Letter from the Executive Director – November 2021

November 24, 2021

Dear New York Women in Film & Television Community:

Happy Turkey Day! Thank you for all your efforts both personal and professional during this crisis to overcome what seemed insurmountable. And for giving to the community of women wanting change in the media and entertainment industry. We are energized by standing together during this time.

At NYWIFT, our board, staff, and members have been moving the needle on many issues to grow, streamline our services, re-imagine our organization post the pandemic and civil unrest, and re-write our mission and goals for the future. We have been busy, as many of you have noticed.

If you are anything like me, I am drowning in emails every day and work hard to keep stock of what is happening around me and the organizations I care about. Sometimes there seems to be a pile-up like those on the BQE heading toward Brooklyn. Zoom board meetings, individual one-on-one conference calls, award ceremonies, and festival activities all happen throughout the same day and I am not sure how it happened? Working virtually vs. running around the city – I can get equally exhausted. The way we seem to be entering a hybrid world where we do two in-person meetings and the rest virtually is sharpening my vision of the new world order. How are you feeling about this?

So here are NYWIFT cliff notes (for Fall 2021):

  • MUSE 2021 is virtual again this year on December 16. To get tickets register at this link: https://www.nywift.org/muse/. We are celebrating the careers of our honorees who, through their visionary work and perseverance, have provoked change in the media and entertainment industry. Our honorees include: Alexis Fish, Christy Haubegger, Sandra Oh, Jason Da Silva, Darnell Martin, and Patina Miller. Stay tuned, please get a ticket for yourself and a friend. To learn more, visit nywift.org/muse.
  • The NYWIFT Board and staff have been engaged in a six-month strategic planning retreat that has been supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and we will be making some instrumental announcements at the beginning of 2022. We have used this unique opportunity to review our 44-year history, take stock of our accomplishments and contributions, and reassess our impact to build a plan to move forward. It has been an exciting time thinking about how to adapt, change and contribute to the field.
  • We published The NYWIFT Creative Workforce Publication – the second in the series capturing the spirit and energy of the NYWIFT Workforce Summit: Documentary Makers, Funders and Industry Leaders conversations from our last summit. If you become a member, you will get a complimentary copy. Visit https://www.nywift.org/join/ to join.
  • NYWIFT Talks: our weekly series covering issues related to the pandemic, production on the ground, and the Black Lives Matter Movement continues to thrive and our guests and journalists are all industry insiders doing incredible work.
  • Good Pitch: Puerto Rico is the first official activity in a larger NYWIFT Latina Initiative. We have joined forces with DocSociety, ADoc and Philadelphia International Film Festival to present Good Pitch: Puerto Rico. To learn more and get your seat please visit: https://goodpitch.org/event/puerto-rico-2021/
  • NYWIFT Film Festival Awards and Scholarships: We are thrilled to support women at the beginning of their careers and when they are featured at major festivals. Awards have been presented at Hamptons International Film Festival, NewFest Film Festival, Provincetown Film Festival, Soho Film Festival, UrbanWorld Film Festival, and Woodstock Film Festival. Scholarships were awarded to students at Brooklyn College, City College of NY, Columbia University, Feirstein School of Cinema, Hunter College, New York University, Stonybrook /Killer Films MFA, and Academy for Careers in Television and Film (TvF).
  • NYWIFT Headquarters: Our lease expired on June 30, 2021, we have been working remotely throughout the pandemic. However, we hope to announce news about our plan for a new Creative Headquarters soon.
  • Finally, take advantage of our Member and Industry Screening Series – for you, your family, and friends. To learn more, go to https://www.nywift.org/events/.
    Also, check out my conversation with Rita Moreno! CLICK HERE for Conversation

We hope you will be able to take a few days and enjoy a break from it all – walk, run, bike outside with someone that you love. Thank you for GIVING of yourself and your creative spirit to make our world a better place.

Cynthia Lopez
Executive Director
New York Women in Film & Television                                                                                                                                                                                                            



PS: See photos below of our board and staff as we come back together… slowly and within COVID protocols.

NYWIFT Board Transition Dinner featuring Jamie Zelermyer (Board President), Okema Moore and Christina Kiely (2021 NYWIFT board members).

NYWIFT Women Calling the Shots Showcase at 2021 Hamptons International Film Festival

NYWIFT Board Retreat at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College

Jamie Zelermyer, S. Casper Wong, and Cynthia Lopez at Sundance 2020