NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival audience at AT&T Center in Downtown LA.
The face of Los Angeles independent filmmaking is changing, and it has been for a while. More and more festivals showing short and experimental films are popping up in the capital of the Hollywood machine. Young and new filmmakers are not scared of sharing their vision with others, and different programs provide them with an opportunity to put that vision on the wide screen.
My first encounter with NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA) was in 2011 when I participated in the inaugural program for On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project with the director with whom I produced a Women In Film LA PSA, Journey to Safety (winner of a 2012 Silver Telly). My team’s film won that year’s NFMLA jury and the audience awards. But I got so much more out of the competition than just awards. The producing team that developed while working on this project is still alive and strong and collaborating four years later, the cinematographer has been tapped to shoot a documentary that benefited from the prize’s in-kind donations, and other professional relationships blossomed.
This year I was invited to chair the Events and Programming Committee for NFMLA, an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse. I felt I had to give others a chance to get the experiences I received when working with NFMLA. Since joining the organization, I’ve learned how tedious the process to secure a perfect program is, how complex getting that elusive sponsor can be, and how exciting meeting local, national, and international filmmakers has become to the LA community.
The strength of NFMLA for me resides in their encouraging, approach to hear the voices of often-overlooked groups in the film industry: the female auteurs with stories that range from standard genre approaches to “out-there” ideas, the LGBT community, veterans, international filmmakers, and many others. Everyone is given a chance.
I encourage anyone who wants to be a part of a supportive film community to check out NewFilmmakers LA. We have monthly film festivals without hard deadlines, offer a yearly On Location competition, and acknowledge the NFMLA alumni in our yearly “Best of” awards.
Join us in celebrating the art of film, and submit your short, documentary or feature!
— MARINA VISCUN
Marina is a freelance film, television, and commercials producer, film festival organizer, and avid chocolate enthusiast.
(Edited on Dec 17, 5:39 pm EST.)
Welcome to NYWIFT, Samantha Alvarez, an independent documentary and narrative filmmaker born and raised in the Bronx with six years of camera operating and video editing experience. Alvarez started her career as a multidisciplinary teaching artist. She now works as a video freelancer and recently won the 2022 NYWIFT Outstanding Woman Content Creator at the Nova Frontier Film Festival for her short mixed media documentary, "In the Body." We sat down with her to discuss her latest film, her career, and her inspirations.READ MORE
An alarmingly disproportionate number of Black women are failed every year by the U.S. maternal health system – and it is a crisis that has been largely ignored thus far. In the Sundance 2022 documentary Aftershock, Directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee follow the bereaved partners of two of these women as they fight for justice and build communities of support, bonding especially with other surviving Black fathers. The story is presented within the historical context of racism throughout the U.S. healthcare system, and the deadly tendency to ignore or minimize Black women’s pain and concerns.
NYWIFT Member Paula Eiselt spoke to us about how she and Lewis Lee approached this harrowing topic, and why community activists are the natural heroes of her creative work.
NYWIFT member Jen Heck returns to Sundance this year as part of a special retrospective celebrating the 40th anniversary of the festival’s short film program that welcomes back past Sundance projects. Heck wrote and associate produced the comedic short Hold Up, in which a robber is after more than just money during an NYC convenience store hold up. It originally premiered at Sundance in 2006 and has strong ties to the NYWIFT community, as it was directed by member Madeleine Olnek and features Muse Awards host Nancy Giles in one of the three starring roles.
Jen discusses her Sundance experiences both traditional (i.e. sleeping on the floor in Park City) and virtual, as well as her current projects.
Learning the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship for your film projects can seem daunting, but Kim Skildum-Reid lays out all best practice principles to help you create a compelling pitch.READ MORE