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About Meerkat Media Collective

Meerkat Media Collective is an artistic community that shares resources and skills to incubate individual and shared creative work. We are committed to a collaborative, consensus-based process that values diverse experience and expertise. We support the creation of thoughtful and provocative stories that reflect a complex world.

Our work has been broadcast on HBO, PBS, and many other networks, and screened at festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Tribeca, Rotterdam and CPH:Dox.

Founded as an informal arts collective in 2005 we have grown to include a cooperatively-owned production company and a  collective of artists in residence.

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Cooperatively-Owned Production Company

The Meerkat Media Worker Cooperative is a democratically run production company that produces artful and impactful films with an emphasis on narrative storytelling, visual craft, and a dedication to the highest production value.

Our commissioned projects range from documentary features to web videos for foundations, news magazines, publishers and non-profits. We value a deeply collaborative relationship with our clients, and work hard to produce the most useful, powerful and professional films possible within the available timeline and budget. 

As a cooperative, we value democracy, cooperation, and equity in all we do, and seek to break down traditional power structures in our industry. We are proud members of the New York Network of Worker Cooperatives,  the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and strive to follow the cooperative principles.

 

Residency

Meerkats in Residence are a dedicated group of independent artists that are actively working on projects (individually or collaboratively) and are supported by the collective resources, based in our work space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Residents provide mutual aid for one another’s projects and artistic development, receive a monetary stipend determined through an annual budgeting process, have access to production and post-production equipment, and attend an annual creative retreat.

We hold an open call for new residents each year in the spring.

 

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Bryan Chang

 

Bryan Chang is a documentary film director, cinematographer, and editor whose films have been featured by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, HBO, The Atlantic, and MoMA, screened at Sundance Film Festival, and distributed theatrically. He is director of the feature-length documentary BRASSLANDS, lead editor of the award-winning NARCO CULTURA. He edited on the Emmy-nominated documentary series A YEAR IN SPACE, and his work on two TIME Magazine documentary shorts AMNESIA AND A CAMERA and BREACH OF FAITH won first place awards from Pictures of the Year International and the PDN Photo Annual. He is a regular guest instructor in visual storytelling at the NYU Journalism Institute, and is currently in production on the feature documentaries ISLAND SOLDIER and MESSIAHSEZ.

FEATURED PROJECTS

Brasslands – Feature Documentary (Director)
Island Soldier – Feature Documentary (Producer, Shooter, Editor)
Messiahsez – Feature Documentary (Director)
Narco Cultura – Feature Documentary (Editor)
A Year in Space – TIME Magazine Series (Editor)
The Couch Incident – Music Video (Director)
The New Che of Havana – Short Documentary (Director)

    Sarah Friedland

    Sarah Friedland received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and the International School of Film and Television in Cuba and her MFA from the Integrated Media Art Program at Hunter College. Her documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland’s works with Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the William H. Prusoff Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum and the Newark Black Film Festival for her feature documentary and video installation The Rink (directed by Sarah Friedland and produced by Ryan Joseph and Sarah Friedland), which aired on PBS (WNET/NJTV) in fall 2016. Her recent documentary Jeepney (directed by Esy Casey produced by Esy Casey and Sarah Friedland) was broadcast on PBS World Channel in 2015. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven, the LABA House of Study, the MacDowell Colony, the Palestinian American Research Center and Meerkat Media. Friedland is currently an Assistant Professor at Wagner College and the Director of their Filmand Media Studies Major.Friedland is currently working on two projects, Here After  and 5 x Lyd, which are described below.

    Links

    http://www.sarahfriedland.com
    http://www.perinspire.com

      Sean Hanley

      Sean Hanley is a non-fiction filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. His short experimental works have screened at various venues and festivals including the National Gallery of Art, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the Aurora Picture Show, and UnionDocs. He holds a BFA in Film Production from Emerson College in Boston, MA and is an MFA candidate in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in New York, NY.

      Sean was a cinematographer and co-producer on Lynne Sachs’ Your Day is My Night (2013), which screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Images Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the REDCAT Theater, Anthology Film Archives, the Pacific Film Archive and the Vancouver International Film Festival among others.

      He has worked as part of the seasonal staff of the Flaherty Film Seminar and is on the Board of Directors of Mono No Aware, a Brooklyn-based cinema arts non-profit that hosts year-round filmmaking workshops and an annual exhibition of expanded cinema and installation.

      Links

      www.seanthanley.com
      www.vimeo.com/seanhanley

      Project Highlights

      https://vimeo.com/135015379

      Aw Shucks, Segundo!

