In honor of Women’s History Month, NYWIFT looks back at some of the remarkable women who have shaped the film, television and digital media industries through the decades.
By Mellini Kantayya
NYWIFT member Maleni Chaitoo is an actress and a producer. She is known for her appearance in the “New York, I Love You” episode of Master of None and her role as Kayla on the web series Don’t Shoot the Messenger, on which she is also an executive producer. The series is a comedy about a socially awkward sign language interpreter who, despite being fluent in two languages, still “fumbles through life in NYC hopelessly lost in translation.” In addition to having Deaf and hearing cast members, the series also had Deaf and hearing directors, designers, and crew working side by side.
Chaitoo states that her proudest achievement was receiving the Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant at the 2016 NYWIFT Muse Awards, “I was quite amazed, inspired, and honored to see all of these attendees laughing at a short video clip of me playing [the] Kayla character in the episode three. It was amazing sharing our joy with our audiences.”
Don’t Shoot the Messenger is available for streaming on YouTube.
NYWIFT Member Talya Tibbon's Sky and Ground tells the harrowing tale of one Syrian family's three-month journey from Greece to Germany feeling violence in their homeland. Facing setbacks, heartaches and threats of deportation, their determination propels them towards a better future. In advance of the film's screening as part of the NYWIFT Member Screening Series, Talya discusses her process and how being an "outsider" is an asset to documentary filmmaking.READ MORE
Emmy Panel: Check out the September 27th episode of the No Rest for the Weekend podcast for a fun recap of our NYWIFT Season Kickoff:...READ MORE
Our NYWIFT member abroad, Heidi Philipsen, sits down with WIFT Hamburg co-founder Verena Gräfe-Höft to talk the state of the industry and her new film Pelican Blood, which is making waves at both the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals.READ MORE