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Mar 8, 2019 at 8:00 am – Mar 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Resurrecting Reality: Animating Non-Fiction

Led by Kelly Gallagher

This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Please sign up for the waitlist below to receive updates regarding any openings or similar future opportunities.

This workshop seeks to explore and expand animation’s radical potential, demonstrating the power and possibility of animating non-fiction. Live-action cinema cannot always accurately capture and share our lived experiences, histories, thoughts, emotions, and ways of seeing and understanding. Animation is a dynamic space in which reality can be more accurately and excitedly explored. This workshop seeks to rupture and disrupt common misconceptions that animation is best suited for fiction. To animate is to breathe life into—something that is “animated” is therefore “full of life.” What better mode of filmmaking to explore the complexities of life itself.

Over the course of three days, workshop participants will discuss and think through the expansive possibilities that animation lends to exploring and sharing non-fiction stories and experiences. Various modes and techniques of animation will also be discussed and explored. This comprehensive workshop will include screenings, hands-on animation workshops, critique sessions, conversations, and presentations by incredible filmmakers and animators creating the most compelling non-fiction animation in the field, including: Ng’endo Mukki, Carrie Hawks, Signe Baumane, and Richard O’Connor.  

Designed by filmmaker and animator Kelly Gallagher, this workshop will provide conceptual and theoretical grounding, creative inspiration, technical and hands-on animation experience, and practical and concrete advice from animation artists and professionals working both independently and in the industry. Folks who have animated non-fiction works in progress are encouraged to bring them to the workshop—but participants who have never animated before (but have an extreme interest) are also encouraged to join the workshop! This intensive workshop is open to all who are interested in learning more about the power and potential of animating non-fiction.


Open to everyone, though the workshop setting is best suited for filmmakers, film producers, journalists, curators and media artists.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience and a film project (it would be great if you have a project in progress that you would present to the group during the work-in-progress critique sessions), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).

$300 early bird registration by February 20th, 2019 at 5PM; $285 for members.

$350 regular registration; $335 for members.

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until February 20th. After February 20th, the fee is non-refundable.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.

To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash. After the early bird registration deadline of February 20th, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.

Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Friday, March 8, – 10:00a - 5:00p

AM: Presentation by Kelly Gallagher

PM: Presentation by Ng’endo Mukii (skype)

Saturday, March 9 – 10:00a - 5:00p

AM: Presentation by Signe Baumane

PM: Hands-on Workshop with Kelly Gallagher

Sunday, March 10 – 10:00a - 5:00p

AM: Presentation by Carrie Hawks

PM:  Presentation by Richard O’Connor

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:


Warm up, inspiring references, case study, eye training.


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Share / Discussion / Exercise


Lunch (on your own)


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Workshop Exercise + Critique


Wrap Up


Kelly Gallagher is an experimental filmmaker, animator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University. Her award winning films have screened at The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, Ann Arbor Film Festival, LA Film Forum, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Anthology Film Archives. Upcoming screenings of her commissioned animations include: Sundance, MoMA, and PBS. She’s presented solo programs of her work at UnionDocs, the Wexner, UC Santa Cruz, Oberlin, and Sight Unseen, among others. Kelly enthusiastically organizes and facilitates film and animation workshops, camps, and masterclasses all across the country for communities of all ages.

Signe Baumane was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, lives in Brooklyn, NY. She has made 15 animated shorts. Her animated feature, a funny film about depression “Rocks in My Pockets”  went to over 150 film festivals around the world. She is currently working on her second animated feature My Love Affair With Marriage”.

Carrie Hawks (they/them) harnesses the magic of animation to tell stories. The artist works in a variety of medium including drawing, doll-making, and performance. Their work addresses gender, sexuality, and race. They have shown in New York, Atlanta, Cape Town, Toronto, and Tokyo. They hold a BA in Art History & Visual Arts from Barnard College and a BFA in Graphic Design from Georgia State University. Their first documentary, Delilah, won the Best Experimental Award at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival (2012). Their films have screened at Ann Arbor Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival (Philadelphia, PA), CinemAfrica (Stockholm). The Jerome Foundation gave generous funding to black enuf* They have performed with Black Women Artist for Black Lives Matter, and participated in the Set on Freedom Artist Residency at the Queens Museum.

Ng’endo Mukii is an award-winning film director, most well known for ‘Yellow Fever,’ her documentary-animation exploring Western influences on African women’s ideals of Beauty. Her work focuses on relationships, the separation between perception and reality, and the use of moving image to represent unspoken truths. At the prestigious Design Indaba conference (2015), she presented her talk, ‘Film Taxidermy and Re-Animation,’ proposing the use of animation as a means of re-humanizing the ‘indigenous’ image. Ng’endo is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (‘06) and holds a Master of Arts in Animation from the Royal College of Art (‘12). She is a Berlinale Talents Alumni (’14, ’15), a Design Indaba 2015 keynote speaker, and participated in the Grafikens Hus Artist’s residency (in partnership with Iaspis) in 2015. Her films have won numerous awards, including Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards both for Yellow Fever, and the Encounters Immersive Grand Prix for her first 360 film, Nairobi Berries. She works in Nairobi as an independent filmmaker

Richard O’Connor: Out of college I got a job as an office clerk/receptionist at R. O. Blechman’s animation studio, The Ink Tank, in order to pay my $250/month student loan. After a few months I simultaneously developed telephonophobia and an interest in animation production. Blechman foolishly promoted me to producer for a Children’s Television Workshop series. I was able to double my loan payments and put that debt to rest in half time. Dismayed by this financial propriety, I formed the animation partnership Asterisk Animation where I produced animation for a bunch of great projects including films on Cab Calloway, Jeff Bridges and Marvin Gaye for American Masters, David Grubin’s The Buddha, and The Naked Campaign series of weekly reports for The New Yorker on the 2008 election. I went to Ireland a few years back to study in the film program at Trinity College and run away from heartbreak. Today, with the talented artists at my studio Ace & Son Moving Picture company, I produce and direct animated and graphic oral histories with StoryCorps (which allowed me to payoff the graduate student loan in one, ill-advised, payment)  along with other non-fiction and independent film projects. Not including the two score and counting pieces for StoryCorps, I’ve created animation or graphics for upwards of 50 non-fiction or documentary projects. I most excited about making a film from a Lorrie Moore story but all these works-for-hire keep distracting me.

This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Please sign up for the waitlist below to receive updates regarding any openings or similar future opportunities.

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Mar 8, 2019 at 8:00 am
Mar 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm
$335.00 – $350.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States

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