Kundura DocLab is a project and capacity-building program where various methodologies and perspectives intertwine, conducting experiments using ideas and creative elements. Inviting artists to explore the boundaries of documentary, this international program brought together cinema and theater documentary directors for the first time in May 2023. Organized annually with different invited instructors, the program creates a space for the convergence of diverse stories and creative minds from different countries.

It serves as an open platform for all filmmakers and theatermakers engaged in research-oriented work. Believing in the power of the connection between cinema and theater, Kundura DocLab aims to bridge the gap between these two disciplines by discovering similarities in storytelling and exploring overlapping innovative aspects in the creative process. By providing a meeting point for documentary creators, the program establishes a structure where they can share collaborative artistic processes and enrich their artistic identities.


Throughout this process, Kundura DocLab not only questions and discusses current definitions but also explores the possibilities of creating 'another world' by discovering the essence of non-fiction storytelling. Focused on developing artistic collaboration and research methodologies in non-fiction storytelling, the program highlights the importance of the research process in film and theater practice. It encourages each participant to delve into their inner world, discover creative sources, follow questions that guide them towards a specific dramaturgical flow and aesthetic research, and alleviate some of the resistance in their creative processes.


In addition to the in-depth development of methodologies in the production process of documentary, Kundura DocLab focuses on seeing sources in storytelling art on different levels.

2nd Kundura DocLab will be held at Beykoz Kundura from April 22 to 27, 2024.

Category: Documentary Film / Documentary Theater / Project Development

Level: Intermediate Level and Above

Location: Beykoz Kundura İstanbul, Turkey (Accommodation and training on the site)

Important Dates: 

Application: January 8 - March 1, 2024, until 18:00 (Turkey time)

 

Announcement of Selected Projects: March 11, 2024

Pre-presentation Day: March 22, 2024 (Online)

Residential Development Program: April 22-27, 2024  (On the site Beykoz Kundura)

*Successful applicants must attend “Pre-presentation Day” 

What do we offer?

Kundura DocLab offers a capacity-building program; gathering with inspiring workshops, lectures, and international exchange programs held for the second time in Istanbul in April 2024 to generate this creative and collaborative space. We will investigate harmoniously for a cutting-edge cross-disciplinary approach and offer an exchange for building up a curious ecosystem in artistic production.

Who can join?

Kundura DocLab is open to every research-based filmmaker and theatermaker who is practicing documentary, keen on improving methodologies in-depth, and also looking for self-development as a creative practitioner. DocLab is not limited to local makers in Turkey, it is an international platform that believes the transcultural aspect of the art of documentary is crucial for innovative approaches in shaping the material of reality. We care about selecting participants who can clearly state their research interests and skills along with a strong aesthetic approach. We would like our participants to keep a strong openness to self-development and aim to improve their analytical, and critical skills in their creative practice.

Conditions of Participation

Applicants must be 30 years of age or older. 

Participants must be proficient in English, with an advanced Upper-Intermediate or Advanced Level knowledge. 

Participants must attend the entire program, successful applicants will be required to sign a memorandum of agreement

Artists can apply with their film or performance/theater projects at the early stage of development. They must present an idea to work on throughout the lab for the application. 

For Filmmakers 

We expect you to have either 1 feature-length documentary film or 2 medium-length documentary films that have participated in an international festival program.

For Theatermakers

We expect you to have 1 original production performed at either a national festival or an international fringe festival. 

We value participants who, alongside a strong aesthetic approach, can enhance their analytical skills in their creative practices, express themselves effectively, and prioritize openness to sharing and collaborative production in their research.

The applicants can enroll from the following regions; 

Balkans, South Caucasus, Middle East 

 

Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait

Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Artists or directors can apply with their film or performance/theater projects at the early stage of development. They must present an idea to work on throughout the lab for the application. 



Kundura DocLab is organized with the valuable contributions of the French Cultural Center.
The framework is designed with the consultation of Aljoscha Begrich and Bruni Burres. We will be hosting notable filmmakers, theatermakers and also researchers & anthropologists for workshops and lectures in our lab program along with many screenings and performances open to the general audience in the second edition of the Kundura DocLab.
Kundura DocLab aims to create a safe, sustainable, and inclusive environment of mutually acknowledging debate, dialogue, and exchange in which everyone is treated with respect and equality. We at this moment declare that the selection process of the participants and the workshops will not include any form of favoritism, hurtful language, discrimination, abuse, marginalization insulting behavior on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion, background, skin color, religious belief, sexuality, gender identity, socio-economic class, caste, disability or age.
KunduraLAB does not provide any grant or scholarship. If necessary successful applicants look for a scholarship to cover the travel expenses with their own means.
Kundura DocLab provides accommodation (including breakfast and dinner) workshop training and passes to the ticketed events. The travel expenses must be covered by the participant.

Advısors

For over 25 years, Bruni Burres has been a passionate leader with a proven track record developing and executing innovative projects at the intersection of arts, culture and human rights & social justice. She is a visionary strategic fundraiser, team manager, media educator, producer and social media advisor. She is a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, strategizing and deepening its international work with individual artists and organizations. Since 2008 She was a mentor and partner with the Greenhouse Documentary program and is now, along with the founding members of Greenhouse team, a leading 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, which develops strategic and effective distribution campaigns for extraordinary films and cultural projects that involve philanthropists, corporations, NGOs and individuals. From 1991 to 2008 Bruni was the director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which she also co-founded. Bruni is the co-writer and associate producer of Beyond My Grandfather Allende, which won best documentary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and co-writer and producer of Whose Country? by Mohamed Siam, which had its USA premiere at the 2016 New York Film Festival.
Born 1977 in Belgrad. Studied art history, philosophy and cultural studies in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Mexiko City. Since more than 10 years of ongoing collaboration with Rimini Protokoll beginning in 2010, most recently "Remote X" with Stefan Kaegi, which was subsequently staged in over 50 cities. Since then, he has been working continuously with Rimini Protokoll. From 2014, he has been a dramaturge at the Gorki Theater Berlin, where he has realised documentary projects with Ersan Mondtag, Marta Gornicka, Oliver Frljic and Lola Arias. He has realised numerous projects in public space in Santiago de Chile, Tehran and Copenhagen, among others, and has been a curator and dramaturge at the Ruhrtriennale between 2020 and 2023, where he worked with Mapa Teatro, Mariano Pensotti and Marco Layera. In 2020 he founded the festival OSTEN in Bitterfeld, which deals the question of being from and living in a postsocialist society in visual and performative ways.

Jury

Filmmaker and producer Dilek Aydın finished Film Studies in Bogazici University and had her master’s degree in Film and Television at Istanbul Bilgi University. She attended Karlsruhe University of Arts and studied Media Art. Returning to Turkey, she started working mainly in production, while developing and creating her own shorts. In 2017, she founded Istanbul-based Heimatlos Films, a production company that already produced acclaimed films such as feature documentary Mimaroglu (2020) a Visions du Reel contender; feature fiction Ghosts (2020) the winner of Venice Critics’ Week, and Blue ID (2022) IDFA Audience Award winner. She is currently producing feature fiction "I'm Here, I'm Fine".
Gurur Ertem is a sociologist, dancer, and dance and performance studies scholar. Her trans-disciplinary research and teaching combine the arts with social and political theory. Her Ph.D. is in Sociology from The New School for Social Research with the dissertation “The EUropean Dance: The Emergence and Transformation of a Contemporary Dance Art World (1989-2013).” She held Fellowships at the Akademie Schloss Solitude and the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry. Recently, she was a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin. She served as a jury member for the German Dance Platform 2020 and curated the iDANS Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance. Her recent publications include: “Covid-19 Protests and the Performative Force of Untruth: Some Arendtian Intimations,” “Promises and Pitfalls of Political Curating in Live Arts,” “Fragmented Spaces of Appearance,”; “The Object of My Inquiry,” and Bodies of Evidence: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Movement. She is the Director of Programming and Research at Bimeras Berlin, the sister organization of Bimeras Istanbul, a not-for-profit initiative for inquiry across the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Also, she is an internationally registered somatic movement/dance educator (RSME).
Yelta Köm is an architect, artist, and researcher who incorporated architecture, artistic and spatial practices, to discuss social and political issues. His work is mainly influenced by the perception of the environment, the image of the city, neoliberal transformations, the tension between nature and technology, and collective movements. Landforms, technology, critical spatial and communing practices, urban and data surveillance methodologies, architectural technology, mapping systems, literal and cinematographic storytelling as well as questioning representation techniques are core components of his practice. He was the associate curator of the Vardiya exhibition at the Pavilion of Turkey at Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018 and curated the Caution! Slippery Ground exhibition at Istanbul Modern Museum in 2016. He collaborated actively with Studio Tomàs Saraceno and Aerocene Foundation between 2015-2019. He is co-founder of Herkes Icin Mimarlik [Architecture for All] and a member of Arazi Collective. Recently, he assumed the exhibition design of Füsun Onur’s Once Upon a time… exhibited during 59th Venice Biennale. Köm is currently workings as a research associate at the chair of Practices and Politics of Representtation at Bauhaus University Weimar and a researcher at the Topological Atlas project hosted by TU Delft.
S. Buse Yıldırım - Istanbul-based director and curator. She has been curating films and performances since 2015 and has been making documentary films by using visual anthropology methods. Her strong interest in the creative sector and different cultures took her to pursue art and design studies in Brighton in 2007. As she discovered contemporary art, she turned to theory and completed her undergraduate education in History of Art based on theory at Goldsmiths London University in the department of Visual Culture, and she worked on various exhibition projects. Her desire to concentrate on film and video encouraged her to move to Paris; she completed her second BA degree in documentary directing at ESEC Paris. While having experience in various oral history projects that led her to discover ethnography practice, she has also completed her master's degree in Visual and Media Anthropology at Berlin Freie Universität. Directed "Il l'appelera la légère" (2014), " h" (2017), "Circa" (2017), "Warehouse" (2018), "I Am Fiction (2019) her short film “Ghostly” (2020) was screened in various ethnographic film festivals and conference programs such as the Royal Anthropological Institute, German (Göttingen) Ethnographic, EthnoKino Bern. While she continues to develop and curate audio-visual projects within Lita Production House that she founded in 2015, Buse explores marine literacy in her new research.

