Curbed Capitalism (w/t) (2022) is a short documentary in production for the Documentary Studies program at The New School. To be released in May 2022."There’s no free lunch" is one of the main adages of capitalism, but in high-cost New York City, one might find by the curb a free dining table set to enjoy their meals. Could the most expensive city in the US be an oasis of free stuff? Curbed Capitalism is a travel log turned into an urban-ethnographic investigation. A portrait of New York City from the perspective of a new New Yorker and fledgling filmmaker. By using objects found at the sidewalk as the starting point of a city exploration, the film examines the different people, aesthetics, uniqueness and inequalities from New York City. What people leave behind at the curbside in each neighborhood, who comes to rescue these objects, and how they deal with the camera become part of a personal discovery of the implicit codes of the city.
[Below rough cuts of sample scenes, no color correction or sound mixing]
Is this a Documentary? (2021) is a short essay film that explores personal discoveries of a fledgling documentarian in the process of making a film. The film uses metalanguage – recognizing it is a film, and mimicking techniques and approaches of historical documentaries – to question what is a documentary, what defines a documentary filmmaker and if the film itself could be considered a documentary. Through footage captured in different situations (from class exercises to homemade videos) the film is guided by the combinations of these images with voice over of a reflective essay. This essay film does not intend to answer what is a documentary – is it possible to come up with a single answer? – but to question what defines a documentary filmmaker and their work. All that through the learnings and thoughts of the filmmaker's own process of becoming one. [The New School, Fall 2021 Doc: Art, History, Future Professor Lana Lin Directed and Edited by Cacau de Santana Araujo Are you happy? Cinematographer: Moksh Krishnan Direct audio: Harry Dwinell and Nicky Quamina-Woo]
Focusing (2021) is an experimental self-portrait about the life of a mother after her baby is born, the attempt to focus on one single chore, and the forever divided body and mind. The portrait of a new-mother isolation process followed by the pandemic induced isolation process. This self-portrait video was part of my application for the Documentary Studies program at The New School.