We’re counting down the 40 days to NYWIFT’s 40th Anniversary Muse Awards with a look at some of our favorite honorees, all women of vision and achievement who have contributed to the film and television industry. Join us as we look back at #Muse40for40, and buy your tickets for the Muse Awards on Tuesday, December 10th at nywift.org/muse!
#7: Madhur Jaffrey
By Natascha Bodemann
Actress, food and travel writer, cookbook author, and television personality Madhur Jaffrey began her illustrious career in Delhi, India, where she performed in school Shakespeare plays and dramas on All India Radio, eventually appearing in acclaimed theatrical productions on the Indian stage. After winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Jaffrey moved to England where, disappointed in post-war British cooking, she begged her mother to send recipes for her favorite Indian dishes. A few years later, in New York, director Ismail Merchant would cast Madhur in Shakespeare-Wallah, earning her the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.
Other notable films include Six Degrees of Separation, Wolf, and Vanya on 42nd Street. Madhur has appeared in TV series such as EastEnders and Law and Order, and starred in theater productions including the Royal Court’s Last Dance at Dum Dum, Medea at the Lyric, Hammersmith, and Bombay Dreams on Broadway. Jaffrey has authored several acclaimed cookbooks, including An Invitation to Indian Cooking (1973), which was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame. In 2004 she was named an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
“When you are on television, say cooking, you need all your acting a bit. You need that confidence that you get to stand alone, speak sentences without being afraid, have the ability to reach somebody that you’re talking to, take your pauses when you want to take your pauses. That comes from training, the training for an actress.”
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
Welcome to NYWIFT, LaKisa Renee! LaKisa is a multitalented media/film industry professional, journalist, host, actress, videographer, voice artist, and award-winning makeup artist. She is the owner and Founder of LaKisa Renee Entertainment, a media, fashion and events company. As a media professional, she is a contributing journalist for Cultured Focus Magazine, In Black Magazine, and Steller Magazine. LaKisa spoke to us about her wide range of roles in media, fashion, and entertainment.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, new member Chloë Levine! Chloë is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked as an actress, director, screenwriter, and producer. Learn more about Chloë as we discuss her 2014 debut short that earned praise at a well-known film festival, some of the screen goddesses that served as her muses during her earlier years, and the wide range of projects she has contributed to artistically, in addition to other fun topics!READ MORE
Let’s welcome new member Arielle Duran to NYWIFT! Having been raised in Ridgewood, Queens, Arielle Duran is a proud New Yorker and versatile storyteller of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. Since graduating from the University of South Florida's Zimmerman School, where she studied broadcasting and production, Arielle’s theatrical talents have been showcased in notable television shows such as The Calling and American Rust, among other projects. In addition to acting, Arielle is currently pursuing screenwriting as a graduate student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Arielle spoke to us about her New York roots, storytelling, and honing her craft.READ MORE