NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Arielle Duran

Let’s welcome new member Arielle Duran to NYWIFT! Having been raised in Ridgewood, Queens, Arielle Duran is a proud New Yorker and versatile storyteller of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. Since graduating from the University of South Florida's Zimmerman School, where she studied broadcasting and production, Arielle’s theatrical talents have been showcased in notable television shows such as The Calling and American Rust, among other projects. In addition to acting, Arielle is currently pursuing screenwriting as a graduate student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Arielle spoke to us about her New York roots, storytelling, and honing her craft.

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NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Liz Sargent

In the 2023 Sundance Film Festival short film Take Me Home, a cognitively disabled woman and her estranged sister must learn to communicate in order to move forward after their mother’s death. It captures of a moment of terror experienced by so many siblings of those with disabilities, when they are suddenly responsible for making a plan for a loved one who cannot live on their own, potentially upending both their lives as they also work through their grief. For writer and director NYWIFT member Liz Sargent, the story hits close to home. And she cast her own mother and younger sister to play versions of themselves. Sargent spoke to us about finding support in her identity as a sibling guardian, beautiful moments working on set with her family, and her joyous Sundance experience.

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NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Caitlin Gold

NYWIFT member Caitlin Gold is the Co-Founder and Co-Head of Film, a private equity fund dedicated to financing narrative and documentary films directed by women. The fund’s tagline is “Films by women make more money, but Hollywood isn’t making them….” Thanks to Gold and her colleagues, that very well may change! Their most recent feature is the Australian film Shayda, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Dramatic Competition and won that category’s Audience Award. Gold spoke to us about Shayda’s path to the screen, funding work by women, and what’s next on her horizon.

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Women Write Now: 2nd Year at Sundance Celebrating Women Writers

Developed in partnership with Sundance Institute and Founded by Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph and Head of Film Candice Wilson Cherry, WOMEN WRITE NOW is a comedic writing fellowship designed to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Now in its second year, this year’s fellowship brought in three emerging writers, Mayanna Berrin, Kianna Butler Jabangwe, and Danielle Solomon to develop and produce their comedic short scripts under the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. The resulting projects were then brought into production by Hartbeat studios. Cherry and the writers spoke to us about their experience.

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NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Ericka Nicole Malone

Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment presents the “Indie Director’s and Creator’s Spotlight” in celebration of diversity in filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival 2023. Featuring a day of education, industry networking and panels, its evening activation will transform into a Neo Soul lounge with the sultry sounds of 3x Grammy Award-nominated R&B/Neo Soul Singer Angie Stone as the headliner.

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NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Annetta Marion

NYWIFT Advisory Board Member Annetta Marion produced Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie that is premiering at Sundance this month. The film incorporates documentary, archival and scripted elements to recount Fox’s story of personal and professional triumphs and travails in his own words. Annetta and Kathryn O'Kane spoke about the film that explores what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.

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Meet the NYWIFT Podcast Team: Tammy Reese

The NYWIFT Women Crush Wednesdays Podcast Team works so hard to bring the most informative, empowering, entertaining, and fun interviews to our listeners. Today we are thrilled to highlight our podcast team member and co-host, Tammy Reese. Tammy is an award-winning writer and journalist. As a multimedia professional, Tammy is best known for her epic interviews with Sigourney Weaver, Laurence Fishburne, Omar Epps, Essie Davis, Britt Lower, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Nelly, Dedee Pfeiffer, Patina Miller, and many more.

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Meet the NYWIFT Podcast Team: Janine McGoldrick

The NYWIFT Women Crush Wednesdays Podcast Team works so hard to bring the most informative, empowering, entertaining, and fun interviews to our listeners. Today we are thrilled to highlight our podcast team producer, Janine McGoldrick. In addition to producing the podcast, Janine edits and co-hosts as well. 

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Hania Chima

Welcome, new NYWIFT member Hania Chima! We are so happy to introduce Hania, who has so much to offer our community. She is the producer and co-writer of Pakistan’s entry for the 2019 Oscars, Laal Kabootar, and co-founder of the production company Nehr Ghar Films. We’re thrilled to have her join New York Women in Film & Television and can't wait to see what she does next. Hania talked to us about getting to work with her childhood hero, writing and producing her first feature, and why the future is female.

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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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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Luchina Fisher

Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to Luchina Fisher! Fisher (she/her) is an award-winning director, writer and producer who works at the intersection of race, gender and identity. She is the founder and CEO of Little Light Productions. Her feature directorial debut Mama Gloria, about Chicago trans icon activist Gloria Allen, was nominated for a 2022 GLAAD Media Award. Previously, Fisher co-executive produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed feature documentary Birthright: A War Story, about the war on women’s reproductive health. Luchina Fisher spoke to us about her early childhood influences, her next documentary, and her hopes for the future of women in media.

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NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker and Journalist Amelia Deschamps

NYWIFT member Amelia Deschamps is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and TV/Radio producer from the Dominican Republic with more than 20 years of experience. Her short film In Search of the Blue Heart made its world premiere at the 2022 DOC NYC Festival. The film follows Daniel Quezada who, after 32 years of working in the larimar mines of the Dominican Republic, seeks to make this his last extraction to retire and dedicate his life to the stone trade. Deschamps spoke to us about filming in the depths of the larimar mines, her world premiere, and her transition into documentary filmmaking.

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NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Sascha Just

NYWIFT member Sascha Just directed and produced Ellis, the first feature-length documentary about the late legendary New Orleans pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Marsalis composed and performed major works of modern jazz infused with a uniquely New Orleans touch. Just spoke to us about all the ways in which jazz has influenced her work, getting to know a creative legend, and her DOC NYC premiere.

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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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NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Editor Jill Woodward

NYWIFT member Jill Woodward edited the documentary 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture, which won the Audience Award at DOC NYC 2022. In this deeply personal tale, a gay seminary scholar and a straight activist, seeking to uncover the origins of the rabid homophobia of the conservative church, make a shocking discovery: an erroneous translation of the term “homosexual” in the Bible in 1946 that has been weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community ever since. Woodward spoke to us about the editing process, what she learned along the way, and which types of projects excite her the most.

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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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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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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Alfreda Howard

Welcome to NYWIFT, hair & makeup artist Alfreda Howard! Fre Howard is the proud owner of Faces By Fre, LLC, Makeup Artistry and is on the Board of Directors of Philadelphia WIFT. Her most recent credits include Makeup Department Head for Netflix’s "Free Meek", Season 13 of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000," and national commercials including a Smartwater spot with Pete Davidson. She has also designed makeup and wigs for several operas! Howard spoke to us about special effects makeup, advocacy & education, and how the pandemic shaped her career.

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