The NYWIFT Member Screening Series comes to SOHO International Film Festival with a selection of five short films showcasing talented members of the New York Women in Film & Television community in key creative roles. Exhibition screening followed by a conversation with the artists.
Date: Friday, September 15, 2023
Time: 3 – 4:30 PM
Location: Village East by Angelika, 181-189 2nd Ave, NYC
Networking social to follow!
Free to attend, but donations to SOHO Film Forum are encouraged. Click here to learn more and donate.
About the Films
Director/Lead Actor/Writer/Executive Producer: Kyvon Edwin
Lead Actor: NYWIFT Board Member Okema T. Moore
Executive Producer/Assistant Director: NYWIFT Member Letitia Guillory
Dramedy, 2022, 12:30 min.
A charming West-Indian radio host sets out to do his weekly show when an unusual letter throws him out of groove.
Kyvon Edwin is a Saint Lucian award-winning director, producer, writer, and actor currently based in New York. He is an alumnus of the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute as an Eleanora Duse Scholar. His work has been featured at Academy Award-qualifying festivals including American Black Film Festival, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Essence Film Festival, Bronzelens Film Festival and the Festival de Cannes among others. His writing work has been workshopped at the Black Film Space and Sundance Collective Kitchen. The primary focus of his work is to give voice to the underrepresented West-Indian diaspora. In pursuit of that mission, Kyvon founded Roots Productions, a multi-media production company authentically championing stories of the diaspora. The company’s debut project Lettre La premiered at Chelsea Film Festival and is currently continuing its festival run to critical acclaim. Currently, as a Black TV and Film Collective member, Kyvon is actively developing film and TV projects to build on his portfolio. He is repped by Artists & Representatives and Tash Moseley Management.
Letitia Guillory is a multi-hyphenate creative working in theatre, film and television. Her episodic series, gATES, and feature film, Hound Dog, are part of OneFifty, a brand within Warner Bros Discovery. Her work has been presented at Lincoln Center, Harlem Stage, Project Row Houses, BRIC Media Arts, National Black Theatre Festival and more. Letitia’s other writing credits include: 8:42 (Austin Film Festival Second Rounder), Hound Dog (Oaxaca Film Festival Global Script Competition Finalist), and gATES (Austin Film Festival Second Rounder, Semifinalist Screencraft TV Pilot Launch). Letitia produced the award-winning short comedy, Pas Honteux, and the powerful LGBTQ narrative short Winston. These films were official selections at the Hip Hop Film Festival, Blackstar Film Festival, American Black Film Festival, TIDE Film Festival, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Bronze Lens Film Festival and more. Letitia produces events for NYC Parks and has served on the board of the Black TV & Film Collective. She is a member of the Harlem Dramatic Writers Workshop, NYWIFT, Dramatists Guild and is a proud alum of the University of Texas (BFA, Drama), New York University (MA, Performance Studies), O’Neill Playwrights Conference and a Blackhouse Foundation Multicultural Producers Lab Fellow.
Okema T. Moore started her career as a child singer/actor on Sesame Street, cultivating quite a life of experiences since then. Most recently she can be seen on Season 3 of Harlem on Amazon Prime and Seasons 1 & 2 of Makeup x Breakup on allblk. Theatrically, Okema starred in a series of one-act and full-length plays of her own and several known shows such a Dreamgirls as lead character Lorrell and Wine in the Wilderness as lead character Tommy. She headlined at Pittsburgh’s August Wilson Theatre in 2017 and did a 20-show run of the same play, You Wouldn’t Expect, off Broadway in 2018. Okema can be seen as a hologram in Brian Stevenson’s Equal Justice Museum in Alabama and before covid, starred in the US Equity tour of Henry Box Brown. Okema was nominated for Best Actress for her short Shh… in a series of film festivals and can also be seen in the Emmy nominated webseries Pillow Talk and the upcoming holiday movie So Flyy Christmas starring Tischina Arnold and Tammy Roman, both on BET+. Okema is a member of both SAG-AFTRA and AEA, as well as the PGA and a Board Member of both NYWIFT and the Black TV & Film Collective.
Director, Co-writer, Editor, Animator: NYWIFT Member Yehui Zhao
Documentary, 2022, 21 min.
The filmmaker and a mannequin explore the world through its solar terms. The mannequin embodies the soul of Lin Heier, the leader of the Red Lanterns who resisted and fought colonial invasions during late Qing Dynasty, China. Through poetry and performance, the filmmaker resurrects and unravels the many layers of Hei’er’s spirit. A life of love and revolution is relived.
Yehui Zhao is a multi-media artist, whose work explores women’s history, folklore, decolonization and regeneration. Yehui’s films have been featured at UnionDocs, DOC NYC, Prismatic Ground, Asian American International Film Festival, Festival of Animated Objects, Timeless Awards and other programs. Yehui is the Art Director of 128 Lit, an award-winning international art and literary magazine. She is currently working on her first feature documentary, Xi Jiao Gou.
