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Jun 22, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Documentary Fundamentals: Shooting and Directing

With Elan Bogarin and Alejandro Mejia

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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DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS: A professional development series designed to give the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker an inside look at the filmmaking process from pre-production planning to post-production and distribution. Over the past few years, UnionDocs has developed this ongoing program for documentarians that desire a better foundation for navigating the modern landscape of independent filmmaking. This six-part program takes place over the course of one weekend at UnionDocs. Buy a SERIES PASS ($125) or choose to attend individual sessions ($25/each).

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Elan Bogarín’s feature 306 HOLLYWOOD, premiered on opening night of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival as the first documentary ever included in the festival’s NEXT section. It played over 60 festivals, won multiple awards, was released theatrically through the Sundance Creative Distribution Fellowship, was broadcast on POV (PBS) and is streaming on Amazon Prime. Elan was chosen for Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Film, DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40, and was awarded Emerging International Filmmaker at Hot Docs. Elan co-founded The Wassaic Project, and was nominated for the Gotham + Spirit Awards for producing BIG FAN which premiered at Sundance. Elan is the co-director of El Tigre Productions where she creates innovative non-fiction films and produces digital content for the world’s leading museums, platforms, and brands such as Google, MoMA, The Getty, The Whitney, and The New York Times. She has received support from organizations including Sundance, Artemis Rising Foundation, NYSCA, Latino Public Broadcasting, and IFP.

Jonathan Bogarin was chosen as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2017. He is the co-director of El Tigre Productions, a bilingual strategy/production company that creates innovative non-fiction films and produces content for the world’s leading cultural institutions. Clients include the Whitney Museum, MoMA, The Getty, Colección Cisneros, Museo Reina Sofia, and PEN America. As a
strategist, he envisioned and managed the creation of coleccioncisneros.org, the digital hub of Latin American art.

He is also a visual artist who creates paintings and social practice artworks throughout the US and Venezuela and has taught at Columbia University, Bank Street College of Education, and Pratt Institute. Jonathan received an MFA from Columbia University a BFA from RISD, and has received grants from Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program/ JustFilms Ford Foundation, NYSCA, Latino Public Broadcasting, IFP, Hot Docs, and Experimental Television Center. In 2017 he won the audience award for best pitch at the Hot Docs Forum.

Alejandro Mejia is a lefty Mexican-born cinematographer based in Brooklyn N.Y. whose work has been featured at Sundance, Berlinale, Tribeca, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Oslo among other film festivals around the world.

Currently he is nominated for Best Cinematography at the Emmy Awards in May 2019 with the show WE SPEAK NY. Previous to that he was among the best Cinematographers at the Critic Choice Awards 2019.

Since 2018 Alejandro is part of the AMC – Mexican Society of Cinematographers.

He was at Sundance Film Festival 2018 with the Feature Film 306 HOLLYWOOD premiering at the opening night for Next Section.

To Berlinale he returned twice; once in 2015 with the film STAY AWAKE, winner of the Slamdance Film Festival, and once selected as Cinematographer for the Berlinale Talent Campus 2016.

He won the Panavision Award for the Short Film MARTA ROSA at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 2015.

Beyond his passionate work as Cinematographer, he also directed episodes of the TV show SESIONES for Sony Latin American Television and co-produced A SECRET WORLD by director Gabriel Mariño, which had its world premiere at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival.

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Jun 22, 2019
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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