Etel Adnan sitting at table painting surrounded by painting supplies

Adnan is a lyrical documentary portrait of artist and writer Etel Adnan, shot over the final five years of her life. In her 90s, experiencing a surge of International acclaim, she is processing the past. attentive to the present, and working with philosophic depth and feeling.


by UnionDocs

  • $50,000.00

  • $22,955.00

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Can you help us complete the final stages of Adnan, a feature documentary and expressive portrait of artist and writer Etel Adnan, shot in close collaboration with the artist over the last five years of her life?

We are almost there and have had some great attention, including great buzz for our rough cut coming out of Cinéma du Réel’s Works in Progress section — but need some funds to finish.   We have been able to get this far with small grants, donations, and deferred costs.  We are looking for your help to fund the last 40% to finish the film (final edit polish, final sound design, mix, picture grading, online, etc.) to bring the film into the world. We hope to complete the film in early summer.  Can you help?

All donations are tax-deductible and will receive a tax-deductible receipt!

Any + all donations are hugely appreciated and will get project updates.

$50 and up will receive three digital postcards from the film

$1,000 dig. postcards + Thank You in the film’s end credits

$5,000 dig. postcards + Special Thanks in the end credits

$10,000 dig. postcards + Made With Support in the end credits


Credit card donations here (a small extra processing fee is taken from the film)

Checks can be made and mailed to UnionDocs (‘Adnan’ in the memo), 352 Onderdonk Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385.

ACH, wire transfer or wise – email Christopher Allen at [email protected]

ABOUT THE FILM Adnan is a creative documentary film made in close collaboration with celebrated artist and writer Etel Adnan. Shot during visits with Adnan over the last five years of her life, the film is a portrait of Adnan in her fullness of being. As she draws in her studio, paints, writes, lives, she also is processing the world, talking about the thickness of time, about life-as-thinking, about languages as vibrations, the pleasures of exile, the power of symbolic experiences, what it means to belong to the Arab world, to California and to the earth.  Thinking through her past and in the middle of international acclaim, Adnan is most interested in the present. The film, in its intimacy with Adnan and expressive use of form, creates a unique subjectivity of Adnan in her world, bringing the viewer closer and closer to Adnan’s ideas and her own powerful attention.


Marie Valentine Regan is an American filmmaker based in Paris. She got her start in film at Coppola’s American Zoetrope, studied experimental film at the SF Art Institute and earned her MFA in film from Columbia University. A MacDowell Colony fellow, her work has screened and won prizes at many international festivals including Zinebi Bilbao, São Paulo, Woodstock, Nashville and Palm Springs. Her work has also screened in museums including the Museum of Sound and Image (São Paolo), Pera Museum (Istanbul), K20 (Dusseldorf), and KINDL (Berlin). In 2015, she co-directed (w/Chi-hui Yang) the Oberhausen Film Symposium. She has taught film for many years in New York and in Paris where she now lives.
Contact Filmmaker


I first saw Etel Adnan’s work at the 2014 Whitney Biennial where her vivid paintings struck me. Months later, relocated to Paris and lonely, I wandered into an art bookshop and saw three of Adnan’s images on the wall, an encouraging sign. That night on the phone I told my mother about seeing these paintings and she gasped, “Etel Adnan was my philosophy professor in college!” I also discovered Adnan was a major poet and that a New York friend had recently published a collection of her work. When he gave me Adnan’s email, I wrote telling her how much her paintings had meant to me, and how much her presence had meant to my mother decades before. I did not expect a reply. The next day she called, inviting me to her home. When she opened the door she said, ‘ma petite fille’ (granddaughter).

In the early years of our friendship, the last thing I wanted was to make a film about her, not wanting to be another person claiming her time for a project. But soon, I realized my closeness to her and my understanding of her work gave me a chance to make a film that might reveal her in an immediacy and depth that had not yet been done. A few years in, Adnan told me she had had a sixth sense that I should make this film. I could not be more grateful for Etel Adnan’s presence in my life, and for her participation and presence in this film.

– Marie Valentine Regan

Through this initiative, UnionDocs offers individual artists our non-profit tax-exempt status, administrative services, extensive fundraising and grant writing experience, along with seasoned knowledge of the field to provide easy to follow guidance and support. We champion projects at any stage of production that align with our mission to expand the field of documentary art.
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Name Donate Amount Date
Judson Evans $10.00 April 23, 2024
Sabine Miller $10.00 April 23, 2024
Cody Tumblin $20.00 April 08, 2024
Petra Costa $500.00 February 27, 2024
Anthony Schneider $40.00 February 25, 2024
Debbie & Todd Charles Chisholm $200.00 February 24, 2024
Heather Moore $250.00 February 24, 2024
Dolissa Medina $20.00 February 24, 2024
Megan James $100.00 February 24, 2024
John Anderson $100.00 February 24, 2024
zeynep nuhoglu $50.00 February 23, 2024
Barjeel Foundation for Art $5,000.00 January 26, 2024
Bendik Sandnes Vada $20.00 January 18, 2024
ANNE AGHION $150.00 January 18, 2024
Anonymous Donation $10,000.00 December 31, 2023
Anna Doerig $350.00 January 17, 2024
Nelson Kim $40.00 January 15, 2024
Kristin Sanders $100.00 January 09, 2024
Lee Ann Brown $100.00 January 08, 2024
Alisha Mascarenhas $30.00 January 05, 2024
Rebekah Rutkoff $20.00 January 05, 2024
Dale Going $50.00 January 04, 2024
Stephen Graham $500.00 January 03, 2024
Robin Tremblay-McGaw $50.00 January 02, 2024
Gillian Osborne $20.00 January 02, 2024
Elisabeth Subrin $35.00 January 01, 2024
Lynne Sachs $250.00 January 01, 2024
Carrie Chappell $25.00 January 01, 2024
Robert Marshall $200.00 December 31, 2023
Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt $25.00 December 31, 2023
Anna Gurton-Wachter $50.00 December 31, 2023
David Agnew $1,000.00 December 31, 2023
Lynne Tillman $100.00 December 31, 2023
Tal Yarden $100.00 December 31, 2023
Julie Regan $100.00 December 31, 2023
Matthew Hintz $50.00 December 30, 2023
Ed Hellman $100.00 December 30, 2023
Karen Sztajnberg $300.00 December 30, 2023
Carol Snow $40.00 December 30, 2023
Elena Rivera $50.00 December 30, 2023
Kit Fraser $50.00 December 30, 2023
Lily Gurton-Wachter $50.00 December 30, 2023
Wah-Ming Chang $50.00 December 30, 2023
Anonymous $1,000.00 December 30, 2023
Denise Newman $25.00 December 30, 2023
Andrea Quaid $25.00 December 30, 2023
Laura Mullen $100.00 December 30, 2023
Christopher Schmidt $100.00 December 30, 2023
liz deschenes $40.00 December 30, 2023
Helene Harder $50.00 December 30, 2023
Luis Renner $10.00 December 30, 2023
Anonymous $50.00 December 30, 2023
Tanya Ward Goodman $100.00 December 30, 2023
JOHN ANDERSON $100.00 December 30, 2023
Christina Davis $50.00 December 29, 2023
COLE SWENSEN $1,000.00 December 29, 2023