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About Meerkat Media

Meerkat Media 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.

Meerkat Media Collective

The Meerkat Media Collective is 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.

Our next open call will be in 2022.




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.


Zeshawn Ali

Zeshawn is a filmmaker and director currently based in Harlem. Originally from Ohio, he made his way to the city to study filmmaking at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.  Since graduating, he’s directed a narrative short film called “Shallows” and also directed for the documentary series “30 Mosques in 30 Days”, showcasing diverse Muslim stories across America during the month of Ramadan. His first feature length documentary, “Two Gods”, about a Muslim casket maker in Newark is currently in post-production and has recently received support from ITVS, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Points North Institute and HotDocs.

Bryan Chang

Bryan Chang is a documentary filmmaker whose films have been featured by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, PBS, The Atlantic, MoMA, Sundance Film Festival, and distributed theatrically. His feature-length documentaries include BRASSLANDS (director), NARCO CULTURA (editor), DARK MONEY (additional editor) and ISLAND SOLDIER (producer/editor). He edited on the Emmy-nominated documentary series A YEAR IN SPACE, and produced and edited KORA: A CIRCLE LIFE, which won best short documentary at Hotdocs in 2019. Most recently, he directed the Beijing episode of season 10 of the Peabody Award-winning PBS television program “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Bryan was listed on DOC NYC’s 2019 list of “40 Under 40” filmmakers to watch.


Brasslands – Feature Documentary (Director)
Island Soldier – Feature Documentary (Producer, Shooter, Editor)
Narco Cultura – Feature Documentary (Editor)
A Year in Space – TIME Magazine – Trailer & Episode 1 (Editor)
Jeffrey’s Difficult Move – The New York Times – Short Documentary (Producer, Editor)
The Couch Incident – Music Video (Director)
The New Che of Havana – Short Documentary (Director)
Art21: Beijing – PBS (Director / DP / Editor)

Winnie Cheung

Winnie is a Hong Kong born, Queens raised, Brooklyn based film director and editor. She frequently collaborates with artists across various disciplines, using illustration, animation, and dance to place the corporeal body within surreal spaces. She has directed and edited films that have screened Marfa Film Festival and Fantasia International Film Festival with support from the Jerome Foundation. Additionally, her work as an editor has appeared at Tribeca, San Francisco International Film Festival and exclusive online outlets including Nowness, Vimeo Staff Picks and NYTimes Op-docs. She is a proud Posse Scholar, nationally selected and trained to serve as a catalyst for individual and community development in an ever increasing multicultural society.


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 have been broadcast on PBS, and have screened widely at festivals and galleries including: LAFF, DOCNYC, Anthology Film Archives, Lincoln Center, and Visible Evidence. She has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, NYSCA, the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven, the LABA House of Study, the MacDowell Colony, and The Palestinian American Research Center. 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 Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink, which aired on PBS (WNET/NJTV). She is currently co-directing the feature documentary Lyd In Exile with Rami Younis, which was invited to pitch at Cannes Film Festival Doc Corner and Days of Cinema in Ramallah in 2018. She is the Director of the MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute residency and MDOCS Forum seminar at Skidmore College where she teaches documentary production and studies.







Sebastian Diaz

Sebastian Diaz is a director, cinematographer and Emmy awarded editor (THE AND web series). His short documentary TOÑITA’S was a part of MoMA Documentary Fortnight. His feature doc BRILLIANT SOIL was awarded the Material Culture & Archeology Film Prize at RAI Fest of Ethnographic Film, Edinburgh. Sebastian photographed and edited the award winning documentary TIJUANEADOS ANONYMOUS. He directed, shot and edited multiple episodes of the documentary series BULBO that he co-created (broadcast in U.S. and Mexico on Univision) about Tijuana-San Diego border culture where he was raised.

His work has been exhibited internationally at ARCO (Madrid), The MAK Museum (Vienna), Creative Time (NY), InSite_05 (Tijuana-San Diego), among many other art and film festivals. 

Sebastian lives and works in NYC where he is the founder and curator of PROYECTOR, a traveling series of contemporary, independent Mexican cinema, and a board member of UNIONDOCS center for documentary art.





