NYWIFT Blog

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.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Barbara Hammer, Self-Advocacy Skills, Rotten Reviewers, Provincetown Summit

Barbara Hammer: Our industry lost a legend this week, pioneering queer experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer. A recent Vanity Fair interview highlighted the inclusive spirit that was a hallmark of her work: “There is room for everyone.” Self-Advocacy Skills: Five powerhouse women offer advice on how to advocate for yourself – how to speak up about...

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Below the Line: A Cut Above – Production Designer Hannah Beachler

Production Designer Hannah Beachler created the iconic looks of "Creed," "Moonlight," and Beyonce's "Lemonade" before taking on the fictional world of Wakanda in "Black Panther," which won her a 2019 Academy Award. She is the first-ever African American - male or female - to take home that honor.

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Below the Line: A Cut Above – Film Editor Joi McMillon

Joi McMillon made Oscar history in 2018 when she became the first African American woman nominated for Best Achievement in Film Editing for Moonlight. But the road to the Oscars wasn’t straight or smooth.

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Cynthia’s Picks: NY Women, Gender Parity, Captain Marvel

NY Women: Congratulations to the NYWIFT members selected to receive some of the first round of grants in the Mayor’s Office of Entertainment and Media’s “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund. Gender Parity: Kudos to the Tribeca Film Festival, whose 2019 lineup for competition films achieved gender parity for the first time....

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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.

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WIFT Around the World: Report from Berlinale (Part 1) – Adriana Shaw on Gender Parity

Is true gender parity in film on the horizon? Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI) hopes so. NYWIFT member filmmaker/journalist/actress Heidi Philipsen attended the 2019 Berlinale International Film Festival, where the 10% for 50/50 gender parity initiative was introduced. Philipsen spoke with longtime member Adriana Shaw, who also attended the fest, about what this could mean for the future of our industry.

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Cynthia Picks: Be Natural, NYWIFT Podcast, Meet Jane

Be Natural: NYWIFT is proud to co-present a special screening of Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché – the first female filmmaker and inventor of many modern filmmaking techniques – at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, in honor of Women’s History Month. The documentary features clips from several Guy-Blaché films preserved by...

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Below the Line: A Cut Above – Costume Designer Edith Head

This Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the oft unsung yet always vital contributions of those working below the line. Join NYWIFT blog contributors Kathryn O’Kane and Mellini Kantayya as they celebrate a few of the many women in history and making history—“Below the Line: A Cut Above.” We start with costume legend Edith Head.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Diversity Wins, Seen vs. Heard, Emma Speaks, Networking Tips

Diversity Wins: The Oscars this weekend proved historic on several fronts: Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter (one of our first Designing Women honorees) and production designer Hannah Beachler became the first African-American women to win in their respective fields; Spike Lee and Alfonso Cuaron took home prizes for writing and directing respectively; women...

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NYWIFT Members use filmmaking to support the next generation of women running for political office

On November 12, 2018, just one week after a record 117 women won their races for seats in Congress, seven NYWIFT members came together with She Should Run, a non-partisan nonprofit with a mission to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States, hosted by HBO. NYWIFT member Kristina Teschner, who participated in the program, recently signed on as the Co-Director of Creative Strategy & New Media at the Cabán for Queens campaign, and shares more about the natural evolution between filmmaking and political campaigning.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Black Agents, Children’s Media, Female Representation

Black Agents: Of the hundreds of talent agents working at the major Hollywood agencies, only a few dozen are black. The New York Times ran a great interview with several of the reps, who discussed the systemic barriers they have faced and the change they hope to see. Children’s Media: The Geena Davis Institute conducted...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Thelma Schoonmaker, Unequal Representation, Inclusion Commitment, Record Breaker

Thelma Schoonmaker: Congratulations to 1995 NYWIFT Muse honoree Thelma Schoonmaker, who was honored this weekend with a BAFTA fellowship for her incredible 50-year editing career. Unequal Representation: The Women’s Media Center’s “Investigation 2019: Gender and Non-Acting Oscar Nominations” found that women are once again missing from the picture. No women were nominated in Directing, Cinematography,...

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Black Girl Magic in Film

It may seem Black Girl Magic in film is everywhere these days. But NYWIFT Board Member Leslie Fields-Cruz will share a secret with you: That “magic” isn’t really magic at all. It’s the result of more than a century of hard work, perseverance, and phenomenal endurance by black women media makers who’ve paved the way for a future that demands inclusivity, parity, and equal representation.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Kim Snyder, Male Allies, Writers Lab

Kim Snyder: Kudos to Kim Snyder, CEO of our partner Panavision, for her incredible commitment to supporting women at all stages of their lives and careers. Forbes published a great interview with Kim, focusing on how she helps women advance in the industry and the particular support and consideration she gives to working parents. Male...

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Five Tax Takeaways: Changes for Filing this Year

There are some significant changes to the tax law this year, many of which particularly affect freelancers and entertainment industry multi-hyphenates. Mellini Kantayya breaks down some of key differences to look out for as you prepare to file for 2018.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Empowering Advice, Kyra Sedgwick, Roku Channel

Empowering Advice: Forbes offers 10 top tips for navigating Hollywood as a female creative. Kyra Sedgwick: Kyra Sedgwick’s Big Swing Productions has partnered with SeriesFest for the Women Writing Competition to discover and celebrate bold new series with a distinctly female perspective. The winning female artist(s) will receive a year-long development deal with Big Swing Productions and a...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Sundance Fest, It’s Time, Fair Credits

Sundance Fest: Congratulations to all the NYWIFT members with films screening at Sundance! The festival opens on Thursday and runs through February 3rd.  It’s time: Variety noted the uptick in feminist stories featured in Oscar contenders this year. Of course, this female focus didn’t extend to the directing nominations – women were shut out of...

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