This project highlights the creative solutions and difficult choices that individuals in NYC make everyday to survive the city, at a time when 50% of the population lives near or below the federal poverty level. The project brings attention to the difficult choices and resourceful solutions this underrepresented population must make in order to survive the city today. To access such stories, images, and sounds, fellows will pursue partnerships with local, low-income artists and craftspeople who have—so far—been unable to reach privileged networks of creation and distribution, often called ‘outsider artists.’

Through JUST TO GET BY, we are developing ways that the authorship of documentary can be shared with the subjects at the same time that fellows are encouraged to develop work across perceived boundaries of social class, age and race. Projects are not intended to be “outsider artist” biographies or portraits, rather each short documentary project produced will offer a different answer on what it takes “just to get by” and a different attempt to break with the conventions of documentary and address the problematics of representing people under the pressures of poverty.



Livia Vonaesch

USA • 2016 • 21 mins

Ray has not taken a night off in 43 years. His day is our night.
Sometimes Whitney and Arya come and help him in his 24-hours candy store. Why did it become a second home for them?
Audio-diaries will give us an intimate view of this micro-cosmos on Avenue A.

Director—Livia Vonaesch
Cinematographer—Livia Vonaesch
Second Camera—Jenny Catherall
Sound—Jenny Catherall, Emile B. Klein, Livia Vonaesch
Editor—Ann Chen
Music—Cam Scott


Carly Anne Kenneally and James Nguyen

USA • 2016 • 13 mins

In Alphabet City, a group of filmmakers began broadcasting podcasts from inside a tiny glass box.

Co-Directors—Carly Anne Kenneally & James Nguyen
Editor—Patrick Offenheiser
Co-Producers—Ann Chen, Carly-Anne Kenneally & James Nguyen
Broadcasters—Beata Calinska, Ann Chen, Sarah Jacobson, Carly-Anne Kenneally, James Nguyen & Patrick Offenheiser

Featured artwork by— Lori Der Hagopian, Luis Mitchell, John Bjerklie, Matt Blackwell


Jenny Catherall

USA • 2016 • 15 mins

“The Big Party on the Other Side” follows Rosalee Grable as she comes to terms with her impending death, while reflecting on her relationship with her family, her mental illness and her last wish, to be buried in New York City’s pauper cemetery, known as Hart Island.

Director—Jenny Catherall
Cinematographer—Livia Vonaesch
Additional Camera—Jenny Catherall
Editor—Carly Anne Kenneally
Additional Editing—Jenny Catherall
Sound—Jenny Catherall, Carly Anne Kenneally, Livia Vonaesch
Music—Fraser Campbell
Featuring an except from Rosalee Grable’s “Pages From the Book of Life”


Ann Chen

USA • 2016 • 14 mins

A short visual essay exploring the geography of internet infrastructure in New York City, how it is charted and situated in our urban landscape as seen through the different people who build it, research it and use it.

Director—Ann Chen
Cinematography—James Nguyen, Ann Chen
Editor—Beata Calinska
Sound—Angel Urrutia, James Nguyen, Ann Chen
Music—Todd Brozman
Content Advisor & Illustrator—Ingrid Burrington
Adapted from Ingrid Burrington’s book and project “Seeing Networks in New York: a field guide to Internet infrastructure”


Jordan Elizabeth Vesey

USA • 2016 • 18 mins

Led by founder and choreographer, Adia Whitaker, The Ase Dance Theatre Collective prepares a piece in New York City on police brutality, as a form of resistance, a way to empower their community and pass lessons of strength to their children through performance.

Co-directors—Beata Calinska & Sarah Jacobson in collaboration with Adia Whitaker
Director of Photography—Tracie Williams
2nd Camera Operator—James Nguyen
Sound and Editing—Sarah Jacobson, Beata Calinska
Additional Camera—Sarah Jacobson and Beata Calinska


Jon Appel and James Calinda

USA • 2016 • 28 mins

A black guy and a white guy who hate racism join forces to make a film together. As their relationship deepens and their cliche personas unravel, the film takes a life of its own.

Director, Writer—Jon Appel
Writer, Co-Director—James Calinda
Sound—Emile Klein
Camera—Angel Urrutia
Editor—Sarah Jacobson
Second Camera—Jenny Catherall


Tracie Williams

USA • 2016 • Various durations 30 seconds — 3 mins

Love you Madly is an experimental documentary film shaped by the encounters and conversations with Mr. Steve Cannon – a playwright, mentor, poet, and retired professor – who has been a fixture in the Lower East Side art scene since the 1960’s.

