

Vinod, Gurpreet and Akash, born and raised within a hundred miles of each other in Punjab (India), arrived in the United States of America a decade apart. But in 2018, their lives converged at a taxi school in Jackson Heights. Yellow attempts to weave together three distinct immigration experiences and the circumstances that led them to AJ’s Yellow Taxi School.

Narmin's Birthday

Co-directors: Jenny Groza & Lydia Cornett
Editor: Ansh Vohra

NARMIN’S BIRTHDAY is a film about three Azerbaijani women: Narmin, a teenager seeking freedom, Ismat, Narmin’s traditional grandmother, and Mina, Narmin’s peacemaking mother. The film centers around Narmin planning her sixteenth birthday party to be as American as possible, while Ismat observes in both dismay and curiosity.

Two Prisons

Co-directors: Casey Carter and Colleen Cassingham
Co-editors: Casey Carter and Colleen Cassingham
Director of Photography: Casey Carter
Additional Cinematography: Colleen Cassingham and Wang Zhongxia
Titles and Graphics: Magdalena Orellana
Score: Erik Finsrud and Yuri Tavares

As Beijing activist Wang Zhongxia makes his case for political asylum in New York City, past and present are superimposed and years of persecution, surveillance, and paranoia unfold. Two cities coalesce into a single stage where personal and political histories reveal the traumas of a young and inexperienced dissident, stepping into and against the powers of authoritarian politics.

Program II - 8:00PM - Sternberg Park

Kassab Family Dentistry

Co-directors: Ansh Vohra & Daniel Sitts
Associate Director, Producer, Composer: Lydia Cornett

Kassab Family Dentistry is a mixed-media documentary about brothers Aelyas and Wadea Kassab, who were among the first Syrian immigrants in the US, as they navigate life in a new country and become small-town dentists.

I'll Wrap My Words in Paper Bags

Director, Editor, Camera: Magdalena Orellana
Sound & Camera: Jenny Groza
Additional Camera: Ansh Vohra

“Why are you recording us?”, “Why are you all green?”,”The price is better, it doesn’t necessarily mean the orange is better.”, “This is creepy.”
I’ll wrap my words in paper bags is a mute green screen suit wandering Chinatown as an empty surface waiting to be filled.


Director: Omar Al-Fotihi
Cinematographer: Daniel Sitts
Editor: Omar Al-Fotihi
Co-Editor: Rebeca Huntt
Sound: Omar Al-Fotihi
Music Consultation: Yuri Tavares
Music by: Karim Douaidy

SANDWICHED is a short documentary film about Abdul-Motaleb, who lives in two realities at the same time: on the surface, he’s the friendly neighborhood bodega man, but he’s also a refugee from Yemen’s civil war whose wife and children are still stuck back home.

Perpetual Care

Co-directors: Yuri Tavares & Amanda Macchia
Co-editors: Yuri Tavares & Amanda Macchia
Producer: Colleen Cassingham
Cinematographer: Yuri Tavares
Sound: Yuri Tavares, Colleen Cassingham & Cristina Muller
Composer: Rodrigo Bussad

PERPETUAL CARE is a film that proposes a poetic/musical experience investigating how funeral home and cemetery employees deal with death and life in such a diverse place as NY, and how respect for these notions takes place in such a delicate moment.

¡Hay Coro!

Director: Rebeca Huntt
Director of Photography: Casey Carter
Editor: Magdalena Orellana

¡Hay Coro! explores the complexities of manhood through the story of Dos Flakos, a Bronx-based Dominican DJ duo. The film captures the hustle for the dream, the profound bond between two friends, and the community, hardship, and passion that birthed them.


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 2020 Collaborative Studio open in January.

Gabriel Herrera is a Detroit-born, Chicago-raised quisqueyano based in Brooklyn. In addition to freelance writing and working on a number of creative projects tied to music, he DJs as Pariguayo and organizes the monthly party series Muévete Jevi and Paradise Alley.


Jun 9, 2018
4:00 pm – 2:00 am


Lorimer St. bet. Montrose Ave. and Boerum St
BROOKLYN, NY 11211 United States
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Featuring the work of the UNDO Fellows.

FORMS OF ERRANTRY delves into the mesmerizing and haunting films of Miryam Charles and is edited by Lakshmi Padmanabhan. GEOLOGIC LISTENING centers the monumental and expansive work of filmmaker Deborah Stratman and is edited by Sukhdev Sandhu.

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