Simone Pero, PresidentSimone Pero is founder of For Impact Productions, a social impact film marketing and production company, specializing in the confluence of content creation, audience engagement, and advocacy. Among her slate of film projects includes A Woman, A Part with Maggie Siff; Women in Hollywood with Geena Davis, The C Word with Morgan Freeman; A Woman Like Me with Lili Taylor; and Matt Heineman and Susan Froemke’s Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. Currently, Simone is a producer on Jennifer Fox’s upcoming feature The Tale, starring Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn and Common. In addition to her producing work, Simone is on the leadership team and faculty at the new Stony Brook Killer Films MFA in Film program. Simone’s penchant for issue-driven film began as co-producer of Alice Elliott’s award-winning documentary Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy. Previously, Simone was Vice President for Corporate Communications at MTV and Director of Communication and Marketing at Rainbow Media/Cablevision (now AMC Networks). Prior to joining the media and entertainment industry, Simone’s career began in public policy and national politics.
Christine Bragan, VP of Development
As Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications for AMC Networks, including AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films, Christine Bragan is responsible for the development and oversight of corporate and industry marketing and public affairs initiatives; trade and promotional activities and events; CEO and executive presentations and appearances; and the management of special cross-divisional projects. In this role, she also supports the communication and marketing efforts for all of the AMC Networks brands and spearheads the company’s marketing presence at national trade shows. Ms. Bragan is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Women in Cable Telecommunications and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). She is a graduate of CTAM’s Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School and was named a Next Generation Leader by NAMIC; one of the top 25 local leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS; one of CableFAX’s Most Influential Minorities in Cable and CableFAX’s Women on the Move.
Margarita Sophia Cortes, VP of Communications
Margarita Sophia Cortes is an entertainment publicist whose career began in 2000 at PPV coordinating PR efforts for award-winning programs and critically acclaimed specials. In 2005, she joined JGPR agency to oversee dozens of indie film and DVD campaigns ranging from Robert Greenwald’s Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price and Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me to Robert Klein: The HBO Specials and Sex and Lucia to Dirty Dancing: The Limited Edition. In 2009 she established MSophia PR and led campaigns for Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest; the award-winning documentary, Restrepo; the critically acclaimed Starlet, The Deep Blue Sea and Any Day Now and Oscar® nominated Monsieur Lazhar.
Destiny Lilly, VP of Membership
Destiny Lilly is the owner of Destiny Casting, a boutique casting company specializing in short film and video projects. Over seven years in casting, she has cast more than 150 commercials and branded video projects. She is the Casting Consultant for the Live Action Short Film Program at SVA where she mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She recently cast the short film A Poet Long Ago, written by journalist Pete Hamill and directed by Bob Giraldi, which premiered at The Hamptons International Film Festival. While serving on the NYWIFT programming committee, Destiny has produced programs on topics including casting independent films and film festival programmers. She is a graduate of Emory University and The Central School of Speech and Drama.
Rosalind Murphy, VP of Programming
Rosalind Murphy is an independent marketing consultant with diverse experience in film marketing, social media strategy and event management. Prior to working as an independent consultant, Rosalind worked as Executive Engagement Manager at Microsoft and Marketing Director at Film Life, Inc. While at Microsoft she launched the successful quarterly Women Executive Forum and received the Microsoft Diversity Inclusion Award for developing innovative relationship programs for women executives. Rosalind’s is an active board member of La Casa de Pedro and member of Women's Association of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Jamie Zelermyer, VP of Special Events
Jamie Zelermyer is a New York based Independent Producer. Most recently she produced Ratter starring Ashley Benson and Matt McGorry, which premiered at Slamdance in 2015. She was the VP, Physical Production at Focus Features /Rogue Pictures for six years ending in November 2012. At Focus she oversaw such movies as Admission, One Day, Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Prior to Focus Jamie was a Line Producer and Production Manager working on films such as Igby Goes Down, Boys Don't Cry and You Can Count on Me. Over the years, she has had the privilege to work with a number of notable directors including Steve McQueen, Lone Scherfig, Kenneth Lonergan, Cary Fukanaga and Kimberly Pierce. Jamie is a graduate of Bard College.
