NYWIFT Programming Goes Digital

In light of the current health crisis, all NYWIFT professional development programming will be offered virtually for the time being. See www.nywift.org/events for a list of upcoming live programs. 

Below are links to watch past virtual programs right here on our website. If you have questions or would like to suggest an upcoming program, please reach out to us at programs@nywift.org.


NYWIFT Industry Screening: ‘Black Bear’ Screening + Q&A

On November 20, 2020, NYWIFT presented a virtual conversation of Black Bear with Producer Julie Christeas. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board President, Jamie Zelermyer

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HBO & NYWIFT Present: NYWIFT Talks with ‘Crazy, Not Insane’ Producer Ophelia Harutyunyan

On November 11, 2020, NYWIFT and HBO presented a virtual conversation of the HBO Max original documentary, Crazy, Not Insane, with Producer Ophelia Harutyunyan and Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member, Alex Cirillo. Crazy, Not Insane is now available to watch on HBO Max. 

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2020 NYWIFT Creative Workforce Documentary Summit

 

 

 

 

 

On October 20-23, 2020, NYWIFT hosted it’s second annual Creative Workforce Summit: Documentary Makers, Industry and Funders in Conversation. This four-day free virtual program consisted of keynote speakers, panels, and film screenings, and brought together some of the most unique and diverse voices of women working in the entertainment industry to establish forward-moving strategies to create change and mobilize support and leadership for the future.

The NYWIFT Summit took place with support provided by the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a curated film screening and panel series produced in partnership with International Documentary Association.

Keynote speakers included: 

  • Laverne Berry: Former NYWIFT Board President, Attorney and Central Character featured in Capturing the Flag
  • Commissioner Anne del Castillo: NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment
  • Abigail Disney: Chair & Co-Founder, Level Forward Films
  • Sheila Nevins: Executive Producer, MTV Networks
  • Marcia Smith: President & Co-Founder, Firelight Media
  • Nia Winston: President of UNITEHERE Local 24 

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NYWIFT Talks with Lauren Lake

In our October 16, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we had a conversation with the host of the Emmy-winning show Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, Lauren Lake. We focused on Lauren’s career in unscripted television and her activism for Women’s Rights and Inclusion in Hollywood! This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Maria C. Miles.

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IFC Films & NYWIFT Present: “A Call to Spy” Virtual Screening + Q&A with Lydia Dean Pilcher & Sarah Megan Thomas

On October 6th, 2020, NYWIFT along with IFC Films hosted a virtual screening of A Call to Spy followed by a conversation with Director Lydia Dean Pilcher and Writer/Producer/Actress Sarah Megan Thomas. Moderated by Co-Founder and Head of Programming at In Creative Company, Mara Webster.

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NYWIFT Talks with HR Expert Joanna Giordano

In our September 30, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined HR Expert, Joanna Giordano to discuss your resume! Addressing topics such as format, content, process, systems. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board President, Jamie Zelermyer.

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IFC Films & NYWIFT Present: “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” Virtual Screening + Q&A with Director, Laura Gabbert

On September 28, 2020, NYWIFT along with IFC Films hosted a virtual screening of Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles followed by a conversation with Director, Laura Gabbert. Moderated by Co-Founder and Head of Programming at In Creative Company, Mara Webster.

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NYWIFT Talks The Glorias with Julie Taymor & Kimberly Guerrero

 

 

 

 

 

On our special September 18, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined 2007 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Julie Taymor to discuss her latest film, The Glorias. Journalist, fighter, and feminist Gloria Steinem is an indelible icon known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations. In this nontraditional biopic, Julie Taymor crafts a complex tapestry of one of the most inspirational and legendary figures of modern history, based on Steinem’s own memoir My Life on the Road. Taymor was joined  by actor Kimberly Guerrero, who plays Wilma Mankiller in the film. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia López

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NYWIFT Talks with Executive Director & Co-Head of Toronto Film Festival Joana Vicente

 

 

 

 

 

In our September 17, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined Executive Director & Co-Head of Toronto Film Festival Joana Vicente to discuss the Toronto Film Festival and what changes were made in the time of COVID-19. The conversation was moderated by award-winning writer / director and Founder of Iguana Films Maria Agui Carter.