Featured projects:

Toñita’s – Short documentary (Director, Editor, Cinematographer)

Brilliant Soil – Feature documentary (Director, Editor, Cinematographer)

Is the classic Noo Yawk accent fading away? – Short doc (Director, Editor, Cinematographer)

{THE AND} – Interactive Doc (Editor)

Yanvalou – Short Film (Editor)

Leah Galant

Leah Galant  Leah (she/her) is a New York based filmmaker and member of Meerkat Media. She was named in 2015 Variety’s “110 Students to Watch in Film and Media” for two short films created at Ithaca College Beyond The Wall and The Provider which was nominated for a College Emmy with the Television Academy.

She was a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow with the Sundance Institute and Women Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, where she created Death Metal Grandma which premiered at SXSW 2018 and is a NY Times Op Doc.   Leah is in post-production on her debut feature length documentary about three people connected to the last abortion clinic on the US/ Mexico border which will premiere in 2021.




Chloe Gbai

A native of New York, Chloe Gbai is a filmmaker/producer whose work centers around issues of race, immigration, and gender. She has worked under directors such as Amir Bar-Lev and Academy Award Winner Roger Ross Williams. She received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a degree concentrating in film production, African American Studies, and anthropology. While at NYU, she was awarded the Clyde Taylor Award for Distinguished Work in African-American and Africana Studies, and was the second undergraduate to participate in New York University’s graduate program in Culture and Media through the anthropology department. Her work has appeared on HBO, VH1, Logo TV, Teen Vogue and been chosen as a Vimeo staff pic.




The Bearden Project

A study on Romare Bearden and the history of African American representation in the fine art world.

Sean Hanley

Sean Hanley is a New York based director and cinematographer working primarily in documentary and artist moving image. His short films navigate the construction of Nature through studies of landscape, place-making, and the experience of the non-human. These films have screened at various venues and festivals including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, FLEXfest, Antimatter, the Aurora Picture Show, UnionDocs, and the Paris Festival for Different and Experimental Cinema.

As a cinematographer, he has lensed three feature-length projects for filmmaker Lynne Sachs starting with Your Day is My Night (2013, MoMA Documentary Fortnight), Tip of My Tongue (2015, Closing Night of MoMA Documentary Fortnight), and most recently The Washing Society (2018, BAMCinemaFest). His cinematography work has screened at the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Brandywine River Museum, Anthology Film Archives, and online for SFMOMA, the New Museum, and Art21. From 2012-2015 he was the Assistant Director of Mono No Aware, a non-profit cinema arts organization hosting analog filmmaking workshops and an annual exhibition of expanded cinema. He holds a BFA in Film Production from Emerson College and an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from CUNY Hunter College.



Project Highlights


In Accordance With

At a border check point, pregnant people are forced to endure invasive and emotionally abusive measures in order to get an abortion. The dialogue in this film is taken verbatim from State-mandated anti-choice materials, and imagines a world in which the territory of the body and the territory of the nation are collapsed into one space. Ultimately, the film explores whether this fictional world is really that different from the one we live in now..


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.


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.

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.

Sana Malik

Sana A. Malik is a Pakistani-Canadian director, producer and writer living in New York City. As a filmmaker, Sana’s work examines how outsiders navigate new spaces and stand against the most crippling systems, while also touching on stories of loss and separation with tenderness and beauty. She co-directed and produced the short documentary, GUANAJUATO NORTE, which won a BAFTA Student Film Award and is currently streaming on the New Yorker Magazine’s documentary channel. Her scripted short film, AWAY, TOGETHER, which she wrote and directed is currently touring several festivals including Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, where it won an award for Best Narrative Short.

Sana is a trained journalist and previously worked in public health risk and communications globally. This background gives her the unique worldview to tell deeper stories about systems and the people affected by them. She has produced work for Frontline PBS, Axios on HBO, the BBC and MTV. She is the founder of an independent media company for women of color filmmakers called This is Worldtown. Sana is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, the University of London (LSHTM), and the University of Toronto. She is a member/owner of the Meerkat Media Cooperative, the Brooklyn Filmmakers’ Collective and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. She is also a part of the BAFTA Newcomer Talent Initiative.