Anita Katzen, Treasurer
Anita Katzen is a tax partner in Schulman Lobel LLP. Anita works closely with more than 100 entertainers in all aspects of their business operations. Her services range from tax planning, cash management to corporate, partnership, individual, and estate taxation services. She has successfully represented clients at tax audits on federal, state and local tax issues. She is a member of the AICPA, NY State Society of CPAs, state society’s Entertainment and Sports committee, Currently treasurer of NYWIFT and on the board of The Film Shop. She received her degree in Business and Public Administration from New York University.
Maria Miles, Secretary
Maria C. Miles is the founding partner of an entertainment law firm with offices in New York. Maria’s practice focuses on all areas of entertainment law including, film, music, publishing, fashion and new media. Most recently, Maria served as general counsel for a multimedia start-up overseeing a diverse range of matters including technology licensing and intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights and patents), both in the US and abroad. Prior to her role as in-house counsel, Maria was counsel to award-winning actors, writers, producers, television hosts, multi-platinum recording artists, and corporations in the fashion and sports industries related to their entertainment matters.
Terra Bliss, Membership
Terra is Vice President & General Manager at Panavision New York. Before joining Panavision, Terra was Vice President, Operations at Deluxe New York. She has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Before moving to New York in 2007, she lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco and held positions at Disney, Pixar Animation Studios and EFILM. She lives in New York with her husband Andrew and their son Louis.
Heidi Brod, Special Events
Heidi Brod has been an active part of the New York Film community as an IFP Panelist and a member of New York Women In Film and Television. She has over 20 years of experience in the industry. She joined Miramax Films in 1991 as a script reader and quickly was promoted to Development Executive running the story department. She was instrumental in developing award-winning films such as Shakespeare in Love, Gangs of New York and Like Water for Chocolate. She also helped to develop Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Producers (Musical Theater). She currently works as a writer and freelance story consultant. She contributes to Huffington Post as well as created an online newsletter focusing on health and beauty. She is currently finishing her first Teen Fiction novel. She lives in New York with her husband Jon and their two children, Caylin and Logan.
Tracy Daniels, Special Events
Tracy Daniels is an independent producer whose passion for storytelling took her around the globe from New York to New Delhi. Following an internship at CNN she branched out as an independent producer specializing in advertising sponsored content and Chroma Key production for clients, including Paramount Pictures, Campbell Soup Company and Lifetime Television. Tracy served as a Production Assistant on Great Performances’ The Colored Museum, directed by George C. Wolfe; Warner Bros. New Jack City, directed by Mario Van Peebles and Alma’s Rainbow, directed by Ayoka Chenzira. Tracy holds a Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and is currently producing augmented and virtual reality focused programming for NYWIFT, launching in Spring 2017.
Terry Greenberg, Programming
Veteran studio marketing executive Terry Greenberg has enjoyed an extensive career in both film and television. Following several years in the cable industry, she managed national publicity campaigns for Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company that included Top Gun, Fatal Attraction, Ghost, Pretty in Pink, Toy Story, Aladdin and Evita, among many others. Terry contributed her Hollywood savvy to the New York Film Festival and The Paley Center for Media, then segued into documentaries. Her projects include Carol Channing: Larger than Life, Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age and a variety of A-list panels for the DOC NYC Film Festival and NYWIFT/"Women in Comedy."
Annetta Marion, Development
Award-winning director and Primetime Emmy-nominated producer Annetta Marion’s experience in television and film includes documentary and reality television, as well as narrative film, commercials, music videos, and internet content. Annetta is currently directing on the acclaimed TV series Oprah’s Master Class, profiling entertainment icons including Tim McGraw, Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Berry Gordy, and Lenny Kravitz. She was also the showrunner on season three of the series, which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, a first for the network. Annetta’s producing experience includes ESPN’s 30-for-30 feature documentary You Don’t Know Bo, which earned the highest-ever rating in the network’s history. She’s a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, and a member of both the Director’s Guild of America and the Producer’s Guild of America.