Director—Tracie Williams
Creative Consultant—Angel Urrutia
Producer—Carly Anne Kenneally
Sound Design—Emile Klein
Director of Animation—Jon Appel


Emile Klein and Patrick Offenheiser

USA • 2016 • 21 mins

Drifting through the boroughs of New York, a LGBTQ church, surviving on meager funds and with no place to call its own, holds itself together with labor and devotion. Moved Every Way reveals the work it takes for a church to survive and why its members refuse to let it disappear.

Direction—Emile Klein and Patrick Offenheiser
Sound—Emile Klein
Director of Photography—Patrick Offenheiser
Editing—Jon Appel
2nd Camera and Sound—Beata Calinska and Livia Vonaesch


Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, and Grace Remington

USA • 2017 • 16 mins

Cassandra Bromfield grew up in Williamsburg’s Lindsay Park Housing Cooperative under the watchful gaze of her mother’s many cameras. Her mother’s keen photographic eye sought to capture daily existence in the housing complex as a way of proving the value of the lives that its inhabitants led and continue to lead. As she grew older, the camera was passed to Cassandra and the Bromfield’s archive was collaboratively assembled by the two women. Today, Cassandra lives in the same apartment in which she grew up and continues to engage with this audiovisual legacy by editing the super-8 films. She works as a fashion designer, a practice taught to her by her mother, which further embraces the idea these women held of fashioning one’s representation. This essay film uses Cassandra’s archive to place past and present in conversation with one another and discuss matriarchal heritage, self-definition, and community within this particular housing community and beyond.

Co-Directors—Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, and Grace Remington


Je’Jae Daniels and Davey Field

USA • 2017 • 20 mins

Bubby & Them is a docufictional short video about the relationship between two liminal members of the Lower East Side Orthodox Jewish community: Je’Jae, a genderqueer college student, and Razi, their adoptive grandmother. The movie examines how the two femmes support each other in their struggles, share space, and create a chosen family.

Co-directors— Je’Jae Daniels & Hazel Katz
Co-editors—Daniel Goodman & Hazel Katz
Actors—Je’Jae Daniels & Razi Engelmayer
Assistant Directors—Rezarta Seferi, Daniel Goodman, Maya Yu Zhang
Composition—Samuel Lang Budin


Stephanie Andreou and Sarah Keeling

USA • 2017 • 27 mins

Following a long career creating art related to economic systems, Fran Ilich – an accomplished and internationally recognized writer, media artist and hacktivist – and Gabriela Ceja – an artist engaging with labor rights and union activism – find themselves in a small 1 bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Fran works part-time in retail to support them while she works with labor unions. They also rent out their living room on AirBnb to make extra income while spending as little money as possible so they don’t compromise their time to labor.

We see them working together while contemplating this city and how to penetrate a system that enslaves those who make it possible. What materializes between them is a shared vision which they work little-by-little to realize. Idealism, their love for each other and sacrifice make-up part of their everyday struggle. For both, love becomes an alternative to traditional forms of labor as they find a way to live in this city while supporting the causes they believe in.

Co-Directors—Stephanie Andreou & Sarah Keeling
Producer—Adrián Gutiérrez
Cinematography—Victoria Catherine Chan


Rezarta Seferi

USA • 2017 • 16 mins

An unlikely relationship between Connie, an Italian-American caregiver in her mid-sixties, and Corey, an artist in his mid-twenties, who have chosen to live together in a small apartment in New York City, becomes a pseudo-familial bond that challenges traditional living arrangements.

Connie has lived in Williamsburg for 40 years. After her daughter moved out this past spring, she couldn’t afford to keep renting her place alone, so she put an ad on Craigslist. Corey, a recent fine arts graduate, responded to it and moved in right away.

Director—Rezarta Seferi
Director of Photography—Ivana Hucikova
Editor—Adrian Gutiérrez


Samuel Lang Budin

USA • 2017 • 15 mins

A narrated slide lecture detailing the author’s journey from Electchester, a union sponsored cooperative housing development in Pomonk, Queens (built on land that was once a golf course) to Bayberry Land in South Hampton, NY, once a resort and retreat owned and operated by the same labor union that built Electchester (and now a golf course), stopping along the way to assess the utopian ideals of said planned cooperative community, the technological optimism of Rene Shapshak, a sculptor who used to run the annual Spring Arts Festival at the co-op, the narrator’s youthful brushes with Pete Seeger and the labor movement, and the struggle that Joey, a third generation Electchester resident and union member, faces in deciding whether to continue to enjoy the stability the union offers or leave to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician.

