Women Directors: Sharing Immigrant Experiences Through Film – Shorts Program

For a second season, New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) presents Women Directors: Sharing Immigrant Experiences Through Film — a five-part screening series of work by women filmmakers focusing on the immigrant experience throughout the five boroughs of New York City. This five-month long series showcases a themed exhibition of short and feature-length films.

The second screening will feature a program of short films. 

Date: Monday, April 18th, 2016 
Time: 5:30PM
Location: The Ridgewood Public Library, 20-12 Madison St, Ridgewood, NY 11385

From Manhattan: Take the M train (towards DOWNTOWN/BROOKLYN) to Forest Avenue. The library is half a block from the train.

From Brooklyn or Queens: In addition to the Forest Avenue stop on the M Train, the library is convenient to the Q39Q58, and B13 buses.

Followed by a Q&A and reception with the filmmakers.
Refreshments will be available before, during, and after the screening.

RSVP in advance to reserve seats.

2014, 12:28 min.
Iva Gocheva (Director)

(Pictured above) Guided by an off-screen interview, Sunday follows a young Bulgarian woman in New York dealing with the harsh reality of her expired visa. Through a cascade of images and events from her final days in the city, we see her building anxiety as she begins to realize the beauty and impermanence of her existence.

Iva Gocheva is a Bulgarian-born, New York-based actress and filmmaker. At the age of 20, she moved to New York, attended the HB Studio International Student Program and has been working ever since. Since the beginning of her career, she has been involved in over 100 plays, commercials, shorts and feature films. While the focus of her work is as an actor, for the past six years she has also worked as a director, producer and writer on short films and music videos.

Umbrella House
2014, 10:10 min.
Catalina Santamaria (Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Producer)

Umbrella House reveals the stories of the squatter community — most of them immigrants — that took over abandoned buildings in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, reconstructed them and made them into homes. They gave new life and vitality to the area, and now the Lower East Side is one of the most attractive neighborhoods in New York City. Gentrification, however, has forced out most of the local people including many squatters.


Catalina Santamaría is a broadcast associate at The Calandra Institute, Queens College, CUNY. She has been contributing to Timeline Film and Video since 2011 as an associate producer and production coordinator. Ms. Santamaria also works as editor and cinematographer with Entre Nos Inc. Her award-winning films include Umbrella House (Corto Circuito Film Festival New York, 2014; Black Maria Film Festival, 2015 Director’s Choice Award); Luminescence, which received a Jerome Foundation grant; and Derail, which received a Kodak Cinematography Award and the First Place Audience Award at The New Haven Film Festival. Except my soul… was awarded Best Film – Best Director – Best Cinematography at the V International Short Film Festival “El Espejo,” Bogotá, Colombia.

2016, 13 min.
Asantewaa Prempeh (Director/Writer/Editor)

Amadou and Yaya are two Senegalese immigrants who illegally sell purses on the streets of Chinatown, NYC. Tired with an unpredictable means of making money, they both want to move to a more permanent spot and become licensed vendors. Complications arise when Yaya seizes an opportunity and we watch the lines of trust and betrayal entangle their friendship.


Asantewaa Prempeh is a Ghanaian/American filmmaker. Her interest in film began while studying graphic design in college, where she made her first short film after learning of a classmate’s battle with AIDS. After the film’s great reception she decided to pursue an MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she has made numerous shorts films including A Sweet Song. Prempeh’s work has been a winner of the Insitut du Français sponsored Accra Francophone Film Festival, winner of the Wasserman award for best editing, a Wasserman Finalist and official selection for the BFI London Film Festival. Prempeh hopes the emotive and observational style of her films will encourage positive action in others. She is currently developing her first feature film Mortar in Ghana.

Apple Pie
2010, 2:42 min.
Joan Caspi (Producer)

A young Hispanic immigrant Tomas Gomez arrives in America with one bag, two books, and an address for a room and a place to work. On the night of his arrival a chance meeting between Tomas and a stranger on a bench at the airport, begins his introduction to America and the challenge of a new language.

Joan Caspis a writer/producer. She attended The New School for screenwriting, where her career as a nurse and retailer became the fodder for her stories. Following a stint as a grievance counselor after 9/11, Joan wrote and produced her award-winning animated short film, The Day My Towers Fell. Her experiences running a cooking group on a psychiatric ward led to her writing a feature film script, Cooking With Gas. Her lingerie shop, Wife Mistress, became the basis for a television series for Lifetime. Her first web series is Dumped

The Passage Chronicles
2014, 30 min.
Satoko Sugiyama (Director)

The Passage Chronicles is an interactive web documentary that tells intimate stories of female migrants from around the world. The website invites audiences to experience the journey of each migrant and to become emotionally invested. What made her seek a new world? What became of her old world? Who is she now? What is the meaning of “home” to her? Where is her home? It explores women’s personal identities, understanding of gender roles, and sense of belonging.

Satoko Sugiyama, a native of Japan, is a New York City-based media artist working with a wide range of disciplines including film, web applications and audio projects. Satoko’s focus is to create visual platforms where different voices and behaviors can be heard, witnessed and contemplated. She has worked as an editor, director and cinematographer on over 100 media projects, ranging from documentaries to television commercials.

A Special Thanks to City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley who selected New York Women in Film & Television to receive funding for the Cultural Immigrant Initiative.

Join us on Social Media by using the hashtag #IWEScreening!

April 18 @ 5:30pm
5:30 pm — 7:30 pm (2h)

The Ridgewood Public Library
20-12 Madison Street
Ridgewood, New York 11385

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.