Women in Entertainment: Power Players Changing the Parity Game

Over the past year, the conversation about women’s representation in front of and behind the camera has burst into the public consciousness. We are at a turning point where gender issues that have long been discussed within the industry itself have become a mainstream concern. Everything from pay equity for actresses, the challenges for female directors to the lack of women in gatekeeping positions, have become talking points in the popular media.

However, has anything really changed? Is a larger awareness of the problem leading to expanded opportunities and resources for women in the industry? Do women have more freedom from gendered career obstacles working outside the commercial film world or do they face similar issues working in indies? This panel will seek to move the conversation beyond talk and toward action as we hear from professionals about their experiences, work strategies and perspectives about the way forward for women in film.

Co-Presented with the The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (AoBFF)

Special Admission rate of $8 for NYWIFT attendees pre-ordering tickets. 



Jan Eliasberg’s (pictured above) directing credits include the feature film Past Midnight; pilots for CBS, NBC and ABC; as well as multiple episodes of television series including NashvilleParenthoodBlue BloodsRecklessUnforgettableNCIS: Los AngelesCriminal Minds and countless others. Her directing career was launched when she was hand-picked by Michael Mann to be the first female director on Miami Vice. She quickly repeated the feat on other shows by becoming the first woman to direct multiple episodes of Crime Story and Wiseguy. Eliasberg was a director, writer and producer on NBC/WB’s acclaimed family drama Sisters. Most recently, she wrote the pilot Salem (with co-writer, Misha Rasovich) for FilmEngine, Fox Studios and FX. Her original screenplay Heart of the Atom earned her a place in the prestigious Fox Writer’s Intensive, is currently the top screenplay on The Black List, topped the BBC Short List (Best Screenplays, 2014), and was selected for Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab. Eliasberg is completing Traveling Light, a low budget feature which she will direct, adapted from her own novel.

Valerie Brooks is a director/DP from West Palm Beach — where people try to drive crocodiles through drive-throughs. She started studying film at an arts high school at the age of 14 and has been making films about disenfranchised individuals with attitudes ever since. She enjoys surreal comedy and improvisational directing. As the head of the film platform Bastardlands, Brooks assists in creating and producing original media coming out of the left field.

Margot Lulick is a producer/director who has produced television shows and pilots for WB, NBC, FOX, HBO, ABC, Showtime. Credits include Kings (creator Michael Green), Allegiance (creator/director George Nolfi), The Miraculous Year(creator John Logan), Dangerous Liaisons (creator Richard LaGravenese) and Person Of Interest (creator Jonathan Nolan). She has collaborated with film and television directors Katherine Bigelow, Francis Lawrence, Taylor Hackford, Dennie Gordon, Ellen Shaver, Kate Woods, David Semel, Ken Fink, Fred Toye, Richard Lewis, and Chris Fisher, to name just a few. Lulick and her producing partners won the Daytime Emmy – Outstanding Children’s Special for My Louisiana Sky, a TV movie for Showtime directed by Adam Arkin. She recently produced the pilot A.P.B. for Fox working with creator David Slack and director Len Wiseman that received a series pick up. Lulick produced Person Of Interest from the pilot through Season 1 and 2, returning to produce it’s 5th and final season. The series was in the number one rating spot for it’s timeslot for the first two years she produced the show. Lulick also made her directing debut on Person of Interest.

Gabriella A. Moses is a director, writer and production designer based in Brooklyn. She has directed commercials and music videos, and recently completed two shorts, Sticky Fingers and LecheSticky Fingers will premiere at the Inside Out Film Festival Toronto and Leche premiered at San Antonio’s CineFestival. Her feature film script for Leche was a Semi-Finalist for the Latino Screenwriting Project sponsored by the Sundance Institute. Her most recent production design credit is How To Tell You’re a Douchebag (Dir. Tahir Jetter; 2016 Sundance Film Festival). Moses’ thesis film Las Mañanitas was accepted to numerous festivals including Sunscreen Film Festival, Cine Las Americas, Williamsburg International Film Festival and NYU’s First Run Film Festival (where it won Best Ensemble Cast, Production Design and Score) and the Katra Film Fest Series (where it won Best Film). Moses has served as a Shadow Director for the 2015 ABC Diversity Showcase and was selected by the Hispanic Coalition of NY as one of their 2015 Rising Latino Stars. 

Meghan Scibona is a director and producer. She co-directed the feature film Blood Junkies, is producing the feature documentary Blackout (in post) and co-produced the feature Ghost Club. Her credits include the Nickelodeon web series Exit Strategy; videos for GlamourAllureSelf, The New YorkerVanity FairBon AppetitEpicurious and Golf Digest. She directed the series Pod Opera Brooklyn and Wing Women; numerous short films, and a sitcom pilot Aspiring Line. Scibona’s next directing project is a feature-length romantic comedy, Delicious (in development). She has worked at Focus Features in the development department and at the Tribeca Film Festival in the press department. She has also spoken on panels about filmmaking at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Scibona is also a producer at Conde Nast Entertainment, a partner in Small Media Extra Large and a member of FilmmakeHers.

Dana Verde’s feature-length screenplay The Perfect Match (Dir. Bille Woodruff/Exec. Prod. Queen Latifah) stars Paula Patton and Terrance J was released theatrically March 2016. In 2004, she became a script reader for Maisha Film Lab (founded by director Mira Nair) and co-hosted Your Movie Show (MTV). She later attended the London Film School in the UK. While there, she studied with Mike Leigh, Stephen Fears and Hanif Kureishi. Other credits include her first full-length feature script The Only Black Girl, which made the final round in competition for the 2003 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Currently, Verde is in pre-production on her second feature film #YBA, a comedy about young black actors and their career struggles. This spring, Verde launched her new media company 3CK Media and completed two short films, After and In Black and White.

Rosalind Murphy (Moderator) is a producer and media consultant for film, television, theater and arts organizations. She specializes in audience development, branded entertainment and partnership development. Murphy co-produced Good Bread Alley (a SimonSays Entertainment Theater Workshop Production) and the short film In Black and White (3CK Media). She is also the marketing consultant on the television pilot Black Rose (99 Ways Entertainment) and A Lost Book of Rap (Little Feet Productions). Murphy is currently working on the feature Dope Fiend and short Holy Croissoli. As the Executive Engagement Lead at Microsoft, she received the Diversity Inclusion Award for developing the innovative program Women Executive Forum. She is on the board of New York Women in Film & Television and a member of the Women’s Association of New Jersey Performance Art Center, the Montclair Art Museum African American Cultural Committee and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Produced by Rosalind Murphy and Meghan Scibona

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (AoBFF)

June 9 @ 7:00pm
7:00 pm — 8:30 pm (1h 30′)

St. Francis College
Maroney Theatre
180 Remsen St., 7th floor
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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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.