NYWIFT Blog

State of the Industry: A Conversation with Film Production Freelancer Isabella Olaguera

Throughout the coming weeks, NYWIFT will sit down with members of the film and television community for a look at how the global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the industry, particularly those who work in the indie and art house world. Our first conversation is with NYWIFT Member Isabella Olaguera, a 1st AD who is organizing an initiative to help feed freelancers who are struggling. She shares her insight into how life has come to a halt with so many productions on hold.

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NYWIFT’s Ekwa Msangi Tells Her Sundance Success Story

For Ekwa Msangi, the journey to Sundance was relatively fast. While her TV and movie-making career was moving along, it was arguably easier to get a footing for some of her East African-inspired TV projects in Kenya and South Africa than in the U.S. But thanks to the generous support of difficult-to-get awards from the Tribeca Film Festival, IFP and others, her career as a filmmaker catapulted into action when Farewell Amor, Ekwa’s feature film directorial debut, screened in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival U.S. dramatic feature competition. Ekwa talked to us about her experience at the fest.

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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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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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“Ask for Jane” Producer and Star Cait Cortelyou Brings Women’s History to Life on Screen

NYWIFT member Cait Cortelyou has performed on stage or film since childhood but makes a breakthrough debut as producer (and star) of Ask for Jane, which screens at the NYWIFT Member Screening Series on November 19th. Cait sat down with us to discuss how a slice of women's history inspired her to make her producing debut, and what opportunities she sees for women working in the industry today.

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Talya Tibbon’s “Sky and Ground” Puts a Human Face on the Refugee Crisis

NYWIFT Member Talya Tibbon's Sky and Ground tells the harrowing tale of one Syrian family's three-month journey from Greece to Germany feeling violence in their homeland. Facing setbacks, heartaches and threats of deportation, their determination propels them towards a better future. In advance of the film's screening as part of the NYWIFT Member Screening Series, Talya discusses her process and how being an "outsider" is an asset to documentary filmmaking.

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Roundtable with Misha Calvert and the Creative Team of “Step Into My Office”

NYWIFT member Misha Calvert’s latest series, Step Into My Office, is a new dark comedy that reimagines workplace harassment with sexist female bosses interviewing aspiring young male employees. After the series launch on August 29, 2019, fellow NYWIFT member Leah Curney interviewed Calvert and her collaborators about their experiences and insights.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Members: Kerry Fulton

With her company Evenfield Entertainment, producer Kerry Fulton is looking to do just that: even the playing field. That's a mission we can certainly get behind. She brings her experience working in the global TV and film market to NYWIFT as one of the newest additions to our Board of Directors.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Members: Gretchen McGowan

As summer heats up, New York Women in Film & Television gears up for the start of our new year – and with it, new faces join our leadership team! Next up, meet Gretchen McGowan, an award-winning producer and Head of Production at Goldcrest Features.

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Meet the New NYWIFT Board Members: Alex Cirillo

NYWIFT member Alex Cirillo is a director, producer and the Co-Founder of Big Vision Empty Wallet, an inclusion-focused incubator that produces content that keeps you at the edge of your seat. Next up, she brings her talents and passion for inclusion to the NYWIFT Board of Directors.

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NYWIFT Member Jill Salvino Brings LGBTQIA Documentary “Between the Shades” to Schools Nationwide

NYWIFT member Jill Salvino is an accomplished storyteller and commercial director with over 200 awards to her name, including an Emmy. But one of her proudest accomplishments is also one of her most recent – her feature documentary directorial debut Between the Shades. Profiled in The New York Times in April under the quippy headline “How Gay Are You?” the documentary asks just that, yet so much more. Salvino spoke to us about the process of making the film, working with her documentary subjects and what she hopes to accomplish with the film’s educational release.

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New Kids’ Series Featuring Native American Character Launches This Summer

Indigenous representation is scarce in children’s programming – and TV programming in general. The new PBS animated children's series "Molly of Denali" hopes to change that.

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NYWIFT Members Doing Justice to True Crime

Death Row Stories explores the fallibility of the ultimate criminal penalty, capital punishment. Narrated by current and former death row inmates, each episode of Death Row Stories seeks to unravel the truth behind a different capital murder case and poses tough questions about the U.S. capital punishment system. Six NYWIFT members who worked on the show, including Board Member Kathryn O'Kane, share the insight they gained into the criminal justice system through their work on the show.

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21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2019 Honors Cynthia Lopez

Last month in New York City, Women's eNews held their annual 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and it was a night of celebration for a diverse group of honorees, all fearless leaders who are committed to advancing gender equality throughout the world...including NYWIFT's own Executive Director, Cynthia Lopez. We share a portion of Lopez's insightful remarks on how women can truly change the world.

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Member Spotlight: Magdalene Brandeis, Director of Stony Brook Killer Films

In the throes of finals and gearing up for next semester, we had an opportunity to talk shop with the Director of the Stony Brook Killer Films MFA in Film program (& NYWIFT member) Magdalene Brandeis  about how the program is turning the film school model on its head. 

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Creator Misha Calvert on power dynamics, pitching and her latest series, All Hail Beth

In advance of the Fall 2019 premiere of her new BRIC TV series "All Hail Beth," showrunner and NYWIFT member Misha Calvert sits down with Leah Curney to discuss power dynamics, how to pitch your project, and how she makes connections in the business.

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NYWIFT Member Spotlight: ‘Love & Vodka’ at the Cannes Film Market

NYWIFT Member Heidi Philipsen and a team of University of Michigan alums are heading to Cannes in their efforts to obtain funding for Love & Vodka – a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy set in Ukraine. Personae Entertainment’s producer/director Heidi Philipsen (Darcy) has teamed up with screenwriter/co-producer R.J. Fox to bring his story to the big screen, along with co-producers Niko Meissner (Darcy), Kathryn McDermott (First Knight), and associate producer Jon Wilson.

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New Four-Part Comedy Series “Half Life” by Patty Carey Debuts May 10

#GreenlightHer Winner Patty Carey’s Comedy Series ‘Half Life’ Premieres May 10 on NYC Life Winner of NYC’s First-Ever Pilot Competition for Stories by, for, and about Women Offers Hilarious Insider’s Look at the Film Industry from a Mom’s Perspective Larisa Oleynik, Finnerty Steeves, and Nancy Giles star in four-part series   Patty Carey’s Half Life,...

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