The accomplished group of documentary and narrative filmmakers, producers, and educators joins the non-profit’s dynamic leadership team
NEW YORK, NY – September 25, 2023 – New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) is pleased to announce the results of its 2023 Board of Directors elections. As a non-profit 501c3 public charity, NYWIFT is governed by a board of directors elected by the membership. Board members serve on committees in the areas of Development, Membership, Communications, Programming, Special Events, and Advocacy and Education. Six spots on the board have been filled, with one new member and five returning members:
New Board Member:
Neyda Martinez: 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, her current documentaries in production include Bartolo and A Chasm in Chinatown. Presently, Martinez 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.
Returning Board Members:
Sirad Balducci: Sirad Balducci is an independent feature film producer based in New York with over 25 years of experience. 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.
Christina Kiely: Christina Kiely has been producing and directing documentaries for over 25 years. Most recently she has been executive producing #whereisPengShuai for Vice News Documentaries. Other credits include ABC News’ first digital documentary series, A Murder on Orchard Street, and the accompanying hit podcast; the ABC News documentary series NYPD 24/7 (Emmy nomination); In the Jury Room; ABC Primetime Mondays; the A&E Biography of Yo-Yo Ma; Code Blue (TLC); Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television (PBS); and documentaries for the U.N. International Labor Organization.
Amenya Makuku: 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, and FilmNation Entertainment, where she worked on Oscar-nominated Room and Arrival. She just wrapped production on Craig Webster’s Woman in the Cabinet.
Joyce Pierpoline: Joyce Pierpoline is an award-winning producer and founder of Pierpoline Films based in New York and Paris. 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; Sundance award-winning cult favorite Teeth; Happy Tears; Angelica; and the award-winning In the Company of Men. She also serves on the board of BAFTA-North American, where she is Chair of the Film Committee, and she is the co-founder of the Producers Guild of America’s Women’s Impact Network.
Kuye Youngblood: 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 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, and Seattle International Film Festival, among others.
“We are thrilled to have welcome back this powerhouse group of returning board members to the NYWIFT leadership team, bringing their energy, passion, and insight to drive forward NYWIFT’s mission of equity and inclusion. And we are so excited to welcome new board member Neyda Martinez, whose contributions to New York City’s educational and cultural institutions are unparalleled,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez.
“We are thrilled to welcome back this powerhouse group of returning board members to the NYWIFT leadership team, bringing their energy, passion, and insight to drive forward NYWIFT’s mission of equity and inclusion. And we are so excited to welcome new board member and friend Neyda Martinez, whose contributions to New York City’s educational and cultural institutions are impressive and her creative spirit has been instrumental in helping filmmakers accomplish their goals,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez. “The NYWIFT board made a commitment during a strategic plan more than seven years ago to diversify our board, and we are so proud that the board is now 65% diverse with creative talent from across the documentary, narrative, podcasting, and television industries.”
“This is a critical time in our industry as we face an important moment of reckoning and support our friends and colleagues who are striking for a better, safer, and more equitable working environment. This moment calls for a smart, strategic, and innovative group of industry leaders driving the conversation forward, and it’s exciting to have such dynamic group of NYWIFT Board Members on the team to listen to, guide, and support our members who are working toward positive change,” said NYWIFT Board President Leslie Fields-Cruz.
Learn more about the NYWIFT Board of Directors at nywift.org/about/board-of-directors.