NYWIFT Blog

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Fredgy Noël

In the documentary short The House of LaBeija, directed and produced by NYWIFT member Fredgy Noël, we meet the eponymous prominent ballroom family and safe haven for transgender women, queer people, and those in need of community. Over the course of 10 minutes, several members of the house dance, vogue, and celebrate their identities across a strikingly glamorous mansion that seems to be an embodiment of their safe harbor. Fredgy Noël spoke to us about ballroom culture, creative inspirations, and what’s next on her horizon.

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WIFT Around the World: Getting to Know WIFT Austin

When I saw that Alicia Eastes, the founder of Women in Film & TV Austin, recently joined New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) as a Dual Member, I had to know more! What followed was a wide-ranging email conversation with Alicia and WIFT Austin Board Members President Laura Annalora and Vice President Chiara McCarty about the Texas film industry, the pandemic, and what it’s like to build your own Women in Film & Television organization from the ground up.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ching Juhl

Welcome, new NYWIFT member Ching Juhl! Ching is a Chinese American filmmaker, video journalist, and music educator who has directed, filmed, edited, and produced three feature films, promotional videos, and hundreds of shorts. Her feature documentary My Yang Gang Diary, which she shot entirely on an iPhone 11, won Best Feature Film Award at Toronto Documentary Film Festival in 2021. Ching spoke to us about the benefits of shooting on iPhone, the intersection of music and filmmaking, and the friends who brought her to NYWIFT.

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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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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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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Members: Audrey Rosenberg

New NYWIFT Board Member Audrey Rosenberg says 'The whole community of creators in New York is really special and there's an aspect of the term “Keeping It Real” that I feel is always very appreciated. It’s a special experience to be in our industry and be a New York biased person and in my case, it’s been an incredible experience and gift to be able to live here and work in this incredible community of people. I am highlighting the special nature of being in the industry in New York. And I think there's something to it. It’s part of what NYWIFT taps into so I’m incredibly honored to be part of it and to be on the board.'

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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Members: Kim Jackson

New NYWIFT Board Member Kim Jackson says 'I'd like to use my skills to support other women and support the success of other women. I think the issues that NYWIFT is interested in tackling which is equity is very very important.'

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Journal from the Woodstock Film Festival: Daughter of a Lost Bird

NYWIFT member Fran Montagnino shares a taste of her experience at the 2021 Woodstock Film Festival, including the poignant screening of Daughter of a Lost Bird, winner of the NYWIFT Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.

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Crystal R. Emery: Exposing Racism in Healthcare as America’s Most Lethal Pandemic

What makes COVID-19 even deadlier? Racism in medicine. NYWIFT member Crystal R. Emery’s documentary The Deadliest Disease in America traces the history of racism in American health care from the brutal medical experimentation forced upon enslaved peoples to the modern-day inequity in fatality rates and access to treatment experienced by people of color during the pandemic.

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Helping a Mentee Spread Her Wings

Each and every individual whom I’ve mentored has been special—and I’m proud of them all in what they have achieved; however, one mentee and her achievement in particular stands out for me. Her name is Sophie Meissner and her achievement is a short film called, Keep Your Head Up, Sweet Pea!

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S. Casper Wong on Her Filmmaking Journey: Global Peace Film Festival

NYWIFT Board Member S. Casper Wong is an award-winning New York-based filmmaker, technology lawyer, social entrepreneur, activist, and Founder of OO Media. She is also the founding chair of Asian American Women Media Makers and is on the board of directors at NYWIFT, leading the innovation initiative. She recently spoke to Global Peace Film Festival about her 20-year journey in filmmaking.

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Recognizing Our Shared Humanity: Idil Ibrahim on Her Film “Sega”

Women filmmakers throughout history have often been at the forefront of advancing social change, and NYWIFT member Idil Ibrahim is no exception. Ibrahim sat down with us to discuss the making of her award-winning short film "Sega" and how she hopes it might change viewers’ perception of modern immigrant stories.  

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Top Takeaways – NYWIFT Talks: Filmmakers and Activists discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, their life’s work, and hope for the future.

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, NYWIFT Talks recently brought together a vibrant panel of award-winning women filmmakers and activists dedicated to fighting systemic racism to discuss their work and the social justice revolution of today.

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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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My Film Angels

It takes a village to make a film. Here, NYWIFT member Jane Applegate give thanks to all those who lended a hand - literally and figuratively - over the years.

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Camerawoman Angela Murray Gibson Films Herself into History, 1921-1925: Marsha Gordon and Buckey Grimm

Angela Murray Gibson, a silent era filmmaker receives due attention at Orphan Film Symposium’s line-up this April 11th – 14th, 2018 at the Museum of Moving Image. That Ice Ticket (1921), a recent NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund and Kino Lorber preservation, will screen on April 13th as part of the presentation, Camerawoman Angela Murray Gibson Films Herself into History, 1921-1925. Here, its presenters Marsha Gordon and Buckey Grimm offer some insights into this distinguishing filmmaker and her broader mark on American cinema.

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A Report from The American Film Market

NYWIFT member Jane Applegate reports back on her trip to the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, in early November.

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True Crime: Relationships and Responsibilities

There is no doubt that the “true crime” documentary genre is thriving and that such film and television projects are enjoying unprecedented buzz. Studies show that women are their biggest audience, and broadcasters are taking notice. By the nature of their work, non-fiction storytellers are always considering how to present and represent their subjects through the creative process. But how is that further complicated in the “true crime” space, when the stakes might literally be life or death? Where do they draw the line between journalism and entertainment?

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