Alessandra Lacorazza

Alessandra Lacorazza is a queer Colombian-American writer-director and editor based in Brooklyn. Her work deals with personal and cultural memory, and incorporates themes of migration, alienation, community, and resilience.

Alessandra’s short film “Mami” had its world premiere at Palm Springs ShortFest 2019, and was an official selection at NALIP, New York Latino Film Festival, Durban Film Festival and Nitehawk Shorts. Her project ‘In the Summers’ has been selected to participate in the 2020 NALIP Latino Media Market. She is a 2020 screenwriting fellow with WGA-East and FilmNation where she is working on a new script with mentors Jim Taylor and Erica Matlin.






Carolina (Carmen Borla), a young Latinx immigrant woman lives with her mother (Maga Uzo) in the United States. She is the caretaker and sole lifeline to her isolated mother, who suffers from incapacitating depression. The burden of tending to an emotionally draining relationship in the midst of a crushing political climate, hostile to immigrants, leads Carolina to consider cutting ties with her mother for good. As her own sense of isolation and racing thoughts intensify, so too does her anger at her needy mother–the solace of a neighbor’s sauna provides her only escape to freedom.


Till The Crying Fades

This video is a tribute to the lives lost at Pulse Orlando, which disproportionately affected the Latinx community. The video centers on queer community, our relationship to our bodies and the importance of safe, joyful, and celebratory spaces, especially queer bars.


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.



Featured Projects

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


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


Into the Streets

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)


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


Untouchable, 2016 Festival Circuit, (DP)


Adam Pogoff

Adam is a Brooklyn-based director, producer, and cinematographer. For around a decade, Adam has been producing feature documentary films (BRASSLANDS, 2013, The Orchard; UNTOUCHABLE, 2016, Tribeca Award-Winner), and commissioned short films for broadcast, nonprofit and commercial clients. Adam’s short documentary work has been published by The New York Times Op-Docs, on television (Sundance, MSNBC, Arte France), and online (NBC.com, The Marshall Project, The Washington Post). His features have screened at over 60 festivals (Tribeca, Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, Thessaloniki) to notable acclaim. Adam’s storytelling celebrates the absurd and surreal in MESSIAHSEZ, his debut as a solo director. He has been a member of the Meerkat Media Collective since 2009.

Featured projects

Alexis Powell

Alexis Powell is a multidisciplinary performer, artist and and creative arts therapist.  She makes original work with her ensemble, Hearsay & Hyperbole (OK GURGLE, All Them That Weave The Wind, An Invitation to Sleep, Thank You For Calling), which utilizes arts-based methods to analyze and respond to a research question or deep curiosity about human connection and communication. She was recently commissioned by NYU’s Theatre and Health Lab to devise and direct Not For Resale (co-written with Jess Barbagallo) which explores the commodification of queer culture. A regular collaborator with Sibyl Kempson, Alexis has composed and performed music in 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens at the Whitney Museum, Sasquatch Rituals at The Kitchen, and is a current member of the 7Daughter’s monthly FemAnimism congregation. She is the recipient of the 2013 Danish Visiting Artist Residency and a 2015 Brooklyn Arts Council grant for “An Invitation to Sleep”, the 2018 NADTA Performance Award for “Not For Resale”, and a 2019 Brooklyn Arts Council grant for “OK GURGLE”. She is a founding member of the Meerkat Media Collective.

Zara Serabian-Arthur

Zara Serabian-Arthur has been a member of Meerkat Media since 2006. Over the past 14 years, she has directed, produced and edited short films for dozens of NYC’s leading non-profits, foundations and museums, including the Tenement MuseumFord Foundation and Make the Road New York, among many others. Her independent non-fiction work has been featured on PBS (Public Money), National Geographic (Visual Human), The New York Times (A Long Separation) and The New Yorker (Still She Rises). She is a Co-Director of Meerkat Media’s two collaboratively directed feature docs (Stages and Brasslands) and provided additional editing for Meerkat’s recent Co-Productions Untouchable and Dark Money. She is committed using media strategically as a means to shift narratives and support social justice movements.
Zara is also 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 worked on mapping, organizing, and community-based research projects, a Board Member of New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, and a Peer Educator with the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City, and works regularly as a facilitator and organizational consultant with like-minded organizations across the city.

