NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Eileen Wolter

Welcome to NYWIFT, Eileen Wolter! After working as a motion picture lit assistant at CAA, working on the Universal lot, and writing lots of coverage in LA, Eileen brings her creativity to us in New York! She holds a BA in Art History & Film from Vassar College, studied acting as The Atlantic Theater Company and The Actors Studio/The New School, and studied writing at UCLA, NYU, Sundance Collab, Stowe Story Labs, and NJ Play Lab. Eileen tells us about her fascinating family history, covering Fashion Week for Comedy Central in 1993, and attending SNL dress rehearsals.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Jaya Mahajan

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jaya Mahajan! Originally from Mumbai, India, Jaya is a filmmaker with Executive Producer credits for documentaries and factual shows that have been on networks such as CNN, BBC, Discovery and the National Geographic Channel. She spent the initial part of her career as a business reporter and producer with CNBC and Bloomberg. More recently, she has been running an award-winning production company, creating films and documentaries and teaching journalism students in Malaysia and Singapore. Jaya recently moved to New York and is looking forward to focusing on projects that highlight and amplify traditionally underrepresented, diverse, and marginalized voices. 

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Victoria Duncan

Welcome to NYWIFT, Victoria Duncan! At age 12, Victoria began making films, struck by her power to engage an audience using her imagination. This led her down an exciting path to SNL, The Blacklist, The Sinner, Vice, and branded content for huge companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon, just to name a few. Her LGBT+ ballet film I Am Enough was adapted for the stage and performed at New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center. She is currently working on the screenplay for a feature film. Victoria walks us through her incredible journey, from her childhood favorite movies to presenting a piece to the United Nations.

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Meet the new NYWIFT Member: Pallavi Bakshi

Welcome to NYWIFT Pallavi Bakshi! Following an incredible career in investment banking and equity research, Pallavi Bakshi is now part of Disney Streaming’s Strategic Finance team. Any given day might include reporting to executives, preparing data sets or market research. She has worked on projects for iconic brands in the Disney portfolio, including Marvel and Pixar. Pallavi shares more about her dynamic days here!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Lauren Cooper

Welcome to NYWIFT, Lauren Cooper! Lauren brings over a decade of expertise in content creation, event production, financial management, as well as production and post-production oversight. She has worked on scripted and non-scripted series, documentaries, animation, and live broadcasts for major networks such as ABC, NBC, MTV, CBS, Disney+, Amazon Prime, OLN, SYFY, and Discovery UK. She owns her own production company, Elle Bee & Co. Lauren shares her advice, approach to telling challenging stories, and more with us here!

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NYWIFT Member and Founder of Carolines on Broadway Caroline Hirsch Gears Up For The New York Comedy Festival 19th Year

Longtime NYWIFT member and 2019 NYWIFT Made in NY Muse Honoree Caroline Hirsch, the founder and owner of Carolines on Broadway and the New York Comedy Festival, is a visionary in the comedy industry. Her keen eye for talent has led her to discover some of the biggest names in comedy, including Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reubens. Now, as the New York Comedy Festival enters its 19th year, Hirsch is once again making waves by expanding the festival from 7 to 10 days. From November 3rd to November 12th, comedy enthusiasts can expect an even bigger and better lineup of shows, performances, and events.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amy Tiong

Welcome to NYWIFT, Amy Tiong! Amy is a director, writer, and production coordinator whose stories bring underrepresented voices to the forefront. She directs both narrative films and documentaries, which received recognition from Bustle, NBCNews, PictureStart, Coverfly, and the NAACP. The vulnerability in her work empowers others and shines a light on topics such as disordered eating, grief, and sibling love. Amy tells us about working on a microbudget project during pandemic times, collaborating with friends and her new horror immigration feature film, When You’re Ready to Go. Read all about it here!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Christine Toy Johnson

You might recognize NYC-based artist Christine from the stage, the page, or the screen. She played Diane over one thousand times in the first national tour of the musical Come from Away. Other roles span from Sherry Yang in the Netflix Marvel series Iron Fist to Maria in West Side Story. She hosts The Dramatists Guild’s Talkback podcast, where she shines a spotlight on conversations about equality and inclusion. She also participated in The Writers Lab 2016, the screenwriting program co-produced by NYWIFT. Read more about artists she admires, advocacy for other artists, and new movie musical here!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Toni Short

Please join us in welcoming Toni Short to NYWIFT! Toni Short is an Aussie on a mission to tell the textured stories of women from around the world and heal the world through the arts. Following a personal breakthrough, Toni paved her own path towards artistic creation and invites others to walk beside her. This led her to found The Camp, an immersive space for children to learn about creative self-expression. Her project Sister Spirit Stories is a platform to highlight the stories of inspiring women. We Go High Productions produces both Sister Spirit Stories and Toni’s short film Meeting Mr. Oscar, which she wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. Toni told us about her personal healing journey, her most meaningful projects so far, and what’s coming up on the horizon.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Jade Dressler

