NYWIFT Blog

Fifth-Annual AudFest Deep Dives into Video, Impact, and Diversity in Storytelling with 2021 Theme, “Video is Eating the World”

AudPop, the global video platform and video creative marketplace, announces that the fifth annual AudFest, “Video is Eating the World,” will be held virtually from Nov. 3-5, 2021. AudFest celebrates and champions diversity and innovation in video by bringing together creative leaders of technology, brands, agencies, and video creators who are building, growing, and shaping the video economy.

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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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Opinion: Hank Azaria apologized for playing Apu on ‘The Simpsons.’ I accept.

"As an Indian American actress, for me the shadow of Apu loomed larger in my life than I realized." NYWIFT Member Mellini Kantayya offers her take on the controversial "Simpsons" character - and subsequent fallout - in an insightful op-ed published in The Washington Post.

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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: 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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Recap: NYWIFT Talks with Julie Taymor and Kimberly Guerrero About “The Glorias” and Getting Out the Vote

NYWIFT blogger Kristin Reiber Harris reflects on our powerful conversation with the team behind The Glorias, including Julie Taymor's creative process, the celebration of Native voices, and how we as women live in constant dialogue with our former selves.

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Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home Explores Bias through the Eyes of High School Students

Hailed by historian Robin Kelley as “one of the most powerful and inspiring documentaries of our era,” NYWIFT member Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home is the moving and provocative story of three remarkable girls entering ninth grade at top schools steeped in bias towards race, class, and culture. Though the film was made nearly 15 years ago, the issues still resonate in today’s climate of racial injustice and civil unrest. Kavery sat down to discuss how she put together this incredible portrait  and what – if anything – has changed in our culture in the years since.   

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Recap: NYWIFT Talks Black Lives Matter and Just Mercy with Scott Budnick, April Grayson and Donna Hylton

NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia López moderated the July 1, 2020 installment of NYWIFT Talks with the team behind Just Mercy, a powerful and thought-provoking true-story film which follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, and was available to rent for free across all platforms earlier this Summer in response to the Black Lives Matter movement following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Digital Programming, The Writers Lab, Open the Door, Member Survey

Digital Programming: Thank you to the thousands of you who have been tuning in to our NYWIFT Talks and other virtual programs throughout these last few months. Don’t forget, if you missed anything you can catch up with those conversations on our NYWIFT Programming Goes Digital Hub. The Writers Lab: Congratulations to the 12 writers...

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AmeRican Poet Tato Laviera: Affirmation in the words, rhythms and blended language of an influential Nuyorican poet

Poet Tato Laviera pushed the boundaries of language, inspired the spoken word movement, and defined the Nuyorican experience. As an artist he innovated: he combined music, theater, poetry, dance, the power of dramatic contrasts and a commitment to social activism to create a new type of poetry. As both a poet and performer, he documented his own experience and affirmed his community’s worth, redefined its sense of identity. NYWIFT member Vivian Hernandez Ortiz discusses her film about Tato's legacy, which screens as part of this weekend's NYWIFT Member Screening.

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Pennhurst: A Story that Needed to be Told

NYWIFT member Jodie Alexandra Taylor's documentary Pennhurst, which screens at the Member Screening Series on February 25th, was inspired by her visit to what remains of one of the largest and oldest institutions for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. One chapter of the story ended when the institution closed, but the fight for equitable treatment and representation for the disabled continues to this day. Making the movie inspired a fervent commitment on Taylor’s part to continue that dialogue and, in so doing, change the future narrative. Taylor sat down with us to discuss the film and its potential impact.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Production Women, Ravenal Submissions, The Inclusive

Production Women: It’s time for more women behind the lens. From lighting to sound to stunts, costumes, sets, and beyond, learn about the many career opportunities for women in production with this new resource from Time’s Up. NYWIFT is a proud partner. (When you watch the PSA keep your eyes peeled for former NYWIFT Board...

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Oscars, Take Note: Women’s Weekend Film Challenge Arrives in LA

On January 13, 2020, the same day that the 2020 Oscars nominations were released — with not a single woman nominated for Best Director for the 87th time in 92 years — the founders of Women’s Weekend Film Challenge (WWFC) opened up applications for their first Los Angeles-based event to advance women in the film industry. The organization’s goals are to provide an intensive networking opportunity for female filmmakers while telling women’s stories on screen. WWFC founders say that the reason so many women apply to the challenge is because they know that the film industry revolves around connections — and WWFC provides the perfect opportunity to make them. Co-founder (and NYWIFT member) Katrina Medoff explains why the group is more relevant than ever.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Sundance Bound, Annenberg Study, Celluloid Ceiling

Sundance Bound: We are thrilled to see so many NYWIFT members headed to Sundance with films this year! We’ll be announcing a panel in Park City soon – stay tuned for more info. Annenberg Study: For the first time in over a decade, both the number and percentage of women working as directors on some of...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Muse Pics, Diversity Incentives, Parity Pledges

Muse Pics: Thank you to all who joined us at the 40th Anniversary Muse Awards! You can see a slideshow of our favorite photos here, or click through to our Flickr account to see full albums from the red carpet, awards luncheon, and reception.  Diversity Incentives: Good news! New York state has adopted a landmark...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Muse Honorees, Member News, Women Directors

Muse Honorees: NYWIFT is beyond thrilled to announce the honorees for this year’s 40th Anniversary NYWIFT Muse Awards on December 10th! Please join us in celebrating actor Ann Dowd, singer and executive Gloria Estefan, Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud, director Kasi Lemmons, writer/creator Shoshannah Stern, and Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal, a past Muse honoree who...

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WIFV: 40 Years of Support, Networking and Leadership for Women Media Makers

As our Washington, DC sister chapter Women in Film & Video celebrates its 40th anniversary, dual WIFV/NYWIFT member Kristin Reiber Harris looks back on the group's humble beginnings and how it has grown into a vibrant professional organization with over 1000 members all over the country.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Emmy Panel, Elizabeth Banks, Melinda Gates

Emmy Panel: Check out the September 27th episode of the No Rest for the Weekend podcast for a fun recap of our NYWIFT Season Kickoff: The Road to the Emmys event. Elizabeth Banks: Elizabeth Banks became the first female director honored as Pioneer of the Year in the 78-year history of the Will Rogers Motion...

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