Lesley Steele

Lesley Steele Lesley Steele (She/Her) is a Documentary Editor + Filmmaker with a background in video & film production and digital design. Originally a New York City native she obtained a BFA in Design Technology from Parsons The New School for Design and Masters in Directing from The School of Visual Arts. Inspired by experimental Avant-Garde cinema, Steele’s visual language and story mechanisms reflect the juxtaposition of 16mm, Super-8 and analog tape to explore and conceive new meaning in the moving image and frame. In 2018-2019 Lesley was selected to participate in UnionDoc’s Documentary CoLab where she and nine other filmmakers directed, edited and produced a body of short documentary films. In June 2020, Steele was selected to participate in Sundance’s Art of Editing Fellowship and was nominated to appear on DOC NYC’s 2020 “40 under 40 list. Previously she worked as the Lead Editor on Buzzfeed’s daily news series “BTW” in partnership with SnapChat. Her latest short doc “By Way of Canarsie” was an official selection in 2020’s BlackStar Film Festival, DOC NYC and Better Cities Film Festival. Currently, Steele is currently producing her first investigative feature doc about the state of mental health and its intersection with race and the carceral system in the United States.




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.



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 and cinematographer whose work has broadcast on PBS, HBO, NETFLIX and CNN, and has screened at festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, Berlin & IDFA.  Documentary editing credits include Academy Award short-listed DARK MONEY (Dir. Kimberly Reed), Emmy winning TROPHY (Dir. Shaul Schwarz & Christina Clusiau), NARCO CULTURA (Dir. Shaul Schwarz), Tribeca award-winning UNTOUCHABLE (Dir. David Feige), Academy Award nominated REDEMPTION (Dir. Jon Alpert & Matt O’Neill) and Netflix Original AFTER MARIA (Dir. Nadia Hallgren).

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 and BRASSLANDS which have screened at over 50 festivals around the world. His short documentary PUBLIC MONEY (PBS) is an observed portrait of an experiment in participatory democracy in Meerkat’s home neighborhood of Sunset Park.

Featured Projects

Dark Money – Feature Documentary (Editor, Cinematographer)

Trophy – Feature Documentary (Editor)

Untouchable – Feature Documentary (Editor)

Brasslands – Feature Documentary (Director, Editor & Cinematographer)

Narco Cultura – Feature Documentary (Editor)

Stages – Feature Documentary (Director, Editor & Cinematographer)

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

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 Orleans Film Festival, IFFR in Rotterdam, The LA Film Festival, Rooftop Films and many more.  His professional work has been seen on National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Atlantic, TIME, PBS, 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 Collective 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

Claudia Zamora Valencia

Claudia Zamora uses photography, video and sound to explore the borders and possibilities between art, 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 individual and collective memory. 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.



Featured Projects


An audiovisual meditation of the endless reconstruction of space and memory along the Coney Island boardwalk. | 2016 – Brooklyn, NY

The Lure

After a turtle slaughterhouse shuts down, local people have to adapt to the demands of new economies and ideas of conservation. The ethnographic documentation of this process and a visual collection of memories intertwine in a portrait of a seductive coastal region on the Pacific Ocean. | Post- production

Travis Wood

Travis Wood is a filmmaker from Minneapolis, now based in Brooklyn. He experiments with storytelling in its many forms, utilizing the power of truth to guide his process. His films often ride the line between fiction and non-fiction using a hybrid of animation and live-action. Travis’ work has screened at dozens of film festivals including Rooftop Films and Athens International Film + Video Festival and has also been featured by Vimeo Staff Picks, Boooooom TV and Director’s Notes. He was named the 2018 emerging filmmaker by the Queensworld Film festival and his short One Peg Boss won a New York Emmy.


Personal website: https://elshatrab.com

– Affurmative action: https://vimeo.com/370759310
– Kayla in 1A: https://vimeo.com/273157516
– The Perfect Sheet: https://vimeo.com/310677352


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Our next open call will likely be fall 2022.

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Our production cooperative usually offers a paid internship that has two to three cycles a year.  The program is temporarily paused due to COVID.