NYWIFT Blog

NYWIFT Black History Month Spotlight: Taylor Re Lynn

Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Taylor Re Lynn, an actor, singer, producer, and philanthropist.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, let’s shine a light on the artists and changemakers in media.

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NYWIFT Black History Month Spotlight: Brianna Seagraves

Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Brianna Seagraves, an actress, writer, and award-winning producer. Brianna shares her acting inspirations and her directorial debut at the Billie Holiday Theater.

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NYWIFT Black History Month Spotlight: Zainab Ali

Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Zainab Ali, an award-winning producer of independent film with a background as a senior recruiter for major corporations who transitioned into filmmaking in her fifties. Zainab shares career highlights and her favorite inspirational figures.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Latinx Representation, Kasi Lemmons, The Kingmaker

Latinx Representation: Good news – the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has partnered with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group to pilot its “Spellcheck for Bias” digital tool, this time in order to help increase Latinx representation onscreen.  Kasi Lemmons: 2019 NYWIFT Nancy Malone Directing Award honoree Kasi Lemmons writes in Variety about why she...

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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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Trailblazing through the Decades: Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000s)

In 2000, writer, director, and past NYWIFT Writers Lab mentor Gina Prince-Bythewood blazed a trail with her film Love and Basketball. Not only was the film a critical and commercial success, it won the Humanitas Prize and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

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Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Twenty years ago a young artist set out to make a documentary about women like herself: black queer filmmakers. She found nothing but homophobia and omission, and then… inspiration. The resulting film The Watermelon Woman marked Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 debut – a hybrid of autobiography, documentary, and comedy. It defies categorization and was the first feature film directed by an African American lesbian.

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Terry’s Picks: Black History, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon

Black History: The New York Times offers a list of 28 Films for the 28 Days of Black History Month, including our recent Muse honoree Julie Dash’s classic Daughters of the Dust, and Spencer Williams’ 1946 film Dirty Gertie of Harlem, USA, which was preserved by the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund. Nicole Kidman: We...

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Terry’s Picks: Changing Times, Tiffany Haddish, Agnès Varda

Changing Times: Every day brings another story of sexual harassment (and worse) in Hollywood, from Louis C.K., to Kevin Spacey to Supergirl’s Andrew Kreisberg. Kudos to all the women and men who continue to speak out and support one another. Tiffany Haddish: Tiffany Haddish made Saturday Night Live history on Saturday by becoming the first...

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Tressie Souders, Director, Producer, Screenwriter

The story of Tressie Souders, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of details about Tressies Souders’ life and work exemplifies the need to research and rescue early film-works of women and women of color.

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Ethel Payne, Journalist & First Female African-American National Network News Commentator

Ethel Payne was known in as “the first lady of the black press” and was described by journalist Gwen Ifil as “the most influential journalist and activist most people have never heard of.”

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