In celebration of Black History Month, let’s shine a light on the artists and changemakers in media:
NYWIFT Interviews: Be sure to check out NYWIFT blogger Tammy Reese’s series of interviews that shine a spotlight on Black artists in the NYWIFT community, discussing their favorite inspirational figures and career highlights.
NYWIFT Talks: On next week’s NYWIFT Talks, we return with part 2 of our conversation with NY Media Arts Organization that represent diversity artists with “Making a Way Out of No Way: The Importance of Amplifying BIPOC and Black Women Voices with Visionary New York Media Arts Organizations” on February 24. Learn more and register.
Watch List: There are many Black History Month film and TV recommendations to choose from, but this list of six essential films from Time is a great starting point. It also happens to feature two films with NYWIFT ties: member and our first-ever Nancy Malone Directing Award Muse honoree Julie Dash’s Illusions, which candidly explores racism and sexism in Hollywood both present and past, was recently named to the National Film Registry. It was preserved with support from the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund and we screened it in our Member Screening Series in the Fall. NYWIFT Muse Kasi Lemmons’ Eve’s Bayou (pictured above), with its nuanced portrayal of family life in the segregated 1960s South, also made the list.
On December 1, 2023, Season 3 of STARZ Power Book III: Raising Kanan premiered starring past NYWIFT Muse Award Honoree Patina Miller. This season of Raising Kanan continues to tell the origin story of fan-favorite character Kanan Stark (MeKai Curtis), originally played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the flagship series, delving further into his evolution from the devoted son of Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller) into the eventual ferocious, amoral and pragmatic personality fans know from Power.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In NYWIFT Member Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film Happy Campers, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each other’s company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. Happy Campers just made its world premiere at DOC NYC, where it received a Special Mention for the Grand Jury Prize. Amy spoke to us about her unique process making this film, biggest challenges and triumphs, and the commodification of some of life’s simplest pleasures.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Melisa Ramos! Melisa is a filmmaker and professor from Puerto Rico, bringing 14 years of post-production and motion graphics experience to New York. Her first production, Puerto Rican Voices, a docu-series about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Following Puerto Rican Voices, Melisa continued to share Puerto Rican and Latin American stories. In 2020, she directed and produced From Performers to Spectators, a doc-series showcasing New York City performers during lockdown. She is currently in production on Hoop Warrior, her first feature film. Read all about Melisa’s journey as an editor and artist here!READ MORE