NYWIFT member Arlette Thomas-Fletcher is a multi-talented filmmaker and production executive. She has handled every creative and technical aspect of media production during her decades-long career, writing, directing, and producing her own projects and those of others.
Arlette’s 2022 western Christian film The Lonesome Trail was released in July 2022 on all VOD platforms and Blu-ray disc, and also as a hardcover book. The Lonesome Trail won 18 awards and has two nominations.
Arlette is a published author and has several books on Amazon, including her children’s book Dreamer’s Journey, which was just released. She is currently working on an animated series called The Cat Faced Cat.
Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch!
I am an award-winning writer, director, and producer of family content. Also, I am an author and singer/songwriter. I love to tell stories! Whether it is writing a children’s book, singing a song, or telling a western story. I just want to entertain and motivate audiences to take a positive journey through a fantastic tale. We all want to be wowed or exhilarated by a story that is different and life-changing. That’s what I love to do for people of all ages whether it is through my books, songs, or my films.
You’re a true multi-hyphenate – directing, writing, producing, and more. Which aspect of the media industry is your favorite and why?
My favorite part of the media industry is directing. I love visually mapping out a story and seeing it come to life first in the actor’s face, and then the audience that sees the end product.
What first brought you to NYWIFT?
I came to NYWIFT because I love being around creative people. I was president of Women in Film and Video in Maryland, and I grew as a filmmaker. I am still growing and learning. I believe NYWIFT can help me expand my knowledge in the film industry and become a better filmmaker.
Congratulations on your new book! What is it about?
Dreamer’s Journey is about dreaming and exploring through a child’s imagination. The purpose of the book is to assist a child with learning what they can become in the future. It allows children to know that they can be anything they want to be in this world. It is a great book for children to read to practice and learn how to plan their dreams. The book also can be a partnership between the parent and child together discovering all the fantastic things that a child can learn and use to make their dreams come true.
You mentioned that you’ve been involved in the NYWIFT New Works Lab and that your colleagues from the Lab helped make this book happen. Can you tell us more about that? How did the NYWIFT community contribute to your creative process?
The NYWIFT New Work Lab was a great place to present my book and get an objective view from the members of NYWIFT. It helped me to rework my book and shape it into a stronger story.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope the readers will take away that dreaming is wonderful! Also, they will understand that there are so many opportunities for them to be anything they want if only they would dream. I want them to be able to see the manifestation of their dreams come true. This book will help parents and children to see this happen.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on an animated series called The Cat Faced Cat. I am also in the development of a female-focused action feature film. Further, my new book will be coming out in the coming months which is called Giving God’s Love to Others. My book for my feature western film The Lonesome Trail can be found on Amazon.
Check out Dreamer’s Journey on Amazon.
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
Welcome to NYWIFT, Aisha Amin! Aisha is an NYC-based writer and director. As a director, her work expands across narrative, documentary, and experimental forms to tell authentic stories built from real experiences. Her past film projects have explored and highlighted overlooked communities particularly in New York City, including formerly incarcerated mothers and communities struggling with the presence of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Amongst her directing, Aisha is an emerging screenwriting and was selected to participate in Cine Qua Non’s 2022 Screenwriting Lab. She is a 2022 recipient of NYFA’s Tomorrowland Grant and a 2021 recipient of the NYFA Women's Fund grant. She was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she directed two short documentaries. She is also a recipient of The Shed's Open Call Fellowship where she expanded her film practice to installation art. Aisha spoke to us about her favorite styles of storytelling, the intersection of narrative and documentary, and her latest projects.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Lorena R. Valenica! Lorena R. Valencia is a Mexican writer-director based in New York. Her directorial debut and MFA thesis film, Cuanacaquilitl (Dandelion), received the 2022 National Board of Review Student Award and is an Official Selection in several international film festivals, including the Morelia International Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the New York Latino Film Festival, and the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival. Lorena is passionate about both narrative and documentary storytelling and is interested in addressing issues such as reproductive rights, identity, and belonging. Currently, she is directing Mi Ranchito, a documentary short film that explores resilience and love for the land, while she is developing her debut feature film, Mayahuel. Lorena spoke to us about inspiring empathy through storytelling, the overlap of narrative and documentary filmmaking, and her latest projects.READ MORE