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NYWIFT Members in the News

Members, do you have an upcoming screening, event, campaign or other news to share? Tell us! Contact communications@nywift.org.

After winning nine major awards in 2015, and two awards at the London International Film Festival 2016, member Maria Soccor’s Lords of BSV made its digital television debut on July 31 on Red Bull TV and is now available on VOD. Lords of BSV is the latest addition to the online media platform from the Austrian Red Bull company which broadcasts live global events, and an extensive selection of sports, music and lifestyle entertainment. The Red Bull TV debut follows Soccor and Lords of BSV being featured for a second time on WABC-TV in New York City. Above and Beyond: Inspiring People In Our Community profiled the director in the program which aired June 25 and 26. Lords of BSV tells the inspiring story of the breathtaking Brukup dancers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of New York City.

Member Sonja O’Hara’s pilot Doomsday, which she wrote, produced and stars in, is an official selection of the 2016 New York Television Festival. It is one of only 63 pilots chosen from approximately 3,500 submissions. Read the announcement in Variety. Doomsday is an episodic drama that chronicles the daily lives and backstories of the members of an upstate New York cult, uncovering the gray area where youthful idealism evolves into deadly extremism. Doomsday is also an official selection at the upcoming ITV Fest and Series Fest, and is a finalist at the 2016 Sundance Institute New Voices YouTube Lab! Watch the trailer.

Westside Spirit recently ran an article about member Caytha Jentis, who discusses her web series The Other F Word. The series celebrates the highs and lows women experience after turning 40 in a fun and fearless way. Caytha felt this demographic was underserved on screen and decided to focus on what she calls a “rebranding of aging.” Read the full interview online. NYWIFT will screen The Other F Word as part of our Member Screening Series on September 27 at 7 PM at Anthology Film Archives.

Member Mary Murphy invites you to tune in to Fireside Mystery Theatre, a monthly live show and ongoing podcast. Fireside Mystery Theatre is a motley assortment of actors, writers, musicians, and technicians united by one common goal: to take your darkest fears and put them in your ears. A Prairie Home Companion met The Twilight Zone and birthed FMT, a live show and podcast with a penchant for the mysterious and the macabre, as well as a healthy dose of humor and spirited musical performances. This twisted take on the old-style radio variety show is performed monthly and recorded in one take before a live audience. A current in-studio summer series, "The Midnight Reading," shares dramatic recitations in miniature of lost classics of dark literature with performances exquisitely rendered by regular cast members Mary Murphy, James Rieser and Ali Silva. New podcast episodes are available each week leading up to FMT's LIVE season premiere September 25 at The Slipper Room in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Find out more on firesidemysterytheatre.com.

Member Ela Thier’s sci-fi comedy Tomorrow Ever After will have its world premiere at the Moondance Festival in Boulder, CO, on September 4. It is one of five feature film winners and will receive its award on September 5. When a historian living 600 years in the future time-travels to the year 2015, she navigates the societal ills that she’s read about in history books. Read more on the film’s website. See a complete list of Moondance winners and finalists, and buy tickets for the festival.

Ghost Team
, a horror comedy produced by member Julie Christeas, opened at City Cinema Village East (181-189 Second Ave) on August 12. Determined to catch some ghosts on film, a paranormal-obsessed man mounts his own investigation into the beyond with his depressed best friend, misfit nephew, a cable access medium and an overeager security by his side. It stars Jon Heder, David Krumholz, Amy Sedaris, Justin Long and more. See showtimes and buy tickets via Fandango.

, written, produced, directed by and starring member Angela Atwood screens at Chain NYC Film Festival’s “Is This Love?” program on August 14 at 12 PM. The mission of the Chain NYC Film Festival is to encourage the development of quality independent cinema in our burgeoning digital age. The Chain NYC Film Festival serves as a showcase to the NYC film community. Freebie is 8.5 minutes of awkward and desire, starring Chris Beetem, Angela Atwood and Rege Lewis. It premiered at the 2016 Manhattan Film Festival, where is won Best Romantic Drama Short. Here's a peek at the Freebie trailer!

The LoudaVision Podcast is for visionaries, artists and creative people. Emmy award-winning Filmmaker & NYWIFT member Laura Meoli interviews experts to discuss what it takes to succeed in the arts, and methods for bringing your creative vision to life. The latest interview features filmmaker and business owner Lina Lansky, who is a fellow NYWIFT member. Lansky is a self taught filmmaker and producer with her own production company, Landsky Media Productions LLC. Even with an MBA degree, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur, and she talks about her own missteps starting out. “Having a business degree doesn’t mean jack. Hands-on experience is far more important”, she says. The LoudaVision podcast is FREE and available at www.LoudaVision.com.

Award winning actress and writer (and NYWIFT member) Dipti Mehta is set to perform her new solo show HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan at the Fringe Festival in NYC this August. Slumdog Millionaire meets Memoirs of Geisha meets the Indian epic Mahabharata in this dark and entertaining story of a priest, pimp, prostitute and a eunuch who call Mumbai's red light district their home. All performances are at Fringe Venue # 8 which is WOW Cafe Theater (59-61 East 4th Street, 4th Floor). Show times are Aug. 16 @ 4:15 PM (with a talk back), Aug. 19 @ 7:45 PM, Aug. 22 @ 7 PM, Aug. 26 @ 2 PM, and Aug. 27 @ 5 PM. Tickets are $18. Buy tickets. Part of the proceeds go to www.apneaap.org, an organization doing grass roots work to rescue and empower trafficked victims.

