NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Grace-Mary Burega

Welcome to the NYWIFT community, Grace-Mary Burega! Grace-Mary is a composer for film, TV, and video games as well as a woodwind multi-instrumentalist on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Her compositions have been on TV PSAs and in short and feature films, and she has scored over 30 films to date. Grace Notes is her media composing company, specializing in custom music for a variety of projects such as documentary, horror, comedy, animation, and more. Grace-Mary is a recent Masters in Film Scoring graduate of Berklee Online. She is the Secretary of Women in Film and Video of New England and Secretary of the Female Composer Safety League. Grace-Mary spoke to us about her favorite projects, latest game obsessions, and how Women in Film organizations have shaped her career.

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Kathryn O’Kane on the Emmys, Jeff Goldblum, and the Challenges of Pandemic Productions

When NYWIFT Board Member Kathryn O’Kane headed off to direct season two of The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+ it was, in her words, “the worst of times” – the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccines were available and film production felt particularly dangerous and fraught. But the difficult work paid off, and has led to the best of times! Season two of the docuseries, which follows the beloved quirky actor as he pulls on the thread of a familiar topic to unravel a world of fascinating secrets, has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special. 

We checked in with Kathryn to offer our congratulations, learn more about the filming process, and discuss what’s next for her.

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Wellness Tips: Mindful Eating For Women In Film

Women in film are forces of nature, doing what they love to make their voices known. The downside of dedication is juggling multiple responsibilities for extended hours can make you so busy, self-care inadvertently takes a back seat. That's where Mindful Eating comes in. The mind/body practice is about much more than food.

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WIFT Around the World: La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival

The La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival is a community event bringing together collaborative global creative industry leaders to La Jolla, one of the most beautiful places in California. This location is surrounded by pristine coastline, seaside resorts, wildlife, and birds, adding to the ultimate experience. La Jolla welcomed guests to the 13th annual event this July with open arms, and the awards event sold out once again and received rave reviews by all! Jean Criss shares are the details.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Sheherzad Raza Preisler

Let’s welcome Sheherzad Raza Preisler to NYWIFT! She is a native New Yorker who attended undergrad at Columbia University, where she majored in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies and followed the pre-medical track. After an identity crisis, Sheherzad fell in love with all things filmmaking and is now an MFA candidate at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Much of Sheherzad’s work deals with growing up Muslim in post-9/11 America. She spoke to us about her unusual path from pre-med to science writing to filmmaking, how storytelling is innate to her culture, and her post-graduation plans.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Tavia Mapp-Deterville

Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to new member Tavia Mapp-Deterville, the CEO and Founder of the TaviaMD (TMD) Agency! TMD, founded in 2005 and based in New York City, is a premier voice in the public relations industry, launching successful and creative campaigns for a diverse clientele of entertainment, music, fashion, and lifestyle professionals. Mapp-Deterville also founded The Future is Female, a 501(c)3 organization that empowers women entrepreneurs through networking and events. We spoke with her about her business – and got some great advice for media entrepreneurs and working moms!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Samantha Alvarez

Welcome to NYWIFT, Samantha Alvarez, an independent documentary and narrative filmmaker born and raised in the Bronx with six years of camera operating and video editing experience. Alvarez started her career as a multidisciplinary teaching artist. She now works as a video freelancer and recently won the 2022 NYWIFT Outstanding Woman Content Creator at the Nova Frontier Film Festival for her short mixed media documentary, "In the Body." We sat down with her to discuss her latest film, her career, and her inspirations.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Chayah Masters

Welcome, new NYWIFT member Chayah Masters! We are happy to introduce Chayah, who has so much to offer our community. She is a producer and script consultant with an impressive 20 years of experience in the industry. We sat down with Chayah to discuss her career path, the role of mentorship in her life, and what kinds of creatives she wants to collaborate with next.

