UnionDocs in New York Times- Sunday Arts and Leisure

We are very honored to be recognized in this article by Dennis Lim along with our friends at Light Industry, Maysles, and others. It should come out in print Sunday in the Arts and Leisure section. See the quotes below, and check out the whole article online.

At UnionDocs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, last winter the photographer Nan Goldin introduced a showing of a beloved film, Michael Roemer’s civil-rights-era drama “Nothing but a Man,” then led a discussion that lasted as long as the movie.

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UnionDocs, which has occupied a building on Union Avenue in South Williamsburg since 2005, also emerged from the desire to fill a perceived void. “It wasn’t a gap in the film world so much as a gap in culture generally,” said the founder, Christopher Allen . “We saw the need for a place that was trying to have a critical understanding of what’s happening in the world through media.

Taking an expansive view of nonfiction, the site runs a yearlong collaborative program for emerging media artists and twice-weekly events overseen by Steve Holmgren, who also brings in guest curators. Recent programs have included a rare showing of “Coup Pour Coup,” a 1972 French film about a factory strike, and a discussion with its director, Marin Karmitz, now a leading movie producer; a “listening session” of location recordings with Ernst Karel, a musician and anthropologist; and panels on long-form journalism and documentary criticism.

The DIY ethos of a microcinema also encourages more risks and idiosyncrasies than institutional settings might allow. Scott MacDonald, a scholar who edited a book about the history of Cinema 16 and who has presented programs at UnionDocs, said in an e-mail that events he has attended there — in a storefront that seats about 50 — have had an energy he seldom sees in established forums for experimental work. A youthful home like UnionDocs has, he said, “a healthy sense that the older definitions of what constitutes ‘experimental’ cinema and what constitutes ‘documentary’ are up for grabs.

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