Director, photographer, writer, editor, presenter—Samuel Lang Budin
Additional camera and assistant editor—Sarah Keeling
Sound recordist/sound editor—Rezarta Seferi
Archival producer and production consultant—Grace Remington


Adrián Gutiérrez and Grace Remington

USA • 2017 • 18 mins

An examination of notions of home, identity, and solidarity as articulated through members of a single Mexican hometown (remittances) association in New York City, the infrastructure projects they pursue in their town of origin in Mexico, and their lives in the United States.

Co-Directors—Adrián Gutiérrez, Grace Remington
Sound—Daniel Goodman


Tuff Guts and Daniel Goodman

USA • 2017 • 18 mins

Acting Erratically is a term typically used by law enforcement to describe someone who is neurodivergent or in the midst of a mental health crisis.. This short film explores the connections between freedom of movement and state sanctioned violence in the lives of NYC-based women and gender-non-conforming people of color. We use found footage as metaphorical architecture to illustrate the history and connections between different practices and experiences of state violence for neurodivergent women of color. A narrative of resistance will be explored through acting and movement, re-appropriating the term Acting Erratically as a powerful and performative response to systemic oppression and police violence.

Co-directors—Tuff Guts & Daniel Goodman
Producer and Assistant Director—Davey Field
Producer—Christopher Paul Harris
Creative Collaborators—Picture the Homeless

9:36 PM

Victoria Catherine Chan

USA • 2017 • 18 mins

9:36 PM tells the story of sound artist Phill Niblock’s loft and the tight-knit artist community that revolves around this half-century old space. The 83 year-old minimalist composer lives, works and curates, with his artist partner Katherine, in this 4285 sq foot loft in New York’s SoHo. Phil and Katherine run Experimental Intermedia (E.I.), an art foundation that organizes experimental art performances in the loft and which was originally part of New York’s Fluxus scene. This film explores the resilience and resistance of Phill and Katherine, as they navigate this old way of organizing an art community and fighting to keep E.I. alive. 9:36 PM dives into the farfetched world they live in and a rare space – which seems like a time capsule – hosting artists young and old from around the globe to express their voices. The film seeks to capture a moment in time for this loft and its community that is on the verge of disappearing.

Director—Victoria Catherine Chan
Editor—Stephanie Andreou
Cinematography—Karoline Morwitzer



Jon Appel is a filmmaker originally from Pleasantville, NY. He studied fine art and hand-drawn animation in college and went on to work under acclaimed animator Paul Fierlinger and documentary filmmaker Vicky Funari in Philadelphia. He currently resides in New York City and works as a teaching artist, teaching film and stop-motion animation in NYC public schools. Jon aspires to create visually compelling films that subvert oppressive social trends while instilling feelings of connectedness and kinship in human viewers. He is currently finishing his debut feature film Melmilap, which explores, deepens, and problematizes these themes in the context of post-war Nepal. In his spare time he likes music and hiking. He currently plays in the band Real Life Buildings.


Beata’s passion for social issues and the stories behind them has led her down many different paths. She has studied and worked on projects in Poland, England, and Cyprus. Beata’s been awarded the European Union grant to set up her own non-profit to produce media and research projects and was also awarded first prize at the Goethe Institute international competition for her documentary short debut.
She’s completed an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Lodz, in addition to the Film and TV Production program at the Lodz Film School, the Scholarship in Visual Anthropology at the University of Cyprus and the Documentary Film Program at UCLA. She’s also been part of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working with the diplomatic mission in Los Angeles. Beata is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.


Jenny Catherall is a freelance shooter, editor, and producer born in San Francisco and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated New York University with a B.A. in Religious Studies and went on to work as a multimedia producer at Human Rights Watch from April 2011 to May 2015. She currently resides in New York City.


Ann Chen is a media artist and researcher based in New York. From 2014-15, she traveled across northwestern Canada documenting the impacts of oil and gas development projects on indigenous and non-indigenous communities through participatory mapping, sound, video and photography. She was a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow and visiting researcher in the English and Film Studies Department at the University of Alberta.Her work has been supported by Recess, The 92nd Street Y Tribeca, NYU Gallatin Galleries and The New Museum. She was a former Executive Director of Triangle Arts Association and is the co-founder of Phats Valley Residency, a project of the Nomadic Department of the Interior (NDOI). She is an active member and organizer with Public Lab.