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HBO & NYWIFT Present: ‘Unpregnant’ Virtual Screening + Q&A with Director Rachel Lee Goldenberg

On September 15, 2020, NYWIFT and HBO presented a virtual screening of the HBO Max original film, Unpregnant  followed by a conversation with director, Rachel Lee Goldenberg. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board President, Jamie Zelermyer.

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NYWIFT Talks with IFP Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp

 

 

 

 

 

On our September 11, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined Executive Director of IFP Jeffrey Sharp for a Zoom conversation. Founded in 1979, The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the largest and longest running not-for-profit dedicated to independent film. We focused on IFP and the future of digital learning within IFP. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Yvonne Russo.

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NYWIFT Talks with The Cherry Picks Co-Founder Miranda Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our September 10, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined The Cherry Picks Co-Founder Miranda Bailey for a Zoom conversation to discuss how The Cherry Picks has revolutionized female film critics. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Rachel Watanabe-Batton.

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NYWIFT Talks 2020 Film Festivals

 

 

 

 

 

On our August 20, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we discussed diversity in film selections at festivals and what strategies programmers are using to amplify Black and POC voices, as well as goals for women filmmakers in competition at their festivals. We delved into the challenges and opportunities due to COVID, the financial crisis, and the Black Lives Matter Movement, including new initiatives and what are next steps for these vital festivals.

The panelists included Ashley Mui of UrbanWorld, Anne Chaisson of Hamptons International Film Festival, Calixto Chinchilla of New York Latino Film Festival, Lydia Darly of The NOVA Frontier Film Festival & Lab, and Meira Blaustein of Woodstock Film Festival. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Program Manager Barbara G Vasconez.

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In our August 18, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined VP of Publicity and Promotion of IFC Films Laura Sok to discuss publicity in the age of the “new normal” of VOD platforms and drive-in’s. Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Rachel Watanabe-Batton.

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NYWIFT Talks with “Cursed” Director Zetna Fuentes

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our August 12, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined director Zetna Fuentes to discuss her new Netflix limited series, Cursed. Based on the New York Times bestselling book, Cursed is a re-imagination of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a young woman with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake. The series premiered Netflix on July 17th, 2020 and you can binge it here

The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Advisory Board Member Annetta Marion.

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NYWIFT Talks Health and Wellness During COVID-19

 

 

 

 

 

On our August 3, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined Dr. Christine Cyriacks, Allison Chawla, and Liza Bertini to discuss the health effects that COVID-19 has taken on us and solutions to mindfully clear your mind and soul. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Maria C. Miles.

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NYWIFT and WIFTI – Women in Film & Television International co-presented Television Makers: Showrunners & Producing/Directors Panelists at Carla 2020 on August 23rd. Speakers included Natalie Chaidez, Rachel Feldman, Lesli Linka Glatter, Tanya Saracho, and Robin Thede, moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez

Come join a conversation about how women create, run,  produce, and direct in the ever-changing media landscape including the challenges faced by COVID-19, financial crisis and the Black Lives Matter Movement and civil unrest. See how it is done by the most successful television makers of our time. They will discuss what motivated their latest work, how did they pitch their first series, how they maintain a cutting-edge writer’s room and manage actors’ creative thirst every day, while ensuring safety and city/state production guidelines. What does their own production schedule look like in the wake of the current health crisis – how are their plans shaping up for the new season? 

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On our July 15, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined director Gina Prince-Bythewood and editor Terilyn Shropshire to discuss their latest film – the Netflix hit The Old Guard  – and much more. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Gretchen McGowan. The Old Guard is available to watch on Netflix. 

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NYWIFT Talks with “Mucho Mucho Amor” Co-Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch

On our July 13, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined Co-Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch to discuss their new documentary Mucho Mucho Amor, about beloved psychic Walter Mercado. Mucho Mucho Amor started streaming on Netflix on July 8th. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Zenaida Mendez.

