The NYWIFT fall membership drive is almost over. So, it’s a perfect time to check in with new member Imoya Monroque and find out why she joined NYWIFT.
Imoya, would you tell us a bit about your acting career?
I am a member of SAG/AFTRA and have appeared in several national commercials and TV shows and pilots, such as Ugly Betty and Law & Order. I’ve worked on a number of feature films too—most recently, Protocon, Stranger in Paradise, and Can a Song Save Your Life. I also do some modeling and have been featured in several US and international magazines, including Essence.
What motivated you to join NYWIFT?
In 2011, I wrote a marketing plan to take my acting career to the next level. I realized that being a union member was not enough for me. This is a lonely career, and I wanted to be part of a creative group of people who were writers, directors, and producers to collaborate with and learn from.
I heard about NYWIFT from a friend who had attended some workshops and told me about the tremendous opportunity for networking with women working in the business.
You joined NYWIFT as a Gold Member. Why did you choose that membership level?
At a screening of Nigerian films in 2013, I met a NYWIFT board member who explained that for just a few dollars more monthly, I could be become a Gold Member. This level would entitle me to attend most events at no cost, unlike basic membership. I think this is a bargain.
What do you hope to get out of your involvement with the NYWIFT community?
Joining NYWIFT has been one of the most important career decisions I have made lately. I have access to new information, and I love attending the workshops and screenings, and the new connections I have made. The members are welcoming, and some of the people I have met have even invited me to participate in their projects.
Join NYWIFT by Wednesday (December 4, 2013) and get 50% off the initiation fee (usually $135, reduced to $67.50). Already a member? Encourage your friends and colleagues to join. The member who refers the most applicants during the drive will receive 5 free raffle tickets at the Muse Awards this year.
Maura Kelly serves on NYWIFT’s Board of Directors as the Vice President of Membership and Committee Chair.
NYWIFT Member Panayiota Pagoulatos shares memories from her trip to Cannes 2022 - her first time back on a plane since 2019! She met with WIFTI leaders from all over the world and shared this sage advice: "If you find yourself at an international market or film festival—whether it’s the first or the fiftieth time—look for your people. Whether a business partnership comes out of it or not, staying connected, sharing your experiences, and hopefully learning a thing or two, that’s the pulse that will help keep you going in this tough-as-nails industry."READ MORE
Cynthia Lowen’s latest documentary "Battleground" offers an eye-opening window into the anti-choice movement, featuring three women from varying walks of life who have dedicated themselves to rendering abortion illegal. Per the Tribeca website: “Told with restraint and balance, director Cynthia Lowen seeks to clarify rather than condemn, and presents a new point of entry for this challenging topic.” While the film itself clearly aligns with progressive pro-choice advocates (who also appear throughout) it offers a fascinating perspective on the sheer systemic power of the anti-abortion movement and the perilous future, felt painfully today, of Roe v. Wade. "Battleground" was Executive Produced by NYWIFT member Ruth Ann Harnisch and co-produced by member Steffie van Rhee, who sat down with us to discuss the premiere and how this film – from this particular perspective – came to fruition.READ MORE
Violet Du Feng’s "Hidden Letters" tells the story of Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women—each of them transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be. Hot off her 2022 Tribeca Festival premiere, Director Violet Du Feng, an Emmy-award winning documentarian, spoke to us about Nushu, modern-day China, women’s equality, and her filmmaking process.READ MORE
Signe Baumane’s "My Love Affair With Marriage" is a brilliant animated film for a decidedly adult audience. It’s a semi-autobiographical musical exploration of love, sex, romance, and gender as viewed through the lens of neurochemistry – not your average animated love story! New York Women in Film & Television was proud to present Baumane with a NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant for the film, and even prouder to then see it premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival! We sat down with Signe to discuss her wildly inventive, intelligent, and very fun film.READ MORE