Katiana Weems-Ado


Created in response to the production of “General Maintenance”, this manifesto/carte blanc/disruption seeks to formalize my ways of working as a film practitioner in pursuit of a collaborative and radically supportive industry.

It invites film & movie makers to do the same as we question the impact of championing our processes.

“[To care is] to cultivate anticipation of another world and to live now dedicated to the task of turning this world into a better one” (B. Honing)


The Research : 
Filmmaker Interviews

These incredible filmmakers & critics were interviewed as a part of Axiom24’s research and development process. They candidly ruminated on their own practices in relation to the current state of the industry.

Camila Franco Ribeiro Gomide  

Camila works as a production sound mixer/boom operator based out of Baltimore, MD, USA. She was born and raised in Ilhéus, Brazil. Camila’s work has appeared on Netflix, National Geographic, Bleacher Report, BET, amongst others. She’s also worked on commercials for Google, Ford, Gatorade, and independent projects in the US and Brazil. Camila is also a member of the ABC, the Brazilian Association of Cinematography as a sound mixer. In her free time she likes to spend time with Jordan, her partner, ride motorcycles and window shop classic cars.

“We have gone to a place where [what sells] is the primary thing people are worried about because they’ve got bills to pay. Are we always making honest work because of it?”

“I don’t market myself as a multimedia person because it’s looked down on in the industry, which I understand. It takes so long to be good at something, but some of us are multifaceted.”

“In my career, I’ve primarily been hired by female producers.”

“I had to fall out of love with the sound department to be able to perform to the extent people expect you to. Most people don’t seem to care if something sounds good - they settle for hearing.”

Aislyn Murray  

Aislyn Murray is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Her work spans across narrative, music video, commercial and documentary work. Story is paramount to Aislyn as she often searches for visuals that reflect nostalgic emotions and past lives.
“I like to stay within my role [as a cinematographer] but I like to flow between other roles to inform my role.”

“You have to be truthful to yourself and your morals when navigating the industry...truth is probably the hardest lesson to learn in your work.”

Satchell Aubrey  

Satchell is a director, writer, and actor currently based in London. A recent graduate of NYU’s film & television program, his last short “When All Is Said & Done” screened at BFI Film Future’s 2024 edition.
“I have an issue with the director as a role, not so much the director as a role but as a person…a lot of times people don’t know how to use it ... I’ve experienced people of color coming in and taking that role but then ‘becoming a white man’.

“Dont expect the person that is secure to recognize your problem … the people that are comfortable don’t care about the people that are uncomfortable.”

“It’s time to return to form to find function again.”

Alex Smithline  

Alex Smithline is a New York City based filmmaker, writer, and comedian.

He is co-founder of Another Wednesday a production company based in NYC focused on documentaries, field pieces, and commercial work. His mom won’t admit it, but he is definitely her favorite.

Several of his films have screened throughout the United States, including at NFFTY, the Beverly Hills Film Festival, and SIFF.

At present he is working on a feature film, and a banger birthday card for his grandfather’s 90th.

“You have to go ahead and give people permission to speak — [as a director] you have to remind people that they have those powers.”

“You’re no better than any other filmmaker around you ... everyone has the chance to make something great.”

“It’s important that filmmakers surround themselves with people [that live their truth]…it’s a lot more work but I think we owe that.”

Arielle Friedman  

Arielle Friedman is a producer and actor and the founder of SER NOCTUNA, an NYC-based production company committed to collaborative filmmaking across all genres and mediums. Their films have screened worldwide, most recently at Tribeca and Frameline.
“I hate the idea of the auteur…the only way the idea happens is if you have talented people filling in the gaps.”

“I think the only way [the studio system] would be different is if the people at the top are different.”

“We’re not just bodies, we’re not just technical machines.”

Nora Marris  

Nora Marris is a director and writer from Buffalo, New York. She is based in NYC and is an MFA Film Directing/Screenwriting candidate at Columbia University School of the Arts.

