NYWIFT Blog

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Joyce Pierpoline

Congratulations to NYWIFT Board Member Joyce Pierpoline, Executive Producer of Mediha, which just took home the U.S. Competition Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC! In this immensely collaborative film, a Yazidi teen once held captive by ISIS takes us into her world of grief, pain, and hope. We spoke to Pierpoline (prior to the exciting win) about her involvement in this important film.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Eileen Wolter

Welcome to NYWIFT, Eileen Wolter! After working as a motion picture lit assistant at CAA, working on the Universal lot, and writing lots of coverage in LA, Eileen brings her creativity to us in New York! She holds a BA in Art History & Film from Vassar College, studied acting as The Atlantic Theater Company and The Actors Studio/The New School, and studied writing at UCLA, NYU, Sundance Collab, Stowe Story Labs, and NJ Play Lab. Eileen tells us about her fascinating family history, covering Fashion Week for Comedy Central in 1993, and attending SNL dress rehearsals.

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Program Recap: NYWIFT Masterclass Series: Writing for TV

Introducing critically-acclaimed writer Amy Fox, who led a three-week consecutive NYWIFT Masterclass on creative practice, storytelling fundamentals, and developing your TV pilot script. If you haven’t ever written a script, or need a refresher course, tips, coaching, or guidance about how to translate an idea to the big screen, information about how to produce your TV show, series, or film, what technology to use, etc., this masterclass was for you.

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NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Luchina Fisher

NYWIFT member Luchina Fisher’s powerful new film The Dads features fathers tackling tough, complex issues of parenthood, masculinity, and more – learning to love and support their children the best they can. On a fishing trip with Matthew Shepard's father, five disparate dads discuss their love, hopes and fears for their trans kids in this short documentary. The film is screening now at DOC NYC, where is was named to the festival’s influential awards short list. We spoke to director and producer Luchina Fisher about her personal connection to the dads, her exciting Netflix opportunity, and the film’s superstar supporter.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Jaya Mahajan

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jaya Mahajan! Originally from Mumbai, India, Jaya is a filmmaker with Executive Producer credits for documentaries and factual shows that have been on networks such as CNN, BBC, Discovery and the National Geographic Channel. She spent the initial part of her career as a business reporter and producer with CNBC and Bloomberg. More recently, she has been running an award-winning production company, creating films and documentaries and teaching journalism students in Malaysia and Singapore. Jaya recently moved to New York and is looking forward to focusing on projects that highlight and amplify traditionally underrepresented, diverse, and marginalized voices. 

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Mary Skinner

Welcome to NYWIFT, Mary Skinner! Mary is a New York-based filmmaker whose projects include the widely-celebrated 2010 documentary Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers and Cuba Cubano Cañibano. The former was showcased at many festivals and events before being acquired by PBS and presented in many languages worldwide, in addition to receiving accolades that included the Best Documentary at the UK Jewish Film Festival and the 2012 Gracie Award for Best Public TV Documentary by and about a woman. The latter was an Official Selection of the United Nations Association Film Festival in 2017. Having graduated from UC Berkeley with a specialization in theater, Mary was one of the founding members of the Riverside Shakespeare Company in New York and the producer of the play Coming to See Aunt Sophie. Previously, she worked as a corporate marketing executive in New York and San Francisco and established 2B Productions in 2003. Read more about Mary as we discuss her close friendship with a legendary historical figure, the relationship between her artistry and family’s connection to the Holocaust, and the magic of both theater and PBS!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Victoria Duncan

Welcome to NYWIFT, Victoria Duncan! At age 12, Victoria began making films, struck by her power to engage an audience using her imagination. This led her down an exciting path to SNL, The Blacklist, The Sinner, Vice, and branded content for huge companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon, just to name a few. Her LGBT+ ballet film I Am Enough was adapted for the stage and performed at New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center. She is currently working on the screenplay for a feature film. Victoria walks us through her incredible journey, from her childhood favorite movies to presenting a piece to the United Nations.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Rose Vincelli Gustine

Welcome to NYWIFT, Rose Vincelli Gustine! Rose Vincelli Gustine is Director of Operations and on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) MFA Social Documentary Film program. She is currently producing the feature documentary The Sum of Our Parts and was consulting producer for Busy Inside (PBS America Reframed, 2020). She directed the documentary short What We Discover Along the Way, which is looking ahead to 2024 festivals. Rose was a programmer for filmmakers’ support organization IFP (now called The Gotham) and for AFIDocs Festival. She lives, cooks, and walks in Brooklyn with her family and cats. Rose spoke to us about what it means to be a filmmaker advocate, her own creative practice, and what she loves about the art of documentary filmmaking.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Jillian Fisher

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jillian Fisher! Jillian began her career as an intern with the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Three film festivals, various day jobs and a very particular set of skills later, Jillian created a public relations company. When a few movies came knocking on the door of one of her clients (the City of Kingston, New York), Jillian answered. After assisting the productions with locations and negotiations, she turned her attention to scouting locations full time. Over a decade later, Jillian still loves the creative aspects of scouting, but is now also pursuing producing her own projects.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Carly Mattox

