Support Catarina de Sousa’s participation in the 2020 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio.
Dear Friends and supporters,
I’ve been accepted into a 10-month Collaborative Studio (CoLAB) at Union Docs Centre for Documentary Arts in Brooklyn, from September 2019 until June 2020. I believe that there is a crosslink between the mission of UNDO, the CoLAB program and my intentions as a documentary filmmaker, activist journalist and producer.
I feel I still have a lot to learn, and be able to face new risks and approaches to complete projects like the one I’ve started at Varan, accompanied by like-minded people. I’m enthusiastic about the project that could emerge during CoLAB. It will bring a lot of inspiration and insights into different approaches and methods. Interesting master classes by renowned documentarists and artists will surely expand my ways of thinking documentary. Personally, I want to explore areas that interest me such as poetry and visual arts, merging and condensing them into documentary. I want to gain the courage to leave my comfort zone and risk more, be more experimental in the way I express myself through images and sound.
As an activist journalist, I’m curious to understand and live closely the struggles that are being made lived in the current world political context. I will continue to collaborate with Media Ninja and other alternative social media, contributing to the struggle for democracy.
As a producer, I want to take advantage of the program to increase my network of contacts, expand the bridge that I have been building between Portugal and Brazil to the United States. Understand new ways of financing projects that cross different areas, to strengthen the path I have been building as a producer and filmmaker.
I’m hoping to raise $6500 through this page, to cover some of the costs, such as part of the CoLab fees and home expenses. It’s not something I’d usually ask for but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and any contribution, no matter how small, will be very much appreciated and helpful in making this project possible.
Please check out the list of incentives with different THANK YOUs for all you AMAZING PEOPLE that will help me make this happen.
Thank you for visiting my campaign site!
Catarina de Sousa is a filmmaker, journalist and cinema and visual arts producer. Born in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, she has been living between Lisbon and São Paulo since 2011.
Has a Masters in Communication Sciences – Information and Journalism by the University of Minho, with training in the Documentary Workshops of the Ateliers Varan. As a journalist she was a correspondent for the Lusa Agency in Barcelona, presented and produced content at Barcelona Televisió and worked at Rádio Clube Português. After getting to know Brazil, she became an activist journalist for the struggle of democracy and LGBTQI+ social movements, collaborating with Midia Ninja, an activist journalism network in Brazil, specializing in real time broadcasting.
As a documentary filmmaker, the background in journalism has been key to her own approach to filmmaking. She carried out projects of social and political nature in a Direct Cinema approach, as the documentary she initiated in the Ateliers Varan “My Name is Thing”, focusing on impoverished people who make a living as human “billboards” in the streets of São Paulo; and in the 2017, the documentary film she co-authored on the topic of Post-Truth, titled “Verdade or Consequência” made for the Portuguese state television – RTP.
She found a very special role to play, building her expertise in the link between the worlds of Portuguese and Brazilian cinema. For the past four years she has also become a rare link between film and visual arts, sensitive to the changes and exchanges that are taking place between the two arts – in addition to her continuing work in the film industry, she has produced museum film installations for portuguese artists working in cinema.
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.