Sponsor Emily Packer’s involvement in the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio.
I’m so excited to announce my participation in this years UnionDocs Collaborative Studio! This program is unique in the way it approaches independent non-fiction filmmaking through collaboration. I believe it will change and improve the quality of my work and help root my practice in a community of other dedicated young artists.
I’m asking for support to cover about half the cost of the program fee. Unlike other fellowships, this one is unpaid and has costs associated to help run it (not to mention the inevitable expenses of the film production). This is specifically challenging as the program will require time and focus away from my full-time work, plus — did you hear — living in NYC is expensive! I make film because I love it, and because I think it is a valuable, challenging mode of communicating — not because it makes money.
If you’ve ever wanted to back my creative endeavors but found yourself wishing your support was tax-deductible, now’s your chance! UnionDocs is a non-profit organization and anything you donate through this platform can be written off. In exchange for your support, I’ve come up with a few gifts as tokens of my gratitude. I’m offering my most recent feature-length film that can’t be seen anywhere else and inviting you into my process with behind-the-scenes postcards and private screenings.
Thank you so much for your interest and support, no matter the form. I can’t wait to share my next film with you!
Emily Packer is an experimental non-fiction filmmaker with an interest in border culture and border theory. Emily graduated from Hampshire College in December of 2015. The following year, she organized a three-day art event in San Diego and Tijuana, where she screened her second feature film, La Frontierra Chingada. In addition to her independent work, Emily is a freelance assistant editor and a pre-screener for film festivals in New York City. Emily collects voicemails for future use; consider yourself notified.
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
Tom and Diane Gordon