Member Jennifer Snowdon was the costume designer for the film No Pay, Nudity, which won a Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Filmmaking at the Stony Brook Film Festival. No Pay, Nudity is a film about hanging out, hanging in and hanging on. Gabriel Byrne, playing comically against type, portrays aging actor Lester Rosenthal, a man who has lost his way with his career, family and friends. A hilarious Nathan Lane, along with Frances Conroy and Boyd Gaines, portray his fellow thespians, all waiting for the right role to come along as they hang out in the Actors Equity lobby. Read more.

The documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, produced by NYWIFT member Caralene Robinson’s company Coffee Bluff Pictures, will screen Aug. 5-11 at Cinema Village. In addition to five daily shows, the Aug. 5 at 7 PM screening will be followed by a Q&A and reception featuring director Deborah Riley Draper and narrator Blair Underwood. Jesse Owens wasn’t the only African American at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Olympic Pride, American Prejudice explores the 18 African American Olympians who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the Berlin games. Set against the turbulent atmosphere of a racially divided America torn between boycotting Hitler’s Olympics, or participating in the Third Reich’s grandest affair, the film tells the story of 16 men and two women – the one you know, and the others you don't. Tickets are $12; seniors and students pay $8. Buy tickets.

The documentary Cherry's in Season will have its world premiere at the Long Beach International Film Festival on Aug. 4 at 6:15 PM. NYWIFT member and composer Lauren Buchter created the original score for the film. The documentary chronicles a season in the life of Fire Island's legendary gay bar, Cherry's On The Bay. Staff, owners and regulars recount the storied history of the bar, including connections to the American Gay Rights Movement. Tickets are $12. Director Dave Dodds, Writer Sean Arena and Composer Lauren Buchter will all be there for a Q&A after.

Priscilla Anany (left) and Adriana Shaw
Priscilla Anany (left) and Adriana Shaw
Member Adriana Shaw of HerFlix recently presented an award to director Priscilla Anany at the Las Vegas Film Festival (see picture to the left). Anany won Best New Narrative Director at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival for her feature Children of the Mountain. Against the picturesque Ghanaian backdrop, Children of the Mountain is an honest exploration of a mother’s will in the face of much adversity. When her baby is born with a cleft lip, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, Essuman is led to believe that she has a ‘dirty womb.’ Her promising future as a wife and mother is shattered as her lover disowns her and the community eyes her with suspicion.

Member Laura Israel’s film Don’t Blink: Robert Frank is screening at Film Forum July 13-26. (Now extended through August 9th due to popular demand!) Robert Frank, now 91 years old, is among the most influential artists of the last half-century. His seminal volume, The Americans, published in 1958, records the Swiss-born photographer’s candid reactions to peculiarly American versions of poverty and racism. Today it is a classic work that helped define the off-the-cuff, idiosyncratic elegance that are hallmarks of Frank’s artistry. Director Laura Israel (Frank’s longtime film editor) and producer Melinda Shopsin were given unprecedented access to the notably irascible artist. Tickets are $14. Laura will be at Q&A’s after several screenings. See details.

Actor/writer/director and NYWIFT member Graceann Dorse will be screening her short film The Skull as part of the 2nd Round Finalists competition for the Katra Film Series in NYC. Starring noted playwright and poet Edgar Oliver as the voice of the Skull, the film tells the story of a family who learns to let go of the past. The screening will take place on July 16 at 5:00PM, at the Katra Lounge on the Lower East Side. 217 Bowery at Rivington. Tickets are $20, and a discount code is available with KATRA25. Buy tickets.

Member Suzanne Guacci’s independent filmStuff is the opening night film at the Long Island International Film Expo on July 15 at 6:45 PM! It is the first time in the festival’s 19-year history that an LGBT film is the opener. Actors Karen Sillas, Yvonne Jung and Phyllis Somerville will all be there for a Q&A after. Stuff recently signed with distributor Gravitas Ventures and this is one of its final festivals. It has been on the circuit for a year, playing over 20 festivals, including Outfest and Frameline in 2015. Tickets are $10. Buy tickets.

How Sweet the Sound – The Blind Boys of Alabama
, produced and directed by NYWIFT member Leslie McCleave, will screen at the at the Stony Brook Film Festival on July 23 at 5 PM. Filmed over the course of ten years, How Sweet the Sound is the first film about this legendary gospel group. The Blind Boys of Alabama met as children in the 1930's at a state-run segregated vocational school and would become one of the last great gospel quartets, traversing the famed "gospel highway" and beyond. As the surviving band members recount their unlikely success story, we see a rare, frank view of life on and off the road with these renowned performers, now in their 70's and 80's.  Q&A with the director follows the screening. General admission: $12, $10 seniors, $5 all students. Festival-wide passes are also available. Buy tickets.

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