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jade Dressler! Jade has imagined, designed and created for mass and niche pop-culture and luxury lifestyle clients for over 30 years. From nature-inspired body jewelry on major couture runways to award-winning landscape art spanning acres in Brazil, she is known for producing touchpoints of meaning that connect and energize all our lives. The Jade Dressler Agency is NYC-based with global partners. The agency is known for lifting the dreams of personalities, brands and businesses clients with creative services that deliver compelling design, messaging, events, and experiences that thrill. Jade spoke to us about daring to be a disruptor, amazing moments with Karl Lagerfield, and her brand new screenplay!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Candece Tarpley

Welcome to NYWIFT, Candece Tarpley! Candece Tarpley, of Sissipahaw/Tuscarora/Tsalagi descent, is a World Champion Powwow dancer, an actress and a poet-storyteller-playwright who has been writing since childhood. Holding her heritage close, she's been a featured performer nationwide, weaving her crafts with the patrons of the Public Library of Boulder Colorado; Middlebury College in Vermont; Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Pequot Museum in Connecticut; the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as other creative venues. Candece spoke to us about how her Indigenous heritage influences her work, the response to her television series, and her next major projects.  

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Hyonok Kim

Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim! Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx. Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Beatriz Barbieri

Beatriz was born in Brazil, then moved to New York in 2015 to study film at NYU. Her roots in Brasilia are close to her heart and are at the core of her work, from her 35mm black and white photography series to her upcoming feature film script. She was director of photography for Murielle’s “Can You Get Me High” music video and directed Foreign’s “Commando (feat. Da $ilva)” music video. She has taken photos for Brooklyn-based clothing brand ByLiv and behind-the-scenes photos for New York Magazine. Beatriz tells us about her artistic inspirations, her upcoming short film Shrapnel, and how her identity inspires her storytelling.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Alisa Lomax

Let’s give a warm welcome to Alisa Lomax! Based in Detroit, Alisa is an award-winning producer and director who is interested in providing a platform for characters who are in the midst of navigating hardships. Some of her most celebrated projects include Maya and Her Lover, Layla’s Girl, and the documentary When I Need to Smile, which centers on philanthropist and jazz label founder Gretchen Carhartt Valade. Alisa was one of just 13 Detroit writers to be selected as part of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Find out more about Alisa as we discuss her amazing 20+ year career trajectory, which includes her transition from working in corporate jobs to more artistic endeavors, and her current role in a digital arts program that aims to introduce the art of filmmaking to kids!

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Hannah Niebielski

Welcome to NYWIFT, Hannah Niebielski! Hannah is a former National Director for the Olympic Sport of Dressage, where she led 36 US Teams to earn the highest podium finish rate among Olympic medal nations at Championships and Games. She organized talent and teams for the 2016 Olympic Games, 2018 World Games, and 2019 North American Youth Championships. Now, she brings her skillset in managing talent, public relations, event operations, and hospitality to the world of film and TV. Hannah tells us about the overlaps between Olympic sports and entertainment, her passion for connecting others, and the importance of talent support.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Tanis Parenteau

Welcome to NYWIFT, Tanis Parenteau! Tanis Parenteau is Métis/Cree from the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is an actor, producer, and casting director. Her work focuses on uplifting Native voices telling contemporary and futuristic Native stories. As an actor, she has appeared on Billions, House of Cards, Designated Survivor, FBI: Most Wanted, Gossip Girl, and Tribal, and she has performed at The Public Theater, Signature Theater, 59E59, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Tanis has produced eight short films, has a short form digital series in post-production, and is developing multiple Native-led features and series. She is an associate casting director at tbd casting co in NYC. Her latest project, the short film Glenburn 12 WP, is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT.  Tanis spoke to us about her dedication to uplifting Native voices, how working in casting has influenced her performing, and the best advice she’s ever received.

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NYWIFT Member Spotlight: Toni R. Israel

Meet NYWIFT Member Toni R. Isreal. Toni is the CEO and Founder of REALEMN Productions LLC, Broadway’s leading multicultural marketing and PR team, run by Black women. In addition to being a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, she is a co-founding member of The Industry Standard Group. Previously, Toni was the Managing Director of Walker International Communications Group (WICG) where she led a team providing all aspects of marketing consultation to arts organizations. A proud member of CTI — Commercial Theater Institute, Toni was instrumental in multiple projects including 2018 Tony Award-Winning Once on This Island, Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, A Raisin in The Sun, A Trip To Bountiful, A Streetcar Named Desire, Baby It’s You, and Stick Fly. Toni R. Isreal is an awardee of the Central New Jersey Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women for Excellence in Economic Empowerment and advocates promoting the arts and entertainment to multicultural communities.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Gaelin Rosenwaks

Welcome to NYWIFT, Gaelin Rosenwaks! Gaelin is a multitalented scientist, explorer, photographer, filmmaker, and author of Sperm Whales: The Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans. She founded Global Ocean Exploration Inc. in response to alarming changes to our oceans. Her aptitude for science and storytelling brought her on a journey that spans from appearing as an expert and host on many TV networks to being one of the few women featured on the cover of Outside Magazine. She is currently working on Finding Physty, a documentary about sperm whales. Gaelin shares more about her fascinating journey here!

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