2021 NYWIFT Summit: The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined


Join us for the third annual NYWIFT Summit.

This four-day free virtual program consists of keynote speakers, panels, and film screenings, and will bring together some of the most unique and diverse voices of women working in the entertainment industry to establish forward-moving strategies to create change and mobilize support and leadership for the future.

The NYWIFT Summit is made possible with funds provided by The Ford Foundation. Additional support by Academy Foundation, WarnerMedia, AMC Networks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, The New York Community Trust, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), David Yurman, eMinutes, and the Tribeca Film Festival. 

The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined

The goal of the NYWIFT Summit: The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined is to spotlight best practices of how indies and media companies are restructuring their objectives, staffing, and community response to produce creative projects.

In addition, we have survived the pandemic – we will showcase who is thriving during the pandemic and what lessons were learned during the Black Lives Matter Movement, financial downturn, and the health crisis. 


Conference Schedule

DAY 1: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 from 4-6 PM EST

Welcome Address by NYWIFT Board President Jamie Zelermyer

Welcome from Chi-hui Yang, Ford Foundation

NYWIFT Annual Summit in Review: Executive Director Cynthia Lopez

Opening Keynote Conversation with: Christy Haubegger, EVP, Communications and Chief Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia

Panel: WarnerMedia Executives Present Inclusion Initiatives

WarnerMedia Executives in conversation with journalist about how they implemented diversity and inclusion initiatives across all platforms.


          MyKhahn Shelton: SVP Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia
          Karen Horne: SVP Equity & Inclusion, (Programs), WarnerMedia
          Samata Narra: SVP Equity & Inclusion, (Content), WarnerMedia
          Asif Sadiq: SVP Equity & Inclusion, International, WarnerMedia
          moderated by Natasha Del Toro, journalist

Watch Day One Here


DAY 2: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 4-6 PM EST

Welcome Keynote: Fireside Chat with Tina Tchen, President and CEO, Time’s Up
moderated by NYWIFT Board Member, Yvonne Russo: Filmmaker

Panel: Advocates for Change

Advocates for Change will highlight leaders advocating on the front lines to raise awareness about the representation of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the media, encouraging a nuanced and multi-dimensional approach to shatter stereotypes and celebrate the full breadth and depth of their community. These activist have opened many doors for discussion on what needs to change in the entertainment industry to ensure equity and safety. 


          Christina Chou: Motion Picture Lit Agent, CAA
          Christine Choy: Filmmaker and Educator, NYU
          Peilin Chou: Producer, Netflix Animation
          moderated by NYWIFT Board Member S. Casper Wong: Filmmaker

Closing Keynote by Renee Tajima-Peña: Filmmaker and Educator, UCLA


Watch Day Two Here


DAY 3: Thursday, June 24, 2021 from 4-6 PM EST

Welcome Keynote: Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo 

Panel: Organized Labor and the Future of the Workplace

Organized labor and trade associations have been at the forefront of setting the standard for safety protocol to keep production alive during COVID-19. How did they do it, and how are they tackling other issues of safety in the workplace, from racism to sexual harassment and more?


          Ann Burdick: General Counsel, WGA East
          Rebecca Damon: Executive Vice President and New York Local President, SAG-AFTRA
          Mayra Ocampo: Assistant Executive Director, Directors Guild of America
          moderated by Simon Moya-Smith: writer & journalist

Closing conversation: Unionizing Non Fiction Labor, A Year later

This conversation revisits the lack of organized labor for documentary makers with a case study where producers, showrunners, APs and other freelance workers at a major production company have recently voted to unionize with the WGAE.


Laura McCune, Documentary Line Producer
Andrew Greenberg,
Hannah Smith,
Jigsaw Productions
moderated by Maggie Bowman, International Documentary Association


Watch Day Three Here


DAY 4: Friday, June 25, 2021 from 4-6 PM EST

Partnerships and the Artist’s Journey with AMC Networks


          Aisha Thomas-Petit: Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, AMC Networks
          Daniel Rosenberg: VP Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Staff Me Up
          Carole Kirschner: Director, Writers Guild of America Showrunner Training Program
          Valerie Armstrong: Series Creator, Kevin Can F**k Himself
          J. David Shanks: Showrunner and Executive Producer, 61st Street
          moderated by Melanie McFarland: TV Critic, Salon.com

Closing Keynote: Victoria Rowell, Award-Winning Actor, NY Times Bestselling Writer, Producer, Director, Activist


Watch Day Four Here