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“Denise Ho: Becoming the Song” Q&A with Director Sue Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a virtual screening of the new documentary Denise Ho: Becoming the Song, about the openly gay Hong Kong singer and human rights activist, NYWIFT hosted a Q&A with the film’s director Sue Williams on July 7, 2020. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member S. Casper Wong.

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“John Lewis: Good Trouble” Q&A with Director Dawn Porter

 

 

 

 

 

On July 3, 2020, NYWIFT hosted a Q&A with Dawn Porter, director of the new documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble, following a virtual screening of the new documentary about the legendary Civil Rights activist and Congressman. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Leslie Fields-Cruz.

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NYWIFT Talks with Newfest’s Executive Director David Hatkoff

 

 

 

 

 

NewFest gives voice and visibility to all facets of the LGBTQ experience by presenting year-round screenings and events that include New York’s annual LGBTQ Film Festival every October, which began in 1988. In our July 2, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, we joined Executive Director of NewFest David Hatkoff for a Zoom conversation discussing the changes NewFest has made to continue to adapt during this COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, learn how they virtually celebrated the month of Pride! This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board Member Alex Cirillo.

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“Wild Nights with Emily”: Q&A with Director Madeleine Olnek

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Nights With Emily is the story of Emily Dickinson’s life-long romantic relationship with Susan Gilbert, Emily’s life as a writer, and the comic soap opera that was 1880’s Amherst. This story is an important piece of feminist history, as well as a great way to observe LGBTQ Pride that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Join us for a fun Q&A with director/writer Madeleine Olnek and NYWIFT Board Member Annetta Marion, which originally followed the June 30, 2020 NYWIFT virtual screening of the film. 

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NYWIFT Member Screening Q&A: “Catherine Opie b. 1961” and “AmeRican Poet Tato Laviera”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The June 2020 NYWIFT Member Screening showcased two documentaries about artists: Sini Anderson’s Catherine Opie b. 1961 and Vivian Hernandez Ortiz’s AmeRican Poet Tato Laviera. Anderson and Ortiz, along with Catherine Opie producer Erin Wright, sat down for a talkback moderated by NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers on June 29th. 

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NYWIFT Talks Black Lives Matter with Visionary New York Media Arts Organizations

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Media Arts organizations have had a rich history of supporting, inspiring, and training diverse creative community members for decades. In our June 26, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, learn more how Black Public MediaThird World NewsreelManhattan Neighborhood NetworkGhetto Film School, and Brown Girls Doc Mafia have accomplished their missions. These organizations provide key solutions and grassroots connections to Latinx, Black, Asian, and LGBTQIA+ content producers. What are the specific challenges they face during the COVID pandemic, financial crisis, and the Black Lives Matter Movement? These leaders can shine a light on a path forward.

Join us for this discussion with Iyabo BoydLeslie Fields-Cruz, JT Takagi, Shurize X. Richards, and Victoria Bert

The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez

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NYWIFT Talks Black Lives Matter and “Just Mercy” with Scott Budnick, April Grayson & Donna Hylton

 

 

 

 

 

On the July 1, 2020 edition of NYWIFT Talks, we joined Just Mercy Executive Producer and CEO of One Community Scott Budnick, Campaign Surrogate and Statewide Coordinator for The Young Women’s Freedom Center April Grayson, and Campaign Ambassador Donna Hylton to discuss the positive after-effects of the film Just Mercy, Black Lives Matter, and civil unrest. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez.

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NYWIFT Talks with Ashley Eakin

 

 

 

 

 

On our June 15, 2020 NYWIFT Talks, director Ashley Eakin, recipient of the NYWIFT Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant for her short film Single, was in conversation with NYWIFT Board Member Rachel Watanabe-Batton

Single is a relatable, anti-romantic comedy that delivers an entertaining and insightful examination of human connection that also challenges preconceived notions of life with a disability. A girl born with one arm gets set-up on a blind with a guy who has one hand…and she is pissed.