Her work comprises character-driven stories often following abrasive women and toeing the line between comedy and drama. She obtained a film directing certificate from FAMU, the film and television school in Prague, Czechia, and BAs in music composition and film from American University.

Her short film SHINER recently completed post-production, and she is currently in pre-production of her thesis short filming in New York this summer, which will be based on improvisation with the actors and shot on black and white 16mm film.
“Some of the best and most interesting filmmaking is not this pristine…object. I love watching a movie and seeing the process.”

“I feel like the audience question [i.e ‘who is this film for?’] always feels rooted in…commercial aspirations”

“It feels like there is a greater need for more festivals...[and] more programming of short films outside of the festival space”

Jabari Smith  

Jabari Smith is a freelance film maker and photographer based in the DMV area. Smith is a graduate of Towson University class of 2020, and double majored in Mass Communications and Electronic Media & Film. Smith took classes in journalism, copywriting, cinematography, mass media graphics, visual effects, lighting, directing, and producing. He interned with C-SPAN creating graphics and promotional videos inbetween the regularly scheduled programming. He also interned with the Towson Sports Network in the fall of 2019 as a live broadcast assistant and camera operator for Division 1 NCAA Volleyball and basketball games played at SEQU arena.

He has worked as a photographer and marketer for the Campus Activities Board shooting and planning events ranging from Ice Cream Socials to concerts headlined by T-Pain, DNCE, and Young Thug. At the same time Smith worked as the senior videographer at TU Campus Rec producing and shooting videos and photos that aided in the integrated marketing and communications goals of the recreation center.
“I never limit myself to one position...I started as an animator.”

“You need to have so much institutional support to get into these [above the line roles].”

“I love working with people who haven’t had the fear of being pigeon holed.”

“My great grandfather was in a steel mill union…it’s unions that are on the forefront of safety and protection... [but] I also don’t love how institutionally you can’t … jump between unions … I think that limits us as artists.”

Ellery Bryan  

Ellery Bryan is a nonbinary visual artist working primarily with ritual and temporality. Their artwork manifests in tactile objects, written and verbal text, film, photo and video. They are based in Baltimore, Maryland and have an MFA in Art Video from Syracuse University.
“When there is work that would benefit most from a specific approach ... I enjoy being able to bring out what feels like the most important [method] for the viewer.”

“[The film] cannot come at the expense of another persons needs.”

“You have to practice your own values.”

“...ways of working [that] serve ego... and make you feel power at the expense of other people... [is] really intoxicating for a lot of people...”

“Horizontal organizing is notoriously slow...[but] I think this is more possible the smaller that you work.”

Rachael Tyler 

A recent gratuate of Baltimore School for the Arts’ Film program, Rachael Tyler is a writer, director, cinematographer. Her last short “Cold Water” was an exploration of identity and queer coming-of-age. She is currently pursuing her BFA in Film at Towson University.

“I just want to be able to have knowledge enough to help other people.”

“You listen to the director but I think it should be fair for everyone to at least be heard.”

“I tried to invite freshman and sophomores to be on [my] set too…when I was a freshman I desperately wanted to be on set.”

Taylor Wilson  

Taylor discovered his love for filmmaking and image-making during his freshman year of college, and throughout undergrad, he shot multiple shorts. During this time, he also began freelancing, working in reality and on indie features as a production assistant. After graduating, he continued to work and branched out into multiple departments. Currently, he works independently as a freelancer in various departments, as well as at American University as a videographer/editor. Taylor also enjoys writing and is a Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Fellow.
“It’s important for me to have that community…it’s what filmmaking is really about.”

“The film is the child and the crew are like the parents...do you put an expectation on the child to be a certain way?”

“The crew needs to represent the story...not everyone has to be black and queer but that’s where [we started].”