      Segundo has just 60 seconds to shuck as many oysters as he can! An attempt at a contemporary actuality film inspired by those made at the turn of the 20th century.

      https://vimeo.com/86524055

      Living Fossil

      Springtime along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard, thousands of horseshoe crabs spawn on beaches under the glow of the full moon. This is just a brief glimpse into a 450 million year old ritual.

        Raj Kottamasu

        Raj Kottamasu is a Brooklyn-based designer and filmmaker whose foundational storytelling tools are graphic design, animation, and writing. He was drawn into involvement with Meerkat Media Collective through the creation of media focused on public engagement, citizen empowerment, and social equity, as well as longtime commitment to consensus-based collective process. With a master’s degree in city planning and an interest in developing frameworks that facilitate trust and emotional investment, his career has woven between media production, public space development, public programming, teaching, and service design. In his personal work, he is currently exploring mixed media approaches to figurative animation, thinking about how abstraction carries and fails to carry meaning, and investigating the limits of rule-based behaviors.

        Links

        rajworks.com

        Featured Projects

        Amnion

        https://vimeo.com/40992672

        Interior

        https://vimeo.com/11711288

        This is What Energy Democracy Looks Like (made, for hire, with Meerkats Zara Serabian-Arthur and Jeff Sterrenberg)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2c9vsJeGFM

          Alexander Ramírez Mallis

          Alex is a filmmaker and DJ. His films have screened across the US and internationally. He holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY) and is an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and, of course, Meerkat Media Collective.

            Dara Messinger

            Dara Messinger is the Director of Public Programs at DCTV where she oversees the honored organization’s filmmaker services, education, outreach and partnerships, and serves as the programmer for its signature DCTV Presents screening and event series. Dara is also an active filmmaker and member of the award-winning Meerkat Media Collective since 2008. She co-directed the feature documentary Brasslands which screened at various festivals including IFF Rotterdam, LA Film Festival, Rooftop Films and CPH:DOX. She is currently working on a documentary about the beloved band Beach House.

            Links

            http://www.dctvny.org

            Featured Projects

            Fielded – “I Choose You” (Official Music Video)

            https://youtu.be/9gBVyTo91bQ

            Glass Ghost – “Life is for the Living” (Official Music Video)

            https://youtu.be/BLwmShgkaXU

            Into the Streets
            https://vimeo.com/107789364

              Laura X Moya

              Born in Bogota, Colombia, Laura X Moya is an emerging documentary filmmaker focusing on making films that cross borders of misconceptions. In 1991, she immigrated to the United States with her family at age eight. The experiences she witnessed from once living as an undocumented immigrant marked a profound sense of alienation which  informs her work.

              Moya is one of two students selected for the prestigious Tisch School of the Art’s Willard T.C. Johnson fellowship. Recipient of the Alan Documentary Award, as well as the 2014 & 2013 Lora Hays Documentary Award for her upcoming film WHAT THE LAND GAVE US. 2015 BFA in Film & TV Production at Tisch School of the Arts with a Minor in Latina/o Studies from New York University. 2015 Associate Artist-in-Residence for filmmaker Natalia Almada at Atlantic Center for the Arts. 2016 BRIC Artist with for MARIGRAM dance/video project with contemporary dancers Annie Wang and Mohamed Shika.  Filmmaker  at Brooklyn’s Meerkat Media Collective.

              Links

              http://www.omnitheant.com
              http://hyperspacedance.org/projects/current

                Eric Phillips-Horst

                Eric is a director, producer and cinematographer based in New York. Some of his featured work includes broadcast television (PBS, National Geographic, History Channel, Biography Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, Arte France), documentary and independent festival circuits (Sundance, Tribeca, New York FF,, LA International, CPH:DOX, Rotterdam, Rooftop Films) and numerous online syndications (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, TED, IndieWire, NoFilmSchool). He is a founding member of both Meerkat Media and the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.

                Featured Projects

                Gloria Steinem Doesn’t Drive, The New Yorker (DP)

                http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/video-gloria-steinem-doesnt-drive

                Stray Dog, PBS Independent Lens, dir. Debra Granik (DP)

                http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/stray-dog/
                http://www.straydogthemovie.com/video/

                Untouchable, 2016 Festival Circuit, (DP)

                https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/untouchable-2016

                  Adam Pogoff

                  Adam Pogoff is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. His films have screened at over 50 festivals in 20 countries. Adam holds a Bachelors of Arts in ethnomusicology from Brown University. He co-produced UNTOUCHABLE, about life on the sex offender registry, which won the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award. The first feature documentary Adam produced and co-directed, BRASSLANDS (The Orchard, 2013), premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was an Official Selection at IFF Rotterdam. Currently Adam is co-producing a TV series for ARTE directed by Thomas Balmès about guns in America. Adam has associate produced documentary television for OWN and TV One, and traveled on assignment in India, Japan, the Balkans and throughout the US producing documentary film and public radio features. Adam draws inspiration from observational and verite documentaries, as well as surreal and absurdist film inspired by dark humor. Adam’s forthcoming feature documentary, MESSIAHSEZ, is reflective of both styles and sensibilities. Adam has been a member of Meerkat Media Collective since 2009.

