NYWIFT @ Woodstock: The Picket Line: A Road to Pay Equity and Sustainability

Join NYWIFT for a special conversation on the state of the industry at the 2023 Woodstock Film Festival! 

The creative industry has been radically transformed in the last several years due to the pandemic, economic turmoil, advances in digital technology and production efficiencies. Yet, creators of content, writers, actors and many others that are instrumental to media development are still struggling to ensure economic sustainability.

To date, over 11,000 writers and 150,000 members of SAG AFTRA have taken up protest to be heard and galvanize change. Come hear from the experts and those on the front lines, union members from Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and Screen Actors Guild/ Aftra, discuss what has been done to update contracts that no longer serve current working conditions and a critical look at what the public can do to support their efforts.  

Panelists will include Jo Miller, writer and showruner; Dana Weissman, Director of Programs at Writers Guild of America, East; and Neil Gaiman, Author, writer and showrunner. Moderated by Thelma Adams, writer, a two-time Chair of the New York Film Critics Circle.


Event Details:

Date: Saturday, September 30th, 2023

Time: 12:30 – 2 PM ET

Location: White Feather Farm, 1389 NY-212, Saugerties, NY

Buy Tickets Here!



Jo Miller has been a proud WGAE member since 2009, when she joined the recently unionized writing staff at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She went on to serve as co-creator, showrunner and head writer at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. More recent projects include Old NewsMy Next Guest Needs No IntroductionThe Opposition, and Wilmore. Her writing has earned her four Comedy/Variety Emmy awards, which are useful for holding knitting yarn. Jo now lives in the Catskills, where she farms garlic, fosters kittens, and indulges in the kind of writing that doesn’t require her to watch Fox News ten hours a day.

Dana Weissman is the Director of Programs at the Writers Guild of America, East. Dana oversees all member events and programs including elections, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, social events, screenings, staged readings, film festival outreach and the annual Awards competition and celebration. Dana also conceives and directs the WGAE Showrunner Academy and Staff Writer Boot Camp, the NY Screenwriters Fellowship in partnership with FilmNation and the Made in New York Writers Room Fellowship in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of NYC, as well as among other long-form educational programs

Neil Gaiman is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including NeverwhereAmerican Gods, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and the Sandman series of graphic novels. He is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, and an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. He is a creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. Gaiman has been Executive Producer/co-Showrunner for Netflix’s Sandman based on his comic series,  Executive Producer/Showrunner of both Amazon Prime’s Anansi Boys, based on his 2005 novel, and Good Omens, based on the novel he co-authored with the late Sir Terry Pratchett. Other television series based on Gaiman’s stories and characters include six seasons of Lucifer, Netflix’s biggest success of 2021, the three seasons of Emmy-nominated American Gods and Netflix’s upcoming Dead Boy Detectives. In 2017 Gaiman became a Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States, where he is a Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Thelma Adams, Author portraits. Photo credit: Emily Assiran

Thelma Adams (Moderator) has been a film and media critic for the past three decades for The New York Post, Us Weekly,and, currently, AARP.org and The Wrap. With Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein, she initiated a series of panels over twenty years focusing on empowering women in film and media. The two-time Chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, has also written essays, celebrity profiles and reviews for Variety, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Yahoo, The Hollywood Reporter, Parade, Marie Claire, and The Huffington Post. She co-produced the Emmy-nominated Feud: Bette and Joan. The valedictorian of her history class at the University of California, Berkeley, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She’s the author of the best-selling historical novels Bittersweet Brooklyn and The Last Woman Standing, and Playdate, which Oprah Magazine described as “a witty debut novel.”


Presented by:

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) advocates for equality in the moving image industry and supports women in every stage of their careers.  An entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers. To learn more about NYWIFT please visit: www.nywift.org. Please become a member and join the movement of women to ensure women gain their rightful place in the media and entertainment industry.  

The Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that nurtures and supports emerging and established filmmakers, sharing their creative voices through an annual festival and year-round programming to promote culture, diversity, community, educational opportunities and economic growth. 

WFF provides innovative mentoring and inspired educational programs benefitting filmmakers, students and diverse audiences, while serving as a powerful cultural and economic engine for New York’s Hudson Valley and beyond. Such efforts have consistently resulted in the festival being hailed as one of the top regional film festivals worldwide.

SAVE THE DATES: Sept 27 – Oct 1, 2023 – 24th annual Woodstock Film Festival

September 30 @ 12:30pm
12:30 pm — 2:00 pm (1h 30′)

1389 State Route 212, Saugerties, NY 12477


Order Tickets

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.