Let’s welcome Carly Mattox to NYWIFT! Carly is a curator with a passion for writing and film who believes in the power of film programming and arts education as a bridge to ignite people. Having received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and French from NYU, her honors thesis film highlighted the struggles of same-sex ballrooms dancers in Utah and was featured as a part of a fundraising event when one of her subjects decided to run for office. Subsequently, Carly graduated with a Master of Arts in Film Studies, Programming, and Curation from the National Film and Television School in England. Learn more about her relationship to the online magazine Waltz Tango Foxtrot and her views on the cultural significance of programming as we converse about the revelatory moment she experienced while watching a 1962 French film in her high school classroom, the more worldly perspective she’s developed having lived in Alabama, NYC, and the UK, RADICAL filmmaking, and the recent “Barbenheimer” craze!

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Broadway’s Hit Show: MJ The Musical

NYWIFT blogger Tammy Reese shares her thoughts on the smash hit Broadway show, MJ The Musical.

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Meet the new NYWIFT Member: Pallavi Bakshi

Welcome to NYWIFT Pallavi Bakshi! Following an incredible career in investment banking and equity research, Pallavi Bakshi is now part of Disney Streaming’s Strategic Finance team. Any given day might include reporting to executives, preparing data sets or market research. She has worked on projects for iconic brands in the Disney portfolio, including Marvel and Pixar. Pallavi shares more about her dynamic days here!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Lauren Cooper

Welcome to NYWIFT, Lauren Cooper! Lauren brings over a decade of expertise in content creation, event production, financial management, as well as production and post-production oversight. She has worked on scripted and non-scripted series, documentaries, animation, and live broadcasts for major networks such as ABC, NBC, MTV, CBS, Disney+, Amazon Prime, OLN, SYFY, and Discovery UK. She owns her own production company, Elle Bee & Co. Lauren shares her advice, approach to telling challenging stories, and more with us here!

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Creative Sources Exhibit Honors Spike Lee at the Brooklyn Museum

The Creative Sources exhibit which honors Spike Lee at the Brooklyn Museum will be on display through February of 2024 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery on the 5th Floor. Step into the Brooklyn Museum and embark on a captivating journey into the extraordinary world of Spike Lee, a trailblazing American filmmaker and director. Here, visitors will have the rare opportunity to delve deep into Lee’s creative mind through an immersive installation featuring a collection of personal objects that have shaped his artistic vision. Tammy Reese offers insight into the exhibit's opening.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amanda Bujak

Welcome to NYWIFT Amanda Bujak! Amanda Bujak is a make-up artist and Emmy-nominated film and tv costume designer based out of New York City. Born of Mexican American heritage, she has been working professionally since 2006. She has worked on TV, film, opera, dance, Broadway, commercials, award shows, and music tours. Amanda’s costume design film credits include The Unheard, Marvelous and the Black Hole, It had to be You, and So You’ve Grown Attached. Some of her TV credits include projects on NBC, Shudder, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, FX and Apple TV. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch’s Department of Design for Stage and Film. Amanda spoke to us about what drew her to the art of costume design and her favorite collaborations.

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NYWIFT Member and Founder of Carolines on Broadway Caroline Hirsch Gears Up For The New York Comedy Festival 19th Year

Longtime NYWIFT member and 2019 NYWIFT Made in NY Muse Honoree Caroline Hirsch, the founder and owner of Carolines on Broadway and the New York Comedy Festival, is a visionary in the comedy industry. Her keen eye for talent has led her to discover some of the biggest names in comedy, including Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reubens. Now, as the New York Comedy Festival enters its 19th year, Hirsch is once again making waves by expanding the festival from 7 to 10 days. From November 3rd to November 12th, comedy enthusiasts can expect an even bigger and better lineup of shows, performances, and events.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amy Tiong

Welcome to NYWIFT, Amy Tiong! Amy is a director, writer, and production coordinator whose stories bring underrepresented voices to the forefront. She directs both narrative films and documentaries, which received recognition from Bustle, NBCNews, PictureStart, Coverfly, and the NAACP. The vulnerability in her work empowers others and shines a light on topics such as disordered eating, grief, and sibling love. Amy tells us about working on a microbudget project during pandemic times, collaborating with friends and her new horror immigration feature film, When You’re Ready to Go. Read all about it here!

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NYWIFT Members’ Advertising Week & Sherri Shepherd Experience

Advertising Week New York came back for its 19th edition from October 16–19, this time at THE PENN DISTRICT, bringing together the brightest minds in marketing, advertising, media, and tech. With an immersive and interactive program, attendees had the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, discover new trends and network with professionals from around the world. NYWIFT members attended - and made a special connection with TV host Sherri Shepherd!

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