Dear NYWIFT Members,
The entertainment industry was rocked by a New York Times exposé of decades of sexual harassment allegations leveled at producer Harvey Weinstein and, as the days unfold, accounts of abuses by other top men in the industry are surfacing rapidly. To NYWIFT, and to so many of our members, this type of abusive behavior, while appalling, is anything but “breaking news.” Such stories are pervasive at all levels of the industry, and we’ve heard similar accounts from many of our members. While Weinstein may be the most hypocritical and highest profile at the moment, the industry is rife with sexism across the board, not only from ‘head honchos’ but it is also occurring in all positions, whether a woman is crewing a film or show, performing a scene on set, participating in a corporate board room meeting, or at her desk in everyday work environments. From the most overt to the insidious subtle nuanced overtures, in front of the camera or behind the scenes, sexual harassment is real and we commend all those who have spoken out so far.
We are glad The Weinstein Company, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America took decisive action. Now, we need to band together and shed further light on how this type of abusive and harassing behavior is being addressed down the line or in companies where women don’t feel they are able to speak out. This horrifying, all-too-prevalent behavior reminds us of the importance of solidarity, how women have to share knowledge to protect each other, how some predators unfortunately disguise themselves as “allies,” and how we need to keep the conversation going.
NYWIFT was formed on the premise of supporting and empowering women in their profession and craft. In keeping with this long tradition, we call on you today to stand together, support each other, and share your stories. We encourage you to engage with your fellow NYWIFT members by posting on our social media channels, submitting a blog story, producing a short film, or perhaps you’d like to help us create an educational program. Send your ideas and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would would also like to make our members aware of the National Women’s Law Center‘s new Legal Network for Gender Equity to address the unprecedented number of threats to women’s rights. The Legal Network for Gender Equity has initially recruited more than 75 attorneys from across the country who stand ready to provide an initial free legal consultation and, when appropriate, represent women and girls who experience sex discrimination on the job, at school, and in the health care system. The Center is assembling the infrastructure for the network to become fully operational later this year with the goal of attorneys participating in every state. At this time, if you are an attorney interested in taking part in this Network, we encourage you to please fill out your information at http://www.nwlc.org/legalnetworksignup. You can contact NWLC’s Legal Director, Sunu Chandy at email@example.com with any questions.
Simone Pero, President
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