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Motherhood & Filmmaking

This discussion will explore how parenthood can affect a filmmaking career. In recent years, the attempt to reach gender parity in the film and television industry has focused on hiring practices, mentorship, and training initiatives. And yet, it is no secret that child-care responsibilities overwhelmingly continue to fall on mothers.

Simply by adopting parent-friendly practices, the industry could see an increase in its female workforce. How are parents (of all gender identities) navigating the long work hours, ever-changing locations, and freelance economy? Where are parents finding suitably flexible and affordable childcare solutions? Join Moms-in-Film and NYWIFT Moms Network at Neue House for a panel that doesn't shy away from the tough questions. The panel will explore the challenges and struggles juggling parenthood with such a demanding career. Additionally, panelists will discuss what ways parenthood has boosted their creativity and efficiency, or impacted the content they produce. 


Amy Fox
is an acclaimed screenwriter, playwright and educator, and a passionate advocate for elevating women’s voices in the arts and the workplace. Most recently she wrote the screenplay for Equity, the female-driven Wall Street film which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Classics. Equity has been called a "suspenseful feminist thriller" by The New York Times and aims to tell a great story while furthering the conversation about gender in the workplace. Fox's previous feature screenplay, for the Merchant Ivory film Heights, starring Glenn Close and Elizabeth Banks, also premiered at Sundance (2005) and was released by SPC. She teaches screenwriting at NYU ‘s Graduate Film Program. Fox lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children. She is originally from Boulder, Colorado.

Paola Mendoza
was the Artistic Director for the Women’s March on Washington, and is an acclaimed director and author. Her award-winning films tackle the effects of poverty and immigration on women and children and have premiered at Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, Pusan, Deauville, HotDocs and Tribeca. Her documentary series, Behind the Headlines, is executive produced by America Ferrera. Her first novel, The Ones Who Don't Stay, was published by Penguin Books. Mendoza is one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film; a Tribeca All Access, Film Independent and Independent Film Week fellow; and the proud mother of Mateo Ali.


Squeaky Moore
is a writer, director and producer whose mission is to enlighten, uplift, and inspire by creating content that addresses socially conscious issues and invokes discussion for the greater good. Some of her recent directing and producing credits include The Positive Controversy, a show which she developed and for which she is the show-runner, and Face of Darkness - Journey to Healing, a documentary film that explores depression and suicide in the African American community. Moore is also the author of #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To. She has been featured in The Huffington Post, Madamenoire, and forecasted as a Woman to Watch, by Ambition Magazine. She is married with two young children.


For Emelyn Stuart, producing is the precise thing that she should be doing. Starting from a script and a dream from a friend, Stuart found ways to transform that project into an award-winning short film. Wings and Beer was just the beginning of more amazing things to come. Producing projects from unknown filmmakers, she not only motivates those around her, she achieves great success! Her short film Heads or Tails soared beyond the film festival circuit straight to network television. In 2013, Stuart launched the Ocktober Film Festival, a film festival that serves as a platform for artists in film and new media. She is the proud mother of two.


Mathilde Dratwa
(Moderator) founded Moms-in-Film, a nonprofit that energizes the careers of parents in entertainment with community, funding and advocacy. Thanks to a South by Southwest (SXSW) Community Grant, Moms-in-Film provided free childcare to filmmakers at 2017 SXSW Film Festival in the Wee Wagon, the film industry's first mobile childcare unit, which can be used on film sets. As a filmmaker, Dratwa was a Sundance Channel Shorts Contest Finalist, a co-leader of the FilmShop collective, a member of the Independent Film School's writer-director lab and a two-time Pulitzer Center Grant recipient. She is an Instructor of Film for the School of The New York Times.

Tonya McCornell
(Host) focuses her energy on writing, directing, and producing content that showcases strong female characters. Her short film Trayvia follows the story of a woman who stalks and tortures the man who killed her brother. Her upcoming short Tainted sheds light on mothers battling depression while raising children. McCornell is also producing two unscripted shows. With Rescue Moms, an interior designer, a beauty expert, and a natural foods chef swoop in to rescue a fellow mom in need of their help. Up Your Ale follows two sisters, married to best friends, and raising their children while opening a brewery out on Long Island. McCornell is the founder of the NYWIFT Moms Network and is a single mother of one.




Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts
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