Letter from NYWIFT Executive Director – March 2020

March 13, 2020

Dear NYWIFT Members and Community:

How do we remain calm and continue to be creative & productive in the midst of the current disruption to our everyday lives? As Americans we are experiencing this collective vulnerability for the first time. Isn’t this how most women live every day? Don’t women continuously work hard, hoping that the solution is just slightly ahead?

I was always taught that the true power of a community is how it responds to uncertainty and economic crisis.

Our organization started the night of the great New York City blackout of 1977, when our founders came together in the dark to shed light on the issues facing women working in the media. We are nearly 43 years strong. We have persevered, overcome and learned many lessons along the way. We thrived in spite of the circumstances. Now is no exception. While our government and health officials mandate we use social distancing as the best strategy to curtail the spread of this virus, we at NYWIFT headquarters hope to combine this strategy with virtual and digital tools to keep the community together in new and meaningful ways:


  • We are shifting some of our upcoming panels and workshops into virtual webinars – where you can continue honing your craft and get inspired from the comfort of your own home. For example, the previously announced Mental Health in Documentary panel will still happen, but via Zoom. On March 31st, all those registered will receive a link to access the panel. You can still register for the program on our website.


  • We are re-launching our online messaging system GoldenWheel, so even though our March and April NYWIFT Nights Out are postponed, you can still make professional connections with one another directly. We will be in touch with GoldenWheel info shortly.


  • As is recommended by our elected officials – please work remotely when possible. And while at your desk take a few minutes and watch some of the fabulous films in our NYWIFT Online Shorts Festival both online and on the GoIndieTV Roku channel on your TV. It’s the perfect way to take a break from the news cycle while also supporting your fellow women in film. If you liked a project, let our community know: tweet us at @NYWIFT and @docuqueen
  • We encourage you to take this time to log in to our member center, update your member profile, and check out the online membership directory. It offers advanced search options to help you connect with the right person. You can increase your visibility and maybe even add a new headshot.

(The NYWIFT Moms Network – an integral part of the NYWIFT community.)


During this last week, I have witnessed the incredible strength of our NYWIFT community. When your film premieres at SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films were rescheduled or postponed with no clear plan in sight, you accepted this reality with grace, and understood these actions needed to be taken for the greater good of the entire community. Your films, digital content, and television series will be seen. Your creative energy will not be lost.

As creators, we reinvent ourselves when something in our lives is not working or broken. The coronavirus and the current economic forecast pose the circumstances for us to use and develop new virtual initiatives.

We are in this together!


Cynthia Lopez

Executive Director
New York Women in Film & Television