Members in the News

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

NYWIFT member Maria Pusateri has had an active year performing in several projects, including a lead-supporting role in member Nicole Franklin’s dramatic feature Title VII. The film follows a day-in-the-life of the politically incorrect CEO Hillary Kelsey (Chicava HoneyChild) at tech firm Sanger International. Maria portrays her right-hand executive, Sheryl, who’s frustrated at not getting her long overdue recognition. Title VII has won many praises from audiences, especially for all the performances. You can see it at one of these upcoming screenings: July 28 at 7:30 PM, Museum of the Moving Image’s Changing the Picture Series; Aug. 5 at 3 PM at Hip Hop Film Festival, NYC; Aug. 10 at 7 PM at Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival; and in October at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, NYC. Some of Maria’s scenes from Title VII and other works can be seen on her website’s reel page. Besides Director/Co-Writer Nicole Franklin, other NYWIFT members who worked on Title VII are Veronique Doumbe (Editor), Emelyn Stuart (Producer) and Lisa Durden (Co-Producer).

Movies4movies Film Festival is back Aug. 19! movies4movies held in Dobbs Ferry, NY, just a short ride up the Hudson via Metro North. The festival is run by NYWIFT member Natalie Sena Murray. This installment of movies4movies celebrates women: 48% of this festival's entries were from female filmmakers and there is a special category celebrating short films by women. Films by NYWIFT members Marta Renzi and Dawn Scibilia are official selections. Admission to all programs is FREE! Schedule and more information can be found at movies4movies.com. Featuring: Plow Plant Reap by Marta Renzi (winner of movies4movies best local film award): An all-female community comes together, joins in a baptism and a roundelay, all against a majestic landscape of rolling farmland. Arriving and leaving like sun and shadow, Plant Plow Reap celebrates the joy and order that culminate in harvest. And Home by Dawn Scibilia (winner of movies4movies best feature documentary award): Young Dubliner Alan Cooke reflects on recently immigrating to New York City. Exploring such universal themes as nostalgia, the journey and the concept of home, the film includes interviews with immigrants, native New Yorkers, and a host of prominent New Yorkers.

Caitlin McCarthy (www.caitlinmccarthy.com)’s scientific drama Wonder Drug has advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (one of only 361 entries to emerge from the First Round, with 7,102 scripts entered). Caitlin is represented by Barry Krost of Barry Krost Management.

NYWIFT member Cynthia Hanson’s play TV in My Bones will run Aug. 9-13 at Theater for the New City (Cino Theater), 155 First Avenue. For TV junkies, stalkers, futurists, and the cultured set: An evening of quirky short plays that reflect TV’s ability to unite us, divide us, pervade our culture, suck our time, and by all means entertain us! What are you binge watching tonight? From playwright C.S. Hanson - quirky shorts about colorful characters desperately pursuing love. Or their idea of love, taken from the well lit lives of their beloved TV characters. Are we what we watch? Are we willing to fall in love, in real time? Tickets are $18 (preview tickets are$12). Buy tickets. (Also, consider supporting the project via IndieGogo.)

Check out NYWIFT member Tricia Paoluccio’s new web series, Mommy Blogger! Some mommy bloggers achieve fame, some have fame thrust upon them, and some can’t figure out why they only have seventeen followers. All Addie ever wanted was a loving family she could devote her life to in exchange for a huge global audience and lucrative endorsement deals. The web series Mommy Blogger follows Addie, a privileged upper-west-side stay-at-home mom, as she persuades her earnest, pliable, not-too-bright husband Jared to quit his job in investment banking to help her turn their family into an online cash cow and viral internet phenomenon. Of course, nobody's as talented or as happy as they pretend to be online, and Addie's even less so. Over the course of the first season her desperate attempts to model marriage and parenting tips, network with more successful bloggers, and land deals with product lines reliably fall apart. NYWIFT member Kate Phelan directed the pilot, member Stephanie Kurtzuba directed two episodes, and member Jeanine Bartel appears in the episode “Date Night.” Learn more and watch on the Mommy Blogger website, Facebook, @mommybloggerseries on Instagram, and @MommyBloggerTV On Twitter.

