Launch Erica Nguyen’s documentary Lab!

Erica Nguyen’s Summer Lab Crowdfunding

by UnionDocs

  • $3,200.00

  • $3,225.00

  • 0

    Days to go
Raised Percent :
Nambe, New Mexico, United States (US)

UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art has welcomed me into the folds of their intensive pre-production lab, where I will be steeped in bringing a full length personal film called Phantom Roots to life.

For the past 12 years I have been immersed in mutual self study with communities reaching from the Peruvian Andes to the Pueblos of New Mexico. My background in Cultural Ethnography and Sociolinguistics has centered the outsider experience of how our bodies carry genetic memory to heal estrangements from our origins. This growth was generously enriched by serving Native communities in the field of therapeutic adventure.

In the spirit of decolonizing my work as a Vietnamese-American documentary filmmaker, I have turned the gaze inward. Phantom Roots is a lyrical road memoir that spans my family’s experience of living in diaspora. It seeks to reach beyond mainstream media coverage of refugee crises by tapping into the joys of understanding our inherited resilience.

There is much to be restored in the AAPI collective memory. The primary focus of my participation in the Lab will be to adapt my grandmother’s letters of survival into an original Vietnamese water puppetry performance. Materializing a cross-generational bridge to my ancestor’s dreams is the first step towards feeling into wholeness.

Please join me in this commitment. Your support will go towards covering the cost of program tuition, housing and travel to New York. Deep gratitude for your belief in my endeavors!



About the Summer Documentary Labs:

The Uniondocs Summer Documentary Lab are a program for a select group of media artists from the US and abroad. Based in one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods, Ridgewood, Queens, the Summer Labs offer a platform for participants to spend the Summer making strides and clarify the creative direction of their projects to attract the potential team members, funders and producers they need to find their way to the finish. An intensive schedule of screenings, open seminar discussions, weekly industry “field trips,” and inspiring artist visits from some of the most dynamic voices across the field of documentary, the SUMMER DOCUMENTARY LABS are tightly structured environments that bring participants into a select group of emerging filmmakers to get challenged and encouraged to think through every aspect of their works-in-progress.

Drawing inspiration from across disciplines, this intensive program should not be mistaken for an industrial, journalistic, or traditional documentary training. Scholar Scott MacDonald highlighted in The New York Times that, “UnionDocs has a healthy sense that the older definitions of what constitutes ‘experimental’ cinema and what constitutes ‘documentary’ are up for grabs.” Much emphasis is placed on workshopping lab participants’ writing about their projects as a way to both clarify the creative direction and attract potential team members, funders and producers. Participants receive focused, honest and helpful feedback on their project proposals from prominent documentary artists and industry experts.

The Early Production Lab in July is for projects about to go into production. Filmmakers have already likely shot some of their material and have access to their subjects and are looking for ways to strengthen their media samples, and pitches and work through the ideas as they approach the production stage and plan for the entire process all the way through to distribution.




Treasure map zine!

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Star fruit family tree zine + sneak peak kite fishing sketch!

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Shadow Weavers shirt + postcard! (Limited amount.)

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Shadow Weavers tote + zines + sneak peak! (Limited amount.)

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All of the above! (While supplies last.)

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Half day of guided outdoor rock climbing for 2 in New Mexico!

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Bed & breakfast supper for 2 at a historic Mill house in New Mexico!

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Name Donate Amount Date
Anonymous $416.00 June 25, 2023
Katy Gross $25.00 June 25, 2023
Kevin Nguyen $200.00 June 24, 2023
ALEX SMITH $100.00 June 20, 2023
Theresa Stofocik $60.00 June 20, 2023
David Bronstein $18.00 June 19, 2023
Alesha DURFEE $50.00 June 19, 2023
Jade Seven $100.00 June 19, 2023
Daniel Greenwald $25.00 June 17, 2023
Karyn Barnett $200.00 June 16, 2023
Ami Nashimoto $50.00 June 14, 2023
Pamela Yates $100.00 June 14, 2023
Jessica Haring $11.00 June 13, 2023
Alisabeth Brown $100.00 June 13, 2023
FU Institute $20.00 June 12, 2023
Duc Nguyen $1,000.00 June 12, 2023
Wura-Natasha Ogunji $100.00 June 12, 2023
Nirav Bhakta $100.00 June 12, 2023
Anonymous $50.00 June 12, 2023
Andy Funaro $500.00 June 12, 2023