NYWIFT Blog

NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Valda Witt

Many children – and more than a few adults – dream of long-distance space exploration. But what about the real human toll of that kind of journey? The new documentary The Longest Goodbye, which debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, takes a poignant look at the fundamentals of day-to-day reality in space: the isolation, confinement, and lack of privacy and social contact. Executive producer Valda Witt spoke to us about the project, her childhood dreams of space travel, favorite moments making the film, and getting to know scientists and astronauts in a deeply personal way.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

NYWIFT at Sundance: In Conversation with Lisa Cortés

Lisa Cortés is an Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director renowned for creating challenging, visionary stories. She spoke to us about her latest Sundance premiere, her new documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything, which traces the Black, queer roots of rock & roll and shines a new light on the legendary performer.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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. 

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Susan Chau

Welcome to NYWIFT, Susan Chau! Chau is a New York-based director, production designer, and art director working in film and branded content. She received her MFA in film production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her film Josephine, developed while at NYU, has traveled the festival circuit and was supported by Panavision, which awarded the project The New Filmmaker Grant. Most recently, Chau worked with Vox Media and Apartment Therapy. She spoke to us about her inspirations, favorite projects, and her new digital zine for women who love film!

READ MORE

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Producer Cheryl Staurulakis

NYWIFT member Cheryl Staurulakis recognizes the power of documentary film to change hearts, minds, and even governmental policies – and it’s what drives her as a producer. Her latest film, Phyllis Ellis’s feature documentary Category: Woman, is a perfect example of Staurulakis’s commitment to social impact filmmaking. The film takes a hard look into the racist and sexist policies in global sports and the devastating personal consequences they have inflicted on women athletes around the world. Staurulakis spoke to us about her 2022 DOC NYC screening, racial and gender discrimination in sports, and how she hopes to save the world one documentary at a time.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Dawn Porter

NYWIFT Member Dawn Porter’s Cirque du Soleil: Without a Net offers a never-before-seen look behind the curtain of the world-famous circus extravaganza, with an approach that is equally intimate and epic in scale. When Cirque du Soleil moves to reboot its flagship production, "O," more than a year after an abrupt global shutdown, both performers and crew members face uncertainty as they work to return to their world-class standards in time for the (re)opening night curtain in Las Vegas. The film had its world premiere as a Centerpiece film at the 2022 DOC NYC Festival. Porter sat down with us to discuss her unique approach to this story, and how these high-flying artists can offer unique insight into our post-pandemic world.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

NYWIFT Member Spotlight: Arlette Thomas-Fletcher

NYWIFT member Arlette Thomas-Fletcher is a multi-talented filmmaker and production executive. She has handled every creative and technical aspect of media production during her decades-long career, writing, directing, and producing her own projects and those of others. Arlette is a published author and has several books on Amazon, including her children’s book Dreamer’s Journey, which was just released. She is currently working on an animated series called The Cat Faced Cat.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Board Member: Emelyn Stuart

NYWIFT is thrilled to welcome new board members to our leadership team for the 2022-2023 season! Powerhouse entrepreneur Emelyn Stuart, one of our newest NYWIFT Board Members, is the owner and founder of Stuart Cinema & Café in Brooklyn, which in addition to being a screening space will offer distribution deals to independent filmmakers and be a resource hub for artists. She was named Best Producer at LA Web Fest for her series 12 Steps to Recovery, and her feature Life Is Too Short premiered to sold out audiences in New York during its debut screening and in 2017 it was awarded Best Feature Film domestically and internationally at various film festivals.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Julie Neira Campoverde

Let’s welcome new NYWIFT member, Julie Neira Campoverde! Campoverde is an Ecuadorian award-winning filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. She won the BAFTA NY 2021 DLT Entertainment Scholarship with her short horror script "El Chuzalongo" as well as an honorable mention for the Nyman Family Project Award in her 2nd MFA year at City College. Campoverde uses the horror genre as a platform to create awareness of worldwide issues like the obsession with social media, dating apps, and toxic masculinity rooted in Latinx and Hispanic culture. Campoverde talked with us about her activism, her Ecuadorian roots, and how sci-fi and horror films can help us tackle real-world issues.

READ MORE