Help Sheila participate in the UnionDocs Summer Documentary Lab!

Sheila Haya’s Summer Lab Crowdfunding

by Sheila Haya

  • $2,200.00

  • $2,390.00

  • 0

    Days to go
Raised Percent :
Brooklyn, United States (US)

From Sheila: 

Hi Y’all,

So there’s some good news, and then some bad news. The good news is I’ve been accepted into this awesome program that can really propel my career as an artist/filmmaker! The bad news is with all the changes that have been happening, I just kinda need a bit of financial help. It’s been hard this year. Then it was really hard. Then, EXTREMELY HARD, but through it, I’ve managed to find a silver lining and put some time and effort into a project that I have been wanting to bring to life for years now. Just think of your donation as a tax-deductible investment into my vision and artistic abilities because you believe I can accomplish it, or simply because you just love and support me.


A little about the film Debo: 

Debo is an artist collective that is based in Tunisia. They are a constant source of inspiration and hope in a country that has been in a stream of compromising situations. Tunisia is a small country that is in the northwest of Africa, where the Arab Spring commenced. It is the only country to continue to maintain a functioning democracy, after the fall of the dictator, Ben Ali. Tunisia is the only Arab country that is considered free. Debo, particularly it’s 5 founding members, have been advocating for human rights issues, such as freedom of speech, at first through hip hop, and has expanded to all different mediums and genres of music including classical and traditional. Emerging from a time where all creative outlets were heavily censored, to expanding their knowledge, starting new initiatives, and creating jobs to keep the youth active and out of Extremist’s way. The Debo collective is the epitome of being the change they want to see, and have inspired me to have a more active role in my own country and community, so that I am an active member of society, in a place where it is easy to become complacent. With this film, I hope to have the audience embark on Debo’s journey and stimulate the audience to have a proactive role in their communities now. I hope that this sparks an interest in their story and that you will stay tuned for the journey.

Sheila Haya

Born and raised in New York, from parents that immigrated from Afghanistan, Sheila Haya grew up surrounded by rich cultural backgrounds. This is what sparked her interest in visual arts and storytelling. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Baruch College in 2017. She developed her love for both narrative and documentary filmmaking while in her studies and began working on various projects over the last few years. Sheila has also completed her first short film that she wrote and produced, “Nadia Jaan,” a coming of age film about an Afghan American girl navigating her sexuality in a culture where it is taboo where she won awards for including “best narrative drama short.” She was associate producer for the feature length documentary, “Accept the Call” and has written and produced another narrative short set to be released in the Spring of 2021.

In addition, Ms. Haya is co- founder of Six Lions Entertainment LLC, a media house where it is her desire to tell stories that are impactful and socially relevant, as well as build a community where artists support artists. She is making her directorial debut for a feature length documentary about an underground Tunisian artist collective and their fight for democracy.



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, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 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. With a specialized hybrid in-person / remote format, 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.

Name Donate Amount Date
Tamim Sidiqi $50.00 August 04, 2021
Sayed Shah $100.00 August 04, 2021
Sayed Shah $100.00 August 03, 2021
Sheila Haya $300.00 August 02, 2021
Anonymous $200.00 August 02, 2021
Tariq Maaroof $100.00 August 01, 2021
David Pugmire $100.00 July 22, 2021
Anonymous $20.00 July 21, 2021
Sayed Shah $400.00 July 21, 2021
Anonymous $200.00 July 19, 2021
Said Hashimi $300.00 July 17, 2021
Raymond Storms $50.00 July 13, 2021
danilo patrucco $50.00 July 08, 2021
Zoe Grillo $100.00 June 30, 2021
Mircea Enache $40.00 June 24, 2021
Panagiotis Peikidis $200.00 June 24, 2021
Mark van Eeghen $50.00 June 24, 2021
Candace Cody $30.00 June 22, 2021