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NYWIFT Talks Filmmakers and Activists discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, their life’s work, and hope for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our June 12, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we brought together vibrant award-winning women filmmakers and activists dedicated to fighting systemic racism to discuss their work and the social justice movement of today. During the conversation, we watched short clips focused on historical women civil rights activists. The purpose of the conversation was to come together and share artistic, political and personal survival stories during this painful time in American history.

Panelists included filmmakers Dawn Porter, Shola Lynch, Tami Gold, and Yoruba Richen. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez. 

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NYWIFT Member Screening Q&A: “Unintended”

 

 

 

 

 

 

On June 1, 2020, NYWIFT hosted a conversation with Unintended writer/director Anja Murmann, producer Sabine Schenck, and star Elizabeth Lail, following the NYWIFT Member Screening of the film. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers

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NYWIFT Talks The Writers Lab

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our May 28, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined The Writers Lab Co-Founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon for a Zoom conversation. We focused on The Writers Lab and their mission to amplify the voices of women screenwriters over 40. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board President Jamie Zelermyer.

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NYWIFT Talks New York Film Festival with Eugene Hernandez

 

 

 

 

 

On our May 26, 2020 edition of NYWIFT Talks, we joined New York Film Festival’s Director Eugene Hernandez for a Zoom conversation. We focused on the future of film festivals in New York City including the future of New York Film Festival. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Senior Development and Editorial Consultant Maud Kersnowski-Sachs.

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NYWIFT Talks with Costume Designer Dana Covarrubias

On our May 21, 2020 , NYWIFT Talks, we joined Costume Designer and 2018 NYWIFT Designing Women Honoree Dana Covarrubias for a Zoom conversation. We focused on her career, new projects, and what COVID-19 has meant for her as a costume designer. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Board President Jamie Zelermyer.

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NYWIFT Talks with Filmmaker Rachel Feldman

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our May 11, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined filmmaker Rachel Feldman for a virtual Zoom conversation. Rachel discussed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on filmmakers and what the future holds for her current projects. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia López

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“Call Your Mother”: Virtual Screening + Q&A

 

 

 

 

 

Behind every famous comedian, there’s an infamous mom! The hilarious new documentary Call Your Mother explores the relationships between comedians and their mothers, and how they have indelibly shaped their craft. On May 7th, 2020, NYWIFT hosted a special sneak peek screening and panel discussion before the film debuted on Comedy Central on Mother’s Day. The Q&A featured Heidi Ewing (Producer), Rachel Grady (Producer), Judy Gold (Comedian), and Bridget Everett (Comedian), and was moderated by Terry Greenberg (Producer and NYWIFT Board Member).

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NYWIFT Talks with Tribeca Film Festival Senior Programmer Lucy Mukerjee

 

 

 

 

 

On our May 5, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we join Tribeca Film Festival’s Senior Programmer Lucy Mukerjee. Lucy discussed Tribeca’s move to digital programming during COVID-19, and how she is continuing her LGBTQ+ advocacy work through her role at the organization. The discussion was moderated by NYWIFT Board President Jamie Zelermyer.

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NYWIFT Member Screening Q&A: “Toss It”

 

 

 

 

 

On May 4, 2020, NYWIFT hosted a Q&A with Toss It Director, Writer, Producer and Star NYWIFT Member Michele Remsen (Emily), along with cast members Blair Ross (Adele), Allison Frasca (Natalie), and Jenny Zerke (Marie) as well as film publicist Annie Jeeves. This conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers. The “anti-romantic comedy” feature Toss It is a recipient of the NYWIFT Nancy Malone Marketing and Promotion Grant and was presented as part of NYWIFT’s Member Screening Series in May 2020.

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Individual and Small Business Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

Individuals and small business owners: are you curious about the government programs available to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic turbulence? On May 1, 2020, Gail Linn, CFP® and Bill Fischer, CFP® from Fortis Lux Financial hosted an educational workshop where they discussed the benefits of the recently passed CARES act and answered your questions. The entire act encompasses a full 900 pages, but Gail and Bill cut to the chase by reviewing the most important issues that individuals and small business owners need to know.