                  Links

                  http://www.adampogoff.com
                  http://www.brasslands.com

                    Samin Pogoff

                    Samin Pogoff is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker, video producer and editor. With a background in sociology and philosophy, Samin finds documentary film to be the best medium to explore the world around her, broaden her critical understanding of social phenomena, and engage in social and political change. She is currently producing ‘Brooklyn vs. Brooklyn’ , a feature documentary about women and gentrification in Brooklyn that studies gender and womanhood in relation to urban space. Samin has been a resident member of Meerkat Media Collective since 2015, where she has collaborated on a wide variety of documentary, narrative and client projects, and is deeply involved in Meerkat’s educational programing.

                    Featured Projects

                    Brooklyn vs. Brooklyn
                    Am I Woman Enough?

                    ‘Am I Woman Enough?’ is a short documentary about cultural norms around women’s body hair. The film asks the question “why women remove body hair?” and, to find out the answer, it goes back in history and takes a look at ‘modern’ body hair standards in mainstream media since 1920’s.

                      Zara Serabian-Arthur

                      Zara Serabian-Arthur is a non-fiction filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. In both her independent and commissioned work, she is deeply committed to helping others tell their stories and using media strategically as a means to shift narratives and support social justice movements.

                      Zara is a co-writer/co-director of the collective’s award-winning feature documentaries, Stages and Brasslands, as well as many independent documentary shorts, including Consensus and Into the Streets. She has also directed, produced and edited dozens of commissioned short films, collaborating closely with non-profits, foundations and grassroots organizations, including the Tenement Museum, the Participatory Budgeting Project, Ford Foundation, Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung, Make the Road New York and Community Voices Heard, among many others. Alongside her filmmaking work, Zara has worked as a teaching artist and arts program administrator in schools and community centers across New York City for over ten years. She has been a member of Meerkat Media Collective since 2006.

                      Alongside her filmmaking work, Zara is actively involved in the cooperative and solidarity economy movements, which work to build an economy based on values of social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, mutualism, and democracy. She is a member of SolidarityNYC, where she has works on mapping, organizing, and community-based research projects, and a Peer Educator with the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City.

                       

                      Featured Projects

                      Still She Rises

                      A short documentary about Still She Rises, the first holistic defense center in the world dedicated to serving with women with children.

                      (link forthcoming)

                      A Look Inside the Tenement Museum

                      A short film highlighting the groundbreaking work of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB7Kim2qYBE

                      Consensus

                      A look at the “how” of occupy wall street.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dtD8RnGaRQ

                        Kaija Siirala

                        Interested and informed by an array of artistic forms, Kaija has worked in video, sound and performance for the past eight years. Most recently, Kaija has been working as a picture editor in documentary film and as a film teacher, from middle schoolers to college. In 2015, her documentary short created with collaborator Emily Collins, Hansu Solo, was awarded a student grant from the National Board of Review.  She has worked as a sound editor as well on films that have screened at the National Gallery of Canada, True/False Film Festival and AFI fest. A keen collaborator, Kaija has explored live video mixing in a number of performance contexts including dance, theatre, and music.  In 2015, she travelled to the Faroe Islands as part of the fluid states: performance of unknowing conference. Currently based in Brooklyn, she is pursuing her MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College (CUNY).

                        Links

                        KAIJA SIIRALA
                        Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/kprsii

                        Featured Projects

                        THE HILL
                        THE BUTTER SOLUTION
                        HANSU SOLO

                          Corinne Spencer

                          Corinne Spencer is a video and performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited and performed at the Central Square Theater (Boston, MA), Oberon Theater (Cambridge, MA) and the Pozen Center for Interrelated Media (Boston, MA). She was a participant in the 2014 residency cycle of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a commissioned artist in the 2015 Boston Arts Emerge Festival. In 2016 participated in inaugural cycle of the Pearl Diving Movement Residency as a visiting artist. She is currently in residence with the Meerkat Media Filmmaking Collective.