Sarah is a researcher and media maker based in New York City. Motivated by her experiences working in the mental health field, Sarah arrived at documentary arts as a means of grappling with social and psychological complexities, building empathy, and engaging and empowering communities. She has worked on a number of fiction and non-fiction films, including her role as Associate Producer on the Emmy Award-winning documentary, We Could Be King. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she received her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University before spending several years teaching in rural Spain.


Carly Anne Kenneally is a documentary artist working across radio, photography and video with the desire to explore installation. Calling Melbourne and Sydney, Australia home, Carly Anne makes radio for independent broadcasters, has studied Screen and Media at Metro Screen and is influenced by the strength of people’s determination when staring down the barrel of adversity. Carly is working on a radio story about transgender sexuality and the differences between the male and female desire for sex.


Emile Klein works in paint and radio. His collaborative projects have been exhibited in museums, galleries, and cultural centers, featured by the New York Times, Vice, and USA Today, and aired on NPR and PBS. Klein spent five years living on the road while directing a small arts non-profit. In 2015 he received the Gold Tape award. He currently resides in New York.


James Nguyen is a Sydney-based artist working in the applied methods of art and politics. His output ranges from drawing, installation, video and performance. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the National Art School and a Masters of Fine Arts at Sydney College of Arts (SCA), University of Sydney. He has been the recipient of the Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship.


Patrick Offenheiser is a filmmaker, editor and multimedia artist. Originally from Boston by way of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Lima, Peru, he graduated with a BA in Film & Electronic Arts and History from Bard College and went on to produce documentary work for non-profit organizations and television, focusing on marginalized and displaced communities, particularly in Latin America and the United States. In his work he pursues questions of memory, homeland and diaspora as well as cultural erasure and globalization. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.


Mexican documentary film maker based in Rio de Janeiro. Studies in Philosophy and Sociology at ITESO, México. Graduated in Film Production from EICTV, Cuba and Documentary Filmmaking from E.N.S Louis Lumière, France. Profesional experience: Research and production for Discovery Channel and BBC. Producer of the documentary Flying Circus selected for the 30th Guadalajara International Filmfest. Produced and directed several documentaries short films.


Livia is a journalist and filmmaker, born in Switzerland. Her work experience for the last years includes television journalism and newspaper in Switzerland, a fiction film in Germany, and work as a freelance video journalist. After her BA in Social and Communication Sciences, she studied at the Ringier School of Journalism. Currently she is based in Brooklyn, New York.


Tracie Williams is photographer, visual artist and creative producer. Hailing from the deserts of New Mexico and transient by nature, her spirit has brought her from the bays of Australia to the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. She now rests her weary head in the heart of the beast that is NYC. Although her roots are social documentary and street photography, her most recent quest – to experiment and discover innovative approaches to the traditional narrative – ­led her to pursue an MFA degree at ICP-­Bard. It was there that she was introduced to the power of the moving image. Tracie graduated with an MFA in Advanced­ Photographic Studies in May.



Film director and producer. Studied filmmaking at Escuela TAI, in Madrid, then started his own production company (Nomad Media Group) in 2011. His commercial work consists mainly on commercials, short documentaries, and music videos, while his personal work includes educational videos about science and astronomy (through his YouTube channel “Cielos Despejados”), underwater videos, short films and short documentaries. On 2015, he was Field Associate Producer on the documentary “Kingdom of Shadows” (2015), directed by Emmy-nominated Bernando Ruiz and distributed by Participant Media.


A New Jersey-native now based in Brooklyn, Daniel Goodman is a street photographer, multimedia journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Through his work he explores identity, culture and cultural representation, and personal narratives. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Hong Kong.A New Jersey-native now based in Brooklyn, Daniel Goodman is a street photographer, multimedia journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Through his work he explores identity, culture and cultural representation, and personal narratives. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Hong Kong.


I grew up in South Jersey & Vermont, and studied comparative literature at Oberlin College. I made my first movie in 2009 to document a science experiment about my cat. Since then I’ve scurried around trying to undo ethnography in North American counterpublics, including a retirement community, a Yoruba separatist village, and various activist spaces in New York. I’m currently wrapping up my first feature documentary. The next movies I want to make are about psychiatric incarceration and the tranquilization of deviant bodies. For the past year I’ve drawn my inspiration by collaborating with teenagers on essay films at Reel Works in Brooklyn.


