Create - Inspire - Change

UNITEDNOTIONS film

ENTER SITE

UNITEDNOTIONS film


United Notions Film produces thought provoking films and media.

Established in 2005 by award winning filmmakers Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw, UNF has offices in the US, Australia and Bolivia.

Our first feature STOLEN premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, was shown in 80 festivals, won 15 awards and aired on PBS. We’re currently producing a trilogy titled ‘From the South Looking North’, the first two features COCAINE PRISON and THE BOLIVIAN CASE will be released in 2014.

UNF films are supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, the IDFA Fund, Fonds Sud Cinema, the Strasbourg Film Fund, Screen NSW, Screen Australia, the Norwegian Film Institute, PBS, Puma, Bertha Foundation, Britdoc Foundation, Chicken & Egg, MacArthur Foundation, NRK, DRTV, Screen Queensland, RTVC, Good Pitch NY, IFP, Film Independent, Hot Docs Forum and Berlinale amongst others.

 

 

 

Get Connected

Our Team

Our driving force is to create experiential films with challenging ideas that push boundaries.

Violeta Ayala

Violeta Ayala

Violeta is an indigenous writer and filmmaker from Bolivia, best known for the controversial STOLEN that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, screened at 80 festivals, won 15 awards and aired on PBS. Currently working on the feature documentaries, COCAINE PRISON and THE BOLIVIAN CASE, Ayala is developing two feature screenplays, EL COMUNISTA, about her grandfather, a leader of Bolivia’s indigenous workers, exiled Serbian Jew and friend to Che Guevara and WE THE WARRIORS, a cinematic exploration celebrating the survival of indigenous people across the Americas. She’s an alumnus of Film Independent, the Berlinale, Good Pitch and a Tribeca Film Fellow. Ayala is creating a network of minority filmmakers to break stereotypes created in an Anglo dominated media. She has a degree in Journalism from Charles Sturt University. Ayala is one of 12 prominent bloggers for the Huffington Post on the War on Drugs, has written investigative stories for the Sydney Morning Herald and is recipient of the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Award.

Dan Fallshaw

Dan Fallshaw

Dan is an award winning filmmaker who makes films to shift the balance of power. In 2006 he went to Mauritania to make BETWEEN THE OIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA a film about corruption in the oil industry. In 2009, he co-directed, produced, shot, edited, the multi-award winning documentary STOLEN, which he sold to PBS. Fallshaw is currently producing and filming COCAINE PRISON & THE BOLIVIAN CASE. His projects have been pitched at major film forums, including IDFA, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc Fest, Good Pitch NY and IFP. Prior to founding UNF, Fallshaw was an Art Director for SBS TV Australia, developed creative concepts for agencies in London & Munich. He has an honors degree in Visual Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney and Saint Martin’s College in London. He is a qualified science teacher and taught children with special needs. Fallshaw is a Tribeca Film Fellow and alumnus of Film Independent. In 2013 received the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Award and is the CEO of United Notions Film.

Redelia Shaw

Redelia Shaw

Redelia Shaw is an African American writer, producer and Director and 2nd Assistant Director for numerous commercial projects, including Scandal, House of Lies, The Muppets, The Office, Heroes, Private Practice and Body of Proof. From 2002 to 2005 Shaw was the development and production executive for Point 7 Entertainment. She’s worked as Production and Talent Coordinator for BET, TV One and Comedy Central and the Inaugural Neighborhood Ball for President Obama. Her credits as an independent filmmaker include JOURNEY TO AFRICA; a feature documentary for which she won an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at the Wexner Center and selected for the Film Independent Doc Lab. She’s an adjunct professor of Film at Santa Monica College and teaches at inner-city high schools in LA. Shaw uses her skills to teach children to create positive, educational projects, which are captivating and clever in storytelling. She holds a BA in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University and a Masters Degree in Cinema from Georgia State University.

