By Catherine Woo
Welcome to NYWIFT, Gaelin Rosenwaks!
Gaelin is a multitalented scientist, explorer, photographer, filmmaker, and author of Sperm Whales: The Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans. A lifelong fascination with the marine world inspired her to start diving at age 14. She began her career at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and earned her Master’s Degree from Duke University. She founded Global Ocean Exploration Inc in response to alarming changes to our oceans. Her projects inspire people to connect and care for our oceans.
Her aptitude for science and storytelling brought her on a journey that spans from appearing as an expert and host on many TV networks to being one of the few women to be featured on the cover of Outside Magazine. She is currently working on a documentary.
Gaelin shares more about her fascinating journey here!
Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!
I am a marine scientist and ocean storyteller. I use film, photography, and writing to inspire people to care about the ocean and our planet. Currently, I have taken a deep dive into the world of sperm whales.
What brings you to NYWIFT?
I joined NYWIFT to meet other amazing women in the film industry with hopes of collaborations in the future.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I ever received was to “make myself indispensable” whenever I was part of a team.
Congratulations on your book Sperm Whales: The Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans! How was your approach to storytelling through still photographs different from your approach to storytelling through film?
The first medium that I worked with as a storyteller was photography so for me, it was a wonderful return. My approach was different as I had to capture the one perfect frame that encapsulated what was often a longer encounter, and to ensure that the movement and dynamic nature of these interactions were captured in one still frame. It was a challenge, but also an opportunity to allow the viewer’s imagination to wander.
You are currently working on Finding Physty, a story about sperm whales and their family dynamics. In the trailer, you take on part of this exploration with your own mother. What was that experience like for you?
It has been wonderful to bring my mother on these expeditions and have her join my team. She introduced me to the ocean and art as a child, so introducing her into my world of expedition film and photography has been a privilege. She taught me so much growing up and now we have come full circle and I have been able to teach her new skills.
In Finding Physty, were there any moments or memories that didn’t make the final cut of the project?
Too many to list here! Every moment in the water with these whales is unique so choosing the best of the best moments is very difficult! Fortunately, the moments that have ended up on the cutting room floor for the film are mostly covered in the book so they are great companions to one another.
What’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?
Right now, I am excited to be finishing up my film and looking forward to sharing it with the world! I have a few new projects in the pipeline, but mostly am focusing on sharing my book with new audiences through talks and lectures around the country, with great anticipation of the film premiering in the not-too-distant future!
Please join us in welcoming Toni Short to NYWIFT! Toni Short is an Aussie on a mission to tell the textured stories of women from around the world and heal the world through the arts. Following a personal breakthrough, Toni paved her own path towards artistic creation and invites others to walk beside her. This led her to found The Camp, an immersive space for children to learn about creative self-expression. Her project Sister Spirit Stories is a platform to highlight the stories of inspiring women. We Go High Productions produces both Sister Spirit Stories and Toni’s short film Meeting Mr. Oscar, which she wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. Toni told us about her personal healing journey, her most meaningful projects so far, and what’s coming up on the horizon.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim! Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx. Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!READ MORE
Beatriz was born in Brazil, then moved to New York in 2015 to study film at NYU. Her roots in Brasilia are close to her heart and are at the core of her work, from her 35mm black and white photography series to her upcoming feature film script. She was director of photography for Murielle’s “Can You Get Me High” music video and directed Foreign’s “Commando (feat. Da $ilva)” music video. She has taken photos for Brooklyn-based clothing brand ByLiv and behind-the-scenes photos for New York Magazine. Beatriz tells us about her artistic inspirations, her upcoming short film Shrapnel, and how her identity inspires her storytelling.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Tanis Parenteau! Tanis Parenteau is Métis/Cree from the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is an actor, producer, and casting director. Her work focuses on uplifting Native voices telling contemporary and futuristic Native stories. As an actor, she has appeared on Billions, House of Cards, Designated Survivor, FBI: Most Wanted, Gossip Girl, and Tribal, and she has performed at The Public Theater, Signature Theater, 59E59, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Tanis has produced eight short films, has a short form digital series in post-production, and is developing multiple Native-led features and series. She is an associate casting director at tbd casting co in NYC. Her latest project, the short film Glenburn 12 WP, is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT. Tanis spoke to us about her dedication to uplifting Native voices, how working in casting has influenced her performing, and the best advice she’s ever received.READ MORE