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Meet our Winter/Spring 2017 Docu Work-In-Progress Lab Filmmakers
March 28, 2017
We are thrilled to invite the following five filmmakers to participate in our Winter/Spring 2017 DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab, with projects that intersect styles and topics of timely relevance. It will be facilitated by Sierra Pettengill, with David Osit joining as the guest for the final crit. Learn about them and their projects below.
Dori Cohen is a documentary filmmaker and freelance producer, shooter, and editor. She has produced videos for The United Nations, U.S Institute of Peace and other New York based and international NGOs. Her short film Dancers at the Fountain of Youth won Best Student Documentary at Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival. Dori has had the pleasure of working with several award winning documentary editors and directors and teaching youth media classes in New York City and Brazil.
“No Shifts, No Boss, No limits” reads a giant billboard in New York City. Advocates of the burgeoning “gig economy” argue that it offers greater worker autonomy and that consumers love the convenience and low prices of this new economic model. However, as several Uber drivers come to find out these conveniences come at a cost. The film explores the other side of the popular “sharing economies” from the perspective of workers. It follows several Uber drivers in their efforts to organize and restore the basic workers rights that are currently being eroded under the guise of freedom and opportunity.
Steven De Castro is a filmmaker and lawyer and is well accomplished in one of those fields. In 2014, his first feature film Fred Ho’s Last Year won Best Documentary at Asians on Film, the Mt. Hope Award at Int. Film Fest. of Manh., and was screened at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Asian Cinevision/Asian American Int. Film Festival, Boston Asian American Film Festival, and CAAMFest in San Francisco. In 2015, he received funding under a US State Department grant to direct Jazzafrica, documenting the journey of four American jazz musicians to discover the roots of African American music. Aside from other commercial works, he produced and directed Newyorkustan, a series about the lives of Muslim New Yorkers. Before he was a filmmaker, De Castro was a trial lawyer and served as Human Rights Commissioner of Jersey City.
Revolution Selfie: The Red Battalion
In Revolution Selfie: The Red Battalion, filmmaker Steven De Castro brings the viewer face-to-face with the warriors of the New People's Army, a revolutionary group that the CIA has designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Jennifer started her over 20 years of work experience in video, film and cable television broadcasting operations, then moved to the tech industry as a systems administrator for over a decade. In 2009, she returned to the world of film and video focusing on verité/documentary. Jennifer has written over a dozen screenplays, directed multiple short films, produced, shot and edited hundreds of web video shorts, and recently edited multiple episodes for the PBS real estate program Best Places to Live. Jennifer is currently directing and editing documentary One Less Fight, a biography about a hero of WWII, and produced and edited a 60 minute biography of legendary film producer Ivan Tors. Her current full time position is producing video for Condé Nast’s only fully digital sci/tech magazine, Ars Technica.
One Less Fight
One Less Fight tells the story of Manfred Gans, a German Jew who escaped and fought back as an elite British commando during WWII, rescued his parents from a concentration camp, and, as a man of peace, was most proud of convincing thousands of his enemies to surrender without a fight.
Tiffany Jackson is a multimedia storyteller and documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. As a producer at Blind Faith Films LLC, she has produced two short films and one feature length documentary and is producing audio documentaries for her personal podcast. As a director, Tiffany crafts stories through imagery which spark conversations that are otherwise difficult to initiate, including self-esteem (Skin Deep, 2009), religion and racial identity (The Good Death), and character-driven environmental stories (Economy of Plenty).
The Good Death
When religious persecution turns into a cultural tourism staple in rural Brazil, a group of women called the Sisterhood of the Good Death become the centerpiece of identity based political initiatives.
G. Anthony Svatek makes nonfiction films that examine humans' relationship with natural and urban environments. Having grown up at the foot of the Austrian Alps, Anthony is deeply awed by the living world, landscapes, and the way people's awareness of nature is changing through our increasingly techno-urban experiences. He has screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, DOCNYC, Encuentros del Otro Cine, and Mono No Aware, amongst others. His film As You Pass By was supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. Anthony collaborated with filmmaker Jessica Oreck at Myriapod Productions for several years and has staffed at the Flaherty International Film Seminar. He currently serves as board member at The Film-Makers' Cooperative, freelances at BBC World, and has been a devoted volunteer at the American Museum of Natural History.
Viewing From Afar
Viewing From Afar tells the story of how climate change is turning Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island nation, into the world’s first “virtual country.” Based on voicemails left by an anonymous caller from the future, the film looks at the connections between threatening sea-level rise and Tuvalu’s lucrative and popular ".TV" web extension. Viewing From Afar is a hybrid found-footage film that explores the growing spatial and emotional distance between humans and the natural world, augmented by the fetishization of technology.
Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and archivist. Town Hall, her feature-length documentary, broadcast nationally on PBS in 2014. She is the producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer, which also won the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and a 2015 News and Doc Emmy. Most recently, she was the archivist on Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger (Cannes '16), Mike Mills' 20th Century Women (New York Film Festival '16), and Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine (Sundance '16) amongst many others. She co-directed and produced the all-archival documentary The Reagan Show, which will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Guest for Final Crit
David is a documentary film director, editor and composer. David co-directed/produced/edited the feature documentary Thank You For Playing, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and broadcast on POV in the fall of 2016. He also edited and produced Off Frame, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, and edited Live From New York!, the Opening Night Film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which broadcast in the United States on NBC. He recently edited, produced and composed music No Man's Land, a documentary about the Oregon militia standoff, and will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.