Alex Daly

Alex Daly

Alex is a Brooklyn-based producer of Cuban descent who works to give life to art she believes in. Daly was dubbed the “crowdsorceress” for her success in crowdfunding projects; within a year’s time, she has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for film projects including SEX AND BROADCASTING: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WFMU, CHANGING THE GAME, and DANCING IN JAFFA (Sundance Selects, Tribeca Film Festival 2013). Currently, Daly is the US producer of COCAINE PRISON. Past credits as a production manager include WEB JUNKIE (Sundance 2014) and NUMBERED (Silver Hugo award, Chicago International Film Festival 2012). Before transitioning into film she was a journalist for numerous publications, including New York magazine and SPIN, as well as the sole researcher for WSJ. Daly graduated from Vanderbilt University, where she double majored in Spanish and Philosophy, minored in film, and earned her honors thesis on Existentialism in Contemporary Drug Cinema.

Sloane Cornelius

Sloane Cornelius

Sloane is an indigenous social justice activist based in Nebraska. She is passionate about creating grassroots movements within minority communities that uncover and dismantle systems of injustice in hopes to promote equity and intra-community healing. Cornelius is currently working part-time towards her degree in Non-Profit Management and Justice Studies. She has joined UNF in 2013.
“As a registered member of my tribe, Oglala Lakota, my people are from one of the most political reservations in U.S. history. Our complex and complicated history with the U.S. government can be attributed to our ongoing persistence and resolve to see our traditions and history endure despite all odds. This has created in me a deep commitment to social justice, as well as my people. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find someone as passionate as I am about creating tangible and realizable change within native communities.”

Jeneffa Soldatic

Jeneffa Soldatic

Jen’s producer credits include the internationally acclaimed documentary Yes, Madam Sir, and numerous international theatre productions and short films since 1995. Jeneffa has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School University, NYC. She then became the third Australian to be honoured with Life Membership to the prestigious Actors Studio. She is regularly invited to give master-classes, talk on panels and judge work internationally at Pace University in NYC, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok University, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of New South Wales, Commune of Avigliano Umbro in Italy, ACA and is a current board member of Fundación Gimnasio de Actores in Venezuela as Head of the Advisory Council. Soldatic has led the educational distribution for STOLEN in 2012 and is an Associate Producer for COCAINE PRISON.

Violeta Ayala

Violeta Ayala

Violeta is an indigenous writer and filmmaker from Bolivia, best known for the controversial STOLEN that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, screened at 80 festivals, won 15 awards and aired on PBS. Currently working on the feature documentaries, COCAINE PRISON and THE BOLIVIAN CASE, Ayala is developing two feature screenplays, EL COMUNISTA, about her grandfather, a leader of Bolivia’s indigenous workers, exiled Serbian Jew and friend to Che Guevara and WE THE WARRIORS, a cinematic exploration celebrating the survival of indigenous people across the Americas. She’s an alumnus of Film Independent, the Berlinale, Good Pitch and a Tribeca Film Fellow. Ayala is creating a network of minority filmmakers to break stereotypes created in an Anglo dominated media. She has a degree in Journalism from Charles Sturt University. Ayala is one of 12 prominent bloggers for the Huffington Post on the War on Drugs, has written investigative stories for the Sydney Morning Herald and is recipient of the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Award.

Dan Fallshaw

Dan Fallshaw

Dan is an award winning filmmaker who makes films to shift the balance of power. In 2006 he went to Mauritania to make BETWEEN THE OIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA a film about corruption in the oil industry. In 2009, he co-directed, produced, shot, edited, the multi-award winning documentary STOLEN, which he sold to PBS. Fallshaw is currently producing and filming COCAINE PRISON & THE BOLIVIAN CASE. His projects have been pitched at major film forums, including IDFA, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc Fest, Good Pitch NY and IFP. Prior to founding UNF, Fallshaw was an Art Director for SBS TV Australia, developed creative concepts for agencies in London & Munich. He has an honors degree in Visual Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney and Saint Martin’s College in London. He is a qualified science teacher and taught children with special needs. Fallshaw is a Tribeca Film Fellow and alumnus of Film Independent. In 2013 received the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Award and is the CEO of United Notions Film.

Redelia Shaw

Redelia Shaw

Redelia Shaw is an African American writer, producer and Director and 2nd Assistant Director for numerous commercial projects, including Scandal, House of Lies, The Muppets, The Office, Heroes, Private Practice and Body of Proof. From 2002 to 2005 Shaw was the development and production executive for Point 7 Entertainment. She’s worked as Production and Talent Coordinator for BET, TV One and Comedy Central and the Inaugural Neighborhood Ball for President Obama. Her credits as an independent filmmaker include JOURNEY TO AFRICA; a feature documentary for which she won an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at the Wexner Center and selected for the Film Independent Doc Lab. She’s an adjunct professor of Film at Santa Monica College and teaches at inner-city high schools in LA. Shaw uses her skills to teach children to create positive, educational projects, which are captivating and clever in storytelling. She holds a BA in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University and a Masters Degree in Cinema from Georgia State University.

