NYWIFT Member Screening: Illusions

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Join us for this month’s virtual NYWIFT Member Screening of NYWIFT Muse honoree Julie Dash’s groundbreaking narrative short film, Illusions, which was preserved with support from the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund.  

Watch the film: Any time Thursday, November 5th at 3 PM through Tuesday, November 10th at 5 PM

Join the Q&A: Tuesday, November 10th at 5 PM EST

The film will be available to all who register to view via an exclusive link at any time throughout the weekend of November 5th. Then, join us for a special Q&A Jillian Borders (UCLA) and Michelle Materre (The New School) on Zoom, during which we will discuss the film’s historical and cultural significance and gain insights into the film preservation process. 

Please register in advance in order to receive the links.

The NYWIFT Member Screening Series provides members with the opportunity to show their work in a theatrical setting (or in this case, a virtual theatrical setting). We hope you will join us in celebrating the work of our talented NYWIFT members!

Cost: $2 for NYWIFT Members; $3 for Non-Members


Please note: if you would like to bring a guest, the guest must be registered separately with a separate email address. Links to view the films are individually crafted for each registered email. 

About the Film


Written, Directed and Produced by Julie Dash
1982, 36 min

The time is 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor; the place is National Studios, a fictitious Hollywood motion picture studio. Mignon Duprée, a Black woman studio executive who appears to be white and Ester Jeeter, an African American woman who is the singing voice for a white Hollywood star are forced to come to grips with a society that perpetuates false images as status quo. This highly-acclaimed drama by one of the leading African American women directors follows Mignon’s dilemma, Ester’s struggle, and the use of cinema in wartime Hollywood: three illusions in conflict with reality.

Twenty-nine years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust, and she became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. In 2004, The Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry where it joins a select group of American films preserved and protected as national treasures by the Library of Congress. Dash is the recent recipient of the Special Award at the 82nd New York Film Critics Circle, the 2017 Women & Hollywood Trailblazer Award, the 2017 NYWIFT Muse Award, The Ebert Award, and she was inducted into the Penn Cultural Center’s 1862 Circle on St. Helena Island. Dash directed multiple episodes of the award-winning dramatic series, Queen Sugar, Season 2; and she hosted The Golden Years, a limited series for Turner Classic Movies. Dash was a Filmmaker’s Lab Governor at the Toronto International Film Festival; and screened at the Smithsonian’s First African American Film Festival. She has written and directed for CBS, BET, ENCORE STARZ, SHOWTIME, MTV Movies, HBO, and OWN Television. Dash has been attached to direct the upcoming Lionsgate Entertainment bio pic on the scholar and activist Angela Davis. She has several documentary projects in the works, including Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, a feature length documentary in-progress about Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, a world-renowned author, performer, and chef from rural South Carolina who has led a remarkably unique and complex life.



Jillian Borders is the Senior Film Preservationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, part of the UCLA Library.  She is a graduate of UCLA’s Moving Image Archive Studies program, and has been working at the Archive since 2005, doing laboratory film preservation work and overseeing photochemical and digital restoration projects. Jillian’s focus is on independent features and shorts, specifically by and about marginalized groups.



In addition to holding a position as Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at The New School where she has been teaching since 2001, Michelle Materre is currently the Director of the Media Management Graduate program in the School of Media Studies. Materre’s professional background spans more than 30 years of experience as film producer, writer, lecturer, arts administrator, distribution/marketing specialist, film programmer, media consultant, Caribbean film scholar, and college professor. In 1992, Materre co-founded one of the first African American-owned film distribution companies,KJM3 Entertainment Group, which directly managed the marketing, positioning and distribution of over twenty-three films by filmmakers of African descent including Daughters of the Dust, the highly acclaimed film by Julie Dash, as well as L’Homme Sur Les Quais (The Man By the Shore) by Raoul Peck. Her critically acclaimed film series, Creatively Speaking, featuring work by and about women and people of color, is now in its 25th year. In 2015, Creatively Speaking co-presented the unprecedented film series “Tell It Like it Is: Black Independents in NYC 1968-1986”, with The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which was awarded the Film Heritage Award by the National Society of Film Critics. A second series presented in March 2017 at BAMcinematek, “One Way or Another: Black Women Filmmakers 1970 – 1991”, was acknowledged by Richard Brody, of The New Yorker Magazine, as “The Best Repertory Series of 2017” as well as awarded the Film Heritage” Award of 2017 by the National Society of Film Critics. Materre is a current member of the Board of Directors of Women Make Movies and a former member of the Board of Directors of NYWIFT.

Katie Chambers (moderator) is the Community Engagement Director at NYWIFT, where she manages both Communications and Membership.  She received regional recognition for her work at NYWIFT from the New York Society of Association Executives with their “Rising Star” award at the Synergy Awards in August 2020, and will receive national recognition when she is named one of Association Trends’ top “Young and Aspiring Executives” at their Salute to Excellence in Washington, DC, in 2021. Prior to joining the NYWIFT team, Katie was a talent agent in the Youth & Young Adult Theatrical division at Abrams Artists Agency in New York City, representing young actors in theatre, film, and television. She has served on the Next Generation Committee of the NY Television Festival, produced a critically-acclaimed play at the NY Fringe Festival, and has worked for Buchwald, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Hollywood producer Scott Rudin. Her writing has appeared in Huff Post, Honeysuckle Magazine and several printed essay collection. Katie graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Drew University with a double major in English and Theatre Arts.


Thanks to our partners:


The NYWIFT Member Screening Series is produced by Katie Chambers

Panel produced by Erika Yeomans of the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund


Special thanks to Carlina Rivera and the New York City 2nd Council District
for discretionary funding for the NYWIFT Member Screening Series.

And thanks to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Signature Vodka of NYWIFT

November 5 @ 3:00pm — November 10 @ 5:00pm
3:00 pm — 5:00 pm (122h)

A private link to view the film will be made available to all who register in advance. You will also be invited to the Zoom Q&A.

The film will be available all weekend leading up to the Zoom Q&A.

$5 NYWIFT Members
$7 Non-Members



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.