Love: the NO CANNES DO info graphic by Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood showing the appalling lack of opportunities extended to women directors by the Cannes Film Festival—a reflection of the situation of the industry as a whole, but this does not excuse it.
Checking Out: the report on women working in independent film by Martha Lauzen that shows women are 18% of the directors of independent narrative features (three times as many as the number of women working as directors in the top 250 narrative films released last year) but a long, long way from equal opportunity.
Stacking Up: my reading list with these goodies, which include recent 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Here’s to hoping, especially with Joanna Walsh’s recent Twitter efforts to #readwomen2014, there are more lists like this headed our way.
Terry Lawler is NYWIFT’s Executive Director. Tune in every Tuesday for her picks.
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Edna Luise Biesold
Welcome to NYWIFT, new member Edna Luise Biesold! Edna is a German-born and New York-based filmmaker who honed her craft at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a special focus on cinematography. She received the Franz Wieser Grant from ARRI as DP for the fantasy short film The Molok. She co-wrote and co-directed The Color of Time, and is presently developing 3 Monkeys, a screenplay which earned her a Creative Career Design Fellowship from NYU's Production Lab in 2022. Most recently, Sunscreen, her first film in ASL, has won her a Best Narrative Short award at 1904 Deaf Film Festival and the NYWIFT Award for Excellence in Directing at the 2022 SOHO International Film Festival. Edna spoke to us about her favorite collaborators, the challenges of lighting 16-foot tall puppets, and exploring the subtleties of communication throughout her work.READ MORE
NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Liz Sargent
In the 2023 Sundance Film Festival short film Take Me Home, a cognitively disabled woman and her estranged sister must learn to communicate in order to move forward after their mother’s death. It captures of a moment of terror experienced by so many siblings of those with disabilities, when they are suddenly responsible for making a plan for a loved one who cannot live on their own, potentially upending both their lives as they also work through their grief. For writer and director NYWIFT member Liz Sargent, the story hits close to home. And she cast her own mother and younger sister to play versions of themselves. Sargent spoke to us about finding support in her identity as a sibling guardian, beautiful moments working on set with her family, and her joyous Sundance experience.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Susan Chau
Welcome to NYWIFT, Susan Chau! Chau is a New York-based director, production designer, and art director working in film and branded content. She received her MFA in film production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her film Josephine, developed while at NYU, has traveled the festival circuit and was supported by Panavision, which awarded the project The New Filmmaker Grant. Most recently, Chau worked with Vox Media and Apartment Therapy. She spoke to us about her inspirations, favorite projects, and her new digital zine for women who love film!READ MORE
NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Dawn Porter
NYWIFT Member Dawn Porter’s Cirque du Soleil: Without a Net offers a never-before-seen look behind the curtain of the world-famous circus extravaganza, with an approach that is equally intimate and epic in scale. When Cirque du Soleil moves to reboot its flagship production, "O," more than a year after an abrupt global shutdown, both performers and crew members face uncertainty as they work to return to their world-class standards in time for the (re)opening night curtain in Las Vegas. The film had its world premiere as a Centerpiece film at the 2022 DOC NYC Festival. Porter sat down with us to discuss her unique approach to this story, and how these high-flying artists can offer unique insight into our post-pandemic world.READ MORE