A glimpse at the films of Doc Studies class of 2016.
A Life Before This by Steffie Van Rhee
Ramarley Graham, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed in his Bronx home by a white New York City police officer four years ago. Since then, his mother, Constance Malcolm, has fought to have the officer held accountable. Her struggle for justice has led her to a life of activism and an increasingly significant role as a public figure.
Steffie van Rhee graduated from the School of Journalism in Utrecht in 2014 and went on to work as a documentary researcher/producer in The Netherlands. In her Doc Studies film, A Life Before This, she combines her background in journalism with her love for documentary storytelling.
Avalanche Bob by Rafael Bergamaschi
Avalanche Bob has only one certainty: 2016 will be the best year of his life. After hearing from a psychic that his dream of becoming a star is closer than ever, the 84-year-old yodeling punk singer does everything in his power to make the prophecy come true.
Rafael Bergamaschi has been trying to make sense of all his existential anxieties through the camera lens. After living in five different countries, the Brazilian filmmaker and video editor is currently based in New York City and ready to explore ‘this American life’.
Lost In The Shuffle by Simone Maurice
Jason Samuels Smith has a dilemma – the eroding value of his artistic heritage. However, this Emmy Award-winning tap dancer and choreographer cannot resist a challenge. He returns to his home community, Jersey City, to give free tap classes in an effort to salvage tap culture – and creative expression -- for a neglected community in need of the power of art.
Simone Maurice is a creative adventurer who embodies the roles of filmmaker, musician, multimedia producer, entrepreneur, product designer, photographer, dancer and choreographer, She usually shies away from writing about herself in the third person and indulges mercilessly in the curious exploration of the human condition.
info@MultimediaMaverick.com // LostInTheShuffleFilm.com
The Life and Times of Ms. Lottie Dah by Tish Lara
The 1983 hit song “Infatuation” made Laura “Lottie Dah” LaChica a household name on the aging freestyle house music scene in New York City. Now, 30 years later, Lottie finds herself living in low-income housing and uncertain of what lies ahead. Her driving force is her music and, despite approaching 60, Lottie refuses to give up her dream.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Tish Lara spent most of her childhood immersed in dance, cinema and the art of “the mix tape”. Inspired by Mexican and Chicano revolutionary visual artists, Tish went on to get a BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Social Work from USC. She is committed to social justice and wholeheartedly believes in the transformative power of film.
The Marks This Body Carries by Katie Revell
Dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire sees the body as an archive of inherited and lived experience. Born into Rhodesia's civil war, she witnessed the transition to an independent Zimbabwe – then left to seek her own creative freedom. Through the lens of the body, this film charts her journey.
Katie Revell is a Scottish filmmaker, translator and subtitler. Before moving to New York, she lived in India, studied in Edinburgh and worked in Germany. Having always been passionate about visual art, she loves documentary for its unique combination of creative, ethical, intellectual and technical challenges.
(Not) Another Fashion Film by Elizabeth Rohe
In New York City, one of the world’s great fashion capitals, where designers are a dime a dozen and fast-fashion is the status quo, who stands up for the future of sustainable fashion? This is (Not) another Fashion Film.
Hailing from the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, Elizabeth Rohe found her love of storytelling at an early age and later graduated with honors from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. These days, she pursues her passions by filming on her super 8 camera, advocating for various activist campaigns and making documentary films.
Somos de Hueso / We are Made of Bone by Olivia Ebertz
Somos de Hueso is a documentary look at Mexican immigrant life and the fast-growing subculture that venerates the folk saint Santa Muerte (The Holy Dead). The film is a colorful celebration of this thriving transplant community in Queens, and a religion in which devotion takes the form of parties, late-night worship sessions and a reverence for death.
Olivia Ebertz is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota and took up documentary filmmaking as an excuse to learn other languages, travel the world and get rich quick. The first two bits are working out quite well for her so far.
Swan Song by Igor Myakotin
Van is an 86-year-old twin from Brooklyn who dreams of sailing the world until he dies and swimming with the fishes for eternity.
Igor Myakotin is an emerging nonfiction filmmaker and photographer from the Russian Far East who searches for cinematic authenticity and character-driven stories. His work has been showcased at film festivals in Europe and the U.S.
Thor of New York: Tale of a Street Vendor by Mara Cates
Alan Crosby is an artist with an affinity for the lost craftsmanship of the medieval blacksmith. He sells his jewelry on the streets of New York not only for profit, but to embolden his customers and his community with the power of storytelling.
While an undergraduate at Eugene Lang College, Mara Cates sold her handmade jewelry –when the cops weren't around – on New York City street corners. That experience inspired her Doc Studies film Thor of New York. Mara will continue to study film in the MA Media Studies program at The New School this fall.
True Fútbol by Inés Vogelfang
True Fútbol offers a different way of watching the sport of football. The camera contemplates the field, and captures the feeling of being lost in the game while surrounded by the space of the city. The film is a reprieve from the usual trappings of the sport – commerce, corporations and celebrity. Instead, we experience the small unexpected pleasures of amateur football.
Inés Vogelfang is a film and tv editor, and postproduction coordinator from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied Sound and Image Design at the University of Buenos Aires where she discovered her passion for documentary while making her 2009 non-fiction project Heart of Fantasy on children at a pediatric hospital. She speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese and English; and she will continue to study the world forever, finding different ways to tell the stories she discovers.
Swing Man Blues by Arielle Knight
Genre-bending pianist and establishment rebel, Eric Lewis finds himself in a state of recollection as he meditates on his love affair with a temperamental mistress called Jazz. Swing Man Blues is one man’s contemplative journey through sound, driven by the original compositions of this piano virtuoso.
Arielle Knight is an avid collector of people and places. She wandered over to the world of documentary after several years of teaching abroad. Frustrated by the absence of certain stories on-screen, she decided to pick up a camera and stop complaining about it. Her friends are grateful.
Where Memories Live by Juul Op den Kamp
Away from her family in the Netherlands, a filmmaker sets off to explore a range of cultural traditions in New York, as a means of evoking the past in the living present. This journey, subjective as well as ethnographic, examines the force of nostalgia on the experience of modern immigration, cycling through the fall to spring calendar year marked by seven diverse cultural festivities consisting of Thanksgiving, Sinterklaas, Hanukkah, Polish Christmas, Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day and Holi. Where Memories Live documents the ways in which our internalized childhood roots shape our future in the ever-evolving new world.
From the Netherlands, Juul Op den Kamp is the youngest child and sole filmmaker in a family of psychologists. She began documenting her surroundings at an early age, and, after high school, made a critical mockumentary on futuristic parental behavior that got her into the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam. Her goal is to tell stories that connect universal themes with contemporary time and place, somewhere between fantasy and reality.
The World is Yours by Angel Amaya
Are abandoned buildings truly abandoned -- of usefulness, of art? The World is Yours follows urban explorer Lindsay Nunnery into the forgotten, graffiti-ridden, broken-down, under-appreciated structures of the past.
Angel Amaya is from Corpus Christi, Texas and graduated with a BA in English from Texas A&M. Her passion for film started early but solidified while making a documentary on wolf conservation -- tracking the Lamar Valley wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park. Through filmmaking, she hopes to continue her work in the field of human rights and environmental activism.