Instructors

Nino Kirtadze was born in the city of Tbilisi, Georgia. In the tumultuous years of the 1990s in the Caucasus, she served as a war correspondent for AFP and AP, covering the Chechen War. Starting her film career by playing a role in Nana Djordjadze's Oscar-nominated "A Chef In Love" (1996), she has appeared in numerous international productions. Living in France since 1997, Nino Kirtadze has worked with directors such as Peter Brook, Jean-Pierre Ameris, Philippe Monnier, Claude Goretta, and Olivier Langlois. Her first documentary as a director was "Chechen Lullaby" (2001), and her films have been screened at festivals such as Zagreb, Sheffield, La Rochelle, as well as museums like MoMA and Berkeley. In 2005 "Un dragon dans les eaux pures du Caucase" won the Best Documentary award at the European Film Awards, and her (2008) documentary "Durakovo: Le village des fous" received the Best Director Award in the World Cinema category at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a member of the European Film Academy and the French writers and directors association La SCAM.
Rabih Mroué, born in Beirut and currently living in Berlin, is a theatre director, actor, visual artist and playwright. He is a contributing editor for The Drama Review /TDR (New York) and a co-founder of the Beirut Art Center (BAC). He was a fellow at The International Research Center: Interweaving Performance Cultures/ FU/Berlin from 2013 -2014. He has been working as a theatre-director at Münchner Kammerspiele from 2015 -2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

We only accept online applications. Please read the requirements carefully before completing the application.
Applicants must be 30 years of age or older. Participants must be proficient in English, with an advanced Upper-Intermediate or Advanced Level knowledge. Participants must attend the entire program, successful applicants will be required to sign a memorandum of agreement.
Co-writers and co-directors can apply together with the same project, but only one person from the same project can participate in DocLab. The application form is expected to be filled in collectively. The project owners must decide who the participants will be.
For Filmmakers We expect you to have either 1 feature-length documentary film or 2 medium-length documentary films that have participated in an international festival program. For Theatermakers We expect you to have 1 original production performed at either a national festival or an international fringe festival. We recommend that you participate in the work that expresses yourself and your approach most authentically, well, and comfortably.
No, there is no participant fee for Kundura DocLab. Kundura DocLab provides accommodation (including breakfast and dinner), workshop training, and passes to the ticketed events. The travel expenses must be covered by the participant.
DocLab participant announcements will be made on Monday, March 11 on Beykoz Kundura’s website and social media accounts.
Yes, you may reapply for the next edition.
Yes, you can apply, but you can only apply twice for the same project.
The pre-presentation day is an online event with a session duration of 25 minutes for each participant. This session, which we designed to equalize the expectations of the participants, will be a rehearsal and meeting between the participants with Kundura DocLab. It is also a preparation for the project presentation in the Lab program. We aim to clear all the questions in mind, answer all questions as a team in one-on-one meetings, and thus bring all the participants together on the same page to build the connection smoothly during the lab.
Yes, the participants from each genre will attend all the workshops together as we aim for these two disciplines to learn from each other.
You must participate in all programs except optional events/activities.
Yes, you just need to be a citizen of one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
No. you must be a citizen of one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

                                                                     

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