Alex Daly

Alex Daly

Alex is a Brooklyn-based producer of Cuban descent who works to give life to art she believes in. Daly was dubbed the “crowdsorceress” for her success in crowdfunding projects; within a year’s time, she has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for film projects including SEX AND BROADCASTING: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WFMU, CHANGING THE GAME, and DANCING IN JAFFA (Sundance Selects, Tribeca Film Festival 2013). Currently, Daly is the US producer of COCAINE PRISON. Past credits as a production manager include WEB JUNKIE (Sundance 2014) and NUMBERED (Silver Hugo award, Chicago International Film Festival 2012). Before transitioning into film she was a journalist for numerous publications, including New York magazine and SPIN, as well as the sole researcher for WSJ. Daly graduated from Vanderbilt University, where she double majored in Spanish and Philosophy, minored in film, and earned her honors thesis on Existentialism in Contemporary Drug Cinema.

Sloane Cornelius

Sloane Cornelius

Sloane is an indigenous social justice activist based in Nebraska. She is passionate about creating grassroots movements within minority communities that uncover and dismantle systems of injustice in hopes to promote equity and intra-community healing. Cornelius is currently working part-time towards her degree in Non-Profit Management and Justice Studies. She has joined UNF in 2013.
“As a registered member of my tribe, Oglala Lakota, my people are from one of the most political reservations in U.S. history. Our complex and complicated history with the U.S. government can be attributed to our ongoing persistence and resolve to see our traditions and history endure despite all odds. This has created in me a deep commitment to social justice, as well as my people. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find someone as passionate as I am about creating tangible and realizable change within native communities.”

Jeneffa Soldatic

Jeneffa Soldatic

Jen’s producer credits include the internationally acclaimed documentary Yes, Madam Sir, and numerous international theatre productions and short films since 1995. Jeneffa has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School University, NYC. She then became the third Australian to be honoured with Life Membership to the prestigious Actors Studio. She is regularly invited to give master-classes, talk on panels and judge work internationally at Pace University in NYC, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok University, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of New South Wales, Commune of Avigliano Umbro in Italy, ACA and is a current board member of Fundación Gimnasio de Actores in Venezuela as Head of the Advisory Council. Soldatic has led the educational distribution for STOLEN in 2012 and is an Associate Producer for COCAINE PRISON.

About Us

"We live and work by our motto of making films with people, not about people."
United Notions Film.

1102

Hours of footage shot

20

Film funds won

82

 Festivals have shown our films

15

Awards won

FILMS

Our films stimulate debate and inspire people to take a stand.

STOLEN

“Pacy, exciting and hugely engrossing. Guaranteed to spark intense debate about the relationship between documakers and their subjects wherever it's shown.” Variety

tiff_idfa_pbs

 

POSTER_STOLEN_2012

 

Filmmakers Ayala and Fallshaw follow Fetim Sellami, a Saharawi refugee, to North Africa for a reunion with her mother. Mother and child were separated when Sellami was a toddler. But the UN-sponsored reunion reveals a secret which spirals the film into a dark world the filmmakers could never have imagined. The black Saharawis start talking about a forbidden subject…Their enslavement. Stolen is a compelling, modern-day, real-life cloak-and-dagger thriller.

 

WATCH STOLEN

Watch Stolen today, rent it or buy it online here.

EDUCATION SALES

Stolen is available for sale to universities and colleges here.

CONNECT ON FACEBOOK

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via Stolen’s Facebook page

CONNECT ON TWITTER

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via Stolen on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 Stolen festivals

 

 sa_logo_snsw_logo_white

 

 

Cocaine Prison

In post-production

From inside one of Bolivia’s most notorious prisons a cocaine worker, a drug mule, and his younger sister reveal the country’s relationship with cocaine.

