Posts by: busyk

NYWIFT Members Doing Justice to True Crime

Death Row Stories explores the fallibility of the ultimate criminal penalty, capital punishment. Narrated by current and former death row inmates, each episode of Death Row Stories seeks to unravel the truth behind a different capital murder case and poses tough questions about the U.S. capital punishment system. Six NYWIFT members who worked on the show, including Board Member Kathryn O'Kane, share the insight they gained into the criminal justice system through their work on the show.

READ MORE

Below the Line: A Cut Above – Jessie Maple

Jessie Maple is the first black woman to join the union of International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television (IATSE) in New York. Her book, How to Become a Union Camerawoman , is an instructional guide illustrating the obstacles that she endured to get into the union. It details the court case she initiated to fight discrimination after she became a member.

READ MORE

Below the Line: A Cut Above – Director of Photography Rachel Morrison

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison's arresting and haunting imagery has graced the screen in indies like Fruitvale Station, Dope and Mudbound. Most recently, she lensed the big budget feature Black Panther.

READ MORE

Below the Line: A Cut Above – Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter

Ruth E. Carter is an American costume designer (and NYWFT Designing Women honoree!) with an unparalleled ability to develop an authentic story through costume and character. And this year she became the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for costume design for her work in Black Panther.

READ MORE

Below the Line: A Cut Above – Audio Engineer Ai-Ling Lee

This Women's History Month we celebrate women working below the line! Originally from Singapore, Ai-Ling Lee is the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for sound editing. In 2016 she was nominated for sound editing and sound mixing for the modern musical La La Land.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Summer Reading: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis

Actors Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis fought for civil rights from Washington, DC to Hollywood. And they were married for nearly 60 years. Kathryn O'Kane shares some of favorite quotes and moments from their joint memoir, In This Life Together.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Summer Reading: Tina Fey

In her 2011 book Bossypants, Tina Fey recounts stories of her childhood, her rise to head writer on SNL, her experiences on 30 Rock, and what she learned along the way.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Summer Reading: Rita Moreno

1996 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Rita Moreno is, quite literally, a national treasure. She is one of only 12 performers to win all four major artistic awards: the Oscar, the Emmy, the Grammy and the Tony, and she is the first Hispanic person to have won all four awards. Kathryn O'Kane digs into her memoir this summer.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Summer Reading: Whoopi Goldberg

Use your #SummerHours to have a few laughs - and get real about relationships. Kathryn O'Kane tells us why 2003 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Whoopi Goldberg's relationship how-to should be your next read.

READ MORE

Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Twenty years ago a young artist set out to make a documentary about women like herself: black queer filmmakers. She found nothing but homophobia and omission, and then… inspiration. The resulting film The Watermelon Woman marked Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 debut – a hybrid of autobiography, documentary, and comedy. It defies categorization and was the first feature film directed by an African American lesbian.

READ MORE

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Jessie Maple (1980s)

Jessie Maple is the first black woman to join the union of International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television (IATSE) in New York. Her book, How to Become a Union Camerawoman , is an instructional guide illustrating the obstacles that she endured to get into the union. It details the court case she initiated to fight discrimination after she became a member.

READ MORE

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)

British-American actress and producer Ida Lupino, got her start directing when the director of the 1949 film Not Wanted suffered a heart attack during pre-production. Lupino stepped in and shot the film guerilla style to keep the movie on budget and on schedule. Budgeted at just over $150,000, the film grossed $1 million, and Lupino’s reputation spread through Hollywood studios even though the original director retained credit.

READ MORE

Trailblazing through the Decades: Hedy Lamarr (1940s)

During WWII, a hobbyist inventor worked to help the military come up with a secure communication system to combat the Nazis. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code that prevented classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel. This patented form of frequency hopping revolutionized modern communications and formed the foundation for Wi-Fi, cell phone, and Bluetooth technology. The inventor’s name was Hedy Lamarr, and she was also a Hollywood star during MGM’s “Golden Age.”

READ MORE

True Crime: Relationships and Responsibilities

There is no doubt that the “true crime” documentary genre is thriving and that such film and television projects are enjoying unprecedented buzz. Studies show that women are their biggest audience, and broadcasters are taking notice. By the nature of their work, non-fiction storytellers are always considering how to present and represent their subjects through the creative process. But how is that further complicated in the “true crime” space, when the stakes might literally be life or death? Where do they draw the line between journalism and entertainment?

READ MORE

#SummerHours Memoirs: Mellini Kantayya

Kathryn O'Kane praises fellow #NYWIFT #SummerHours blogger Mellini Kantayya's brave essay collection on making it in the entertainment business.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Memoirs: Carrie Fisher

The late icon's memoir delivers big time for Star Wars fans, and is bittersweet in light of her recent passing.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Memoirs: Taraji P. Henson

Empire star Taraji P. Henson talks frankly about equal pay - or lack thereof - and the sacrifices she made to work her way to the top.

READ MORE

#SummerHours Memoirs: Sheila Nevins

Nevins, a long-time members and friend of NYWIFT, has written a book that defies categorization. Part memoir, part fantasy, it provides a window into the life of a career woman whose name is synonymous with HBO Documentary Films.

READ MORE