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

NYWIFT board member Rosalind Murphy produced her first feature film, Dope Fiend, which debuted on VOD on August 29th. Dope Fiend tells the gritty story of crooked business developers with fiendish plans to take over the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy through gentrification. Money, drugs, and violence are used to manipulate the lives of three warring families, forcing them to address their ills or face destruction. Watch the trailer! Visit the film's website, read the coverage of the film, and check out the IMDb page. Watch the film online by renting it on Amazon Video.

NYWIFT member Vicky Lee's film Missing Question Mark will be shown at the Seward Park Library on Monday, October 2, from 6:30-8:30 PM. The screening is free and open to the public as part of a series of films that weave oral history into different filmic techniques to provide the viewer unique insight into the lives of New York City teenagers. Missing Question Mark is a creative portrait of a reticent teenager's battle with depression and her fragile connection with the evolving world around her. Her other film How To Be Bad is screening at the All American High School Film Festival on October 7. Visit Vicky Lee's website to learn more about her projects, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog

Between the Shades
Between the Shades
See Between the Shades at the Palm Springs LGBTQ Festival on Sept. 22 at 3:30 PM. Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved and expanded since the Stonewall riots. The film, by NYWIFT member Jill Salvino, examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. The team invited fifty people, each with a connection to the LGBTQI community to begin a conversation by sharing their stories for this film that premiered at The Soho Film Festival and became an audience favorite and finalist for best documentary. Between the Shades features many voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias. No film can ever capture the immense diversity of the LGBTQI community, but it didn’t stop the team from trying. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be loved. See ticket options.

NYWIFT member Francesca Andre wrote and directed Charcoal, a short film which tackles skin-tone based discrimination (i.e. colorism). The film has been nominated and will be shown at several international film festivals. Charcoal captures the stories of two women, as they embark on a lifelong journey to overcome internalized colorism, find self-acceptance, and ultimately redemption. To many, colorism is a social disease that exists not just among black communities, but in many parts of Asia and Latin America. Discussions on race, class, and gender have become more common, but the conversation on the destructive, generational cycle of colorism is lacking. Charcoal will be shown at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival on September 20 and 22, the 8th Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival on September 29 through October 1, the Yonkers Film Festival on November 3 - 8, and the Slum Film Festival in Kenya on October 1 - 27. It has been nominated for the following awards: Best Short Film at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, a Visionary Award at the Crystal Ship Mini Indie Film Festival, and a Juror's Certificate for the Women of African Descent Film Festival. Francesca Andre grew up in Haiti where skin bleaching remains very common. Charcoal hopes to spark conversations that address these colonial traumas, and show that redefining one’s own beauty standards is possible and often necessary for one’s survival.

NYWIFT member Misha Calvert's web series, Tinder is the Night, is screening at the Brooklyn Web Festival on October 6, 2017 at 4:00 PM. Misha Calvert has been nominated for best actress, and will be a panelist on the Content Creator roundtable at the festival. In the show, Eddie and her three best friends are looking for love, sex, and companionship, but a string of bizarre internet meetups make them question the sanity of dating. Tinder is the Night has been nominated for Best New York-based show. Buy a festival pass here to attend the screening and the panel! Follow Misha Calvert's work, visit the Tinder is the Night website, and check out her other shows: Strut and Pee Sitting Down.

The film Chavela, which received a Women in Film Finishing Fund award, will be released in theaters in the first week of October. Chavela is being distributed theatrically in the US by Music Box Films, Inc. and will open in New York on October 4th at the Film Forum, in Los Angeles on October 6th at the Landmark NuArt and in seven other cities nationwide thereafter. Directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi will be in attendance at the premiere on October 4 at 8:10 pm, October 7 at 6:15pm, and October 8 at 2:20pm. Daresha Kyi will also be at the LA premiere on Friday, October 6. Chavela is the captivating look at the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame. Chavela centers around a 1991 interview--the singer's first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. In the final years of her life, Chavela openly comes out as a lesbian and rises into her momentous third act, becoming a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earning a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and selling out performances at prestigious concert halls around the world. Buy tickets!

NYWIFT member Alex Dean is the director of the film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which opens in theaters November 24th, and will be featured at the IFC theater in New York, as well as the Nuart theater in Los Angeles. Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian Jewish émigré who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night. The documentary details how she came up with a “secret communication system” to help the Allies to beat the Nazis. The film was a selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the film festival page can be read here. Read the review in The Hollywood Reporter and the coverage on Deadline about the film being acquired by Kino Lorber/Zeitgeist. 

NYWIFT member Okema T. Moore is the producer of the award-winning film Silent Cries, which is screening on Saturday, September 16, at the Katra Film Festival. In the film, an underemployed construction worker begins to buckle under the pressures of fatherhood as his son's seventh birthday approaches. Watch the trailer now! Learn more about the Katra Film Series here, and purchase advance tickets for the Saturday screening at 5 PM. 