NYWIFT member Lindsy M. Bissonnette is directing The Rhythm/Da Blues at 13th Street Repertory Theater. Lena grew up in a family of storytellers. When it was her turn to take the mic, she had plenty to say, but not enough courage to spit it. That's when her Auntie, Miss B. Darling, a transwoman and businessperson, steps in to teach Lena how to find the beat. Writer/performer E. E. Wade brings her own brand of southern charm and ferocious wit to this celebration of family, first loves, and #BlackGirlMagic. The show runs Aug. 24-26 at 8 PM and Aug. 27 at 3 PM. Tickets are $18; $10 for students and seniors. Buy tickets.

Fresh blood was written, directed and produced by NYWIFT member Richa Rudola. The film has won multiple awards, including Best Horror Short Film at it's premiere in the Paris Short Film Festival. It also won the award for Best Short Film at its US premiere at People's Film Festival in NYC. Fresh Blood has been screened at the IFFSA TorontoLighthouse International Film Festival and Berlin Short Film FestivalFresh Blood is a 2017 nominee for Women filmmaker and first director at the World Music & Independent Film Festival. In this short film, a young South Asian girl who gets sex-trafficked to the US encounters a vampire looking for fresh blood. Fresh Blood can be seen at two of its upcoming screenings. Fresh Blood will play at the World Music Independent Film Festival on a cruise shop to St Kitts, Turks & Caicos, Sint Maarten, from July 22 - 30. It will also play at the IndieWorks Film Festival in Long Island City, NYC on August 5th. For more information visit: www.freshbloodfilm.com . Follow and like the film on Facebook, Instagram and IMDB

Home Invasion for the Holidays will be screened at the 2017 Long Island International Film Expo on July 18, during the 3:45 PM shorts program. In this comedic short, a newly divorced mom and her college-aged daughter (NYWIFT member Katrina Medoff) are nervous without a man in the house—and their worst fears come true when a burglar breaks in that night. But the burglar is more sensitive and dimwitted than he first appears, and the mother-daughter team might just be able to outsmart him with prescription drugs and excellent listening skills. The screening will take place at 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore, NY 11710. Home Invasion for the Holidays is on Day 7, Block 2 at 3:45 PM. Tickets are $10. Buy tickets

Special is an award-winning one act theatrical stage play on rape by former NYWIFT now WIF and Women in Film International LA member acclaimed writer, director and producer Ann P Meredith that has been chosen as a part of the New York Theater Festival at The Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street. All six actors are NYWIFT members: Kia Graves, Margaret Lewis, Nan Gill, Richa Rudola, Tonya Canada and Mitzi Pratt.  Special is a labor of love and passion and is also a motion picture feature film project that speaks to so many who have been raped are being raped and will be raped… The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has requested a copy of the Ann P Meredith’s screenplay for Special for their permanent core collection. Special performances will be on Aug. 3 at 9 PM, Aug 4. at 6:15 PM and Aug. 6 at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $23 and may be purchased online. The team is also looking to raise $2500 to pay cast, crew and production expenses. Please consider donating through their GoFundMe campaign by Aug. 6. Follow the project on Facebook. 

A true NYWIFT networking success story! NYWIFT members Jaime Ekkens and Olivia Killingsworth, who originally met at a NYWIFT mixer in 2015, will premiere their short film The Mall at the Woods Hole Film Festival in Falmouth, MA on July 30 at 2 PM as part of the "Shorts 2: Thicker than Water" program. The darkly comedic short depicts a day in the life of a mall sales lady, evoking the tremendous despair that often lurks just beneath the surface of our everyday lives. Originally conceived as a standalone monologue by writer Mary Crosbie, director Jaime Ekkens was inspired to adapt it into a film when she heard actress Olivia Killingsworth read it aloud at a literary event hosted by Liars’ League NYC. Tickets to the premiere are $14 each. Buy tickets. Learn more about the film on Facebook.  

