NYWIFT Blog

Trailblazing through the Decades: Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000s)

In 2000, writer, director, and past NYWIFT Writers Lab mentor Gina Prince-Bythewood blazed a trail with her film Love and Basketball. Not only was the film a critical and commercial success, it won the Humanitas Prize and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

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Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Twenty years ago a young artist set out to make a documentary about women like herself: black queer filmmakers. She found nothing but homophobia and omission, and then… inspiration. The resulting film The Watermelon Woman marked Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 debut – a hybrid of autobiography, documentary, and comedy. It defies categorization and was the first feature film directed by an African American lesbian.

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Trailblazing Through the Decades: Jessie Maple (1980s)

Jessie Maple is the first black woman to join the union of International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television (IATSE) in New York. Her book, How to Become a Union Camerawoman , is an instructional guide illustrating the obstacles that she endured to get into the union. It details the court case she initiated to fight discrimination after she became a member.

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Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)

British-American actress and producer Ida Lupino, got her start directing when the director of the 1949 film Not Wanted suffered a heart attack during pre-production. Lupino stepped in and shot the film guerilla style to keep the movie on budget and on schedule. Budgeted at just over $150,000, the film grossed $1 million, and Lupino’s reputation spread through Hollywood studios even though the original director retained credit.

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How to Work a Major Film Festival: A Report from Sundance

NYWIFT member Jane Applegate recaps the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and offers some key tips on how to make the most of any festival experience.

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A Report from The American Film Market

NYWIFT member Jane Applegate reports back on her trip to the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, in early November.

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Positive News for Filmmakers at the New York Film Conference

Entertainment industry experts speaking at the first annual New York Film Conference on October 10, 2017 had some great news for attendees: It’s getting easier to sell your content directly to consumers, consumers are more open to watching films with subtitles and big digital platforms are spending billions on buying new content. NYWIFT member Jane Applegate shares insights from the conference.

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Signature Move Director Jennifer Reeder is Surrounded by Women Behind the Camera

Signature Move is a multi-cultural romance about life, love and lady Lucha-style wrestling is opening in NYC this Friday, October 13th. We caught up with filmmaker Jennifer Reeder as she heads to Friday’s opening screening event to get her perspective on breaking down doors.

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Tressie Souders, Director, Producer, Screenwriter

The story of Tressie Souders, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of details about Tressies Souders’ life and work exemplifies the need to research and rescue early film-works of women and women of color.

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Marion E. Wong, Film Company President, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor, Costume Designer

During the silent film era, Marion E. Wong started the Mandarin Film Company, the first Chinese-American film company. The company’s feature film The Curse of the Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingles with West (1916) is credited as being the first American film made with an all-Chinese cast and company as well as one of the first films directed by a woman.

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Ethel Payne, Journalist & First Female African-American National Network News Commentator

Ethel Payne was known in as “the first lady of the black press” and was described by journalist Gwen Ifil as “the most influential journalist and activist most people have never heard of.”

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Dorothy Arzner, Director, Editor, Screenwriter, Boom Inventor

Dorothy Arzner is one of the most prolific directors of early American cinema, having worked with some of the biggest stars of the era. She is also the first woman to direct a film with sound. It was during such a project that Arzner is credited with inventing the boom microphone!

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Ina Archer, Custodian and Creator of Distinct Cinema, Picks Five Essential Films Restored by the WFPF

Experimental filmmaker and media preservationist Ina Archer picks her top five films preserved by the NYWIFT Women's Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) - each an important installment in the history of women filmmakers.

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Women in Film & Television History: Meet Lucille Ball, Actor, Comedian, Producer

Most people are familiar with the extensive body of work that made Lucille Ball famous. I Love Lucy is one of the most popular television shows of the 1950s, and she co-starred with her husband, Desi Arnaz, for 10 years. But did you know that Ball was also a savvy business woman?

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Muse through the Years: 2003 Honoree Emma Thompson

As we gear up for the 2016 Muse Awards on December 8th, NYWIFT takes a look back at Emma Thompson's brilliant (and hilarious) 2003 acceptance speech about the benefits of failure.

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Filming Close (or Maybe a Bit Too Close) to Home

Making make believe is difficult and costly. So heading home to Asbury Park, where encouragement and support is offered freely, was the right choice for Jersey girl (and NYWIFT member) Christina Eliopoulos. She tells us about free hot dogs, meddling neighbors and why mothers make the best publicists.

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Preserving the Cultural Legacy of Women in Film: A Conversation with Barbara Moss

In the pitch that would lead to the establishment of NYWIFT’s Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) in 1995, documentary filmmaker Barbara Moss wore white gloves and held up a 35 mm film canister. She opened it before the NYWIFT Board of Directors and pulled out a decrepit ribbon of film which then disintegrated before their eyes. “Ladies, this is what’s happening to our history,” she warned. Since then, the WFPF has preserved over 100 films. NYWIFT member Terisa Thurman talks to Moss about the fund's inception.

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The Art of First Impressions and Movie Trailers

NYWIFT Board of Directors member Maura Kelly writes about female entrepreneurs in tech and entertainment for The Huffington Post. She recently sat down with Evelyn Brady-Watters and her sister Monica Brady, the founders of the Golden Trailers Awards (GTA's) as they gear up for the live ceremony on May 4th in LA.

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