By Lina Silvester
Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to Myrakel Baker! Myrakel is a documentary filmmaker and development assistant living in Brooklyn. Inspired by her upbringing in a Black southern household, she aspires to produce character-driven stories rooted in identity and belonging with a focus on women’s voices.
As a development and programming assistant, she’s worked with HBO Documentaries on George Carlin’s American Dream, Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known, and The Janes to name a few.
She is looking to growing as a director and development producer, expanding on her work of sensitive, vérité-led documentaries.
What is your favorite project to date?
My favorite project to date was Pelosi in the House. The documentary shows the layers of a Pelosi’s tenure as a US politicians and woman living through several decades of political turmoil.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Go beyond the story. Never limit yourself to what’s in front of you, but take the time to build the world around the story.
What brought you to NYWIFT?
I was interested in developing a community with women in the film industry. We are the secret weapons of the industry.
You’ve said your passion is “the intersection of creative writing and moving images.” What does that look like?
For as long as I can remember, I have been writing poetry and creating short form documentaries. Documentaries that lace vivid storytelling and verité images throughout are my bread and butter. As I grow as a documentarian and development producer, I want to find a way to bring those two passions together in every project.
Let’s give a warm welcome to Alisa Lomax! Based in Detroit, Alisa is an award-winning producer and director who is interested in providing a platform for characters who are in the midst of navigating hardships. Some of her most celebrated projects include Maya and Her Lover, Layla’s Girl, and the documentary When I Need to Smile, which centers on philanthropist and jazz label founder Gretchen Carhartt Valade. Alisa was one of just 13 Detroit writers to be selected as part of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Find out more about Alisa as we discuss her amazing 20+ year career trajectory, which includes her transition from working in corporate jobs to more artistic endeavors, and her current role in a digital arts program that aims to introduce the art of filmmaking to kids!READ MORE
Meet NYWIFT Member Toni R. Isreal. Toni is the CEO and Founder of REALEMN Productions LLC, Broadway’s leading multicultural marketing and PR team, run by Black women. In addition to being a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, she is a co-founding member of The Industry Standard Group. Previously, Toni was the Managing Director of Walker International Communications Group (WICG) where she led a team providing all aspects of marketing consultation to arts organizations. A proud member of CTI — Commercial Theater Institute, Toni was instrumental in multiple projects including 2018 Tony Award-Winning Once on This Island, Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, A Raisin in The Sun, A Trip To Bountiful, A Streetcar Named Desire, Baby It’s You, and Stick Fly. Toni R. Isreal is an awardee of the Central New Jersey Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women for Excellence in Economic Empowerment and advocates promoting the arts and entertainment to multicultural communities.READ MORE
Please join us in welcoming new NYWIFT member Katrina Montgomery! Katrina is an NYC filmmaker with an affinity for the Bronx, the neighborhood where she grew up and still considers home. Katrina served as both Director and Director of Photography for Get Away For A Day with Allyshia Renay, which aired on BRIC, MNN, and BronxNet. Currently, she is studying film directing at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and will be receiving her diploma shortly. Katrina spoke to us about her inspirations, using comedy to tackle tough topics, and lessons learned from a successful fundraising campaign.READ MORE
Please join us in welcoming Ifeyinwa Arinze to NYWIFT! Ifeyinwa is a neuroscientist-turned-filmmaker from Nigeria and is currently based in New York City. Her work draws inspiration from human behavior and prioritizes intimate portrayals of Black women and girls that are grounded in generosity and care. Her short film, Two or More, premiered at the 2022 New York African Film Festival and has screened at the 2022 Palm Springs International ShortFest, 2022 Bushwick Film Festival and 2022 TIDE Film Festival, where she received the 2022 NYWIFT Outstanding Woman Content Creator Award. Ifeyinwa spoke to us about why the TIDE Film Festival is special to her, her transition from STEM to the arts, and the inspirations behind her work.READ MORE