Grace Remington is a New York City-based producer who has worked in television news, radio broadcasting, print/online journalism, commercial production, documentary filmmaking, and photography throughout the United States, Mexico, and Peru. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and African-American Studies from Princeton University.


In 2015, Ivana graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in documentary directing. For her graduation short film she chose to make a very intimate and gentle portrait of a family, which consists of only women ­- 4 generations of mothers and daughters, who are sharing not only one big house together, but some life similarities as well. In 2016, Ivana founded together with her former university classmates a Bratislava based association of young filmmakers called Mirakl. She has been recently working as a producer for Mirakl’s first feature documentary film, “Yours Sincerely, Social System”, which was chosen for the prestigious Ex Oriente Film workshop 2016.


Karoline likes to agitate, contemplate, and relate. Her documentary work is a fusion of media activism and process focused art making. She has a strong community arts practice and has supported and collaborated on a number of bottom-up grassroots projects, campaigns, and organizations through film. She completed a BA in Art History from the University of Sydney and Honours in Media Arts at RMIT University. Karoline’s works sit on-line, in campaigns, in galleries, in small festivals, at community events, on walls both outside and inside.


Maya Yu Zhang was born and raised in an agricultural province called Henan in central China. She came to the U.S five years ago to attend Bryn Mawr College and recently graduated as an independent major in Film and Media studies. From 2012 – 2014 Maya worked for the Beijing Independent Film Festival which supports indie film productions that refuse to go through the state sanctioned censorship system. This experience inspired and encouraged her to pursue filmmaking. Under the guidance of Vicky Funari, John Muse and Homany King Maya produced her thesis film My Sister Swallowed the Zoo in 2015 which won honors and has been shown at various places including Black Maria Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive and Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia etc. She co-runs a film collective called “Gama no abura” with her friends in Philly.


Born in Brooklyn to Muslim Albanian immigrants. Raised in suburban New Jersey. Studied Political Philosophy and Video at Bard College. I never thought I was an artist, and I never thought to be an artist. Things just came out of me as reactions to what I was exposed to as a child. Someone eventually called it art, and then I became something knowable to myself.


Stephanie was born in London and raised in Cyprus. She gained her BA in Fine Art from the School of Art in Birmingham, England before moving to New York to receive an MFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in 2012. Her worked has straddled video and documentary and continues to explore those boundaries. Since graduating she has worked with Art21 on their documentaries and is currently a staff editor at commercial production house – Hornet.


Samuel Lang Budin is a social documentary photographer living in Brooklyn and working primarily in the depressive realist mode. He makes 35mm and medium format slide shows about climate change anxiety, aging and death, naked people in their own homes, the personal discomforts of travel, and the encroaching sea. He has exhibited at BAM and MoMA PS1 Print Shop as well as galleries, living rooms and bedrooms up and down the Eastern seaboard.


Sarah Keeling is an artist whose work considers the human experience within landscape through the mediums of video, photography, and public works. She is inspired by finding and creating a sense of wonder in unexpected places. She graduated with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. Her work has been included in exhibitions at ISEA2015 Vancouver; the Bronco Gallery, OR; the Queens Museum, NY; Buffalo Visual Studies Gallery, NY; The Billboard Project and the West Virginia University Arts Museum & Educational Center.


Victoria Catherine Chan is a documentary artist based in Montreal. She graduated in film directing from ZeLIG School for Documentary in Italy. Her focus lies on personal stories ingrained into reality that reflect human conditions while depicting visual poetry. Her films Plan B (2012) and Il destino di una fabbrica (2013) were screened in festivals in Europe and broadcast on Italian public TV. Victoria has been the recipient of the Italian Embassy Scholarship and Montreal Arts Intercultural grant. She received a development fund from SODEC, Quebec’s major funder of film and television, and currently works on her first feature film about her Chinese roots and her family’s clan house in Canada.


The UnionDocs Collaborative Studio (CoLAB) is a program for a select group of media artists from the US and abroad. Based in one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, CoLAB offers a platform for exploring contemporary approaches to the documentary arts and a process for developing an innovative collaborative project. The program consists of weekly production meetings, seminars, screenings and other public programs, along with regular masterclasses and critiques with visiting artists.