Priscilla J. ("Sally") Mattison, Of Counsel to Bernard M. Resnick, Esq., P.C., moderated the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers Masterclass, entitled “The Musician as Contestant: Legal Issues in Contests and Reality TV”, at the 51st annual Midem convention in Cannes, France. She also spoke on a Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts panel entitled “Beats, Lyrics and Licensing:  Legal Education for Musicians + Producers” at the Free Library of Philadelphia. 

What if Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King shared the stage for the first time, or Frederick Douglas attended a Town Hall meeting with Ronald Reagan and Julia Child? These are just a few of the heroes honored in the performance of NYWIFT member Victoria Medina's One Nation, One Mission, One Promise. A theatrical journey that inspires a divided country to come together for one night. The diverse cast stars: J. Scot Cahoon, Kelly Fairbrother, Jacqueline Keeley, David Roberts, E Talley II, and Billie Wyatt. One Nation, One Mission, One Promise will be performed in New York City on July 8 at 7 PM at The Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre, which is housed in The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal St.), one block from West 4th Street Subway. A talkback will be offered immediately following the performance. NYWIFT members can get discount tickets here ($20 for NYWIFT, reg. $30). See more info about the show on its website.  

Off Track Betty, which played at over a dozen festivals and won awards at the Brooklyn and Tallgrass Film Festivals, launches its online release June 27 at http://offtrackbettythemovie.com/, and on the Vimeo Channel on Roku and Apple TV. NYWIFT member Liz Ortiz-Mackes is the co-producer and casting director. Off Track Betty is a twenty-minute short shot on 16mm film on New York City's Lower East Side: a story about love, memory, and what it means to move forward. In an ever-changing corner of New York City, a longtime resident realizes she no longer recognizes the neighborhood she calls home. Facing an uncertain future, she is confronted by a young man with a direct link to her past. She is forced to ask: when is it right to hold on to what’s past, and when is it time to let go?

, also known as This Is Nowhere, was nominated for "Best Feature" and Heidi Philipsen and Jon Russell Craig, who both co-directed, were nominated for "Best Director" in the Influx Magazine Online Film Awards. Heidi, a proud member of NYWFIT, produced, co-directed, and acted in the film while Jon co-directed and was a co-writer. Darcy is about a teenage girl who is working at her family’s motel for the summer. As well as being a regular motel, it also hosts individuals who have been previously incarcerated. Young Darcy just sees the residents as people and doesn’t see the potential dangers that surround her. As she begins to realize everything around her, she has to make a decision. She has to choose whether she wants to stay in her innocent and mundane life or continue to venture into the world she has recently discovered as uncertain but all the more tempting. Darcy was filmed entirely in Palenville, New York. They made it in the top six among some pretty impressive competition including The Meanest Man In Texas and Glass Ceiling in the Best Director category.  If you would like to hear more about Heidi and Jon or any of the other nominated directors and feature films, read more in Influx Magazine. In related news, Heidi also graduated from UCLA's professional screenwriting program in June. Congratulations, Heidi, on all of your recent success!

NYWIFT member Francesca Van Horne’s play Tales from the Trundle will be performed June 26 at 7:30 PM in Brooklyn. Tickets are $12 advance; $15 at the door. Buy tickets. Starring Francesca Van Horne. James Phillip Gates directs. Telling of a mother’s survival from abuse & addiction, battling the New York court system and divorce, this story is a journey into healing. Through laughter, tears, friendship, romance and sex, via Paris and Los Angeles, we are led to the ultimate destination of self-transformation and self-love. Van Horne will also perform the piece at upcoming shows in Paris and London in July!