CityTREES: Partners in Breathing
Writer, Producer, Animator, Voiceover: NYWIFT Member Kristin Reiber Harris
Animated Documentary, 2021, 4:24 min.
CityTREES is a testament to the wonder of trees and the challenges of major life changes. This animated short is a love letter to the trees in animator Kristin Reiber Harris’ her new neighborhood and a tribute to the accessibility of nature in one of the biggest cities in the world. The urgency of climate change demands a careful look at the reality of what nature gives us and how we can protect it.
Kristin Reiber Harris is an artist and animator with a passion for sharing the treasures of the natural world. Her art visualizes the patterns and connections that unite all life. She grew up on an old farm in Northern Virginia wandering the fields and woods while alternately visiting the Smithsonian. Those formative years live on. She recently received a grant from NY State Council on the Arts to create a series of drawings inspired by a park in NYC. She received a BA in Fine Art from UCLA and an MFA in Graphics from George Washington University.
Director, Writer, Producer, Executive Producer: NYWIFT Member Gretl Claggett
Action Dramedy, 2020, 27:12 min.
All Bonnie Blue ever wanted was to chase tornadoes with her Dad. But dreams die with time. Now, she’s a different kind of storm chaser — hawking storm-doors “door-to-door” for her boss Flip Smyth: a cult-like father figure who preaches Disaster Capitalism to Bonnie and his tribe of young sales bucks.
Gretl Claggett is committed to telling female-forward, diverse, cinematic stories that catalyze transformation in individuals and shared cultures. Her first film Happy Hour — narrated by Julianne Moore — screened at 15 festivals, winning awards, and garnering praise from Oscar-winner Robert Benton who called it “a lush, elegiac film about an extremely difficult subject.” Gretl’s next film Stormchaser screened at 65 festivals, winning AMC Network’s Inaugural “Best Female Creator” Award at Stareable Fest 2020, “Best Writer and Director” Awards at the 2021 NYWIFT Online Shorts Festival presented by iWomanTV, plus the “Excellence in Writing Award” at the 2021 Catalyst Content Festival, amongst other awards. Gretl also leads award-winning creative on branded narrative content plus high-profile, tech-forward live/multimedia events for Fortune 500s. She’s currently developing a metaphysical thriller pilot.
Ro & the Stardust
Writer/Director: NYWIFT Member Eunice Levis
Sci-Fi, 2021, 16 min.
A free spirited teen and her terminally ill grandmother build a rocket ship they plan to launch into outer space.
Writer and director Eunice Levis is a first-generation Dominican American from the Bronx, New York. Eunice’s work focuses on genre-bending stories that combine her love of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy often through a diasporic lens. She is a two-time Sundance Lab Second Rounder, a Stowe Story Lab Fellow, and a Netflix/NALIP Women of Color Short Film Incubator fellow. Eunice’s Caribbean folklore horror micro short Fell Ends was an extraordinary selection at NYX’s 13 minutes of horror film festival and streamed on Shudder. Eunice currently has two short films on the festival circuit. Invade, an environmental dark sci-fi which made the second round of the 2020 Sundance Episodic Lab with its pilot script; and Ro & the Stardust, a space fantasy short which won Best Narrative Short at the 25th Annual Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, making it a 2024 Oscar®-qualified Narrative Short Film. In addition to writing and directing, Eunice is an adjunct professor at Saint Joseph’s University and cohosts Café Negro con Genre, a podcast that promotes creatives working in the genre space. She has a graduate degree from New York University and is managed by 3 Arts Entertainment.
Q&A moderated by:
NYWIFT Board Member Amenya Makuku is an independent producer and the Head of Development and Production for Courtney Lee-Mitchell’s 4th Power Films (FX’s Kindred), with previous tenures at Edward Norton’s Class 5 Films, where she worked from development through physical production, on Thanks For Sharing (Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink), and FilmNation Entertainment, where she worked on Oscar-nominated Room (nominated Best Picture; Brie Larson, Best Actress); Oscar-nominated Arrival (Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker) and then in-development titles The Good House, The Rules of Inheritance and Tokyo Vice. Amenya has just wrapped production on Craig Webster’s Woman in the Cabinet, started during the pandemic. She has coproduced director Josephine Decker’s Sundance 2018 smash Madeline’s Madeline, (released by Oscilloscope). Amenya’s slate at 4th power includes the projects, Here, Heidee, Crone’s Disease, The Middlegame, Linda and Obviously. Amenya is the Film/TV advisor for theatre-incubator The Playwright’s Realm (Sarah Lappe’s Pulitzer-finalist Wolves).
Special thanks to NYWIFT Board Member Sibyl Reymundo-Santiago, the Executive Director and Head of Programming at SOHO International Film Festival.
Village East by Angelika
181-189 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
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.