All_Logos_CP_01

COCAINE PRISON begins in Bolivia’s notorious San Sebastian jail, a virtual citadel inside a crumbling old colonial house and follows the interlinked lives of Mario, a cocaine worker fighting for freedom, Hernan, a drug mule who dreams of being a drug-boss, and his younger sister, Daisy, who struggles to escape the lure to traffic cocaine. In a country where the cocaine trade isn’t ruled by violence, these three small fish dispel the gun-toting ʻNarcoʼ myth. The film questions the legitimacy of the US War on Drugs that has seen billions of dollars spent on repressive policies, targeting the “disposable”.

Bridging the ever widening gap between the North and the South this film brings a new perspective to the War on Drugs as it is waged in the Andes.

 

 

 

CONNECT ON FACEBOOK

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via Cocaine Prison’s Facebook page

CONNECT ON TWITTER

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via Cocaine Prison on Twitter

 

 

All_Logos_CP_02

THE BOLIVIAN CASE   

In Post Production

Trying to fly out of Bolivia, three Norwegian teenage girls are arrested with 22kg of cocaine in their luggage, triggering a media storm that would change their lives forever.

All logos_TBC_02

THE BOLIVIAN CASE is a character-driven film that begins when three Norwegian girls are arrested in a Bolivian airport for attempting to smuggle 22kg of cocaine out of the country. As word gets out, Norwegian journalists descend on Bolivia creating a media storm that that turns the girls’ case into the biggest drug bust in Norway’s history, changing their lives forever.

From the start, Stina Brendemo and Christina Øygarden are portrayed in the Norwegian media as naive Europeans, while Madelaine Rodriguez, a Norwegian with Uruguayan heritage, is branded the moniker ‘Latin Trafficker’.

A year later, Christina who was the only one of the three who could afford to pay bail, was issued an emergency passport on a different name by the Norwegian Government; a document she used to illegally escape prosecution in Bolivia. After her arrival in Norway, she goes to trial with four other adolescents implicated in the smuggling scheme. Meanwhile, Stina and Madelaine are each sentenced to fifteen years in a Bolivian prison. Three years later, Stina becomes pregnant while in prison and the Norwegian media is rabid for coverage. Alfa, a popular Norwegian men’s magazine, pays Stina for the exclusive rights to her story and finances an escape worthy of Hollywood. Stina arrives in Norway in October of 2011 and her daring breakout is published exclusively in Alfa, cementing her celebrity status. At this point, two of the three girls, Christina Øygarden and Stina Brendemo, walk free in Norway while Madelaine Rodriguez remains stuck behind bars in Bolivia serving the remainder of her fifteen-year sentence.

How did their lives turn out so radically different when they were caught committing the same crime? How heavily did the media impact on the justice system?

Unraveling this stranger-than-fiction story behind the group of young people in the most publicized narcotics case in Norway’s history, THE BOLIVIAN CASE deals with one of biggest issues of our time: the power of media affecting youth and justice.

TBC_01

 

 

CONNECT ON FACEBOOK

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via The Bolivian Case’s Facebook page

CONNECT ON TWITTER

Keep up-to-date with everything going on via The Bolivian Case on Twitter

 

All logos_TBC_03

BIOHACKERS  

In development

An androgynous figure with dark spiky hair and tattooed pale skin sits alone at a kitchen table. She withdraws a large 7-gauge needle from her body and carefully picks up a silicon coated Neodymium magnet and pushes it into the open wound. Lepht Anonym is a “biohacker” who’s working to extend her senses and literally take evolution into her own hands. Through her self-inflicted transhumanist experiments, Lepht is revolutionizing the current understanding of philosophy, ethics, and science, propelling her into direct conflict with the billion-dollar biotech industry, the law, religion, the medical establishment and other biohackers who see her as a freak. Undeterred, Lepht is determined to invent new human sensory experiences, not just for herself, but for the future of all human beings. BIOHACKERS follows Lepht Anonym through her journey of human-computer symbiosis.

Developed with Sam Harrison.

Screen_QLD

 

Consultant Services

Struggling to write a proposal? Want to know where to go to fund your doc?
UNF offers professional consulting for filmmakers to get their projects up and over the line.

