We are delighted to present the 8 candidates running for six open positions 2023-2024 NYWIFT Board Elections. We have 5 board members running for another term and 3 members running for the first time. Please take the time to read more about each member and watch their video.
You’ll also have an opportunity to meet them in person at the “NYWIFT Meet the Candidates” event on Monday, June 26, 2023, 6-8:30pm ET at Great Point Studios in Yonkers, NY. More info on that event HERE!
SIRAD BALDUCCI is an independent feature film producer based in New York, with over 25 years of experience. Fueled by a passion for supporting creative visions that drive positive change, she works closely with talented directors and writers to bring incredible stories to life. As one of the founders of the Give Film Foundation, Balducci strongly believes in the profound power of film to make a social impact. Her award-winning short film “GENERATION LOCKDOWN,” which she wrote and directed, sheds light on the traumatic psychological effects experienced by children in the face of the gun epidemic. Currently, she is writing and developing a new feature film focusing on mental health, and inspired by the Rainbow Roll for the End of AIDS, a cross-country inline skating event she produced and documented in 1994. Balducci is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and represented by Gersh NY.
CHRISTINA KIELY (Director/Producer/Writer) has been producing and directing documentaries for over 25 years. Most recently she has been executive producing the documentary “” for Vice News Documentaries. She wrote, directed and produced ABC News’ first digital documentary series, A Murder On Orchard Street, and co-produced the accompanying podcast to the 7-part series (2018) – which hit #1 on Apple Podcasts. In 2004 she was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the ABC News documentary series NYPD 24/7. While at ABC she also produced for the series “In the Jury Room” and the weekly news magazine Primetime Mondays. Outside of ABC, Christina has produced and directed numerous programs, including the A&E Biography of Yo-Yo Ma, 12 hours of the TLC series Code Blue, the PBS weekly news magazine Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television, and various documentaries for the International Labor Organization of the United Nations.
AMENYA MAKUKU is an independent producer and the Head of Development and Production for Courtney Lee-Mitchell’s 4TH POWER FILMS (FX’s KINDRED), with previous tenures at Edward Norton’s Class 5 Films, where she worked from development through physical production, on Thanks For Sharing (Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink), and FilmNation Entertainment, where she worked on Oscar-nominated “Room” (nominated Best Picture; Brie Larson, Best Actress); Oscar-nominated Arrival (Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker) and then in-development titles The Good House, The Rules of Inheritance and Tokyo Vice. Amenya has just wrapped production on Craig Webster’s Woman in the Cabinet, started during the pandemic. She has coproduced director Josephine Decker’s Sundance 2018 smash Madeline’s Madeline, (released by Oscilloscope). Amenya’s slate at 4th power includes the projects, Here, Heidee, Crone’s Disease, The Middlegame, Linda and Obviously. Amenya is the Film/TV advisor for theatre-incubator The Playwright’s Realm (Sarah Lappe’s Pulitzer-finalist Wolves).
NEYDA MARTINEZ is a producer, strategist, writer, and a long-time cultural worker who explores the role of art in public life while centering social justice and cultural equity. Selected in 2023 as a Sundance Woman to Watch x Adobe Fellow, and a Faculty Fellow for the Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence, Neyda’s current documentaries in production include BARTOLO and A CHASM IN CHINATOWN. Past documentary credits include LUCKY (2014); and DECADE OF FIRE, PBS’ Independent Lens 2020 Audience Award winner. For over a decade she was a communications strategist for AMDOC/American Documentary’s POV and AMERICA REFRAMED series, managing publicity, marketing and branding efforts with local, regional and national partners. Neyda serves on the editorial board of NYU’s Latinx Project IntervenXions and on the nonprofit boards of Pepatián, UPROSE and Women Make Movies. Presently, she is an Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies, Director of the Media Management Graduate Program and Co-Director of the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative at The New School.
JOYCE PIERPOLINE is an award-winning producer and founder of Pierpoline Films based in New York and Paris, France. Her most recent film, THE LISTENER starring Tessa Thompson and directed by Steve Buscemi premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year; other films include THE TRANSFIGURATION Cannes Film Festival; Sundance award-winning cult favorite TEETH considered one of the top 10 political horror films of all time; HAPPY TEARS, ANGELICA, and the multi awarding-winning first film by Neil Labute, IN THE COMPANY OF MEN. She is board secretary of NYWIFT and also serves on the board of BAFTA-North American where she is Chair of the Film Committee. She is also a member of the European Producers Club, the European Film Academy, and the Producers Guild of America where she is co-founder of the Women’s Impact Network, promoting gender equality in the industry.
PAM SPORN is a Bronx based documentary filmmaker, educator, and activist. A pioneer in bringing social issue documentary making into NYC high schools in the 1980s and 1990s, Pam substantively contributed to the youth media movement. Pam’s films include, MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE: THE STORY OF PUERTO RICAN STUDIES AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE; DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE, which was broadcast on PBS/World Channel’s America ReFramed; CUBAN ROOTS/BRONX STORIES; and WITH A STROKE OF THE CHAVETA. Pam has received grants and awards from JustFilms/Ford Foundation, NYSCA, the Puffin Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, CUNY Caribbean Exchange, and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Pam holds a MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College. She has taught at Hunter and Brooklyn College, and is a member of New Day Films distribution cooperative, NYWIFT, and the Bronx Filmmakers Collective.
ANTONIA (TONI) YUILLE WILLIAMS is the former Director of Regional and Community Affairs, Corporate Affairs for Con Edison Company of New York, Inc., where she developed the strategic direction for the Brooklyn Regional and Community Affairs department. Toni is the creator, host and executive producer of Brooklyn Savvy, a Talk Show, in its 20th season that explores topical and social justice issues and airs three times a week on NYClife channel 25. She has created a library of content of over 325 episodes. Toni has launched a new radio show on WNYE 91.5 FM called Art Movez_ which explores the intersection of art, innovation and social justice. Toni is currently, Chair of the Billie Holiday Theater which recently was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts at a ceremony in DC. She is also the Chair of Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Chair of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. She serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, BRIC Art Media Brooklyn, and the New York City Technical College Foundation Board. Toni is the recipient of numerous awards for her service to the community.
KUYE YOUNGBLOOD is an Emmy award-winning producer with experience in scripted, documentary, stand-up comedy, and concert captures with a focus on series, shorts, and features. Formerly the Head of Development and Production, she is currently the General Manager of the BRIC TV network. Her responsibilities include creative development from script to screen, managing a team of dynamic filmmakers, and sourcing distribution opportunities for new film works. Her EP work has screened at Tribeca, Sundance, The Lower East Side Film Festival, New Voices in Black Cinema, Hot Docs, ABFF, UrbanWorld, Bentonville, Bushwick Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, & Seattle International Film Festival among others. Original series include The Show About The Show, Brooklynification, Dinette, “All Hail Beth”, the Inspector Ike feature film and the animated series “United Space of America”. She’s been a speaker and mentor at SXSW, a juror with SeriesFest, and a producer/moderator for IFP panels. She was also Series Producer for “Neighborhood Beat”, a show about her hometown of Brooklyn!
Voting for this year’s candidates will be open on June 26th. Please look out for an email with the ballot. Deadline to vote will be by June 30, 2023. (Voting is open only to NYWIFT Members)