Black Agents: Of the hundreds of talent agents working at the major Hollywood agencies, only a few dozen are black. The New York Times ran a great interview with several of the reps, who discussed the systemic barriers they have faced and the change they hope to see.
Children’s Media: The Geena Davis Institute conducted an analysis of the top 100 grossing animated and non-animated family films between 2007-2017, called The Geena Benchmark Report, which studied the gender, racial, sexuality, and disability disparities within protagonists of these films. Male characters in family films constitute 71.3% of leading roles. There has been only a slight increase of less than three percentage points in women’s on-screen representation in children’s media over the 10 years studied. This disparity is a problem, since children – both male and female – look to the media for role models and stories that reflect what matters most in our culture. What are we teaching our kids?
Female Representation: Meanwhile, in films for “grown-ups,” the numbers are a little brighter. According to a new study put forth by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, representation for women and people of color in top grossing films is higher than ever. 40% of the top 100 films of 2018 had female leads or co-leads, compared to only 20% in 2007; intersectionality across race and age also increased substantially this year.
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Eunice Levis
Welcome to NYWIFT, Eunice Levis! Writer and director Eunice Levis is a first-generation Dominican American from the Bronx, New York. Eunice's work focuses on genre-bending stories that combine her love of horror, sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy, often through a diasporic lens. She seeks to disrupt and challenge dominant narratives around technology, race, gender, history, and diaspora identity by altering the stories we tell about them. Eunice spoke to us about her early inspirations, her latest work, and how genre stories offer a unique opportunity to challenge the status quo.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amanda DiMartino
Let’s give a warm welcome to new NYWIFT member Amanda DiMartino! Amanda is a director, producer, and editor committed to audience engagement. Some of her career highlights include collaborations with brands such as Harper’s Bazaar, Peloton, NBCUniversal, SYFY, Complex, KIDZ BOP, The Berlin Film Festival, Standard and Poor’s, and The Hollywood Reporter. Altogether, the 500-plus videos she has worked on have garnered more than one billion clicks and views while generating more than $1 million in revenue. She spoke to us about working with Bad Bunny and Usher, and why exploration is key to success!READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Vanessa Meyer
Welcome to NYWIFT, Vanessa Meyer! Meyer is a filmmaker, programmer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to having earned a Ph.D. in Communications with a specialization in personal storytelling, she has worked at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Kiss Off Entertainment, Reel Love Film Festival and most recently, Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV). As an artist, she is interested in exploring the complexities of feelings, a theme that has repeatedly appeared in her work. Meyer spoke to us about championing unique voices as a programmer, moving to NYC, and finding light in the darkness.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Mohana Rajakumar
Welcome to NYWIFT, Mohana Rajakumar! Mohana is a South Asian American scholar, novelist, screenwriter, and stand-up comic whose work regularly explores feminist themes. Some of her most notable literary accomplishments include winning the She Writes New Novelist Award in 2011 for her coming-of-age novel An Unlikely Goddess and the Best Indie Book Award for Romance in 2013 for Love Comes Later. She co-wrote and appeared in the short film Me Against the World, directed by Kali Bailey, which appeared in NYWIFT’s “Women in Film Night” at the 2022 Montauk Film Festival. Mohana has resided in Qatar since 2005. She spoke to us about working across various art forms, her writing process, and the special honor that comes with writing a banned book!READ MORE
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