Photo by Alexander Berg.
A prolific and acclaimed artist, Erica Fae joins New York Women in Film & Television as an actor, director, writer, producer and teacher of movement at Yale School of Drama and The New School. She was encouraged to join NYWIFT by her producing partner Jane Applegate, whom she met while developing her current project, a feature film about a woman lighthouse keeper, with a four-week shooting schedule in Maine this summer. The drama blends suspense, passion and feminist revelation in a time before feminism existed.
On what attracted her to the material, Fae said that she had stumbled upon it while researching American women of the nineteenth century, research inspired by her play, Take What is Yours, co-written with Jill A. Samuels, about suffragist Alice Paul.
“At the time, lighthouse keeping was the only job that women were allowed to do for the government, except clerical work,” Fae explained. “These were remote areas. If the men couldn’t do it, the women did. The lighthouses had to work.”
Fae found her lighthouse, located on Mistake Island in the Bay of Fundy, on an October location scout in northeastern Maine, and fell in love with it. “It was aesthetically perfect, like casting a beautiful lead,” she said. Fae met with a town selectman and experienced a grassroots uprising of support from the inhabitants, who convened a town meeting to unanimously approve the use of the town’s name in the film. A local farmer stepped forward to provide fresh produce for the shoot, and boat owners will operate a ferry service to the island. The Bangor Daily News described Fae as a “New York City woman.” She laughed: “I am a New York City woman.”
Drawn to the bold, radical women of history, Fae also wrote and performed a solo play about Joan of Arc, A Girl Joan. She made the initial leap from stage to film in 2007 while attempting to create a play about writer Christine de Pizan, but ran into limitations on her vision and turned to film to bring the allegorical imagery she wanted to life.
Fae continues to be actively involved in theater work, which began in her childhood, and influenced her multihyphenate approach to art. “People talk about wearing hats. I’m wearing my producer’s hat, my writer’s hat, my director’s hat,” she said. “To me, it’s all one hat. All one effort to tell the story.”
Her feature film work includes Synecdoche, New York, The Savages, Little Children, and others, and she has just been cast in a popular period cable drama. On the rewards of performing in someone else’s work, Fae said, “It is a delight to luxuriate in acting. Just to concentrate on that. It’s wonderful.”
Of her students, she said that the biggest change she has seen in them as artists is their interest in and willingness to create work for themselves. Technological advances have opened the door for them to do what Fae has done: Pursue their own passions rather than wait for a job.
Fae confirmed that she has two more projects on her agenda about historical American women who claim their own power. “Two juicy, juicy stories,” she said, with conviction. She is currently developing a miniseries.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Jade Dressler! Jade has imagined, designed and created for mass and niche pop-culture and luxury lifestyle clients for over 30 years. From nature-inspired body jewelry on major couture runways to award-winning landscape art spanning acres in Brazil, she is known for producing touchpoints of meaning that connect and energize all our lives. The Jade Dressler Agency is NYC-based with global partners. The agency is known for lifting the dreams of personalities, brands and businesses clients with creative services that deliver compelling design, messaging, events, and experiences that thrill. Jade spoke to us about daring to be a disruptor, amazing moments with Karl Lagerfield, and her brand new screenplay!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Candece Tarpley! Candece Tarpley, of Sissipahaw/Tuscarora/Tsalagi descent, is a World Champion Powwow dancer, an actress and a poet-storyteller-playwright who has been writing since childhood. Holding her heritage close, she's been a featured performer nationwide, weaving her crafts with the patrons of the Public Library of Boulder Colorado; Middlebury College in Vermont; Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Pequot Museum in Connecticut; the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as other creative venues. Candece spoke to us about how her Indigenous heritage influences her work, the response to her television series, and her next major projects.READ MORE
New York based filmmaker Melissa Morales is a first-generation Puerto Rican Latina alum from CUNY Brooklyn College with a BA in Film Production, holding a magna cum laude GPA. Melissa is an aspiring writer, director, producer and production designer, and multimedia content creator. She has written, directed, & produced four short films in 2022, with her thesis "Bigger" winning a NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award at Brookly College and a NYIFA Best Student Director Award both in 2023! Melissa tells us about receiving the NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award, her role as a writer, director, and producer, and more!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim! Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx. Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!READ MORE