NYWIFT Talks & In Creative Company Discuss Current/Future State of Film Industry in NYC with Lesli Klainberg and Eugene Hernandez

Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 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.

On this week’s NYWIFT Talks, we discuss NYFF 2021, Film at Lincoln Center Virtual Cinema, and what to expect from the current/future state of film in NY and the industry. Panelists include Lesli Klainberg (Executive Director of Film at Lincoln Center) and Eugene Hernandez (Director of the New York Film Festival and Publisher of Film Comment at Film at Lincoln Center). This conversation will be moderated by Co-Founder and Head of Programming at In Creative Company Mara Webster.

About Film at Lincoln Center:
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture. Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2021

Time: 4:00pm EST/1:00pm PT

Cost: Free




Lesli Klainberg is the Executive Director of Film at Lincoln Center. Lesli is also an award-winning producer and director whose documentaries have screened at film festivals such as Berlin, Sundance, Outfest and Frameline, and have been broadcast on networks including Cinemax, AMC, A&E, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE and PBS. Prior to her current role as Executive Director, Lesli served as FLC’s Managing Director and the producer of the New York Film Festival. From 2008 through 2011, she served as Executive Director of NewFest, the NYC LGBT Film Festival.

Eugene Hernandez is Director of the New York Film Festival and Publisher of Film Comment at Film at Lincoln Center, where he serves as Deputy Executive Director. His duties include strategic leadership, programming special events, and managing emerging artist, industry, and education initiatives. He joined Film at Lincoln Center in 2010 as Director of Digital Strategy to develop digital platforms and content. In 1996, Hernandez co-founded IndieWire, which he built over 15 years as it became the leading editorial publication for independent and international films, filmmakers, industry, and audiences. He was named on Out magazine’s OUT100 list in 2015 and has served as a juror at Sundance, SXSW, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. He has also worked extensively as a consultant for nonprofits like the Creative Capital Foundation, written for major print and online publications, served on the board of advisors for SXSW, SeriesFest, and Art House Convergence, and worked as a programming consultant for the Key West Film Festival.

Mara Webster (moderator) is a programmer, producer, content curator, moderator and interviewer.  She is the Co-Founder and Head of Programming for In Creative Company, a year round digital talk series focusing on in depth craft driven discussions around the creative process across film, television, theater and the arts. Prior to this her most recent role was programming, producing and moderating screenings and talks at SAG-AFTRA Foundation both in person and online.  She has also moderated numerous panels for other companies including Netflix, AppleTV+, HBO, IFC Films, BAFTA and numerous film festival Q&A’s. In her time as Director of Panels & Special Events and an Associate Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival she grew the talks program creating new strands of programming in film, tv, theater, VR and music and produced the inaugural TIME’S UP conference. At Tribeca she was involved in programming feature films and tv where she helped to launch television into both the festivals main slate and contributed to the creation of the Tribeca TV Festival. She has worked in key roles with numerous events including Vulture Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and Sundance. She currently consults as an Associate Programmer in Features & Episodic for Sundance and for The New York Times events team. Born and raised in England by a Texan and a Scot, she now calls New York home!

Thanks to our partner:


About In Creative Company:
In Creative Company is a year round talk series bringing the best creative voices across film, television, theater and more. We strive to explore the creative process of a variety of crafts and disciplines within storytelling with talks including actors, directors, hosts, presenters, cinematographers, production designers, costume designers and composers. We dive deep on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind a great scene in a movie or tv show and the journey to making specific creative choices throughout a project. We bring talks and live events to audiences who get to take a front row seat to learning more about the movies, tv shows and stories they love! Our team also have extensive experience across in-person and virtual events and would be thrilled to help you create your next event. You can read more about our event services here.

May 20 @ 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 Zoom in advance.

Free event.



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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.