Saturday, Oct 17 at 8:30 pm
This screening is part of a weekend long convening led by Hannah Jayanti, Todd Chandler & Cecilia Aldarondo
UnionDocs invites you to an extra special weekend designed in collaboration with Cecilia Aldarondo, Todd Chandler and Hannah Jayanti to rethink documentary futures from an artist’s perspective in 2020.
Faced with a fragile and inequitable industry built on capitalist frameworks, filmmakers in this moment are left with few resources to experiment and explore. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these three filmmakers, each having just completed a feature-length documentary, came together to collaborate, reimagine the futures of their films, and reconnect to core principles of independent documentary filmmaking.
We will be screening their three recently completed films, each distinct, vivid, and timely portraits of the United States. Cecilia Aldarondo’s Landfall is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María; Todd Chandler’s Bulletproof is a cinematic meditation on American fear and violence through the question of safety in schools; Hannah Jayanti’s Truth or Consequences is a speculative documentary about time, set in the shadow of the world’s first commercial spaceport.
Each screening, followed by discussion, is an invitation for us to gather and talk about the larger questions the works create. Whether around process, form, distribution, or community – we invite you to a conversation about why artful nonfiction matters, especially now.
Ticketing for this weekend will be sold per pod (for two, with the option to add a third!) for attendance in the Backyard LEAN-TO. These events are socially-distanced with masks required for entry. If you add all the events and the weekend encompassing conversation to your cart you can use the code “LEAN2x4” to get $20 off for a “weekend pass”. Attend all of the films and a special conversation or just select a single day to join for one of the features and conversations.
91 min., 2020
Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, LANDFALL is a cautionary tale for our times. Set against the backdrop of protests that toppled the US colony’s governor in 2019, the film offers a prismatic portrait of collective trauma and resistance. While the devastation of María attracted a great deal of media coverage, the world has paid far less attention to the storm that preceded it: a 72-billion-dollar debt crisis crippling Puerto Rico well before the winds and waters hit. LANDFALL examines the kinship of these two storms—one environmental, the other economic—juxtaposing competing utopian visions of recovery. Featuring intimate encounters with Puerto Ricans as well as the newcomers flooding the island, LANDFALL reflects on a question of contemporary global relevance: when the world falls apart, who do we become?
“A haunting meditation on the aftershocks of crisis and the trauma of state failure.”
– Filmmaker Magazine
“For those of us whose memory of Hurricane Maria boils down to footage of President Donald Trump scornfully tossing out paper towels to a crowd at a disaster relief center, Cecilia Aldarondo’s documentary Landfall offers up a welcome flipside.”
– The Hollywood Reporter
‘In Aldarondo’s extraordinary film, a crisis can bring out the worst in people, but also the best.’
– Moveable Fest
Cecilia Aldarondo (Director, Producer) is a documentary director-producer from the Puerto Rican diaspora who makes films at the intersection of poetics and politics. Her feature documentary MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART (Tribeca 2016) had its World Premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2017. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow, two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, and recipient of a 2019 Bogliasco Foundation Residency. In 2019 she was named to DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 list and is one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film for 2015. She teaches at Williams College.
Hannah Jayanti (director, editor, cinematographer, producer, writer) is a documentary filmmaker. She’s dedicated to changing the way we listen to each other through the art of nonfiction. Recent support includes: Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, among others. Her work has screened at institutions and festivals including the Smithsonian, Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc | Fest, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes, The New Yorker Festival, among others. She’s passionate about making filmmaking accessible and teaches free and low cost media classes around the world. More at www.hannahjayanti.com.
Todd Chandler (Director/Producer/Editor) is a filmmaker, artist, and educator. His work has been featured at True/False, SXSW, Rooftop Films, the Hammer Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Mass MoCA. His projects have been supported by Creative Capital, Field of Vision, Sundance Institute, International Documentary Association, Doc Society, and ITVS, among others. His first feature film, Flood Tide, premiered at the Torino Film Festival in 2013, and his short film A Debtors’ Prison premiered at Camden International Film Festival in 2017 and was later broadcast on PBS’ POV. He was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2019, a fellow at the Sundance Non-Fiction Director’s Residency in 2019, and a 2017 Points North Fellow. He has taught in high schools and universities for over fifteen years, and has partnered with community-based organizations and human rights groups to create videos about pressing contemporary issues. He currently teaches in the Film Department at Brooklyn College.
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