NYWIFT Blog

The Dilemma of Desire Empowers Women through a Greater Understanding of Their Sexuality

Maria Finitzo's film "The Dilemma of Desire," a documentary about female sexual desire, was difficult to pitch and sell because, according to Finitzo, “People were afraid of it, they think it's about porn or are worried they're going to see people having sex." Instead, the film delves into the essential, surprising, and often sad truth about most women’s understanding of their own sexual desires and their own bodies.

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Wellness During a Pandemic

We have all spent the last year doing our best to avoid catching the COVID-19 virus. However, masks, social distancing, and the other protocols we have observed do not represent a meaningful overall strategy for our general wellbeing. A recent NYWIFT Talks Wellness During COVID 2.0 moderated by Easmanie Michel, NYWIFT’s Special Projects Associate, addressed this issue with experts in wellness, Laurie Gerber, Head Coach at HG Life, and professional athlete and yoga instructor Zachy Chrisodoulou, owner of the Sommerville PurFlo Yoga franchise.

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The Mole Agent: Highlights from the NYWIFT Goes to the Oscars Q&A with Maite Alberdi, Marcela Santibañez, Julie Goldman

The team behind The Mole Agent, Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary, discusses its powerful impact, and how they created a film both so visually stunning and rich with character that The New York Times review believed the film to be partly dramatized. It wasn’t!

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Recap: FGI & NYWIFT Fashion & The First Ladies Panel

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Fashion Group International (FGI) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) took a look at Fashion and the First Ladies through a virtual panel on March 12. It was a candid conversation about how our First Ladies are fashion trendsetters, and explored how fashion plays a key role with history, politics and contributes to the making or breaking of public policy. 

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Recognizing Our Shared Humanity: Idil Ibrahim on Her Film “Sega”

Women filmmakers throughout history have often been at the forefront of advancing social change, and NYWIFT member Idil Ibrahim is no exception. Ibrahim sat down with us to discuss the making of her award-winning short film "Sega" and how she hopes it might change viewers’ perception of modern immigrant stories.  

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NYWIFT Program Recap: Alison Klayman’s Flower Punk

"Flower Punk," Alison Klayman’s film recently released on The New Yorker documentary site, delights visually and aesthetically with the bonus of illuminating Japanese cultural traditions regarding the natural world. We recap our conversation with Alison following the NYWIFT screening of the film.

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Recap: NYWIFT Talks with Julie Taymor and Kimberly Guerrero About “The Glorias” and Getting Out the Vote

NYWIFT blogger Kristin Reiber Harris reflects on our powerful conversation with the team behind The Glorias, including Julie Taymor's creative process, the celebration of Native voices, and how we as women live in constant dialogue with our former selves.

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All In: The Fight for Democracy – A Conversation with Lisa Cortés (Part II)

The second part of Christina Kiely's two-part interview with All In: The Fight for Democracy co-director Lisa Cortés, conducted on Zoom in anticipation of her participation at the NYWIFT 2020 Creative Workforce Summit: Documentary Makers, Industry and Funders in Conversation next week. 

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All In: The Fight for Democracy – A Conversation with Lisa Cortés (Part I)

All In: The Fight for Democracy is the essential new documentary the LA Times called “an eloquent history lesson on voting rights.” Co-directed by Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus, the film tells the painful history of voter suppression in America as it traces the story of gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her 2018 run in Georgia. Oscar-nominated producer NYWIFT Member Lisa Cortés (Precious, The Apollo, Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion) joined NYWIFT Board Member Christina Kiely to discuss All In: The Fight for Democracy, why it matters so much right now, how they pulled it off during the pandemic, and why Stacey Abrams’s story needed to be the spine of the film – apart from the fact that we love her.

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Creativity and Angst through the Ages

In early August, NYWIFT made Kris Rey’s new feature I Used to Go Here available for streaming and presented a conversation with the writer/director and lead actress Gillian Jacobs. I Used to Go Here is the story of a young woman in her mid-thirties, Kate Conklin, whose first novel has been released and the consequences of a lack-luster response to the book.

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Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home Explores Bias through the Eyes of High School Students

Hailed by historian Robin Kelley as “one of the most powerful and inspiring documentaries of our era,” NYWIFT member Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home is the moving and provocative story of three remarkable girls entering ninth grade at top schools steeped in bias towards race, class, and culture. Though the film was made nearly 15 years ago, the issues still resonate in today’s climate of racial injustice and civil unrest. Kavery sat down to discuss how she put together this incredible portrait  and what – if anything – has changed in our culture in the years since.   

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Recap: NYWIFT Talks Black Lives Matter and Just Mercy with Scott Budnick, April Grayson and Donna Hylton

NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia López moderated the July 1, 2020 installment of NYWIFT Talks with the team behind Just Mercy, a powerful and thought-provoking true-story film which follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, and was available to rent for free across all platforms earlier this Summer in response to the Black Lives Matter movement following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

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Recap of Denise Ho: Becoming the Song Virtual Event with Sue Williams

Filmmaker Sue Williams has a love affair with the city of Hong Kong. So when a friend introduced her to the Cantopop superstar Denise Ho, she knew she had the subject of her next film. But, what happens when current events upend the planned story arch of your film at the end of production?

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“Call Your Mother” Panel: Top Takeaways

Leah Curney looks back on her favorite humorous - and heartfelt - moments from NYWIFT's "Call Your Mother" comedy panel.

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Wild Nights with Emily: A Retake on What You May Have Believed about Emily Dickinson

What happens when an esteemed comic actress like Molly Shannon, a screenwriter with a quirky perspective and a penchant for cinematic originality, political causes and literary scholarship, and a legendary American poet who some say has been misunderstood and misinterpreted by decades of academic critics collaborate?

"Wild Nights with Emily" happens. The unique film, thoroughly original and entertaining, is inspired by the life of Emily Dickinson. It’s also a creative spin on a literature professor’s reinterpretation of Emily Dickinson’s life and personal relationships. 

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AmeRican Poet Tato Laviera: Affirmation in the words, rhythms and blended language of an influential Nuyorican poet

Poet Tato Laviera pushed the boundaries of language, inspired the spoken word movement, and defined the Nuyorican experience. As an artist he innovated: he combined music, theater, poetry, dance, the power of dramatic contrasts and a commitment to social activism to create a new type of poetry. As both a poet and performer, he documented his own experience and affirmed his community’s worth, redefined its sense of identity. NYWIFT member Vivian Hernandez Ortiz discusses her film about Tato's legacy, which screens as part of this weekend's NYWIFT Member Screening.

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Top Takeaways – NYWIFT Talks: Filmmakers and Activists discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, their life’s work, and hope for the future.

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, NYWIFT Talks recently brought together a vibrant panel of award-winning women filmmakers and activists dedicated to fighting systemic racism to discuss their work and the social justice revolution of today.

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Takeaways from Demystifying Film Delivery: What Every Producer Should Know

You are a producer and due to the pandemic your project – be it in development, pre-production, production or post stage – is on hold. What can you do now to make sure all the pieces are in place when the industry opens back up? Stacey Smith of CinePointe Advisors suggests preparing for delivery. It is a crucial, final step needed to ready a film for distribution and GET PAID! However, delivery is often an afterthought in financing agreements, production budgets and workflows.

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