NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Doris Martinez

Welcome to NYWIFT, Doris Martinez! Martinez brings over 20 years of experience in Partnerships & Business Development/Entrepreneurship within the US Hispanic and LATAM markets, with notable roles at HBO and DIRECTV Latin America. Her expertise spans programming strategy, content negotiations, and fostering successful partnerships. Martinez shares insights on her career journey and industry advice, emphasizing the importance of bringing innovative ideas to the table and treating everyone with respect. With a track record of revamping programming strategies and facilitating strategic content partnerships, Martinez discusses the evolving landscape of content partnerships, emphasizing the shift towards collaboration among networks and the rise of content democratization through platforms like FAST channels.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Perla de Leon

Let’s give a warm welcome to renowned photographer and NYC native, Perla de Leon! Having received an MFA in Photography from Brooklyn College and attended Columbia University’s Graduate Film Director’s Program, Perla’s work has been displayed at museum exhibitions worldwide, from Mexico City to Puerto Rico and Cuba to Barcelona. Some of her most acclaimed projects include the photo series South Bronx Spirit (1970s – 1980s), The Afro-Descendant Project – Puerto Rico (2017), and Decade of Fire (2018). Over the years, Perla has shared her passion for photography and video production while teaching her craft to high school and college students. Learn more about Perla’s illustrious career as we discuss the genesis of South Bronx Spirit (featured as part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian America Art Museum in Washington D.C.) and the social injustices that attracted her to document the urban landscape of the Bronx during the late seventies. Plus, read about Perla’s remarkable connection to a legendary photographer whose art was celebrated alongside Perla’s photographs at NYC's iconic Gracie Mansion!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Mariluz Guerra

Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to Mariluz Guerra! Originally from Colombia, she is a proud indigenous Kankuaman filmmaker with experience directing, scriptwriting, producing, and editing. Her commitment to helping others heal through art is channeled in her films Body Stories: Suraj & Julieta and Body Stories: Together. Learn more about Mariluz as we discuss how her cultural roots are an ongoing influence on her projects, the innovative filmic style of Body Stories: Together, and the significant role that smartphones contributed towards helping her create an original and cost-efficient film!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Sarah D. Ceballos

Welcome to NYWIFT, Sarah D. Ceballos! Sarah  is a producer, writer, and an award-winning actress from McAllen, Texas. She is third generation Mexican-American and is fluent in Spanish. She holds her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and routinely conducts research geared toward understanding what can prohibit advancement opportunities for people of color in the workplace. Sarah considers herself the curious type. She is always asking herself, “How can I help?" Read more about her creative journey here!       

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Lorena R. Valencia

Welcome to NYWIFT, Lorena R. Valenica! Lorena R. Valencia is a Mexican writer-director based in New York. Her directorial debut and MFA thesis film, Cuanacaquilitl (Dandelion), received the 2022 National Board of Review Student Award and is an Official Selection in several international film festivals, including the Morelia International Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the New York Latino Film Festival, and the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival. Lorena is passionate about both narrative and documentary storytelling and is interested in addressing issues such as reproductive rights, identity, and belonging. Currently, she is directing Mi Ranchito, a documentary short film that explores resilience and love for the land, while she is developing her debut feature film, Mayahuel. Lorena spoke to us about inspiring empathy through storytelling, the overlap of narrative and documentary filmmaking, and her latest projects.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Melissa Morales

New York based filmmaker Melissa Morales is a first-generation Puerto Rican Latina alum from CUNY Brooklyn College with a BA in Film Production, holding a magna cum laude GPA. Melissa is an aspiring writer, director, producer and production designer, and multimedia content creator. She has written, directed, & produced four short films in 2022, with her thesis "Bigger" winning a NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award at Brookly College and a NYIFA Best Student Director Award both in 2023! Melissa tells us about receiving the NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award, her role as a writer, director, and producer, and more!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Bianca Marroquin

Welcome to NYWIFT, new member Bianca Marroquin! Bianca, a triple threat who can act, sing, and dance, became well-known to audiences starring as both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in Chicago the Musical on Broadway and alongside Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell in the Emmy-Winning limited series Fosse and Verdon. Additionally, she has appeared as a judge on Mira Quien Baila (a popular Spanish reality television show similar to Dancing With the Stars) and the telenovela Esperanza del Corazón. These are just a few of her many career highlights! Bianca spoke to us about maintaining her creativity throughout the pandemic, her favorite roles, and expanding opportunities for Latinos on stage and screen.

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The Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York Announces Lineup

Maravilla, the New York-based organization dedicated to raising awareness of Latin America through films and the arts, announces its seventh edition of the Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York (EFFNY), with the support of media partner Telemundo and includes Queens Museum, Nuyorican Poets Café, the Barrymore Film Center, and fiscal sponsor New York Women and Film & TV.

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Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It

NYWIFT member Kristin Reiber Harris reflects on life lessons gleaned from the indomitable Rita Moreno after watching the new documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It.

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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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State of the Industry: A Conversation of Lydia Darly of the Nova Frontier Film Festival and Lab

The voices of Black, Middle Eastern, and Latinx artists have long been marginalized. But at Nova Frontier Film Festival and Lab, they take center stage. Actor, filmmaker, writer, producer, and film programmer Lydia Darly discusses why she co-founded the festival (where NYWIFT is proud to present an Outstanding Female Content Creator Award), and what she hopes to see from the 2020 edition which, like so many recent events, is going virtual. 

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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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#Muse40for40: Victoria Alonso (2015)

Victoria Alonso is the Executive Vice President of Physical Production for Marvel Studios, and her 2015 Muse Awards acceptance speech is among some of our favorites for both its humor and heart.

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Cynthia’s Picks: Two Studies, Unequal Pay, Michele Clapton

Two Studies: A study from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP, of which I was the founding organizational Chairperson) and Wise Entertainment, shows how Hollywood has failed the Latinx community when it comes to their portrayal in popular movies – in...

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Cynthia’s Picks: Latinx Stars, Expanded Opportunities, Listen In

Latinx Stars: The Hollywood Reporter wisely points out…amid the call for diversity in entertainment, particularly inclusive casting, why don’t we have more Latinx movie stars? Part of it, of course, comes down to unconscious bias – which we all need to work on identifying and correcting. Expanded Opportunities: The Academy has voted to expand the...

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Terry’s Picks: Vida Writers, Production Workshop, Cannes-do Women

Vida Writers: Vulture takes a look inside TV’s first all-Latinx writers room, for the new Starz series Vida. Production Workshop: We are offering our annual one-day media production workshop for immigrant and first-generation women, taught by our friends at Third World Newsreel, this Saturday, May 12th. Learn more and apply to participate. Cannes-do Women: Meet...

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Terry’s Picks: Scary Statistics, GoldieBlox Ad, Zoe Saldana

Scary Statistics: A new study from USC Annenberg reveals how little top-grossing movies have changed when it comes to the on-screen prevalence and portrayal of women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, the LGBT community, and individuals with disabilities. GoldieBlox Ad: Girl-focused toy company GoldieBlox’s #BeLikeHer ad campaign is a joyful, in-your-face celebration of all the impressive women...

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