Flo Mitchell-Brown, Programming
Flo brings over 20 years of entertainment industry leadership, management, and operations experience to her role as Vice President of Payroll Operations New York at Entertainment Partners. She also has extensive experience working with non-profit entities through various Board positions and philanthropic work. She is honored to have served others within her personal and professional communities, and she is extremely proud of her work collaborating and planning events and initiatives in the non-profit sector. Flo currently sits on the Executive Board for NYPA and is Co-Chair of the NY Lounge at Sundance, along with numerous leadership roles in the community at large.
Kathryn O'Kane, Communications
Kathryn O'Kane is a non-fiction director/producer with over fifteen years of experience in television, advertising, and web media. She provides content for clients like ABC, IBM, Nike, Sundance Channel, and United Airlines. Kathryn’s strength is telling character-driven stories, and she’s crafted narratives as diverse as Mission Juno, documenting NASA’s probe to Jupiter, and Talking Dead, the hit show for AMC. Having started her career supporting democratic initiatives in Latin America, Kathryn first learned the power of messaging while organizing election observations in the Dominican Republic with President Jimmy Carter. She now seeks to bridge cultural differences through art and storytelling.
Claire Shanley, Membership
Claire Shanley works at the intersection of technical, creative, and strategic concerns for production & post. In her current role as the Managing Director of Sixteen19, a full-service post-production company, Claire oversees locations in NYC, LA, London, and New Orleans. A board member of the Post New York Alliance, Claire is active in advocacy for public policy that benefits the industry as a whole. She earned a BA from Columbia College of Columbia University and an MFA in Film & Video from the City University of New York, then worked as an editor and technical specialist. Claire serves as the Co-Chair of the board of the New York City LGBT Community Center.
Rachel Watanabe-Batton, Communications
Rachel Watanabe-Batton is a film, television and advertising producer and media consultant. Rachel has produced independent narrative and documentary features and series, and created original content for PBS, MTV Africa, Martha Stewart and the Office of Minority Health. She began her career in creative development at Spring Creek/Warner Bros, assisting Australian director Peter Weir, and co-founded the music video company Department of Film at Goldcrest. Her current projects include Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl with writer-director Julie Dash. Rachel is Chair of PGA East Diversity and founding co-Chair of PGA Women’s Impact Network, Vice Chair of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and a co-founder of Women Independent Producers (WIP). Rachel is a proud member of NYWIFT, NALIP and Asian Women Media Makers. For her commitment to diversity in entertainment, Rachel was honored by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Cynthia Lopez with the 2014 “Made in New York” award.
S. Casper Wong, Development
S. Casper Wong is a New York based writer, director and producer. Her documentary feature, The LuLu Sessions, has won 10 awards and nominations, was on PBS’ America ReFramed series and she received an humanitarian award by the SASS Foundation along with Governor Cuomo. She worked in productions between China and the US since 2005 and has represented Roger Corman in his first co-productions, working with two Chinese studios and a CGI team. Prior to receiving her MFA in Film Directing from NYU, she was Senior Attorney for IBM General Counsel in Silicon Valley and lead counsel for diversity. S. Casper Wong has been a member of NYWIFT since 2008. Since her corporate legal days where she was the also lead attorney for diversity in Silicon Valley and Hudson Valley for IBM, she is acutely aware of the challenges of the chronic under-representation of women and especially women of color in executive decision making. To empower fellow filmmakers, she founded the Asian American Women Media Makers in the spring of 2012, and still chairs a monthly gathering for networking. The group has grown into an ongoing conversation to address the underrepresentation and underemployment of our community in mainstream media.
Marsha S. Brooks, Esq., Legal Counsel
Brooks is a partner in the New York City law firm of Brooks & Distler. She has specialized in the areas of entertainment and intellectual property law for over 25 years. Brooks represents producers, writers, directors, rights owners, and for-profit and not-for-profit institutions in the fields of legitimate theatre, motion picture, television, and new media all over the world. She is general counsel for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and New York Women in Film & Television.
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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.