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Tonitas to get world premiere at MOMA documentary fortnight

PRESS RELEASE - Toñita's, a short documentary exploring the displacement of the Caribbean community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will have its world premiere at The Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight 2014. The film will screen as a part of the Shorts Program: American Stories, on February 22 at 2pm and on February 23 at 5pm. Both screenings will be followed by a discussion with the directors Beyza Boyacioglu and Sebastian Diaz, along with other filmmakers.

Toñita's dives into the microcosm of The Caribbean Sports Club, fondly labeled ‘Toñita’s’ after its owner Maria Toñita, in order to talk about identity, urban space and displacement. Revealed as the matriarch of the community, Toñita is devoted to sustain the club as a hub for the Caribbean people “until she falls”. The film interweaves observational club scenes with testimonials of its colorful regulars, revealing the infamous history of a Caribbean neighborhood, as well as the club’s resistance to rapid gentrification. Music and dance constitute a crucial part of the film, as Toñita’s is a love letter to ‘Nuyorican’ culture.

Building upon Toñita’s short film, the filmmakers are currently developing a feature length documentary, titled The Caribbean.

Toñita’s was produced in 2013 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio and is a part of UnionDocs’ Living Los Sures project. This multi-faceted project restores Diego Echeverria’s 1984 film Los Sures (Southside), makes it accessible to audiences online, remixes local histories through a web documentary platform, and reinvestigates Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn today through a collection of short films.

Shorts Program: American Stories
February 22 2014, 2:00pm
Premiere & discussion after the program - The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1, MoMA
February 23 2014, 5:00pm
Discussion after the program - The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2, MoMA

Beyza Boyacioglu (co-director) is a New York/Cambridge/Istanbul-based documentary filmmaker, video artist and curator. She curates ‘Fiction-Non’, a documentary series exploring narrative/non-fiction hybrid films, at Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Her work has been exhibited in venues including MoMA (New York), The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn), NoteOn (Berlin), and Sakip Sabanci Museum (Istanbul).

Sebastian Diaz (co-director) is a Mexican artist and filmmaker, based in New York. Director of award winning documentaries, he co-founded the bulbo art collective, which produced a documentary format TV show broadcast in Mexico and the US about the Tijuana-San Diego border region. His work has been shown in ARCO (Madrid), The MAK Museum (Vienna), SMMoA (Los Angeles), InSite_05 (Tijuana-San Diego), amongst others.

UnionDocs (UnDo) is a Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, New York. It brings together a diverse community of experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future.


Since 2001, February has marked the return of Documentary Fortnight, MoMA’s annual showcase of innovative recent nonfiction film and media. This year’s festival runs from February 14-28 includes 20 feature films, 10 shorts, two classics, and one installation, from more than 20 countries, in an examination of the relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction filmmaking, and of new approaches to nonfiction practice.
MoMA is located at 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019 | (212) 708-9400 |

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