Filmmakers Collaborative SF and Re-Present Media are presenting a series of workshops focused on helping filmmakers with practical filmmaking advice and strategies to move their films forward. Workshop participants will walk away with tangible documents and tools for the next step in their filmmaking journey.

Practical and Ethical Considerations for Working with Film Participants

Thu, September 22, 2022 | 3:30pm – 5:00pm PT

This practical workshop aims to equip filmmakers, funders, and participants to address challenges that arise during the filmmaking process by highlighting existing tools and resources on documentary ethics and accountability. It will focus on financial impacts and benefits, ownership, content review rights, and the film’s impact on participants.

Create A Customized Film Distribution Strategy

Thu, October 20, 2022 | 1:00pm – 2:30 pm PT

This hands-on workshop will help filmmakers design a customized distribution plan for their film. We will cover creating goals for your film, evaluating different distribution channels, finding audience, strategies for DIY distribution, sequencing your release, and more – all with the goal of creating a unique and actionable distribution strategy for your film.

Get Unstuck: Producing Strategies to Move Your Film Forward

Thu, November 17, 2022 | 1:00pm – 2:30pm PT

This hands-on workshop will help you critically assess your ideas, structure development and strategy to successfully secure funding and move your film forward. It will focus on aligning the filmmaking process with a film’s funding potential, efficiently organizing time and resources, producing a compelling work sample, proposal and pitch deck, leveraging a team approach, and more.


Cost: Free for Filmmakers Collaborative SF members or sliding scale (pay what you can)

For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.filmmakerscollaborative.org/events


The Long Rescue, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker Jennifer Huang, was accepted into the Film Independent CNN Docuseries Intensive. Supported by Founding Sponsor CNN Original Series, the Intensive helps Fellows walk away with a deeper understanding of the industry through executive and peer mentorships, creative workshopping and industry networking.

The Long Rescue follows Filipina teen sex trafficking survivors for six years in an intimate journey of recovery.

Grandma Lai is a recipient of the LIMCA-Hidden Gems III Award. The purpose of the awards program is to recognize individuals for their story, creative work, and contributions to the LIMCA Iu Mien community.

Grandma Lai is the subject of My Name is Lai, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker, Lucy Saephan.

In My Name is Lai, a first generation Mien American elder, shares the events leading up to her arrival to the U.S. as a refugee survivor of war. Lai retraces moments of her life from memories as a young child, to being a newly arrived refugee finding her way in the U.S. Through these memories, Lai reflects on her life, passing on cultural traditions, fears of losing her independence, and hopes for the future.

This Adventure Called California, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker Jennifer Huang, will screen at the 2022 United Nations Association Film Festival on Sunday, October 23 at 1pm in Palo Alto.

This Adventure Called California is a short documentary film about recently divorced Arnoldo, who comes to the United States from Mexico to win back his family but meets only brutality and despair, until a chance encounter at a racquetball court changes the course of his life.

For more information, visit this page.

Coach Emily, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker Pallavi Somusetty, is having its first in-person screenings! The film will screen:

October 22 at 4:00pm with BAMMS at the Roxie
For more information and tickets, visit this page.

October 23 at 12:30pm with Kearny Street Workshop at the Roxie
Pallavi Somusetty is a featured artist for this showcase.
For more information and tickets, visit this page.

Coach Emily follows Emily Taylor, a Black woman rock climbing coach determined to close the adventure gap for her team of young girls of color in Oakland.

When the Garden Comes, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker Jay Gash, is screening at Femininity Framed on Friday, October 7th at 5pm at Rose Mary Jane in Oakland.

When the Garden Comes follows how the legacy of homeownership and gardening pumps through the veins of a Black family in North Oakland.

Femininity Framed features female filmmakers of color exploring their femininity within short films.

For more information and tickets, visit this page.

For Love and Legacy, directed by Re-Take Oakland filmmaker A.K. Sandhu, is making its way back to the Bay Area at Mill Valley Film Festival. The film is screening in the Shorts Program: Painting Pictures, October 12 at 3:45pm at Rafael 3.

For Love and Legacy tells the personal stories of sculptor Dana King and activist Fredrika Newton who come together to build a new monument that honors the Black Panther Party’s vital place in American history.

For more information and tickets, visit this page.

A.K. Sandhu will also be leading an archival workshop, Reel Life: History on Film, with Bay Area archivist, Alex Cherian, on October 15 at 11:30am. Exploring themes of history and memory, A.K. will talk about the curated archival footage she considered and utilized for the film, and participants will be able to study and learn how archives expand historical significance.

For more information and tickets, visit this page.

