NYWIFT Talks: Moms Working in Film

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.

On this week’s NYWIFT Talks, we are honored to sit down with leading women in film that are changing the narrative of working moms in film. We’ll speak with Creative Producer and Founder of mama.film, Lela Meadow-Conner and founder of MOM Film Fest, Tonya Mollineau. This conversation will be lead by Senior Development and Editorial Consultant, Maud Kersnowsi-Sachs.

When: May 9, 2022

Time: 12:30

Cost: Free



Lela Meadow-Conner is a Creative Producer and Founder of mama.film – a village at the crossroads of art & advocacy where storytellers, changemakers and nurturers come together to champion humanity through a maternal gaze. She has 20 years of experience in independent cinema exhibition, most recently as Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance. She currently serves as Co-Producer on Sav Rodgers’ documentary feature ‘Chasing Chasing Amy’, Producer on Nitzan Mager’s short and feature ‘’Run Amok’, and as Executive Producer on Emily Christensen’s Feminist Foremothers podcast, with other projects in development. Through its curation arm, mama.film, founded as a pop-up microcinema in a shipping container in Wichita, KS, now operates as a nomadic experience, partnering with regional and national organizations to program films that center women, identity and the human experience. In 2020, mama.film launched rePRO Film, and the free, monthly rePRO Periodical – a curated short film and original podcast  – advocating for women’s reproductive health justice. In 2021 & 2022 mama.film served as a Satellite Screen for the Sundance Film Festival, bringing official selections to Kansas. Lela is an alumni of The Industry Academy, a program of Film at Lincoln Center and Locarno Film Festival and recently participated in the first cohort of the Brand Storytelling Certificate Program. 

Tonya Mollineau is a director who writes and produces a lot of her own content. Her work showcases layered, Black female characters while shedding light on social issues as they relate to the human experience. Her short film Too Much Love is being used in partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation as a PSA about HIV awareness. Her other short film Trayvia was named to honor Trayvon Martin and it has been called “a visceral response to police brutality”. Her upcoming projects include a docu-series about suicide within the Black community, Tainted – a short film about mothers battling depression, and a dramedy feature film about surviving divorce called Getting Help. Mollineau is a single mother of one and the founder of MOM Film Fest, a nonprofit organization that serves as a career development and advocacy resource for mothers working in film and television. Their mission is to amplify content made by moms and create job opportunities that will get #momsbackonset and back to work in the film and television industry. She also started The Moms Network for New York Women in Film & Television, and she is a member of The Black TV & Film Collective, Women of Color Filmmakers and Women of Color Unite

Maud Kersnowski-Sachs (moderator) leads fundraising efforts and strategies for NYWIFT. Working closely with the Development Committee and the Executive Director, she directs corporate, philanthropic, and government partnerships. Maud also manages publications projects for the organization. Maud has led publications for the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and the Association on Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and the editor-in-chief of The Independent Film & Video Monthly. She has covered arts, entertainment, and media for publications from Metropolis Magazine to IndieWIRE, where she also held the post of West Coast Editor. She consults on editorial and development projects for a variety of arts and culture organizations. Maud founded and manages a scholarship and engagement program at Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and is a member of the Bard College Board of Governors.  She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Bard College and an MA in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from the NYU School of Journalism.

May 9 @ 12:30pm
12:30 pm — 1:30 pm (1h)

Free Virtual Q and A



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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.