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Producer Su Kim

The 2022 Tribeca premiere "Sansón and Me" traces a young immigrant’s path from coastal Mexico to a life sentence for murder in California. The harrowing tale does not unfold in a traditional documentary format, but instead uses evocative recreations – many of them featuring members of Sansón’s own family as actors – to explore the meaning of a life fragmented by poverty, borders, and incarceration. We spoke to producer Su Kim about the team’s unusual, wildly creative, and ultimately deeply powerful approach to sharing Sansón’s story.

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Snapshots from the 2022 Tribeca Festival

Judith Davis recounts her experience volunteering at, and later covering, the Tribeca Festival over the last 20 years, and shares highlights and photos from the star-studded 2022 event.

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WIFT Around the World: Snapshots of WIFTI at Cannes 2022

NYWIFT member Judith Davis shares her experiences from her second ever trip to the Cannes Film Festival - which included a stop by the WIFTI party with The Hollywood Reporter presented at the Campari Lounge!

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WIFT Around the World: Postcard from Cannes 2022

NYWIFT Member Panayiota Pagoulatos shares memories from her trip to Cannes 2022 - her first time back on a plane since 2019! She met with WIFTI leaders from all over the world and shared this sage advice: "If you find yourself at an international market or film festival—whether it’s the first or the fiftieth time—look for your people. Whether a business partnership comes out of it or not, staying connected, sharing your experiences, and hopefully learning a thing or two, that’s the pulse that will help keep you going in this tough-as-nails industry."

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Sophia Loren Heriveaux

Sophia Loren Heriveaux (b. 2000 – making her one of our youngest NYWIFT members) decided when she was in 7th grade that she was going to be a filmmaker. She is now a director-producer based in New York City and is interested in content of all kinds. Heriveaux spoke to us about her dual Tribeca 2022 premieres - two short films featuring two very different coming of age stories - and her experiences as a multi-hyphenate content creator coming up in the industry.

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Journal from the 2022 Tribeca Festival

Tammy Reese recounts her whirlwind experience at the 2022 Tribeca Festival - from screenings to music events, Q&As to red carpets, and more!

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Producer Steffie van Rhee

Cynthia Lowen’s latest documentary "Battleground" offers an eye-opening window into the anti-choice movement, featuring three women from varying walks of life who have dedicated themselves to rendering abortion illegal. Per the Tribeca website: “Told with restraint and balance, director Cynthia Lowen seeks to clarify rather than condemn, and presents a new point of entry for this challenging topic.” While the film itself clearly aligns with progressive pro-choice advocates (who also appear throughout) it offers a fascinating perspective on the sheer systemic power of the anti-abortion movement and the perilous future, felt painfully today, of Roe v. Wade. "Battleground" was Executive Produced by NYWIFT member Ruth Ann Harnisch and co-produced by member Steffie van Rhee, who sat down with us to discuss the premiere and how this film – from this particular perspective – came to fruition.

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Filmmaker Violet Du Feng

Violet Du Feng’s "Hidden Letters" tells the story of Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women—each of them transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be. Hot off her 2022 Tribeca Festival premiere, Director Violet Du Feng, an Emmy-award winning documentarian, spoke to us about Nushu, modern-day China, women’s equality, and her filmmaking process.

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Filmmaker Signe Baumane

Signe Baumane’s "My Love Affair With Marriage" is a brilliant animated film for a decidedly adult audience. It’s a semi-autobiographical musical exploration of love, sex, romance, and gender as viewed through the lens of neurochemistry – not your average animated love story! New York Women in Film & Television was proud to present Baumane with a NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant for the film, and even prouder to then see it premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival! We sat down with Signe to discuss her wildly inventive, intelligent, and very fun film.

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NYWIFT Member Spotlight: Petra Terzi

NYWIFT member Petra Terzi is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning film producer. She has produced concerts, performances, and film festivals with an emphasis on cultures, human rights, and the arts. Get to know Petra and her work in our latest Member Spotlight!

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