NYWIFT Co-Presents Demystifying Distribution: Getting Your Film Into the World

You’re invited to the next Film Fatales panel about feature film distribution!

Join Film Fatales for a discussion about Demystifying Distribution with Avril Z. Speaks (Distribution Advocates), Dina Amer (You Resemble Me), and Sophia Fields (Gravitas Ventures). Moderated by Alece Oxendine (Columbia University).

Our panel of industry experts will demystify film distribution and give you an inside look at how producers, sales agents and distributors work to get your films out into the world. We’ll hear about various paths towards distribution, creative ways to sell your work, and what the changing landscape of the industry means for independent filmmakers. With support from event partners Black Film Space, NYWIFT, Women Make Movies, and WrapWomen.

Date: Friday, November 11, 2022
Time: 5 PM ET
Platform: Zoom
Cost: Use code NYWIFTguest for $5 tickets (reg. $10)


This online event is open to the public and will be accessible with live captioning. The registration link will be shared upon RSVP and a video replay link will be available for 48 hours after. See you soon!


Avril Z. Speaks has been carving out her path as a bold, innovative content creator for years, not only as a Producer and Director but also during her days as a professor at Howard University and as a film educator through Film Independent, the Sundance Institute, and Distribution Advocates. Avril produced the award-winning film Jinn, which premiered at SXSW and won Special Jury Recognition for Writing. Jinn gained distribution through MGM/Orion Classics and continues to be seen throughout the world. Avril has also produced several films including African American, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and is available on Netflix. She also produced the Black America Is… project, which premiered at the Afrikana Film Festival. Currently, Avril is an Executive Producer for Now This/Vox Media Studios, where she has directed and showrun docu-series such as Uprooted: The Untold Keith Warren Story and Keep This Between Us, available on Discovery+ and Freeform. Avril has been selected for producing labs with Film Independent, Sundance, The Gotham, Rotterdam and Cannes, was a 2020 Sundance Momentum Fellow, and is currently a 2022 recipient of the Dear Producer Award. She is also on the Executive Committee for the newly formed Producer’s Union.

Dina Amer is an award-winning Egyptian American filmmaker. You Resemble Me is her directorial debut. She helped produce Oscar- nominated and Emmy award- winning film The Square, where the Egyptian Revolution was chronicled from the frontlines. Her work focuses on nuanced, wildly imaginative storytelling.





Sophia Fields is the Vice President of operations for Gravitas Ventures, a worldwide film distributor that connects filmmakers and producers with a global audience of over a billion people. She has over 20 years of distribution and content delivery experience with media companies in Los Angeles. During tenures at Rhino Records, Warner Music Group, RLJ Entertainment and Showtime, Sophia helped streamline operations and oversaw deliveries for theatrical, broadcast, home entertainment and VOD. A native of Cleveland, Sophia graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Alece Oxendine has dedicated her career to helping emerging independent filmmakers through her work in marketing, social media, partnerships, and strategy at Film at Lincoln Center, BAMcinématek, Rooftop Films, Athena Film Festival, Fandor, GoDigital, Inc., and Good Deed Entertainment. Her focus is educating filmmakers about digital distribution practices and navigating a difficult, yet rewarding film industry. She currently works in this capacity as the Director of Industry and Festival Outreach at Columbia University’s Film Program, where she is an esteemed alumna and serves on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Alumni Association. She is also a proud HBCU graduate of Winston-Salem State University and is committed to serving the Black community through her position on the Black Film Space Board. Alece is originally from Durham, NC and has lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is glad to call New York City home again.

Community Partners

Demystifying Distribution: Getting Your Film Into the World image

Film Fatales is a non profit arts organization which advocates for parity in the film industry and supports an inclusive community of over a thousand feature film and television directors of all marginalized genders. We raise the visibility of marginalized directors and expand the talent pool for decision makers looking to work with underrepresented voices.

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Black Film Space is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the careers of black filmmakers. Their mission is to provide skill-enhancing opportunities, community building experiences and knowledge on navigating the film industry for people of African descent. They host events that include film screenings, panels, networking mixers, professional development workshops, skill sharing, and open forums.

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New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) connects, educates, and advocates for women to accelerate diversity in media. As the preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers. NYWIFT brings together more than 2,500 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 60 women in film organizations worldwide, representing more than 15,000 members. NYWIFT is a nonprofit 501c3 public charity.

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Women Make Movies is a non-profit organization that supports women producers and directors from the beginning, planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive filmmaking landscape. As the world’s leading distributor of independent films by and about women, we amplify historically ignored voices and challenge the mainstream media.

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WrapWomen is a power base of women, gamechangers and changemakers in entertainment, media, and technology committed to empowering women to achieve leadership positions, promote gender equity and combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Through media and live events, we provide a platform to accelerate the vision of women who are building towards a more equitable world.

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Film Fatales organizes panel discussions, educational workshops and networking mixers focused on amplifying marginalized voices in film and television. Capacity is limited. The session will be recorded for those unable to participate in the live program. Your participation constitutes your consent to being recorded and photographed during the event and to Film Fatales sharing those recordings and photos with the world. Please contact us if you require an accessible accommodation.

November 11 @ 5:00pm
5:00 pm — 6:30 pm (1h 30′)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download and create a Zoom account in advance.




Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.