Goodbye, Alicia: This weekend we bid farewell to The Good Wife, a classic made-in-New-York show with a marvelously complex female-driven storyline, starring our own 2009 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Julianna Margulies as power attorney Alicia Florrick. It will be missed.
Independent Women: A new study from Martha Lauzen at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University shows that though women directors fared better in the independent realm than with major studios, the percentage of women behind the camera is “stagnant.” Women account for 28% of all directors working in indie film during the past year, a five-point increase over 2014-15 and slightly below the historical high of 29% in 2011-12. We must translate the growing awareness of gender disparity into actual change.
Preserving the Legacy: Did you know the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) has preserved more than 100 films since its inception 21 years ago? Get to know this history of this amazing organization, and apply for a WFPF grant by June 1.
NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Jess Jacobs
In director Tracy Droz Tragos feature documentary Plan C, a hidden grassroots organization doggedly fights to expand access to abortion pills across the United States, keeping hope alive during a global pandemic and the fall of Roe v. Wade. With abortion restrictions and bans going into effect, Francine Coeytaux and her team of providers established Plan C — a grassroots organization dedicated to expanding access to medication abortion. NYWIFT member Jess Jacobs, the film’s executive producer, has a career-long history of activism – including work with the Plan C organization before the movie was even made! She spoke to us about Plan C’s Sundance premiere, her passion for reproductive justice, and the power of community.READ MORE
NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Katharina Otto-Bernstein
Since premiering and winning the Jury Prize in the 2022 Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival (the first to do so from the Indian subcontinent), Joyland has moved audiences worldwide with its human portrayal of the limits of love in the face of patriarchy. The film follows the youngest son in a traditional Pakistani family as he takes a job as a backup dancer in a Bollywood-style burlesque, and quickly becomes infatuated with the strong-willed trans woman who runs the show. The film is both a loving portrait of the people of Lahore, Pakistan, and a painful depiction of how rigid traditional gender roles and repressed sexuality can have a ripple effect that harms the whole community. NYWIFT member Katharina Otto-Bernstein, who produced Joyland, spoke to us about discovering new artists through mentorship, political pushback on Joyland, and how Malala Yousafzai helped the film finally reach Pakistani audiences.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Samantha Alvarez
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
NYWIFT at Sundance: Spotlight on Paula Eiselt
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.