Ariel Baska  

Ariel Baska is a multiple award-winning, multiply Disabled queer horror and documentary filmmaker, who believes in advocacy and accessibility for historically underserved communities. Their work has played on Alaska Airways, at the Portland Art Museum, and at film festivals from Berlin to Mexico City to Mumbai. They have presented with Lincoln Center, the Berlinale, and SXSW (South by Southwest) on various topics in disability and accessibility in the film and television industry. They are the creator of ACCESS:HORROR, a film festival and summit celebrating disability and horror.

Ariel is a podcaster, non-profit owner, and published author who curates creative spaces. Ariel’s work can be seen many places, but their creative multiverse is most visible on Ride the Omnibus, their podcast and non-profit parked at the intersection of pop culture and social justice.

Regardless of what story they’re telling or what work they’re doing, they care passionately about the margins.
“The only way youre going to see yourself represented on screen is in independent cinema.”

“Even though people who are used to working in the studio system can work straight through 12 hour days…they’re happier and more fulfilled working these 8 hour days.”

“The film industry is predicated on the idea that the budget is the thing that should be prioritized above all else.”

“Allowing other voices to carry equal weight to yours is so imporatnt.”

Cierra Gladden  

Cierra Andrea Gladden, a talented writer and filmmaker, is rooted in Baltimore, MD, with her origins in Odenton. Her creative pursuits are driven by a deep love for narrative that delves into the essence of the human journey, particularly within the realm of her diverse cultural and community affiliations.

Recently, she brought her vision to life through her directorial debut in the short film titled SUNDOWN, a project made possible by generous grants from Johns Hopkins University and Studio North. Cierra's involvement in the local film scene is robust, having notably served as Production Manager on Katiana Weems' GENERAL MAINTENANCE under the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellowship.

Beyond the camera's lens, Cierra immerses herself in furthering her knowledge of film and photography, dedicating time to journaling, collaborating with her peers on various film projects, and attempting to tackle her ever-growing TV watchlist. A recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Cierra majored in Film & Media Studies alongside a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management.

Cierra is currently producing two Studio North shorts, RED PRIOR and COCAINE TO LONDON, both slated for release in April 2024.
“We’re often watching things without knowing who made it or where it came from.”

“If you’re putting people in a position…to sacrifice parts of themselves for something that doesn’t give them as much in return…thats a huge issue.”

“There might be this fear/stigma that the more important these other roles become the less important the role of the director becomes.”

“If we are the industry…it’s up to us to make sure we are practicing our values.”

Cici Peng  

Cici Peng is a film journalist, film programmer, film producer based in London. She has written for the FT, TANK, LWLies, Dazed & Confused, i-D, and led and edited an editorial project for gal-dem. She has programmed screenings and events at the BFI, ICA, the Barbican among others. She is a programmer for Sine Screen, a film collective dedicated to highlighting films from ESEA filmmakers. Currently, she is part of the preselection committee for New York Film Festival’s Currents shorts.
“Critics are one of the last bastions between the public and the artwork.”

“I think [the necessity of specialization in the industry]
makes the industry less creative.”

“[I am] trying to work against the idea that we need to appease audience understanding of a certain piece.”

“We need to develop an avant garde sensibility…and that comes from funding.”

Marnie Ellen Hertzler  

Marnie Ellen Hertzler is a filmmaker based in Baltimore, Maryland. Influenced by her background in psychology, fine arts, and her childhood in the American south, she creates films that act as cinematic platforms for the exploration of interpersonal relationships, isolated landscapes, symptoms of the climate crisis, lessons learned from listening, and the inevitable end of it all.

Her first feature film, CRESTONE, is a hybrid-documentary set in a dystopian future where the last people alive are a group of SoundCloud rappers. CRESTONE premiered at True/False in 2020, and went on to play at SXSW, CPH:DOX, BAM NYC and many national and international programs and film festivals, including The Bellwether Series, Boiler Room, Dock Yard, Maryland Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, American Film Festival, and Oak Cliff Film Festival. CRESTONE was released digitally and on BlueRay in February of 2021 by Utopia Distribution. The original score composed by Animal Collective was released digitally and on vinyl in April 2021 by Domino Records.