                          Links

                          corinnespencer.com
                          https://vimeo.com/album/4048886

                          Featured Projects

                          HUNGER is an experimental, movement-based video installation which uses a series of interweaving, non-linear videos, performances, and sculptures to explore desire, connection, landscape, and self through the interior world and its rhythms of awakening, blooming, transcendence and decay. Each piece in Hunger will unfold separately and focus on an individual thematic arc. Though self-contained, the pieces are intended to be taken as a whole and as such will be connected by recurring performers, spoken narration, and visual rhyming. This work will exist across several disciplines, blending the traditions of performance art, dance, film, and video sculpture to create an installation which fully engages the audience on a multi-sensory level.

                            Jay Arthur Sterrenberg

                            Jay Arthur Sterrenberg is a Canadian American documentary director & editor whose work has appeared in theaters, on HBO, Arte, ESPN, and PBS.  Documentary editing credits include the Tribeca award winning UNTOUCHABLE  (2016), Sundance premiering NARCO CULTURA (Cinedigm, 2013), Academy Award nominated REDEMPTION (HBO, 2013), Emmy Nominated SECTION 60 (HBO, 2008), WARTORN (HBO, 2010). Jay co-founded the Meerkat Media Collective in 2005 and has been a member-owner of the New Day Films documentary distribution cooperative since 2009.

                            He edited, shot, produced and co-directed two of the collective’s feature length documentaries: STAGES (New Day Films, 2010) and BRASSLANDS (The Orchard, 2013) which have screened at over 50 festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Los Angeles Film Festival, CPH:DOX and Thessaloniki. His short documentary PUBLIC MONEY (New Day Films, 2016) is an observed portrait of an experiment in participatory democracy in Meerkat’s home neighborhood of Sunset Park.

                            Featured Projects

                            Untouchable – Feature Documentary (Editor)

                            Winner, Best New Documentary Director at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

                            Brasslands – Feature Documentary (Director, Editor & Cinematographer)

                            Screened at over 50 festivals around the world.

                            Narco Cultura – Feature Documentary (Editor)

                            Premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

                            Stages – Feature Documentary (Director, Editor & Cinematographer)

                            Meerkat Media’s first collaboratively created feature documentary.

                            Public Money – Short Documentary (Director, Editor & Cinematographer)
                            Unstrung – Short Fiction Film (Director & Editor)

                             

                             

                              Jeffrey Sterrenberg

                              Jeff Sterrenberg is primarily a non-fiction and experimental filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been screened at festivals around the world including CPH:DOX, The New Olreans Film Festival, IFFR in Rotterdam, The LA Film Festival, Rooftop Films and many more.  professional work has been seen on The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Atlantic, TIME, and he’s worked with numerous museums, grassroots organizations and non profits around the New York City Area. He went to Emerson College where he holds a BA in film and documentary.

                              He has been a proud member of the Meerkat Media residency and worker cooperative since 2009 and has worked on multiple feature documentaries and dozens of short form documentaries, music videos, short narratives, and experimental films. He has also been a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective since 2012.

                              Featured Projects

                              (Untitled experimental mountain film)
                              Life is for the Living, I Choose You music videos
                              Brasslands

                                Karim Tabbaa

                                Karim is a filmmaker, avid cooper, local produce enthusiast, and friend to all.

                                Featured Project

                                Dayspot Heroes – https://vimeo.com/116560310

                                  Claudia Zamora Valencia

                                  Claudia Zamora uses photography, video and sound to explore the borders and possibilities between arts, community work and social disciplines. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she is currently engaged in ethnographic research and media making. Her work focuses on the documentation and analysis of social processes, and the construction of memory –individual and collective– through image and sound. She collaborates with community-based organizations that promote access to information and services for undocumented immigrants in New York City. Claudia teaches at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), where she is a MFA candidate in Integrated Media and Arts. She is part of the 2016-2017 Residency Program at Meerkat Media Collective, and the 2016 Create Change Fellowship from The Laundromat Project.
                                  Claudia is from Oaxaca, Mexico and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

                                  Links

                                  http://www.claudiazamorav.net

                                  Featured Projects

                                  Beach
                                  Local food

                                  BLUE is a short film about the sounds, shapes and colors of Coney Island.
                                  http://www.claudiazamorav.net/blue.html

                                    Contact

                                    Sign up for our Mailing List

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                                    There are many ways to be involved and connected with Meerkat Media. Feel free to be in touch via the contact form about any of the following.

                                    Hire our Production Cooperative

                                    We’d love to work with your company or organization to make you a custom commissioned film. We are also available to hire as specialized freelancers for your existing projects.

                                    Apply for our Residency

                                    We have an open call once a year for our Meerkat Residency. Sign up for our mailing list and we’ll let you know when the next open call will begin.

                                    Apply for our Internship Program

                                    Our production company offers a paid internship that has three cycles a year.