Posts by: Lisa Stahl

 A Look Behind the Scenes of “Unintended”

Childhood memories of summers spent in the country are typically happy ones. But for 13-year-old Lea, the main character in Unintended, one summer is fraught with tension and leads to deep unresolved issues. We sat down with the female duo behind the film to discuss its themes of childhood trauma and resilience, as well as the logistics behind its shoot in upstate New York.

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Michele Remsen’s First Feature Film Defies the Odds

Great ideas, even when plentiful, can have a short shelf life when confronted with sobering realities. But NYWIFT Michele Remsen knows how to persevere. As co-star, producer, director, and screenwriter of an anti-romantic comedy that defies expectations, Michele was the force that made it happen: in 12 days, on a shoestring budget.

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The Business of Adaptations: Top Takeaways

Movies like Brokeback Mountain, The Irishman, and Little Women have more in common than mere artistry, critical acclaim or commercial success. They were all adaptations of literary works. But before getting your pens out, there’s more to it than you think. Literary works are great resources for screenwriters in search of stories, but to negotiate the business end and avoid pitfalls or potential legal liabilities, you need advice from experts. The NYWIFT Business of Adaptations for Film and TV virtual program brought a panel of industry powerhouses to weigh in.

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What’s in Your Toolkit: Jendra Jarnagin

DP Jendra Jarnagin shares her favorite camera and script notation apps, creative advice, and why networking is the key to surviving in the industry.

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What’s in Your Toolkit: Caitlin McCarthy

Writer Caitlin McCarthy's strategy when times get tough? "Routine is my savior."

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NYWIFT’s Ekwa Msangi Tells Her Sundance Success Story

For Ekwa Msangi, the journey to Sundance was relatively fast. While her TV and movie-making career was moving along, it was arguably easier to get a footing for some of her East African-inspired TV projects in Kenya and South Africa than in the U.S. But thanks to the generous support of difficult-to-get awards from the Tribeca Film Festival, IFP and others, her career as a filmmaker catapulted into action when Farewell Amor, Ekwa’s feature film directorial debut, screened in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival U.S. dramatic feature competition. Ekwa talked to us about her experience at the fest.

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Pennhurst: A Story that Needed to be Told

NYWIFT member Jodie Alexandra Taylor's documentary Pennhurst, which screens at the Member Screening Series on February 25th, was inspired by her visit to what remains of one of the largest and oldest institutions for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. One chapter of the story ended when the institution closed, but the fight for equitable treatment and representation for the disabled continues to this day. Making the movie inspired a fervent commitment on Taylor’s part to continue that dialogue and, in so doing, change the future narrative. Taylor sat down with us to discuss the film and its potential impact.

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#Muse40for40: Susan Sarandon (1990)

For an actress who said “my life has been filled with happy accidents,” it’s not surprising that Susan Sarandon got her start in the business in a serendipitous way, when she accompanied her then husband to an audition shortly after college.

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“Ask for Jane” Producer and Star Cait Cortelyou Brings Women’s History to Life on Screen

NYWIFT member Cait Cortelyou has performed on stage or film since childhood but makes a breakthrough debut as producer (and star) of Ask for Jane, which screens at the NYWIFT Member Screening Series on November 19th. Cait sat down with us to discuss how a slice of women's history inspired her to make her producing debut, and what opportunities she sees for women working in the industry today.

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Talya Tibbon’s “Sky and Ground” Puts a Human Face on the Refugee Crisis

NYWIFT Member Talya Tibbon's Sky and Ground tells the harrowing tale of one Syrian family's three-month journey from Greece to Germany feeling violence in their homeland. Facing setbacks, heartaches and threats of deportation, their determination propels them towards a better future. In advance of the film's screening as part of the NYWIFT Member Screening Series, Talya discusses her process and how being an "outsider" is an asset to documentary filmmaking.

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