NYWIFT Talks Holiday Special: A Look Behind Lifetime Movies

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Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 and current events on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more. 

NYWIFT Talks are free for all to attend.

In this virtual NYWIFT Talks, we talk about…the love of Lifetime Original movies! Yes, that’s right. Everyone’s secret guilty pleasure and truly the world’s obsession. We sit down with creative executives to discuss the making behind movies and what makes them some of the best films streaming.

In discussion with Tanya Lopez (EVP, Scripted Content), Sapna Vyas, (VP, Scripted Content), and Amy Winter (EVP, Head of Programming).
Moderated by NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez.

Date: Friday, December 9, 2022
Time: 4PM ET
Cost: Free




Tanya Lopez currently serves as Executive Vice President of Scripted Content for Lifetime and LMN.  Based in Los Angeles, Lopez, who joined the network in 2007, is responsible for developing and overseeing all original movies, movie event series, miniseries and limited series for the networks. Lopez has helped to shape the movie genre for Lifetime, establishing Lifetime as the leading producer of television movies in the world. Under her tenure, Lifetime has been known for highly rated biopics, including the Emmy and Critics’ Choice nominated Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, and Critic’s Choice nominated films The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel and, Pasty and Loretta. Other top films include the Emmy nominated Flint, highly rated remake of Steel Magnolias and most recently the limited series event, VC Andrews Flowers in the Attic: The Origin

Sapna Vyas currently serves as Vice President, Scripted Content for Lifetime. Based in Los Angeles, Vyas, who joined the network in 2008, is responsible for developing and overseeing feature and original movies. This is Vyas’ fourth year overseeing the network’s It’s a Wonderful Lifetime holiday slate that includes over 30 original movies. She simultaneously acted as the lead executive on titles such as: Steppin’ Into the Holiday starring and executive produced by Jana Kramer and Mario Lopez. Previously, Vyas worked on Feliz NaviDAD starring and executive produced by Mario Lopez and directed by Melissa Joan Hart; The Christmas Setup starring Fran Drescher – Lifetime’s first movie with an LGBTQ story at the forefront and A Welcome Home Christmas starring Jana Kramer – Lifetime’s first movie to focus on a military Veteran. Some of the talent Vyas worked with this past year include Mario Lopez, Jana Kramer, Toni Braxton, Melissa Joan Hart, Jenna Dewan, Tia Mowry, and Sarah Drew. Vyas was also selected for Variety’s New Leaders this past year, as one of the 40 under 40.

Amy Winter is Executive Vice President, Head of Programming, Lifetime. In this role, Winter oversees the development, creation and execution of all programming for both Lifetime and LMN® networks. A multiplatform brand and content strategist, Winter has experience guiding cable networks to new heights: lifting ratings, reenergizing content and reimagining brand identities. This past year under Winter’s leadership, Lifetime held the #1 spots for top rated non-holiday original movie with Single Black Female, top rated documentary with Janet Jackson, and top rated scripted series on ad-supported cable with VC Andrews Flowers in the Attic: The Origin. Winter was also highlighted in The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment List in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

NYWIFT CEO Cynthia López (Moderator) is 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.

December 9 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm (1h)



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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.