NYWIFT member Stephanie Stender’s short film La Sirène is premiering on June 20 at 7 PM at The Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA. In this underwater adventure, a stodgy Victorian man falls into his aquarium - and into a whole new world, filled with burlesque mermaids! Lolli Hoops stars in the film, as the mesmerizing temptress. After the film, Lolli Hoops will perform, and Doorstop Productions will showcase three of their new comedy shorts, featured on Elizabeth Banks' WhoHaha (and one starring the talented Lolli Hoops!). Cost to attend is $5 cash. See details.

The Heritage Program of the League of Professional Theatre Women presents Suffragists from the Stage. Meet some of the actress/activists who were powerhouses in the Suffragists movement, with a special spotlight on Izetta Jewel (1883-1978), Fola La Follette (1882-1970), and Mary Shaw (1854-1929). Curated by NYWIFT member Mari Lyn Henry, director of the LPTW Heritage Program, with In Her Own Words reading selections by LPTW members Melody Brooks, Ginger Grace, Laura E. Johnston, and Judy Rosenblatt. June 22 from 6-8 PM at Pearl Studios (500 Eighth Avenue, Room 404). Free to LPTW Members; $15 non-members. RSVP to stagestrucknyc@gmail.com. See details.

Join Board Member Kathryn O’Kane as she live tweets during Talking Dead, Sunday nights at 10 PM EST on AMC through July 16. O’Kane returns to Rosarito, Mexico to direct exclusive on-set interviews with the cast and crew of Fear The Walking Dead. Talking Dead, hosted by Chris Hardwick, continues to be the number one talk show on television among adults ages 18-49. TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Busy_Kay WEBSITE: www.busyk.com.

Member Eva Zelig's documentary, An Unknown Country, will premiere on the PBS TV station Thirteen/WNET in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - Monday, June 12 at 10 PM. For night owls there will be a repeat broadcast Tuesday, June 20 at 4 AM. Check your local listings and if you can’t catch it live, set your DVR for later viewing at your leisure. This inspiring film tells the story of European Jews who fled Nazi persecution and the rising Holocaust to find refuge in Ecuador, a small country with few resources. Through the exiles' personal testimonies, the documentary chronicles their heartbreaking search for a country that would take them in when most had closed their doors. It sheds light on why Ecuador granted asylum to the refugees. It also explores the actions of Ecuador's consuls in Europe. The film shows how the exiles remade their lives in what was for them an exotic, unfamiliar land, and it highlights their contributions to many aspects of life in their host country.

NYWIFT member Claudia Murdoch is the Executive Producer of Imitation Girl, which makes its Southern California Premiere at the Dancing with Films Festival. The dramatic sci-fi screens at TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood on June 6 at 7:15 PM - with actor and filmmakers in attendance. A mysterious being appears in the Southwestern desert and assumes the identity of the first person she sees - a woman on a magazine cover. Taken in by Iranian immigrants, she forms an understanding of her new surroundings, and comes to appreciate the beauty and the sadness of her new world. At the same time, Julianna, Imitation’s world-weary earthly double, knows both glitz and grit working as an entertainer in New York City, where her fraying life and relationships threaten her dreams for an audition that might finally set her on a happier path. On learning of Juliana’s existence, Imitation heads to New York, where only by sacrificing themselves to each other can the cosmic twins complete a full portrait of a woman. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets.

Live Your Light, shot and directed by NYWIFT member Jendra Jarnagin is having its world premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival, screening June 4 at 2:30 PM and June 10 at 3 PM at the Wythe Hotel, as part of the experimental shorts block. Eight unique and accomplished professional performers from the Bushwick Brooklyn circus arts collaborative called "House of Yes" perform for the camera in this stylized dance film. They speak to the audience not just through movement, but in their own voices, via woven-together audio interviews, reflecting on their relationship to their art and what moves them to perform. These artists have dedicated their lives to the premise of "Radical Self Expression," one of the ten principles of Burning Man culture. Featuring fire-spinning, fire-breathing, hooping, aerial silks, lyra, trapeze and cross-disciplinary dance, we connect with each dancer in their own emotional, raw and vulnerable words as we are awed with their feats of seemingly effortless grace. By letting their own light shine, these artists inspire others to do the same. Tickets are $15. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Mary McCarthy’s web series, The Goodpie Girl, has debuted online. In the series, a pie baker tries to make the baking show of her dreams, only to be foiled by all of her guests. Episodes debut every Tuesday. Watch nowSubscribe on YouTube.

