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Nov 19, 2021 at 10:00 am – Nov 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Documentary Cinematography Now

With Nausheen Dadabhoy, Jenni Morello, Derek Howard, Nelson Hume, Christine Ng, Ashley O'Shay, Matt Porwoll, & Jenna Rosher

On the heels of their formal debut at DOC NYC, the Documentary Cinematographers Alliance comes to UnionDocs for a three-day workshop on the art, labor, and politics behind the documentary camera. Hosted by Nausheen Dadabhoy (An Act of Worship),  Jenni Morello (One of Us), and other members of the DCA, this intensive seeks to bring together DPs of all stripes, from those just starting out to those firmly established. Together, we will tease out the intricacies of the craft, the practicalities of the trade, and the future implications and applications of both.

Structured to flow from prep to shoot to beyond wrap, this workshop will combine skill-shares and feedback sessions with broader conversations around documentary cinematography today. Starting with Jenni and Nausheen’s work, Day 1 will focus on the steps taken before the camera rolls- the creative, logistical, and technical work involved in their own practices and those of their fellow DPs. Ashley O’Shay (Unapologetic) will provide insight into her own process on production preparation during that afternoon’s seminar. Day 2 will get into filming itself, breaking down approaches to verité and interview cinematography for documentaries through talks with Matt Porwoll (Once Upon a Time in Uganda, Tigerland) and Nelson Hume (Whitney, Long Strange Trip). Day 3 will conclude the workshop with a screening of participants’ work and feedback from members of the DCA, including Christine Ng (Between the World and Me, Everything is Copy, Trial by Media), along with a roundtable about the current state and future of documentary cinematography with Jenna Rosher (Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, Jesus Camp) and Derek Howard (The Tuba Thieves, Bitterbrush, The Hottest August).

Timed to coincide with the DCA’s formal unveiling, this workshop seeks to bring together a diversity of camera practitioners to find community and discuss the difficulties and promise of the craft. This is a unique opportunity to receive guidance from others in the field on your own work and support others in turn. In doing so, this workshop attempts to align itself and all of its participants with the DCA’s mandate to “elevate our craft, improve our career sustainability, and promote visibility and recognition of the collaborative nature of the work we do.”


Open to everyone, though the workshop setting is best suited for filmmakers, film producers, journalists, curators and media artists. This workshop is open to people local to New York and those wishing to participate remotely. Three spots will be allocated for people looking to participate via Zoom and 12 will be available for individuals looking to participate in person in the UnionDocs Lean-To in Brooklyn.

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).

In order to participate in person, selected participants must provide proof of vaccination and a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours of the workshop’s start.

$350 early bird registration by November 12th, 2021 at 5PM.

$400 regular registration.

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until November 12th. After November 12th, 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.

NOTE: There are three spots allocated for people looking to participate remotely via Zoom.  Twelve spots will be available for individuals looking to participate in person in the UnionDocs Lean-To in Brooklyn.

To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash . After the early bird registration deadline of November 12th, 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.

In order to participate in person, selected participants must provide proof of vaccination and a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours of the workshop’s start.

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


Friday, Nov 19, – 10:00am - 3:00pm

10 AM- Intro with Jenni and Nausheen – show/talk about your work and practice in conversation with each other


1 PM- Session on prepping for shoots (creative and tech/logistics) with Ashley O’Shay


Saturday, Nov 20, – 10:00am - 3:00pm

10 AM- Verité Cinematography: Camerawork and Behind-the-Scenes with Matt Porwoll 


1 PM- Interview Cinematography with Nelson Hume


Sunday, Nov 20 – 10:00am - 3:00pm

10 AM- Feedback on participants’ work with Christine Ng


1 PM- Roundtable discussion on the state of the industry with Jenna Rosher and Derek Howard

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


First Workshop Session


Lunch (on your own)


Second Workshop Session


Wrap Up


Nausheen Dadabhoy is a Pakistani-American director and cinematographer whose work spans fiction and documentary films. As a cinematographer her credits include LA FEMME ET LE TGV (2016), a live action short film Oscar nominee, Emmy winning ARMED WITH FAITH (2018), NOT DONE: WOMEN REMAKING AMERICA (2020), GIRL UNBOUND: WAR TO BE HER (2016) and CONSCIENCE POINT (2019) which all aired nationally on PBS. Nausheen’s films have screened at festivals worldwide including Sundance, TIFF, Tribeca, Locarno and have appeared on Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Showtime. Nausheen has been a Film Independent Project:Involve Fellow (2011), a Berlin Talents participant (2017), a Firelight Fellow (2018), a Chicken & Egg Eggcelerator Lab Fellow (2019), a newportFILM Documentary Cinematography Fellow (2019), and she is currently a Soros Equality Fellow (2020). She was part of DOCNYC’s inaugural “40 Under 40” which features the talented and diverse voices in documentary filmmaking today. Nausheen is based in NYC, Los Angeles and Karachi, Pakistan. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Jenni Morello is a Documentary Cinematographer and Filmmaker. She received critical acclaim for her work in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s One of Us, (Toronto Int’l Film Festival, 2017) currently on Netflix. Most recently she shot Made in Boise (PBS 2019). As a contributing cinematographer she has worked on award-winning films Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, The Fourth Estate, Ask Dr. Ruth and most recently Rebuilding Paradise. In 2012, she directed Sesame Street’s; Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce. Jenni’s documentary work has taken her to Morocco, Haiti, Egypt, Somaliland, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ghana, India, Burkina Faso, Liberia, South Sudan, Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin and South America. Films Jenni has shot have screened on PBS, HBO, Showtime, Discovery, Hulu, National Geographic, Netflix and have been supported by Sundance, ITVS, and Ford Foundation. Non-profit clients include: Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, International Rescue Committee, CARE and PSI. She served in Peace Corps Morocco and in 2018, was named to DOC NYC’s inaugural 40 under 40 list. She received a BA in Fine Arts+Art History from Fordham University, and a MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts.

