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A documentary featuring Sharing a New Song, affectionately referred to as SANS, as they travel across Russia, using music to cross cultural boundaries Read more

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This project was successfully funded on February 27, 2010.

A documentary featuring Sharing a New Song, affectionately referred to as SANS, as they travel across Russia, using music to cross cultural boundaries

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About this project

This documentary will follow Sharing a New Song, a Boston community chorus founded in 1983 to promote closer relationships between people of different countries and cultures, as they travel across Russia via the Trans-Siberian railroad in a musical ethnographic portrait.

Twenty-seven years after their first Russian musical exchange, Sharing A New Song will return to Yaroslavl to celebrate the World Heritage Site’s millennium anniversary. The chorus will then travel across Russia, singing and interacting with many communities across the Siberian Plateau.

As the chorus travels from the center of Siberia near Lake Baikal and then back to Moscow, their musical engagements will range from the Buryat fishing village of Khuzhir to Ivolginsky Datsan, the center of Buddhism in Russia. The film will paint a portrait of Russia's cultural diversity, showcase it's natural beauty and challenge many Cold War stereotypes of one of the world's superpowers.

For some chorus members, this is their first trip to Russia, while others recall traveling to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As more traditional world cultures fade with globalization, this film will be an intimate portrait of cultural & musical diversity and the effects of cultural exchange on the young and old from Boston, Massachusetts.

The representation of Russian culture in US media still consists of secret agents in films such as the James Bond franchise and the upcoming "Salt." Traditional Russian dance was skewered in this summer’s season of So You Think You Can Dance. This film about SANS’ journey will offer an intimate portrait of Russia’s cultural diversity, highlighting just how important cultural exchange is in preserving global diversity in the Internet age. Rather than relying solely on political reputation, we will use the film to emphasize the importance of person-to-person interactions in promoting cultural understanding.

The funding for this project will mainly go toward travel expenses (airfare, train tickets, hotels, Visas) for our film crew, which includes a Director, a Cinematographer and a Sound Recordist/Designer. More money will allow us to upgrade to a High Definition camera as well as significantly improve our sound technology.


Kate Zabinsky - Director/Producer (bio below)

Elizabeth Bohinc (Producer) Elizabeth is a graduating senior at New York University's Tisch School of Arts studying producing, screenwriting and animation. Since relocating to New York City, she has worked on both student and professional projects including a documentary short “Leading a Political Life” for The White House Project and several television projects for Anthology Media, LLC.

Elizabeth also served as the two-time Co-Chair of NYU’s Women's Herstory Month executive committee, where she produced events such as a student-alumni keynote dinner with Soledad O’Brien. Elizabeth has interned with CNN's American Morning, and 20th Century Fox Acquisitions.

Monica Schorn (Associate Producer) A Silver Spring, Maryland native, Monica Schorn attended Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring and graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Richard Montgomery High School in 2006. Having graduated from NYU this December with concentrations in screenwriting and children’s media, she currently is working as an intern for the Nantucket Film Festival’s headquarters in Manhattan.

Nicki Doyamis (Cinematographer) Nicki is currently a junior at Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Film and Television with a concentration in Producing and Cinematography. She is currently the Submissions Director and one of the Co-Directors of NYU’s Fusion Film Festival. She recently traveled to Prague where she studied cinematography at the prestigious FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic and made her first film as Director of Photography. Since then she has worked on a number of films as the cinematographer.

Hannah Weddle (Sound Designer/Recordist) Hannah has focused on production and post-production sound while studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked on multiple narrative projects recording production sound, and done countless post-production sound design and mixing projects. She continues to further her skills on documentary/field sound recording. Post-graduation she plans to study at the Beam Reach Institute in Seattle, WA, where she will be studying Orca whales through bioacoustics.


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Funding period

- (89 days)