NYWIFT member Julia Campanelli stars in the NBC Universal remake of Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13, and the trailer was recently released. Watch the trailer. Her short film, 116, has received numerous recognitions for the inaugural short film, 116, from her production company Shelter Film. She received the Best Female Director Award from the European Cinematography Awards 2017 Festival, and 116 won the Best Film Idea Award from the Mediterranean Film Festival 2017. 116 won the following awards at the New York Indie Film Awards 2017: Best Director, Best Short Film, and Best Actress (Julia Campanelli). In addition, 116 is an official selection and screening at the 2017 Mykonos Film Festival, Berlin Flash Festival, Women's Only Entertainment Film Festival, and the Miami Independent Film Festival. Watch the trailer for the short here.

Production Still:
Production Still: "Left Bank Bookseller"
NYWIFT member Lisa Reznik has two short films showing at the Buffalo International Film Festival. Left Bank Bookseller (Sept. 22, 8 PM block): Paris, 1920s. When Sylvia Beach, a bold American bookseller living in Paris, risks her reputation and livelihood by publishing James Joyce's widely banned Ulysses, the revolutionary novel goes on to become one of the most respected of the 20th century. 95 Decibels (Sept. 26, at 4 PM block): 95 Decibels explores the emotional obstacles parents face when they get an unexpected diagnosis of hearing loss for their child. This at times heartbreaking film is based on a true story. Both screenings take place at Four Seasons Cinema (2429 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY). Buy tickets at BNIFF.com or in person and the theater venue from 12 – 10 PM during the festival, or by phone at (716) 693-0912 daily from 12 – 5 PM. Tickets are $13 for evening screenings with a $2 discount for seniors.

NYWIFT member Charlie Gillette is the director and editor of #GETBEHINDUS, a social activist art video made by women, for women. It celebrates the multiplicity of women's experiences by empowering lady-identifying people & their allies to: “Get off your butt!” From the creators: “Some might consider it controversial to have the performers not speaking, shaking their backsides at the camera - why did we choose to do this? This was our take on a traditional feminist tactic - subverting the social gaze. There is so much tension and anger out there, even between people fighting for similar causes so we wanted to show a diverse group of performers coming together, repping their own cause while simultaneously sharing strength and support for each other.” #GETBEHINDUS merchandise, of which a portion of the proceeds will go to causes represented on the jeans patches, including Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, No DAPL, and more, will soon be available. There will also be a fundraiser in October to raise money to fund Planned Parenthood NYC. Watch the main video and follow their Instagram account for updates. Read the coverage in Teen Vogue.

The Rape of Recy Taylor will make its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 1 at 9 PM and Oct. 3 at 6 PM. Directed by Nancy Buirski and featuring Cynthia Erivo as Rosa Parks, the film was produced by NYWIFT advisory board member Susan Margolin. The numbers of women raped in Jim Crow South were staggering. In danger for their lives, they did not report the crimes and their stories went hidden. Not Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old mother who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Unbroken, she spoke up, and with the help of Rosa Parks and legions of women spreading the word, they worked to get Recy Taylor justice. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Veronica Mulero is the script supervisor for Julia Solomonoff’s Nobody’s Watching, is playing at Film Forum in early September. Nico is a famous actor in Argentina, but in New York, nobody takes notice. After giving up a successful career in his home country for a chance to make it in the Big Apple, he needs to juggle bartending, babysitting and odd jobs to keep himself afloat. Starting from square one is hard in the city of dreams. With each role Nico takes on, he puts on a new persona in order to fit in. He performs the ideal bartender, the up-and-coming actor, the friend, the father figure. But when old friends from Buenos Aires come to visit, he needs to juggle the image of his old life with the reality of the struggling actor in New York City. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Caralene Robinson’s latest project, a short film called The Bill, will screen at Urbanworld Film Festival. This and four other shorts will screen Sept. 22 at 5 PM, followed by a Q&A. Lena and ten other women could not be more excited to celebrate Barbie's 35th birthday. When an unexpectedly huge bill arrives, the happy birthday dissolves into drama. As Lena works tirelessly to align the group, she ultimately reaches a point of no return. The Bill comically celebrates friends from all walks of life, as they react to an experience that is all too common. Tickets are $16.50. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT board members Rosalind Murphy, Kathryn O'Kane, and Casper Wong were each featured last week on the podcast "Curious About Screenwriting Network," in which they discussed topics relevant to their field within the film and television industries. The three episodes in which they were featured are part of a series of interviews with NYWIFT board members, co-produced with the International Screenwriters' Association. Rosalind Murphy discussed audience development, Kathryn O'Kane shared her expertise on advertising and producing, and Casper Wong spoke about her entrepreneurial and filmmaking experience. Visit the International Screenwriters' Association website to learn more about the organization, and to follow the podcast

It’s Fine, A Series, starring NYWIFT member Sarah Mack, is now streaming for FREE on Amazon! Mackenzie has been selected as a finalist for a prestigious playwright fellowship that could change her life. This great news is threatened by a family tragedy back home, the relentless insanity of her day job, and the insufferable presence of her sociopath coworker (Cassidy). Can she overcome these obstacles and stay focused on her dream, or will she collapse under the stress of her life? Watch now!