Consultation with Violeta

Violeta is an expert in writing proposals and winning funding from all over the world; including Sundance, Tribeca and MacArthur Foundation. There isn’t a formula to writing a film.  After reviewing your proposal or treatment, V will spend an hour on the phone, meet personally or on Skype to help you to strategize your doc. From writing the liner, paragraph, page synopsis and story structure to where to apply for funding. Buying this $500 consult will get you well and truly on the right track. Click here to contact Violeta.

Consultation with Dan

About to sign a contract with a producer? Don’t know if you’re making the best decision? Dan can help you keep control of your rights and your control of the project. He can help with distribution plans based on what’s best for you and your film. Are you planning to attend a doc festival/market and want to know the best way to get your project in front of the right people? Dan can give you a heads up on how to get your film funded. Buy a $500 consult now and we will get you up to speed. Click here to contact Dan. 

Consultation with Violeta & Dan

Do you need help with your trailer or putting together a reel to apply for funds? Have you been selected for a pitching forum and don’t know what to expect? We can set up a complete film critique and consultation with both brains behind UNF Films. Remember our first film premiered at TIFF and was broadcast on PBS! We’ve pitched at every major forum in the world. V and Dan love sharing their expertise with others. Buy this item for $750 and we’ll get you heading in the right direction. Click here to contact Violeta & Dan.

Consultation with Alex

Want to raise funds for your creative endeavor? Want to do it in 30 days? Dubbed a “crowd-sorceress” for her expert skills in crowd funding, with a 100% success rate on many Kickstarter campaigns, Alex has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for artists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs globally. Now she can help you maximize every single day of your campaign. Alex can meet in person in New York, or if not via Skype. Buy this $200 consult and Alex will help get your crowd funding campaign up and running. Click here to contact Alex. 


Choose your consultant



Photos

Madeleine in hospital

Madeleine was handcuffed to the bed because the other two girls had escaped Bolivia.

Madeleine was handcuffed to the bed because the other two girls had escaped Bolivia.

STINA GETS OUT

Stina shows us her release papers minutes after regaining her freedom after years in jail.

Stina shows us her release papers minutes after regaining her freedom after years in jail.

FETIM, LEIL and MOCIA

Fetim with her girls walk across the top of a sand dune close to the Tindouf refugee camps.

Fetim with her girls walk across the top of a sand dune close to the Tindouf refugee camps.

THE RIOT

CP_01

Riot police watch on as the prisoners take to the roof during a riot at San Sebastian Prison.

COCHABAMBA

Cochabamba as seen from the local court house the day Mario waits for his verdict.

Cochabamba as seen from the local court house the day Mario waits for his verdict.

THE PROTEST

The Cocaleros take to the streets to demonstrate in support of the President Evo Morales.

The Cocaleros take to the streets to demonstrate in support of the President Evo Morales.

Inside the riot

During the riot inside San Sebastian Prison.

During the riot inside San Sebastian Prison.

THE RIOT POLICE

The prisoners take to the roof during a riot at San Sebastian Prison.

The prisoners take to the roof during a riot at San Sebastian Prison.

Dancing cholitas

In San Sebastian during Carnaval the prisoners invite local Bolivian pop groups to perform in the prison.

In San Sebastian during Carnaval the prisoners invite local Bolivian pop groups to perform in the prison.

Hernan’s birthday

Hernan's entire family came to celebrate Hernan's last birthday in jail.

Hernan’s entire family came to celebrate Hernan’s last birthday in jail.

Daisy listens to hernan

Daisy visits Hernan at San Sebastian.

Daisy visits Hernan at San Sebastian.

Hernan and Mario

Our two main characters from Cocaine prison pose for a shot in the 'patio' of San Sebastian prison. 2011.

Our two main characters from Cocaine prison pose for a shot in the ‘patio’ of San Sebastian prison. 2011.

DAISY DRYING THE COCA

Daisy prepares the coca to be dried in the sun, spread out on large tarpaulins secured with planks of wood.

Daisy prepares the coca to be dried in the sun, spread out on large tarpaulins secured with planks of wood.

THE COCA LEAF

Coca_01

The coca plant growing in the sun

The jungle in El Chapare

The path to Daisy and Hernan's coca plantaion in El Chapare region of Bolivia.

The path to Daisy and Hernan’s coca plantaion in El Chapare region of Bolivia.

Hernan in his cell

hernan_01

Hernan family bought him a cell for $5000 in San Sebastian Prison.

Contact us

Get in touch with us!