Derek Howard is a director and cinematographer who earned a BFA from Simon Fraser University. His collaborations on short and feature length documentary and fiction films have led to screenings at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, HotDocs, IDFA, Clermont-Ferrand, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal), Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal), and many others. Derek has participated in the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam’s Summer School, IDFAcademy, Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Trans Atlantic Talent Lab, and the Berlinale Talents program. Derek was the assistant director and 2nd camera on renowned director Victor Kossakovky’s Venice Film Festival opening night gala film “Vivan Las Antipodas” (2011), and Oscar shortlisted “Aquarela” (2018). He shot Brett Story’s latest documentary “The Hottest August,” (True/False, SXSW, & Hotdocs 2019) as well as Jeremy Shaw’s Venice Biennale premiering art piece “The Quantification Trilogy” (VIFF, NYFF, Tate Modern) as well as his upcoming Centre Pompidou 7-channel video exhibition “Phase Shifting Index.” Most recently, Derek directed a short documentary called “The Harvesters” that premiered at the VIFF (2018) and True/False (2019), and is currently completing another short called “Underground” about
harassment on the subway.

Nelson Hume was planning a career in studio art when the New York independent film scene exploded in the mid 80’s. Inspired, he enrolled at NYU Graduate School of Film and Television where he won the Johnson Fellowship Award. Nelson’s training in narrative film and the fine arts guides his approach to all cinematography. An apt collaborator, Nelson taps into his background to define the essence of the story and craft a visual language to best express it. Nelson has shot projects for HBO, PBS, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The Sundance Channel, The BBC, The IFC and many more. Nelson is excited by the continual evolution of filmmaking and the opportunity to find new ways to tell a story.

Christine Ng is a cinematographer and a graduate from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was born in Hong Kong and raised in New York City. Her work has screened at festivals worldwide including SXSW, Palm Springs, Outfest, LA Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, NY Film Festival and many more. Her most recent work can be seen on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Showtime.

Ashley O’Shay is a DP and documentarian based in Chicago, IL, whose work focuses on illuminating marginalized voices. She has produced work for national brands, including Lifetime, Ford Motor Company, Boost Mobile, KQED, and Dr. Martens. Most recently, she filmed the final episode of Dr. Martens’ “Tough As You” series, starring the band Phony Ppl, accruing over 60K views on social and web. In 2019, she co-produced the Chicago episode of KQED’s “If Cities Could Dance,” one of their most viewed episodes to date. Her work also appeared in the critically-acclaimed Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. Currently, she is directing Unapologetic, a documentary providing an intimate peek into the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago through the experiences of two young, Black queer women.

Matt Porwoll is an Emmy® award-winning cinematographer based in New York. His work has screened theatrically, appeared on TV networks such as Discovery, Showtime, HBO, CNN, A&E, and PBS, as well as online outlets including Vogue, Glamour, Wired, Teen Vogue and W Magazine. Recently, Porwoll shot the film TIGERLAND, directed by Academy Award®-winner Ross Kauffman, that premiered in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and garnered a 2020 Cinema Eye Honors nomination for Best Broadcast Cinematography. Porwoll also served as the series cinematographer on Showtime’s THE TRADE: SEASON 1, a 5-part documentary series about the opioid epidemic. The feature documentary CARTEL LAND, which Matt shot and co-produced, won Best Cinematography Awards at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, 2016 Cinema Eye Honors and 2016 Primetime Emmys. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. Porwoll has served as an additional cinematographer on numerous other films including CITY OF GHOSTS and ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE, directed by Academy Award®-nominated director Matthew Heineman, HBO’s Emmy®-nominated BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, and HBO’s CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1, which won the 2015 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short.

For over twenty years, Jenna Rosher has produced, directed and filmed a wide variety of social, political and music documentaries for television and film.  A third generation cinematographer, Jenna combines her love of filming with her passion for people and storytelling.  This has given her the opportunity to not only shoot, but also direct a number of high-profile, award-winning projects. Her work has been featured on Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, HBO, Showtime, PBS, CNN, Nat Geo, MTV, VH1, USA Network, TLC, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, BBC, Sundance Channel, A&E, ESPN, ABC, CBS, NYTimes.com and many more. In 2005, Jenna worked as a co-cinematographer on Jesus Camp, the award-winning documentary about an evangelical summer camp for kids. The film earned numerous awards including a 2007 Academy Award Nomination for Best Feature Documentary. In 2009, she premiered her feature documentary JUNIOR, a hilarious and heartfelt portrait of a mother and son growing old together. JUNIOR won the Best Documentary prize at the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival and the 2009 Audience Award at Sheffield Docfest in the UK. Jenna has had the great fortune of collaborating with such talents as Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp/Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You/12th and Delaware, One of Us), Amy Berg (Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue/An Open Secret) RJ Cutler (September Issue/Billie Eilish:The World’s A Little Blurry), Marina Zenovich (Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind / LANCE) and Lauren Greenfield (Generation Wealth)

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Nov 19, 2021 at 10:00 am
Nov 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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