Her previous award winning short films scored by musican Dan Deacon (DIRT DAUGHTER, HI I NEED TO BE LOVED, and GROWING GIRL) have screened at renowned film festivals such as Locarno, and IFFRotterdam, and have been programmed on The Criterion Channel, and in MoMA NYC.

In 2018 Marnie was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She is a Creative Capital Awardee, Bemis Fellow, IFP Narrative Lab Fellow, Vermont Studio Center Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, Rubys Artist awardee, a Saul Zaents Innovation Fund fellow, and a Rooftop Film Fund fellow.

She is currently in post-production on her second feature film, ETERNITY ONE, about a disappearing island community in the Chesapeake Bay, and the ways we imagine possible futures.
“I choose joy in filmmaking over anything else... I just decided at an early age I need to keep myself healthy by working independently.“

“[The distinction between above the line and below the line] doesn’t matter to me…it doesn’t dictate my way of working.”

“I want the film to be itself and to live it’s own life and to grow up without me.”

“I love the idea that the film crew isn’t invisible…but I feel like they are to the extent that the director wants them to be.”

“The only way we as filmmakers can control the industry is if we talk to each other and are honest with each other.”

The Research :

What is the film manifesto? What is its purpose? What truth is it proclaiming and who benefits?

If a manifesto serves “[to] rupture, [to] break, [to] challenge”, what are we left with in its wake?

DOGMA95 (1995)

10 Rules for Directing (2024)

What Is To Be Done? (1970) 1 of 2

What Is To Be Done? (1970) 2 of 2

Manifesto of the Palestinian Cinema Group (1973)

Don’t Throw Film Away! (2008)

Revolución Rasquache (2013)

The Feminist Filmmaking Syllabus  (2017)

Silent Landscape Dancing Grain 13 (2012)

Not Pictured (copyright restricted) :
The Hays Code (1930)
What’s Wrong With Indian Films? (1948)
The Aesthetics of Hunger (1965)
Conciousness of a Need (1970)
The Toronto Declaration (1973)
A Statement by the Black Audio Film Collective (1983)
Statement of African Women Professionals of Cinema... (1991)
The Dekalog (1999)
The Pluginmanifesto (2001)
My Porn Manifesto (2002)
The Digital Revolution and the Future of Cinema (2000)
No More Mr Nice Gay (2009)
The Vertical Cinema Manifesto (2013)


Bagaskara, Dimas, M. Misbahul Amri, Nabhan Fuad Choiron, & Evi Eliyanah. "The Celebration: Analyzing realism in Dogme 95 Manifesto film." Bahasa dan Seni: Jurnal Bahasa, Sastra, Seni, dan Pengajarannya [Online], 50.2 (2022): 196-208. Web. 8 Apr. 2024

Bedikian, Lory. "Manifesto." The Massachusetts Review. Excerpt originally published in Jagadakeer: Apology to the Body, University of Nebraska Press, 2024.

Caws, Mary Ann. Manifesto : A Century of Isms. University of Nebraska Press, 2001.

Glissant, Edouard, and Patrick Chamoiseau. Manifestos. Translated by Betsy Wing and Matt Reeck, Planetarities, 2022.

Nichols, Bill. "Manifestos: A Forgotten History." Film Quarterly, 11 Sept. 2014. Accessed 9 Apr.2024. https://filmquarterly.org/2014/09/11/manifestos-a-forgotten-history-2 /#:~:text=How%20to% 20make%20manifest%20the,Stand%20up%20and%20speak%20out

MacKenzie, Scott, editor. Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology. 2014 ed., U of California P.

Wood, M., Salovaara, P., & Marti, L. (2018). Manifesto for filmmaking as organizational research. Organization, 25(6), 825-835. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508417749886

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