NYWIFT 2021 Finance Institute Day 3: Come Meet the Greenlighters!

Join us for this three-part virtual finance series to refine your business strategies. 

Gain fresh insights from some of today’s leading experts in the industry and position your projects for optimum success. Hear from industry professionals who have successfully funded documentary and narrative projects. During this three-part finance institute, panelists will provide insider perspectives and frank advice on what it takes to get noticed. We will take a critical look at fundraising campaigns, the art of the pitch, and what industry and foundations are looking for during the pandemic. 

Day 3: Wednesday, September 15th, 11:30 AM EST – 1 PM EST (virtual program)

This panel will give an inside look on how industry stakeholders make decisions about what projects to support. Our members will hear from panel advisers who have spent years deciding on what investments to make.

This conversation will include Lois Vossen (Independent Lens), Bianca Quesada (Zone One Productions), Eleanor Savage (Jerome Foundation) and Lucila Moctezuma (Chicken & Egg Pictures). Moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director, Cynthia Lopez.

For NYWIFT Members: $40 per day; or $100 for a 3-day package ($20 discount)
For Non-members: $45 per day; or $120 for a 3-day package ($15 discount)
Become a member today to receive discounted access: email membership@nywift.org to join



Lois Vossen is the founding executive producer of Independent Lens on PBS, which each season coproduces 20+ original documentaries, documentary shorts for PBS Voices YT Channel, journalism shorts, and docuseries including Philly D.A., A Lion in the House, and Have You Heard From Johannesburg (both Primetime Emmy Award winners). Independent Lens has received 25 Emmy Awards, 23 Peabody Awards, 7 duPont Awards, 10 Academy Award nominations, and was honored with the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Best Series Award. Previously, Lois was Associate Managing Director of the Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Labs. She serves on the Television Academy Board of Governors Executive Committee and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). She’s been a juror for DOC New Zealand, Toronto International Film Festival, Shanghai International Festival, SXSW, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and New Orleans Film Festival. 

Bianca Quesada is native Angeleno whose musical theater, film, and TV work spans over a decade. Over the course of her career, she has created two subdivisions at leading entertainment companies, CAA and Starz. Her work has led her to represent Chile’s first Academy Award-winning animators. At Starz, she worked to develop Vida and created a Virtual Reality subdivision. Currently, she is a Partner/Founder and Head of Zone One Productions. Zone One develops and produces TV/Film content with cultural specificity and commercial global appeal about people of Latin-American, Indigenous, and Afro-Latin descent. Her Co-Executive and Executive Producing projects include OFF THE RIMS for ABC Signature and Whistleblower for HBO MAX. She is also producing a feature film, To Die Sane with Danny Ramirez attached to star.

Eleanor Savage is a civic-minded media artist, activist, and Senior Program Officer at the Jerome Foundation, an independent foundation that supports emerging artists in the creation and development of new work. She previously was the Associate Director of Event and Media Production at the Walker Art Center for 16 years. Savage has instigated many community-focused/artist-centered events in the Minnesota: Naked Stages, a year-long mentorship program for emerging performance artists; Forbidden Fruit Radio, a weekly queer artist/activist interview-format radio show at KFAI community radio station; Vulva Riot, a monthly performance cabaret for queer women artists and activists; Dyke Night, an annual performance event produced at the Walker Art Center; and curated many exhibitions bringing together communities through arts. Savage has a life-long commitment toward promoting human rights as a guiding force and actively works as a white, queer, butch against racism and all the other intersecting oppressions. She has 20 years of experience organizing multi-disciplinary, multi-generational, multi-community art events around social and racial justice values. Her work in non-profit arts is consistently framed by advocacy for social justice and a belief in the power of art to bridge understanding across cultural differences.

Lucila Moctezuma is Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures (C&E) where she oversees the design and implementation of the organization’s programs in support of women and gender non-confomring documentary filmmakers, which includes labs, mentorship and grants for filmmakers at different stages of their careers and film production. Prior to joining C&E she was Executive Producing Director at UnionDocs, center for documentary art in Brooklyn; managed the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, providing support to women filmmakers in the development of their projects; was Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for The Rockefeller Foundation, a highly prestigious program that supported media artists in the US and Latin America; and founded and was Coordinator of TFI Latin America Fund for Tribeca Film Institute. Lucila is in the documentary selection committee of the Morelia International Film Festival and sits on the Executive Board of Cine Qua Non Lab, a residency for international filmmakers in Michoacán, Mexico. She was Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of The Flaherty, and U.S. Delegate for the Huesca International Film Festival in Spain. Her work as Associate Producer includes the documentary series The New Americans for Kartemquin Films, and Shocking and Awful for Deep Dish TV, which was part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Lucila is originally from Mexico City and holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico. Lucila is a frequent guest participant at film forums, panels and juries in the US and abroad and in 2021 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.

Cynthia López (moderator) is the Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television, an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. López is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, and two duPont-Columbia Awards. In addition, she received the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity. Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and was involved in the organization’s strategic growth and creative development for 14 years. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. Notable partnerships include: New York Times, Reuters, Al-Jazeera Network, Discovery Communications, The Moth, Story Corps, Harpo Studios and ABC News, NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel. López is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is proud to have spent her career collaborating with independent filmmakers across all portions of the film and television industry. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center, NYC & Company, Museum of the Moving Image and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Latino Public Broadcasting, Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Hunter College IMA Program.


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September 15 @ 11:30am
11:30 am — 1:00 pm (1h 30′)



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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.