For Love and Legacy will also be screening at these upcoming festivals: DocNYC, HotSprings, Montreal Black FF, New Haven Docs, Montclair, and Urbanworld FF.

This is a list of tools and resources to help filmmakers, funders, and participants address ethical challenges that arise during the filmmaking process. These resources cover a range of topics, including: financial impacts and benefits, ownership, content review rights, and the film’s impact on participants. This list was prepared for a workshop presented by Filmmakers Collaborative SF and Re-Present Media.


  • What is Ethics?
    Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University
    An explanation of what ethics is.
  • Making an Ethical Decision (PDF)
    Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University
    Questions to help you make an ethical decision.
  • Inside the Documentary Cash Grab (Sep 16, 2022)
    The Hollywood Reporter
    As streaming transforms the once-sleepy nonfiction space into a money-making juggernaut of hit series, cool parties and $30 million single-title sales, THR talks to Alex Gibney, Ken Burns and other filmmakers about rising costs, ethical lapses and the very soul of their profession.
  • Editorial Standards
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    The editorial guidelines and standards of Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Dealing with trauma and survivors of trauma (June 4, 2020)
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation provided this guidance to assist staff involved in the reporting, discussion or depiction of trauma. It includes advice on dealing with victims, survivors, relatives of victims, and witnesses of crime, accidents, and natural disasters.
  • Making Media with Communities: Guidance for Researchers
    Ann Light of Northumbria University and Tamar Millen of the Community Media Association
    These guidelines set out a framework of ethical and practical considerations for creating media with communities to think about the process, the approach, and the legacy of the project.

Congratulations to Re-Take Oakland filmmaker, A.K. Sandhu, who is the winner of Spotlight Your Town for her docuseries, We Beg Your Pardon, America. Spotlight Your Town is presented by SeriesFest and National Geographic Documentary Films.

We Beg Your Pardon, America tackles America’s version of history about the Black Panther Party through poetic interrogation by womxn Panthers. 

A.K. Sandhu will receive a $20,000 grant to be applied to her production, an opportunity to pitch to National Geographic Documentary Films, and unscripted teams in one-on-one curated meetings, as well as receive a six-month mentorship with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, City So Real).

Centering Survivor Stories: A Filmmaking Series will explore how to center the perspectives of sexual violence and abuse survivors in documentary films.

Co-presented by Re-Present Media, The Video Consortium, and Art Works Projects, these workshops feature four films whose work illustrates ethical filmmaking strategies and informed consent practices with film participants.

The events in the series are:

  • Still I Rise with Sheri Shuster
  • The Long Rescue with Jennifer Huang and Jethro Patalinghug
  • The Apology with Tiffany Hsiung
  • Letter to My Child from Rape with Bernadette Vivuya and Leslie Thomas

Each interactive, standalone session will focus on a different aspect of the survivor-centered filmmaking process and help filmmakers apply these approaches in their own work. Workshop participants can discuss situations from their own work in a supportive learning environment.

To attend one of the sessions, please fill out the application form. Applications will be reviewed by Re-Present Media and The Video Consortium on a rolling basis. Selected participants will be contacted with instructions on how to register and pay for a selected workshop. Fee waivers are available for those with financial need. Applicants will be notified no later than a week from their application date.


WORKSHOP 1: STILL I RISE

DATE: Wednesday September 7, 2022

TIME: 3:00PM ET (12:00PM PT / 8:00PM BST)

This workshop dives into how race, class, and power affect filmmaking with survivors. Featuring Still I Rise (2018) by Sheri Shuster, this workshop examines how filmmakers can:

  • Apply an intersectional lens,
  • Make creative choices for strong storytelling without exploitation,
  • Benefit the lives of survivors and their communities through the filmmaking process, and
  • Work with problematic institutions, such as law enforcement, without legitimizing their practices.

Still I Rise explores the relationship between racism and sex trafficking with dynamic womxn in the San Francisco Bay Area closest to the problem and the solutions. The film follows advocates Holly Joshi and Leah Albright-Byrd as they work to prioritize the interdependence of the anti-trafficking movement and other movements for social equity.

Sheri Shuster is an Iranian-American filmmaker interested in advancing intersectional and moral conversations about racism and power. For over fifteen years she worked with nonprofits and elected officials, including former U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos and The Center for Women and Democracy. From 2008-2012 Sheri served as Associate Director of Covenant House California, advocating for homeless and sex trafficked youth. Sheri’s work has been featured at The African American Policy Forum with Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw and The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Sheri is an alumnus of UCLA and the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.


WORKSHOP 2: THE LONG RESCUE

DATE: Wednesday September 14, 2022

TIME: 1:00PM ET (10:00AM PT / 6:00PM BST)

This workshop dives into an ongoing, long-term consent process with survivors — especially minors — and the financial impacts on filmmakers and film participants. Featuring The Long Rescue (in production) by Jennifer Huang and editor Jethro Patalinghug, this workshop explores:

  • Long-term consent processes for participants who are minors,
  • Issues that arise when working with impoverished participants, and
  • The balancing act between informed consent, project completion, and film fundraising.

The Long Rescue begins where most trafficking stories end: after the rescue. Following teenage survivors in Cebu, Philippines, the film explores how girls can recover from deep violation to find stability, love, and personal agency. Over six years, Hope, Sara, and Carrie grow from idealist teens into struggling young women – sobered, but driven by hard-won inner strength.

Jennifer Huang started Treeclimber Media to tell stories that aren’t being told elsewhere – personal stories of people of color, women, and girls who have been systematically dehumanized. For almost two decades, Huang’s work in documentary and television production has brought her to unexpected roles in disparate places: scrubbing in for a kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic (Anonymous Content); writing questions for Colin Powell about African American soldiers in WWI (Harlem’s Hellfighters, Lucasfilm); booking an interview with Hugh Jackman in the middle of Sydney Harbor (Get the Edge, Lieberman Productions); and being questioned in a shipping container in Papua New Guinea (Standing on Sacred Ground, Sacred Land Film Project). She recently finished her first documentary short as a director, This Adventure Called California, about a labor trafficking survivor.

Jethro Patalinghug (they, them) is a filmmaker, video producer, visual artist, and queer immigrant activist. You can watch their films 50 Years of Fabulous and My Revolutionary Mother on Amazon and iTunes. They are also known for their drag persona Virginia Please on Tiktok where they highlight representation for queer and trans-BIPOC communities. Jethro was Mr. Gay San Francisco 2016 and Mr. GAPA 2012. They have a B.S. in Digital Filmmaking at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco and are currently finishing an MFA in Studio Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art.


WORKSHOP 3: THE APOLOGY

DATE: Wednesday September 21, 2022

TIME: 1:00PM ET (10:00AM PT / 6:00PM BST)

This workshop dives into telling stories of survivors, decades after the trauma has occurred.

Featuring The Apology (2016) by Tiffany Hsiung, this workshop explores:

  • Practicing care with survivors regardless of the passage of time,
  • Awareness and care in telling stories that have an intergenerational impact,
  • Cultural shame and its impact on participants and during production, and
  • The importance of witnessing and listening as part of the filmmaking process.

The Apology follows three former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into military sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Whether seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government or summoning the courage to share their secret with loved ones, these women are motivated by setting future generations on a course for reconciliation, healing, and justice.

Tiffany Hsiung is a Peabody award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Hsiung’s approach to storytelling is driven by the human condition and the relationship that is built with the people she meets both in front and behind the lens. She won the inaugural Toronto International Film Festival Share Her Journey Short Cuts Award for Sing Me a Lullaby (2020) as well as a Directors Guild of Canada award for Best Short Film. In addition to the Peabody award, The Apology (2018) won the DuPont Columbia Award and the Allan King Memorial Award. She was recognized as one of DOC NYC’s 40 under 40.


WORKSHOP 4: LETTER TO MY CHILD FROM RAPE

DATE: Monday September 26, 2022

TIME: 1:00PM ET (10:00AM PT / 6:00PM BST)

This workshop dives into how a survivor’s role can evolve from participant to producer in rewriting social narratives. Featuring Letter to my Child from Rape (2020) by Bernadette Vivuya and Leslie Thomas, this workshop explores:

  • Working with film participants who become involved as producers,
  • Parental consent and long-term impacts on their children,
  • Creative choices in audio and visual storytelling, and
  • Rewriting social narratives to empower survivors.

In Letter to My Child from Rape, director Bernadette Vivuya brings to the screen the powerful words of poet-advocate Désanges Kabuo as she braves dangerous prejudice to claim a future for the child she did not choose to have but now loves fiercely. Often, these mothers and their families face stigma from the very communities that should embrace and support them.

Bernadette Vivuya is a Congolese visual journalist and filmmaker based in Goma, Eastern DRC. She works on issues of human rights, the environment, and the exploitation of raw materials, with a particular interest in subjects that testify to the resilience of the people of this region affected by numerous conflicts.

Leslie Thomas is a feature narrative and documentary director, multi-media artist, and architect. Leslie is also the founder of ART WORKS Projects and an Emmy-award winning art director. Her projects have been exhibited on five continents in cultural, civic, and academic centers. Her recent films include The Prosecutors and Thursday’s Child.


To attend one of the sessions, please fill out the application form.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected].