NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Colleen Hughes

Welcome to NYWIFT, Colleen Hughes! As an intimacy director and coordinator, Colleen brings a trauma-informed and human-first approach to scenes of simulated sex, nudity, and hyperexposure. Through her collaboration with trusted colleagues, she is at the vanguard of a movement to bring increased agency and transparency to the entertainment industry. She has collaborated with artists from around the globe, including Maya Hawke on the official music video for “Thérèse,” with over 5 million views on YouTube (also available on Apple Music); Samantha Shay at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Germany; and immersive work with Virgin Atlantic’s cruise line in the Mediterranean, and Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More in NYC. Colleen is part of a team of thought leaders in the field of consent and intimacy work. As Director of Core Training at Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC), Colleen led the development of the company’s groundbreaking Consent-Forward Artist training program. She is currently working on a book entitled A Volunteer from the Audience: Consent Work in Interactive Performance that examines the role of agency in immersive performance.

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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: Ruthie Marantz

Welcome to NYWIFT, Ruthie Marantz! Born and raised in NYC, Ruthie has been making films on public access TV since she was 13 years old. Since then, her works has been shown at BAMcinemaFest, SeriesFest and Seattle International Film Festival. She has her M.F.A. from NYU’s Graduate Film Program, where she was recipient of the Leo Rosner, Maurice Kanbar, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences Scholarships. Ruthie has directed and produced commercial work for clients including Netflix, LG, Samsung, Vice and Hearst. Her autobiographical pilot Rainbow Ruthie, which received funding from director Spike Lee, was accepted to the IFP Episodic Lab and premiered at SXSW, becoming Oscar eligible in 2019. More recently, she co-wrote the pilot to Southfield Supernovas, which won the 2020 SXSW Seriesfest Pitch-A-Thon. Read more about Ruthie’s amazing stories from set and upcoming adventures here!

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NYWIFT Muse Award Honoree Patina Miller Stars In “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” Season 3

On December 1, 2023, Season 3 of STARZ Power Book III: Raising Kanan premiered starring past NYWIFT Muse Award Honoree Patina Miller. This season of Raising Kanan continues to tell the origin story of fan-favorite character Kanan Stark (MeKai Curtis), originally played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the flagship series, delving further into his evolution from the devoted son of Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller) into the eventual ferocious, amoral and pragmatic personality fans know from Power.

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The Walking Dead: Dead City Tribeca/NYC Take Over

"One of the best red carpets I’ve ever covered as a journalist hands down to date is the iconic moment of covering The Walking Dead: Dead City world premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival," says NYWIFT member Tammy Reese! Our resident The Walking Dead superfan shares her favorite moments - and fun video cast interviews - from the zombie-filled festival premiere.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: LaKisa Renee

Welcome to NYWIFT, LaKisa Renee! LaKisa is a multitalented media/film industry professional, journalist, host, actress, videographer, voice artist, and award-winning makeup artist. She is the owner and Founder of LaKisa Renee Entertainment, a media, fashion and events company. As a media professional, she is a contributing journalist for Cultured Focus Magazine, In Black Magazine, and Steller Magazine. LaKisa spoke to us about her wide range of roles in media, fashion, and entertainment.

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WIFT Around the World: Postcard from Realscreen Summit

Realscreen Summit (RSS or Realscreen, for short) is an annual global market and conference dedicated to the business of unscripted and non-fiction entertainment in film and television. Three and a half days are filled with high-level keynotes, topical industry panels, networking events, pitch competitions, awards, and programming briefs from top buyers. This year’s summit ran from January 23 - 26, held at the JW Marriott in Austin, and featured 1,350 delegates from North America and some global territories such as South Korea, India, UK, and France, among others. Panayiota Pagoulatos offers a recap, as well as an exclusive conversation with Sunita Uchil, Chief Business Officer, International Co-Productions of Zee Plus.

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6 Tips for Hooking a Reader in the First Pages of Your Pilot

The first pages of your pilot need to be solid — as in, a representation of your very best work — and they need to establish us in the world succinctly. Last year, NYWIFT Member and WWFC Co-Founder Katrina Medoff read hundreds of pilot scripts submitted for Women’s Weekend Film Challenge’s inaugural pilot accelerator, and she saw some general themes emerge for how to make the opening of your pilot stand out. Read on for her six tips, and learn how to apply to the next WWFC pilot accelerator.

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5 Exercises for Strengthening Your Pilot Script’s Cold Open

The first scenes of your pilot need to capture the reader’s attention, because you never know how far a busy Hollywood exec (or their assistant) will read before losing interest. You need to introduce your characters and story, show off your writing skills, and give the reader something they haven’t seen before — it’s a lot of pressure! Women’s Weekend Film Challenge Co-Founder NYWIFT Member Katrina Medoff offers some exercises to make those crucial first pages shine.

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WIFT Around the World: Postcard from MIPCOM Cannes

NYWIFT member Panayiota Pagoulatos returned to Cannes a second time this year to attend MIPCOM, where she was pleased to find celebrations of women and diversity in entertainment, and to preview several exciting new TV series.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Fay Gartenberg

Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to new member Fay Gartenberg! Gartenberg is an Assistant Editor and a member of the Motion Picture Editor's Guild (IATSE Local 700). Their projects span across narrative film, documentary film, scripted television, and finishing. Prior to working in the film industry, they provided video therapy for patients and families at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. Gartenberg talked to us about their favorite projects, latest binge-watch recommendations, and approach to work/life balance.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Member: Kia Brooks

NYWIFT is thrilled to welcome new board members to our leadership team for the 2022-2023 season! We sat down with new NYWIFT Board Member Kia Brooks who, as Deputy Director of longtime NYWIFT partner The Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP), is no stranger to the NYWIFT community! Brooks created The Gotham’s Owning It program that supports women and non-binary media makers and entrepreneurs who break boundaries in the media and entertainment industry, and developed the Expanding Communities program, which provides resources, community space, and industry access to individuals with Disabilities and BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators.

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Highlights from the 2022 AMC Networks Summit 

The AMC Networks Summit held at 74Wythe in Brooklyn, NY on September 28, 2022 brought together talent and network executives for moderated discussions centered around the company’s content and legacy from the past, present, and future — and to dissect the new and epic worlds coming to AMCN’s platforms, and introduce the next seminal characters that will capture the hearts and minds of viewers.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Isi Laborde

We are thrilled to welcome new NYWIFT member Isi Laborde! Isi is a Brooklyn-based actor (AEA, SAG/AFTRA). Her film roles include Return to Montauk, directed by Academy Award-winner Volker Schlöndorff, and Jay-Z’s music video “Smile,” directed by Grammy-winner Miles Jay. She has had TV appearances in Facebook TV's Strangers and Paramount's Younger. Theater credits include The Bacchae at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and Skip to My Lou at Theater for the New City. Isi spoke to us about her craft, how she kept up her creativity during COVID, and her dream role!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Kelly Reagan

Welcome, new NYWIFT member Kelly Reagan! We are so happy to introduce Kelly, who has so much to offer our community. She is a four-time Emmy-nominated producer and writer who has a deep history with major networks like Nickelodeon and Oprah's OWN. She has worked on many projects as a senior writer and producer, including one featuring great names like Michelle Obama (and she even received a letter from the First Family after filming together). We’re thrilled to have her join New York Women in Film & Television and can't wait to see what she does next.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Grace-Mary Burega

Welcome to the NYWIFT community, Grace-Mary Burega! Grace-Mary is a composer for film, TV, and video games as well as a woodwind multi-instrumentalist on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Her compositions have been on TV PSAs and in short and feature films, and she has scored over 30 films to date. Grace Notes is her media composing company, specializing in custom music for a variety of projects such as documentary, horror, comedy, animation, and more. Grace-Mary is a recent Masters in Film Scoring graduate of Berklee Online. She is the Secretary of Women in Film and Video of New England and Secretary of the Female Composer Safety League. Grace-Mary spoke to us about her favorite projects, latest game obsessions, and how Women in Film organizations have shaped her career.

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Kathryn O’Kane on the Emmys, Jeff Goldblum, and the Challenges of Pandemic Productions

When NYWIFT Board Member Kathryn O’Kane headed off to direct season two of The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+ it was, in her words, “the worst of times” – the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccines were available and film production felt particularly dangerous and fraught. But the difficult work paid off, and has led to the best of times! Season two of the docuseries, which follows the beloved quirky actor as he pulls on the thread of a familiar topic to unravel a world of fascinating secrets, has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special. 

We checked in with Kathryn to offer our congratulations, learn more about the filming process, and discuss what’s next for her.

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NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Producer Su Kim

The 2022 Tribeca premiere "Sansón and Me" traces a young immigrant’s path from coastal Mexico to a life sentence for murder in California. The harrowing tale does not unfold in a traditional documentary format, but instead uses evocative recreations – many of them featuring members of Sansón’s own family as actors – to explore the meaning of a life fragmented by poverty, borders, and incarceration. We spoke to producer Su Kim about the team’s unusual, wildly creative, and ultimately deeply powerful approach to sharing Sansón’s story.

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