NYWIFT Industry Screening: Sirens

Join NYWIFT for a virtual screening of Sirens starting on Friday, October 21st thru Monday, October 24th. Followed by a Q&A with Director Rita Baghdadi on Monday, October 24th at 4:00pm. 

On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and her thrash metal bandmates, Shery, Maya, Alma, and Tatyana (Slave to Sirens), have big dreams but few opportunities. When the band’s appearance at a UK music festival isn’t the life-changer they had hoped for, Lilas comes home to Lebanon on the brink of collapse. At the same time, the complicated relationship between Lilas and her fellow guitarist Shery starts to fracture. The future of her band, her country, and her dreams now all at stake, Lilas faces a crossroad. She must decide what kind of leader she will be, not only for her band, but also as a young woman struggling to define herself in Lebanon, a country as complex as each of the Sirens themselves.

Screening Times: Friday, October 21st thru Monday, October 24th
Q&A Date: Monday, October 24th, 2022
Q&A Time: 4:00pm
Location: Virtual Theater (Attached to your confirmation email)
Cost: $5 (Members) / $7 (Nonmembers)

Followed by a Q&A with Director Rita Baghdadi. Moderated by NYWIFT Board Member, Sibyl Reymundo-Santiago.



Rita Baghdadi is an Emmy award-winning Moroccan-American documentary filmmaker. Her work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, Netflix, HBO, Canon, Film Independent and the International Documentary Association, and has screened in top festivals worldwide including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, True/False and CPH:DOX. Known for the intimacy of her bold, character-driven films, Rita’s third feature documentary SIRENS premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. The film was praised as “utterly charming” by the Hollywood Reporter, “deeply moving” by RogerEbert.com, and “so rhythmic and well-edited that you could mistake it for a carefully plotted scripted film” by Vox. Rita got her start as a cinematographer, filming verité documentaries such as SERVED LIKE A GIRL (SXSW) and CIRCUS OF BOOKS (Tribeca/Netflix). Her feature documentary directorial debut, MY COUNTRY NO MORE, was awarded Best Feature at the 2018 Big Sky Film Festival. The film was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and is now streaming on Amazon. Her documentary CITY RISING won the LA-area Emmy award for Best Social Issue Film and is still being used as a tool for activism around housing inequality. Rita earned a B.A in Film from Columbia College Chicago where she graduated with honors. She is the co-founder of Lady & Bird Films and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia. When she’s not in the field, she is an active mentor dedicated to empowering women and girls of color through documentary film training. She is currently in development and production on several new projects.

For 30+ years, Sibyl Reymundo-Santiago has been working in film, television & stage both in the US and Asia working with major studios including MyxTV, Regal Films, Star Cinema, Metro Style & ABS-CBN. As President of Sitting Cat Productions, she’s had several films released including the feature film Sam with Executive Producer Mel Brooks and recently, the int’l feature film, Alone/Together  on Netflix. She’s a Board Member of the New York Women in Film & Television & SOHO Film Forum; Co-Chair of the AAPI Working Group of the Producers Guild of America & an active member of SAG-AFTRA. She co-produced, Follow Her  by multi-award winning director, Sylvia Caminer & the documentary Nomad Cowboys  where she received the p.g.a. mark. Sibyl serves her 12th year as the Executive Director & Head of Programming for the SOHO International Film Festival.

October 24 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm (1h)

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.




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#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.