NYWIFT members Leah Streetman (Associate Producer & Music Consultant) and Maria C. Miles (Legal Counsel) are pleased to announce the US theatrical release of Sidemen: Long Road To Glory. This music documentary is an intimate look at the incredible lives and legacies of piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, all Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen. The film captures some of the last interviews and their final live performances together, before their deaths in 2011. The historic live shows are accompanied by performances and personal insights from many of the blues and rock stars these legendary sidemen inspired including; Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Robby Krieger, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Winter. Currently showing in NYC at Landmark Sunshine Cinema (143 East Houston Street) through Sept. 7. For a complete listing of US dates and theatres, visit: www.sidemenfilm.com. Check out the trailer.

NYWIFT member Alex Beechko is starring in Gynx, a darkly comedic stage play by award-winning writer Alicen Grey. A homeless teen lesbian, a prostituted girl, an underground abortionist, and a former child porn victim are recruited into a rapist castration plot by a mysterious woman named Gynx. Men go into hiding, women take over the streets, and their operation makes global headlines. But when Gynx’s true motives are revealed, the group is forced to question whether they are truly on the side of justice. Gynx will run at the Hudson Guild Theater (441 W. 26th St) as part of NYSummerFest Aug. 25 at 9 PM and Aug. 27 at 3:30 PM. Tickets are $23. Buy tickets and learn more.

NYWIFT Member Lara Slife's documentary Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story is having its Oscar qualifying run in NYC Aug. 18-24 at AMC 34th St and in Los Angeles at AMC DINE-IN Sunset 5. Check AMCtheatres.com for all showtimes and ticketing. Born to Lead is the story of Sal Aunese, the University of Colorado’s star Samoan Quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989 and how his team promptly dedicated their season to him. Through reflections from his friends, family, and teammates, as well as rare archival footage, Born to Lead chronicles Sal’s rise to the top as one of his team’s most valuable players and his valiant battle with the disease that took his life in 1989. Reminiscent of such poignant sports films of the past such as Brian’s Song and Rudy, Born To Lead is a rousing story of courage, friendship, and living life against the most brutal of obstacles. Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story premiered on CBS Sports Network at 7 PM and 1 AM EST on Aug. 18. Read more about the film.

Wonder Drug
by NYWIFT member Caitlin McCarthy (www.caitlinmccarthy.com) has advanced into the Semifinal Round of the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Wonder Drug is one of only 151 entries to advance from the Quarterfinal Round. During the Semifinals, four Academy members, drawn from a variety of branches, will read Wonder Drug. From 10-to-15 Semifinalists will be selected as Finalists (to be announced in September). Her WWII action thriller Resistance is an Official Selection of the 2017 Oaxaca FilmFest; finalist for “Best Stirring Character;" and competitor for the main award of “The 2017 Global Script Challenge: Best Overall Script." Learn more at: www.oaxacafilmfest.com/p/resistance.


NYWIFT members Gayle Kirschenbaum and Lee Eypper are also members of Writers on Hudson, and they will be performing in Writes of Fall, an evening of Spoken Word. Also featured are Bethany Birkett, Miki Noam, Jessica Phillips and Laszlo Santha. They are Emmy-Award winners, short story writers, filmmakers, playwrights, actors, photographers, web series directors and world travelers who love NYC and would like to share their stories with you. Takes place Sept. 6 from 6-7:30 PM at Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia Street). Reservations are recommended and can be made at (212) 989-9319. Ticket price is $10, which includes a drink. Dinner is also served. Learn more.

NYWIFT member Lila Yomtoob’s series, America 1979, will be showcased at the Independent Feature Project (IFP) 2017 Independent Film Week. Part of an anthology series, the first season follows an Iranian American family during the Iran Hostage crisis, and is based on writer-director Lila Yomtoob’s short film of the same name. The short has screened at more than 20 festivals and markets, received several grants, and is available on Amazon and distributed by Gravitas Ventures. Yomtoob commented on the significance of the series, “This anthology series could spark viewers' curiosity about the people around them. It could help inform attitudes and increase empathy. And in the post 2016 election world, where the underrepresented are targets, we need more programming that makes it clear that we are all part of the American experience.” Visit IFP for information on Independent Film Week!



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