Join author and host, NYWIFT member Squeaky Moore, of The Pitch 101 for her #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To first ever, LIVE #100Pitches, book tour & bootcamp, unlike anything that's ever been done before! For the June 13 at 6 PM NYC kick-off launch of Squeaky's book, she will have #100 spots open for you to attend and learn straight from the chapters of her book! NYC industy guest panelists to include Robyn Arrington (TV One), Dafina Roberts (Nickelodeon), Tracey Baker Simons (Being Bobby Brown), J. Alexander Martin (FUBU TV), and more. Tickets are $47. Read more and buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Serena Dykman’s documentary Nana screens at the Lower East Side Film Festival on June 13 at 8 PM at Sunshine Cinemas. Nana documents the filmmaker's journey with her mother Alice retracing their (grand)mother’s Auschwitz survival story, and investigating how her lifelong fight against intolerance can continue to be taught to the new generations, against the backdrop of current events. Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, the filmmaker’s grandmother, born in Poland, survived Ravensbruck, Malchow, and Auschwitz, where she was the forced translator of the “Angel of Death”, Dr. Mengele. She dedicated her post-war life to publicly speaking of her survival to the young generations, so that it would never be forgotten or repeated. Alice and Serena, her daughter and granddaughter, explore how Maryla’s activism and crucial message can continue today, in a world where survivors are disappearing, and intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism are on the rise. Tickets are $16. Buy tickets.

Between the Shades
Between the Shades
NYWIFT member Jill Salvino’s Between the Shades premieres at the SoHo International Film Festival on June 17 at 4:20 PM at Village East Main Theatre. Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved and expanded over time. The film examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. Between the Shades is a documentary by filmmaker Jill Salvino and features 50+ voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias. Watch the trailer. Tickets are $16. Buy tickets.

Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi received its third NY Emmy® win for Best Entertainment Program/Special for the “Bright Lights of Broadway” episode – this is in anticipation of Season 2 of the series, Bare Feet in NYC with Mickela Mallozzi, on national public television this July.  The show follows Mickela Mallozzi as she highlights the ethnic neighborhoods of New York City, discovering the dance and music traditions of local New Yorkers in Mallozzi’s in the city. In the season 2 premiere, Mallozzi heads to Manhattan’s Chinatown to dig deeper into one of New York’s oldest and most iconic ethnic neighborhoods. Mallozzi herself comes from a family of immigrants, and her goal with Bare Feet Season 2 is to share similar American immigrant stories through the presentation and preservation of these culturally diverse dance forms and styles.

House of Teeth
, written and directed by NYWIFT member Susanna Styron and scored by member Wendy Blackstone, will screen at the New York International Shorts Festival on May 31 at 7:45 PM at Landmark Sunshine Cinema. In the aftermath of her divorce, a woman in midlife sets out to find her bearings -- and her mojo -- as she discovers the challenges and surprises of life beyond marriage. Tickets are $14. Buy tickets (this film is featured in Program 5).

Landing Up, a feature film produced by and featuring NYWIFT member Marzy Hart, will make its world premier at the Dances with Films Festival in LA on June 7 at 9:30 PM at the TLC Chinese Theater. Chrissie (Stacey Maltin) is young, wild, and living on the streets. She and her best friend Cece (E'Dena Hines) use their youth and good looks to their advantage, playing a con game with strangers to put a roof over their heads while all the time fantasizing about having enough money to score their dream apartment. When Chrissie meets David (Ben Rappaport), a funny, genuine guy who works his way into her heart, she falls for him and must decide whether to confess the real circumstances of her life or continue her carefully crafted lie at all costs; even the cost of someone’s life. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets.