The Brooklyn, NY based center has developed a strong reputation among film industry press and decision-makers through its slate of programming and productions, at the core of which are two collaborative labs: The Collaborative Studio and the Summer Documentary Intensive. The programs, which are intended to help filmmakers hone their crafts and expand their professional networks, are open to applicants from the U.S. and abroad. Applications for both are due this month.

Details of the programs are as follows:

The Collaborative Studio (CoLAB)

  • 10-month program consists of weekly production meetings, seminars, screenings and other public programs, along with regular masterclasses and critiques with acclaimed visiting artists

  • Program intended for established filmmakers, must show previous work in application

  • Participants collaborate to produce documentary works intended for public exhibition

  • Program fee of $4800 (with work/study and other offsetting options)

Summer Documentary Intensive

  • 5-week program (full time Monday-Thursday) consists of screenings, seminar discussions, professional development sessions, critique, mentorship, master classes and weekly visits to relevant sites around New York City

  • Participants must apply with a documentary project (Previous work in documentary is not required, but some creative work needs to be demonstrated)

  • Participants gain tools to support development of their documentary projects

  • Program fee of $2800

This year’s application deadlines for both programs are  March 4 (early),  March 18 (regular), and April 1 (late).

With participation also comes pedigree. Past speakers and mentors have included influential documentarians such as Ross Kauffman (Born Into Brothels) and Laura Poitras (Citizenfour), and collaborative works emerging from the program have been shown at prestigious events like True/False, DOCNYC and the Moma Documentary Fortnight.

If either of the programs sound right for you, you can apply at the UnionDocs site.