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Re-Imagining Film Festivals in a Time of Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

When SXSW cancelled, it sent shockwaves through the indie film world. But the creative forces that have kept independent film vibrant over the decades are rising to meet the current crisis. Until we can once again gather in large crowds, the show is going on. Film festivals are moving online or reviving older forms such as using drive-ins for locations to gather at safe physical distances.

This April 30, 2020 panel brought together a group of creatives to discuss how people and organizations are responding nimbly and re-imagining ways to connect and support filmmakers and audiences. We explored the possibilities for evolving out of this crisis to create more fluid and far-reaching concepts of film promotion, audience engagement, and distribution.

Join us for a conversation with Lori Cheatle, Maori Karmael Holmes, Brian Newman, Alison Willmore, Jeffrey Winter and Michelle Materre (moderator).

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NYWIFT Talks: Imagenation with Moikgantsi Kgama

 

 

 

 

 

On our April 27, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined  Moikgantsi Kgama of ImageNation as she spoke from the perspective of the cultural organizations that bring indie films into local communities. She discussed the potential broader impact of COVID-19 on the industry and the general theater-going experience, as we all wonder: what will the exhibition space look like after the pandemic has ended? This discussion was moderated by NYWIFT Board VP of Programming Leslie Fields-Cruz.

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NYWIFT Talks: Production with Kathryn O’Kane

 

 

 

 

 

On our April 21, 2020, NYWIFT Talks we joined Disney+ showrunner and NYWIFT Board member Kathryn O’Kane for a virtual Zoom conversation. Kathryn discussed the COVID-19 effects on pre-planned productions and what the future holds for her current projects. The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez.

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NYWIFT Talks: Casting with Destiny Lilly

 

 

 

 

On our April 17, 2020, NYWIFT Talks, we joined Casting Director and NYWIFT Board of Directors Vice President Destiny Lilly for a virtual Zoom conversation. Destiny updated us on how the casting world in NYC keeps moving even while film, television, and theatre productions are on hold due to the current health crisis. We talked shooting delays, the impact on Broadway, online auditions, self-tape 101 for actors, why producers should always hire a casting director, and more. Casting affects more than just actors – all film and TV professionals are encouraged to bring their questions to to this insightful conversation. And anyone can benefit from self-tape 101; nowadays, working from home, we are all appearing on camera! The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers

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NYWIFT Talks: Distance Learning with Dr. Kimberly Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our April 6, 2020, NYWIFT Talks webinar, we joined distance learning expert Dr. Kimberly Greene for a Zoom conversation. We focused on tips and best practices for teaching and learning in virtual classes. Kimberly was one of the first people in the world to receive an Ed.D. in Educational Technology and in the last few weeks has been guiding thousands of teachers through the process of moving their classes into the digital world. 

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NYWIFT Talks: Virtual Theatrical Experiences with Wendy Lidell

 

 

 

 

 

In our April 2, 2020, NYWIFT Talks webinar, we welcomed Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell of Kino Lorber. We discussed the growth of Kino Lorber and their initiative to develop the virtual theatrical experience during a time of uncertainty, while continuing to support art houses everywhere. 

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Mental Health and Career Sustainability in the Doc World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief the mental health crisis that the documentary community has faced for quite some time. Living in survival mode and keeping it all together for their crew and subjects is what document filmmakers are good at, but at great costs to their own mental health and physical well-being. It’s time we stop suffering in silence, and speak up as a community. On March 31, 2020, NYWIFT and The D-Word co-hosted a panel discussion to explore what lessons can be learned from this pivotal moment to help create a mind-shift in the industry. Moderated by Doug Block (The D-Word), panelists include Rebecca Day (Producer/ Psychotherapist), Kelsey Koenig  (Impact Partner Films), Heidi Reinberg  (Documentary film maker) and Chithra Jeyaram (Documentary filmmaker).

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NYWIFT Talks: Virtual Collaborations with Liz Dreyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our inaugural NYWIFT Talks on March 27, 2020, we joined virtual collaboration expert Liz Dreyer for a Zoom conversation. We focused on tips and best practices for creating productive virtual meetings, including information on preferred platforms and the leading question of the day: “Should you wear pants on video chats?” Liz has facilitated creative digital groups for over 20 years.

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