NYWIFT Blog

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.

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21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2019 Honors Cynthia Lopez

Last month in New York City, Women's eNews held their annual 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and it was a night of celebration for a diverse group of honorees, all fearless leaders who are committed to advancing gender equality throughout the world...including NYWIFT's own Executive Director, Cynthia Lopez. We share a portion of Lopez's insightful remarks on how women can truly change the world.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Designing Women, Rachel Chavkin, Queer Women

Designing Women: Thank you to all our honorees, presenters, supporters, volunteers and attendees for a truly fabulous 20th anniversary Designing Women Awards last week. Be sure to check out our photo highlights and stay tuned for videos of the inspirational ceremony. Rachel Chavkin: Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin’s fiery Tony Awards acceptance speech (she won Best...

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Feelin’ Like Film Distribution Reality Bites? Bite [Me] back! Four ‘A’ Takeaways from the NYWIFT Bite Me Panel

The team behind the independent feature Bite Me recently joined NYWIFT for a panel case study on how they flipped the film distribution paradigm from something you “get” into something you “do.” As they journey on their 40-city Joyful Vampire Tour of America, we recap some key nuggets of wisdom.

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Member Spotlight: Magdalene Brandeis, Director of Stony Brook Killer Films

In the throes of finals and gearing up for next semester, we had an opportunity to talk shop with the Director of the Stony Brook Killer Films MFA in Film program (& NYWIFT member) Magdalene Brandeis  about how the program is turning the film school model on its head. 

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Cynthia’s Picks: Mindy Kaling, Booksmart Buzz, Thumbs Down, Designing Women

Mindy Kaling: CBS Sunday Morning profiled Mindy Kaling, who spoke candidly about not seeing people like herself represented on screen, and how her new film Late Night is one of the first comedies all about workplace inclusivity. Booksmart Buzz: The disappointing box office returns from the Olivia Wilde-directed comedy Booksmart, which had been hotly anticipated...

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Independent Filmmakers are Like Farmers and Bakers

What can independent producers learn from farmers and bakers? A lot more than you might think, according to NYWIFT member Jane Applegate.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Designing Women Michele Clapton, Riccie Johnson, Shunika Terry, and Mrs. Maisel

We have an incredible roster of honorees and presenters for this year’s 20th Anniversary NYWIFT Designing Women Awards! I hope you will join us on Tuesday, June 11th at 7 PM at the prestigious DGA Theater to celebrate these incredible women and spend time with some costumes. Tickets are going fast – buy now at...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Sarah Finn, Ava Duvernay, Olivia Wilde

Sarah Finn: Casting Director Sarah Finn may the true superhero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – she cast more than a thousand actors in almost every single Marvel film since the first Iron Man– including all of the stars. It was a unique challenge that required thinking how the cast members might overlap in the...

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Creator Misha Calvert on power dynamics, pitching and her latest series, All Hail Beth

In advance of the Fall 2019 premiere of her new BRIC TV series "All Hail Beth," showrunner and NYWIFT member Misha Calvert sits down with Leah Curney to discuss power dynamics, how to pitch your project, and how she makes connections in the business.

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NYWIFT Member Spotlight: ‘Love & Vodka’ at the Cannes Film Market

NYWIFT Member Heidi Philipsen and a team of University of Michigan alums are heading to Cannes in their efforts to obtain funding for Love & Vodka – a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy set in Ukraine. Personae Entertainment’s producer/director Heidi Philipsen (Darcy) has teamed up with screenwriter/co-producer R.J. Fox to bring his story to the big screen, along with co-producers Niko Meissner (Darcy), Kathryn McDermott (First Knight), and associate producer Jon Wilson.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Working Moms, Member News, Documentary Labs

Working Moms: Celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend was a powerful reminder that being a working mother is especially tough in the film and television industry. Thankfully, there are groups like Moms-in-Film and our own NYWIFT Moms Network affinity group trying to level the playing field. Member News: NYWIFT member are always doing great things, but this week...

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Director Julie Dash Receives Grant From The National Endowment for the Humanities

Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, a documentary about the life and works of Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, which is currently in development with NYWIFT Muse Honoree Julie Dash as director, has been awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The film is produced by NYWIFT Board member, Rachel Watanabe-Batton and Dash, with Patricia Williams Lessane, PhD. and Juanita Anderson as co-producers.

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Five Takeaways: Finding the Right Documentary Lab for Your Film

Participating in a documentary film lab can be a great way to refine your story, develop your creative vision and build partnerships. But which one should you pick? NYWIFT member Janine McGoldrick has the scoop.

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New Four-Part Comedy Series “Half Life” by Patty Carey Debuts May 10

#GreenlightHer Winner Patty Carey’s Comedy Series ‘Half Life’ Premieres May 10 on NYC Life Winner of NYC’s First-Ever Pilot Competition for Stories by, for, and about Women Offers Hilarious Insider’s Look at the Film Industry from a Mom’s Perspective Larisa Oleynik, Finnerty Steeves, and Nancy Giles star in four-part series   Patty Carey’s Half Life,...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Latinx Stars, Expanded Opportunities, Listen In

Latinx Stars: The Hollywood Reporter wisely points out…amid the call for diversity in entertainment, particularly inclusive casting, why don’t we have more Latinx movie stars? Part of it, of course, comes down to unconscious bias – which we all need to work on identifying and correcting. Expanded Opportunities: The Academy has voted to expand the...

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Member Spotlight: Oscar-Nominated Producer/Director Lisa Cortes with Two Films at 2019 Tribeca FF

Oscar-nominated producer (Precious) and director Lisa Cortes makes it look so easy at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival with TWO films making their world premieres, including the festival opener. As producer of the documentary The Apollo, the NYWIFT member took a few moments to chat with us on our “Women Crush Wednesdays” podcast about what...

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Member Spotlight: HIIT Bootcamp and Support ‘Roadhead’ Film Project

Director, Christa Haley and Executive Producer, Marie O’Connell are young NYWIFT members who are working on a large-scale short film entitled “Roadhead.” The short narrative film is set in the near future after an economic collapse has devastated America. When fuel is scarce, two teenagers named ‘Brooke’ and ‘Weasel’ steal a car and set out...

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