Sponsor Ansh Vohra’s participation in the 2018 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio.
From Ansh: Hello! Thank you so much for visiting my campaign page and choosing to become a part of my journey as a filmmaker. Two months ago, I was accepted as a Fellow, along with 11 other handpicked visual artists from around the world, at UnionDocs Collaborative Studio – a 10-month film programme based in Brooklyn, New York. When I first borrowed a friend’s digital camera at 17, I was a nervous school-kid with a stammering problem, who used the camera to avoid initiating conversations with people to save himself from embarrassment. Today, I’d like to believe that I’ve grown into a confident, young filmmaker who’s made a living out of making conversations and understands the value they bring to people’s lives. This opportunity is extremely valuable to me. To live in New York for 10 months, be mentored by UnionDocs’ wonderful team of film professionals and interact with the city’s rich filmmaking culture is an experience that will help me grow in more ways than one and inform my choices as a visual storyteller for years to come. Resources, however, are extremely limited for a 24-year-old early career filmmaker, and the only way I can truly make this happen is through your support. Your contribution will allow me to pay for the programme and part of the residency, consequently enabling me to continue telling important stories. Here’s a little video explaining how important this is for me :
Ansh is a 24-year-old documentary filmmaker and photographer from New Delhi, India. Over the past couple of years, he’s worked across non-fiction formats, structures and genres, with a significant focus on arts, culture, education and personal histories. His photographic work has been published in magazines like Frontline and Beyond, and his films have been screened at festivals across India. In 2016, he co-founded The Pind Collective, a collaborative Indo-Pak art project that facilitates dialogue, exchange and collaboration between young handpicked artists from India and Pakistan. The Collective has been featured in various publications around the world, including BBC Asia, Al-Jazeera, The Tribune, Scroll.in and The Quint.
About the CoLAB: The UnionDocs Collaborative Studio (CoLAB) is a 10 month 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. In a recent article in The New York Times, film scholar Scott MacDonald, remarked, “UnionDocs has a healthy sense that the older definitions of what constitutes ‘experimental’ cinema and what constitutes ‘documentary’ are up for grabs.” Similarly, the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio represents a new and alternative fellowship model, offering residency and visa support for six participants coming from abroad and an equal number of spots for local, non-resident participants. It is designed to be affordable and, although participants are asked to make CoLAB their primary creative focus, the schedule does accommodate full-time or freelance work. Rather than applying with a project proposal or rough cut, all participants are selected on the basis of previous work and enter the program at square one, open to discovery and fresh connections. UnionDocs is not simply the host for this activity, it takes an active role producing the collection of short documentary works that comprise the collaborative project. The theme or focus for the year is chosen by the Artistic Director, and resources and research to support this direction are gathered. The CoLAB Director leads the group through an incremental process where new ideas and new partnerships form; each participant finding their own avenues of creative contribution. Regular readings and assignments for seminars stimulate creativity, open discussion and debate, and offer a common set of references for the group. Master classes with visiting artists provide encouragement, inspiration and exposure to a diverse set of conceptual perspectives and practical methods. As projects reach their final edit, unique plans for exhibition and distribution are formulated. The Brooklyn Rail summed it up with the title of their feature article: “UnionDocs Brings Auteurs Together”. For some, participation in the program may lead to further study. For others, it may lead to independent projects or strengthened careers within the industry. For all, it is an unparalleled immersion in the expansive field of documentary art. Learn more about the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio here