The Silver Sun Foundation is a family philanthropy dedicated to providing support for professional creative artists, cultural organizations, educators and social change makers.

Filmmaker Crystal Kayiza

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2021

 

In partnership with Sean Weiner, Director of  Creative Culture

at the Jacob Burns Film Center

 
Crystal Kayiza was raised in Oklahoma and is now a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. As a director, her work reimagines the aesthetics used to tell stories about Black folks across generations and landscapes. Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” she is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship, Jacob Burns Film Center Woman Filmmaker Fellowship, Points North Institute North Star Fellowship and Sisters in Cinema Documentary Fellowship. Her film, Edgecombe, was an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it was acquired for distribution by PBS.
 
Her most recent film, See You Next Time, was an official selection of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released by the New Yorker. 
Her short narrative film, Rest Stop, was the winner of the 2020 Tribeca CHANEL Through Her Lens program grant. Crystal received a Heartland Emmy Award in 2012 for her film All That Remains, which profiles Boley, Oklahoma, one of the nation’s last all-black towns. She is currently in pre-production on her first non-fiction feature film, which recently received the 2021 Creative Capital Award.
 
 

 

Filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2021

 

In partnership with Sean Weiner, Director of  Creative Culture

at the Jacob Burns Film Center

 
Jalena Keane-Lee is a filmmaker who explores intergenerational trauma and healing through an intersectional lens. Jalena’s work subverts traditional narratives about the female, Asian American Pacific Islander experience. Sheʻs currently directing her first feature length film, Standing Above the Clouds which follows Native Hawaiian mother daughter activists. Her short film by the same name screened at over 30 film festivals, won best short documentary at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival and Special Jury Mention from the Center for Asian American Media, and is playing on the Criterion Collection.
 
Jalena co-founded Breaktide Productions, an all women of color production company that has won two Cannes Lion awards for branded content. She’s produced commercial series for Nike and Facebook, and won Tribeca Through Her Lens 2020. Her work has been supported by AAJA, NeXt Doc, Jacob Burns Film Center, Pacific Islanders in Communication, Nia Tero, CNN Films, and Points North Institute.
 

 

PRODUCER & MENTOR BRUNI BURRES

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2021

 

In partnership with Close Up ~ A cinematic initiative for

non-fiction filmmakers.

 

For over 25 years, Burres has been a passionate leader, media educator and producer at the intersection of arts, culture and human rights & social justice. She is a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, and a founding partner and tutor for Close-Up, an international co-production initiative for emerging Middle East and North African filmmakers. Burres is an advisor with Doc Society’s Good Pitch, and from 1991 to 2008 was the director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which she also cofounded. Bruni is the co-writer and associate producer of Beyond My Grandfather Allende, which won best documentary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and cowriter and producer of Whose Country? by Mohamed Siam, which had its USA premiere at the 2016 New York Film Festival.

MUSICIAN DAVID PULKINGHAM

Artist-in-Residence ~ Winter 2021

David Pulkingham is an internationally renowned guitarist, recording artist and performer, known for his abilities in numerous styles, including classical, Flamenco, Brazilian, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz.

From 2002 until 2012 David toured internationally with the famed Texas troubadour Alejandro Escovedo, and served as his orchestra’s music director. He has performed on many international stages such as Carnegie Hall, and has performed with icons including Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Robert Plant and Patty Griffin.

In 2011 he released a solo instrumental album entitled “David Pulkingham Plays Guitar.” In 2012 he released a 5 song EP of originals called “David Pulkingham Plays Guitar and Sings” and in 2014 he released a third volume of “David Pulkingham Plays Guitar”, and will soon release a full album of originals. David currently tours with Patty Griffin and plays internationally under his own name.

PAUL STURTZ & POLINA MALIKIN

Artists-in-Residence ~ Winter 2021

 

In partnership with Upstate Films, a non-profit, member-supported arts organization presenting the best in world & independent cinema in the Hudson Valley since 1972.

 
Paul Sturtz is the new co-director of Upstate Films in Rhinebeck with Jason Silverman. He co-founded the Ragtag Film Society in Columbia, Missouri in 1997 with David Wilson, and between 2000-2017 worked as the head programmer at Ragtag Cinema. In 2004 they co-founded the True/False Film Fest, a nonfiction festival, with Paul then serving a 16-year run as co-director. Paul served on Columbia City Council between 2008-2011, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Missouri in 2017 for his contributions as a social entrepreneur and his positive impact on local and regional culture. His short documentary Dear Valued Guests premiered in 2013 and played at a dozen festivals around the world. Paul was selected in the inaugural “Indiewire Influencers” list, described as “visionaries changing the course of film.”
 
Polina is an artist, writer, teacher, and community organizer whose varied projects are motivated by a vision of regenerative ecology, peace, and transformative justice. She has traveled nationally and internationally to work as a filmmaker, humanitarian aid worker, and teacher. Before moving back to New York, Polina founded and ran a forest school in Columbia, Missouri; created a community art space in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and was a member of a feminist art collective and started a community garden in Providence, Rhode Island. She has also taught art and film at Brown University, University of Wisconsin, and Stephens College. She helped start the Citizen Jane Film Festival and directed the Education program at the True/False Film Fest and Ragtag Cinema.
 
Iko Malikin, age 8, is an artist, violinist, and fun kid. She enjoys drawing, painting, collage, bookmaking, and ceramics. She is also a big fan of mail art and miniatures of all kinds. One of her paintings is part of the permanent collection at the Wedding Cake House in Providence, RI.
 

Musician Helen Ballentine & Producer Noah Weinman

Artists-in-Residence ~ Autumn 2020

Ballentine has been playing music for most of her life — piano from age five, guitar since high school — but her songwriting didn’t emerge until later. After moving from her home in upstate New York to Los Angeles to study studio art in college, Ballentine was working full-time at a Los Angeles gallery, poised to continue onto the trajectory of visual art she had been on since she was a teenager. Instead, it didn’t feel right, and she quit. Suddenly faced with a peculiar freedom, Ballentine decided, somehow both confidently and tentatively, to seriously pursue music for the first time. While nannying on the side to make ends meet, she wrote “Places/Plans,” her first song for Skullcrusher, a little over a year ago. Despite her extensive background in visual arts, Ballentine suddenly found songwriting to be the best avenue for her artistic visions, an easy way for her to organically discover what it is she was trying to say. ‘Skullcrusher is, by all accounts, an exploration of the ways you become yourself when you aren’t looking – and how that feels once you start paying attention.’

Read more about Helen here

 

FILMMAKERS SIMON LIU & RACHAEL LAWE 

Artists-in-Residence ~ Autumn 2020

 

In partnership with Vic Brooks, Senior Curator, Time-Based Visual Art at EMPAC, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

Simon Liu is a film artist whose work centers on building a lyrical catalogue of the rapidly evolving inner and outer landscapes of his place of origin in Hong Kong through alternative documentary forms, abstract diary films, multi-channel video installations and 16mm projection performances. Liu’s work has been presented at film festivals and institutions globally including the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam: Tiger Short Competition, Toronto International Film Festival: Wavelengths, Sundance Film Festival, New Directors/New Films at MoMA & Film at Lincoln Center, BFI London Film Festival, M+ Museum, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Cinéma du Réel, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Light Industry, and “Dreamlands: Expanded” with the Whitney Museum of American Art & Microscope Gallery. An upcoming solo-presentation of Liu’s films and performances will take place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of their ongoing Modern Mondays series. Liu is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a teacher at the Cooper Union School of Art, and a member of Negativeland; an artist-run analogue film lab in Brooklyn. Liu is currently editing his first feature film, Staffordshire Hoard.

Rachael Lawe holds a Bachelor’s & Master’s degree in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, U.K. (2005). After graduation she became Director & Curator of FRED, an art gallery based in London U.K. & Leipzig, Germany. Following a move to New York in 2009, she served as the Founding Director of the International Collage Center, an educational arts nonprofit with a lending and research collection. In 2013 she joined the Decorative Arts and Design team at Tiffany & Co. Between 2016 and 2017 she curated three exhibitions with artist collective Regina Rex. From 2017 she has worked in Interior Design focusing on residential projects, and is an active participant in female focused curatorial groups in New York and continues to independently curate arts programs. Since 2017 she has produced and collaborated on several short films with filmmaker Simon Liu which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. They are now working together on their first feature film. 

 

READ MORE ABOUT SIMON’S FILMMAKING HERE

ALISA ALI, Producer and DJ at WFUV.ORG 

Artist-in-Residence ~ Summer 2020

Prior to her DJ shifts on WFUV, Alisa spent years as a host on “The Alternate Side” channel, riding the cutting edge of new music and playing her old faves. Alisa does a lot of her work behind the scenes too, as producer many of the FUV Live sessions and live broadcasts. She also collaborates with NPR Music on various projects, most recently including their Turning the Tables project, where they recast the popular music canon with a closer eye on female artists.

          Read more about Alisa and hear her middays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on WFUV.org or at 90.7 FM

PHOTOGRAPHER SHEDRICK PELT

Artist-in-Residence ~ Summer 2020

 

Shedrick Pelt is an editorial, live-event and commercial photographer. He specializes in documentary, music, product and portrait photography with a style driven by an urge to be the fly on the wall, capturing an experience without disrupting the nature of the moment. Based in Washington D.C., Shedrick works worldwide while keeping strong ties to the local community in his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, and his adopted home of NYC.

JUNETEENTH PROTEST 2020, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Visit Shed’s Website Here

Spring 2020 Filmmaker Residencies have been developed in partnership with Sean Weiner, Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab and Creative Culture at the Jacob Burns Film Center

 

FILMMAKER EMILY ANN HOFFMAN 

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2020
 

Emily Ann Hoffman is an award winning animator, filmmaker, and artist. Her films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance and more. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies with the New York Film Festival Artist Academy, the Sundance Institute, the Jacob Burns Film Center and Mighty Oak animation studio. As a fine artist, her work is represented by Spacey Studios and has been featured on Architectural Digest, Fast Company, and more. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work explores female sexuality, body, and vulnerability through a comedic lens.

 
Link to Emily’s award-winning short film Blackheads: https://mailchimp.com/presents/sxsw/blackheads
 
 

FILMMAKER MATTHEW PUCCINI 

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2020
 

Matthew grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lives in Brooklyn. His short film Dirty had its World Premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was an official selection of the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Award for Acting. His short film Lavender premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Searchlight Pictures for an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run, and was nominated for Vimeo’s Best Drama of 2019. His previous short film The Mess He Made premiered at SXSW in 2017 and was a finalist for the Iris Prize.

Matthew is a 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow, a member of the 2017 New York Film Festival Artist Academy, a recipient of the Richie Jackson Artist Fellowship and a Creative Culture Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center. He was selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2019 25 New Faces of Independent Film and as one of Indiewire’s 25 LGBTQ Filmmakers On The Rise. He is currently developing his first feature film.

 
Link to Lavender: https://vimeo.com/336167672

FILMMAKER ADAM MEEKS 

Artist-in-Residence ~ Spring 2020 

 

Adam Meeks is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His last short film Union County premiered in competition at the 70th Berlinale, and has continued on to screen at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Maryland Film Festival, and numerous others. His work frequently examines rural and peripheral American communities, and aims to exist within the intersection of documentary and narrative processes. He is a 2019 Jacob Burns Emerging Artist Fellow and a Yaddo Residency recipient. He currently works as a video producer at Jazz at Lincoln Center. 

 
Watch Adam’s short film Furlong: https://vimeo.com/233957528
 

 

JACOB BURNS FILM CENTER ~ CREATIVE CULTURE FELLOWSHIP 2020

 

Silver Sun Diverse Voices Fellow Karina Dandashi

 

The Silver Sun Foundation is proud to support the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Creative Culture Program for emerging filmmakers with the Diverse Voices Fellowship each year. In 2020 we welcomed Karina Dandashi, a Syrian-American Filmmaker.

 

Read more about Creative Culture Fellows HERE

Noah Souder-Russo ~ Artist Resident Winter 2020

Noah is a native New Yorker, a dj, producer, and educational rapper who collaborates with visual artists, dancers and musicians. He is currently working on a music project with a visual component. See and hear more at Noah's Website ~ http://www.iamnsr.com/ and at https://soundcloud.com/iamnsr/tracks.

Silver Sun Residence ~ Photo by Noah Russo

Musician Gary Louris ~ Artist Resident ~ Winter 2020

Gary Louris is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter of alternative country and pop music, and one of the most acclaimed musicians to come out of Minnesota’s teaming rock scene. He was a founding member of the Minneapolis-based band The Jayhawks and is their principal songwriter and vocalist. Gary Louris has built a deeply compelling body of music whose artistry and integrity has won the loyalty of an international audience and the respect of both critics and his peers. Read more about him at https://www.highroadtouring.com/artists/gary-louris/

Silver Sun Diverse Voices Fellow Abbe Akhamie ~ JBFC's Creative Culture Class Fall 2019

The Silver Sun Foundation is proud to support the Jacob Burns Film Center's Creative Culture Program for emerging filmmakers with the Diverse Voices Fellowship each year. In 2019 we welcomed Abbe Akhamie, a Nigerian-American writer/director and producer.

Nature Connection Network Retreat ~ Fall 2019
 
Nature Connection Network Board & Stakeholders at Silver Sun Foundation, hosted by WILD EARTH, Executive Director David Bronstein. Wild Earth leads transformative nature immersion experiences that cultivate character, confidence, passion & perseverance in today’s youth.

The O+ Festival, Kingston, NY

O+ EMPOWERS COMMUNITIES TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR COLLECTIVE WELLBEING THROUGH THE EXCHANGE OF ART, MUSIC AND WELLNESS. This vital community organization hosts the annual O+ Festival each fall, which implements the exchange of art-making and performances for wellness services among participants: 'the art of medicine for the medicine of art', including healing arts, mural tours and healthcare forums.

A SUMMIT OF HUDSON VALLEY LEADERS ~ November 2019 ~ O+ Executive Director Joe Concra, Shaniqua Bowden and Executive Director Julia Farr of Kingston Land Trust, Wild Earth Co-Founder & Executive Director David Brownstein, and TMI Project's Co-Founder and Executive Director Eva Tenuto.

The Woodstock Film Festival 2019 @ Silver Sun Residence

Silver Sun Foundation is pleased to support the annual Woodstock Film Festival by providing accommodations for participating filmmakers during the annual festival in October. The Woodstock Film Festival premieres exceptional films, and hosts a diverse group of talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry each year.

Woodstock Film Festival 2019 ~ Women in Film and Media Panel

August 2019 ~ Filmmakers-in-Residence Showcase with Leah Galant & Maya Cueva

On August 10th we were delighted to present our second Community Reception featuring a screening of award-winning short films and a work-in-progress presentation by our resident artist filmmakers at the Silver Sun Residence. Both Leah and Maya have been Sundance Ignite Fellows at the Sundance Film Institute and Creative Culture Fellows at the Jacob Burns Film Center, and their work has been shown at numerous international film festivals. Our Woodstock community joined a group of current Creative Culture Fellows to mingle and meet the artists and learn more about their films.

July 2019 ~ Silver Sun Residence Works in Progress Event supporting Secret City Artists

Artist Bobby Lucy talks about his landscape paintings, and Award winning Los Angeles playwright Laural Meade and Cellist and Singer/Songwriter Leah Coloff share work they have been developing at the Silver Sun Foundation Residence this month.

Secret City at Silver Sun Residence ~ July 2019

The grand finale of this year's Secret City Summer Arts Revival weekend was a smash. Hundreds of local and Hudson Valley friends of Secret City gathered under the big top tent at Andy Lee field for the signature art celebration. This artistic tent revival included The Secret City live band, The Secret City Singers, dancing, guest artists, storytelling, contemplation, revelry and more. It was a high-octane, roof raising, ecstatic art experience.

Secret City Tent Revival in Woodstock, New York!

The Silver Sun Foundation is ecstatic to support the Artists, Musicians,Storytellers, Dancers and more who come together to celebrate community and the arts at the annual Secret City events.

Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley Benefit at the Silver Sun Residence

This year, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley reached the milestone of providing care in our community for 85 years. Come celebrate this momentous occasion with us and help ensure another 85 years of reproductive healthcare. Presented on June 30th at the Silver Sun Residence in Woodstock .... with performances by Amanda Palmer, The Shovel Ready String Band plus dancing to Freek's Garage

Silver Sun Foundation Benefit for Close-Up Filmmakers Collective

CLOSE-UP encourages and supports documentary filmmakers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with diverse ethnic, religious, cultural or political backgrounds from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Join us to meet our creative and courageous artists from Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, and watch exerpts of their thought provoking documentaries. Plus a sneak preview of the 2019 Sundance Special Jury Award Winning Documentary Midnight Traveller.

Secret City Gershwin Cabaret Benefit at Silver Sun Foundation

An evening of singing, cocktails, delicious food, mingling and more in an historic and extraordinary New York setting: Ira Gershwin’s former penthouse. The evening consists of a dazzling line-up of musical performers from Broadway, cabaret, opera and downtown scene, each performing a Gershwin song. The evening is emcee’d by our own Chris Wells.

Featured Performers

Leah Coloff (Oklahoma, This Tree) Julian Fleisher (February House, Coraline, Julian Fleisher’s Rather Big Band) Chantelle Grant (Rheingold, Die Walkurie) Daniel Jenkins (Big River, Billy Elliot) Virginia Marcs (Astoria Music Collective) Mardie Millit (Into the Woods, Hey, Look, It’s Michael and Mardie) John Andrew Morrison (The Strange Loop, The Experimentals) Olivia Oguma (Les Mis, Mamma Mia) Michael Winther (Mamma Mia, Songs from an Unmade Bed) HOST: Chris Wells, founding Artistic Director, The Secret City, Michael Garin, pianist

WFUV 90.7fm Public Radio Highline Bash 2019

Silver Sun Foundation is delighted to sponsor WFUV's fourth annual fundraising gala at Chelsea's Milk Studios for a jubilant celebration supporting New York's most inventive radio station. Featuring intimate sets by beloved artists with a delectable feast. The knockout lineup of musicians included Citizen Cope, Richard Thompson, Jill Sobule, Caroline Rose, the Binky Griptite Orchestra, and Joe McGinty's Superstar Piano Bar.