By Ozzi Ramirez
Let’s welcome new member Arielle Duran to NYWIFT!
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.
Tell us about yourself – Give us your elevator pitch!
Arielle Duran is a SAG actor from New York. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Screenwriting at the Feirstein Cinema Graduate Program. Her passion for storytelling began with theater and eventually evolved while studying television production at her university. She has a comedic voice and is now writing her own stories that mainly represent the Latinx community in New York. You can catch Arielle in Peacock’s television series, The Calling.
As a native New Yorker, do you feel that New York has played a central role in your evolution as an artist?
Growing up in New York, I emerged into the arts at a young age. The arts existed as a way of expressing myself and communicating with my community. New York’s uniqueness influences my stories.
What is the best advice you have received?
The best advice a mentor shared with me was, “When you first start telling stories, tell the ones closest to you. The ones from your heart!”
What brought you to NYWIFT?
I was seeking a community where I could bounce ideas with others and workshop material, while also building on my knowledge about the different fields in the industry and different phases of production. A friend of mine introduced me to NYWIFT, and I knew it was what I was looking for!
How did the pandemic shape your work experience?
With all the free time the pandemic offered me, I honed in on my craft and read and watched other artists’ work. It allowed me much freedom to explore ideas while incorporating moments of being present. Working on set after the pandemic showed me how much care the crew and performers have for one another and the overall project.
The pandemic shaped me as an artist by presenting me with opportunities to grow as a performer. Everything transitioned into a remote experience. This had its faults but provided me with opportunities I would not have had otherwise. For example, I was able to try virtual classes in LA.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What upcoming projects do you have in the works?
In the next five years, I see myself producing one of my feature films in New York and completing a series that I will pitch to networks.
Connect with Arielle Duran on Instagram at @SofiaRielle.
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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
Meet NYWIFT Member Sweta Keswani! After starring in some critically acclaimed and hugely popular prime time television series in India which made Sweta Keswani a household name, she moved to New York in 2010 for love. She was seen on The Blacklist with James Spader, was recurring on New Amsterdam and AMC’s supernatural thriller Nos4a2. She had a fun role on Apple TV’s dark anthology series Roar and Mayim Bialik’s first directorial feature, As They Made Us, with Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen last year. Sweta also appears in The Beanie Bubble, which was released late July in theatres and globally on Apple TV. Sweta continues to hone her craft as an actor, whether it’s being in a stage combat or acting class, working on plays locally, or helping with R&D and as social media consultant for the Remarkable Women docuseries.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Derya Celikkol! A proud graduate of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Schools of the Arts, Derya Celikkol is a Turkish filmmaker who lives in New York City and has contributed her extraordinary artistry to numerous projects. In addition to acting and production designing, Celikkol has directed and produced films, some of which have been showcased and won awards at film festivals worldwide.READ MORE