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NYWIFT Members in the News

Members, do you have an upcoming screening, event, campaign or other news to share? Tell us! Contact communications@nywift.org.

Congrats to member Lilian Mehrel, winner of the Nancy Malone directing award, for her film The Lonliest's mention in the New York Times!






NYWIFT member Ann Deborah Levy’s experimental video RAIN PAINTING, featuring images of the landscape seen through the rain “painted” windows of a car, will screen at International Video Art Festival, Camaguey, CUBA, March 31 – April 4, 2015, in a program of experimental documentaries guest-curated by NYWIFT member Tova Beck-Friedman.  For more information on Ann Deborah Levy’s film visit: http://resonantimages.com/films-videos/rain-painting/


NYWIFT member Ann Deborah Levy's experimental video ON THE TRAIN TO KUTNÁ HORA…AND BACK which features images of the Czech countryside, often abstracted by dreamlike reflections, shot from a train, will screen in New York City on March 25th in the Another Experiment By Women Film Festival at 6:00PM. Tickets are $6.00 at the door. For more information on Ann Deborah Levy’s films click here and for more info about the event click here.


Join Meredith Riley Stewart and the cast of her original web series Southern Dish at the premiere and launch party during SXSW! The event will take place Mar.15. at 6PM at the Spiderhouse Cafe in Austin, TX. To RSVP email pr@dumontmarketing.com. For more info click here and the password is Honey. To view the trailer of the web series click here.

The 18th annual New York International Children’s Film Festival has chosen member Hanna Hemila's hand drawn animation feature film Moomins on the Riviera into their official competition section. The film will screen on Saturday March 14th at 1.30 pm in the School of Visual Arts Theatre in Manhattan. On Sunday there will be an additional screening at the IFC.

The film is based on Tove Jansson’s original comic strips written for London Evening News in 1955. The film premiered in London Film Festival in October 2014 and has been sold to over 40 countries for theatrical distribution. The film was received extremely well in Finland during the autumn 2014, it was just released theatrically in Switzerland, in France and in Japan. The English are to launch the film in May with 250 copies. Hanna Hemila is the producer, co-director and co-writer of the film. The director of the film is French Xavier Picard, who is also the co-director and one of the writers. Other writers are Leslie Stewart, Annina Enckell and Beata Harju.

Congratulations to NYWIFT Board Member Annetta Marion's show, Oprah Master Class won in the category of Outstanding Variety Series at the 46th Annual NAACP Image Awards! 

NYWIFT Member Jennifer Snowdon did the make-up for over 40 of the Interviewees of the documentary August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, starting with James Earl Jones and on from there! She was called to work on the project by fellow NYWIFT Members Nicole London (Line Producer) & Caroline De Fontaine-Stratton (Associate Producer). The film is airing on PBS & has a screening on Feb. 25, 2015.

Carl's True Love, a short play by NYWIFT Member Lee Eypper, will debut at "The Many Faces of Love:  A Valentine's Day Monologue Festival". Enjoy an array of monologues expressing the many sides of love: celebration, obsession, possession, passion, heartbreak, loss, regret, jealousy, exhilaration, gratitude. The event is produced by Writers-A-Go-Go in association with Hudson Warehouse and it will take place on Friday, February 13 at 8:00p. The address is the Bernie Wohl Center at 647 Columbus Avenue between 91st and 92nd Streets in NYC. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased here, and more info can be found here.

Member & filmmaker Megan Smith-Harris is working on a documentary called Boy / Blue, ​which has been featured in Good Morning Wilton and with a front page spot on Hooplaha.com (4 million views a month and voted one of the top ten "Happiness Web Sites" by Huffington Post).

The Prime Minister of Austria is holding a special screening of THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD for all foreign ministers in the EU who are assembled in Vienna for a global conference on nuclear non-proliferation. The Obama Administration is sending a delegation to the event and to this screening for the first time ever in the history of this ICANN conference. Produced by Member Mark Romeo. 






NYWIFT Member Sarah Hanssen directed a video with The Wall Street Journal's Kelly Crow about Peruvian artist Grimanesa Amoros. Check out the writeup in WSJ!    

MEN OF THE CLOTH, directed by NYWIFT member Vicki Vasilopoulos, and official pick of DOC NYC 2013, creates a portrait of three Italian master tailors. Screen this film at Take 2 Documentary Film Festival at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY on Sunday December 7th. Advance Tickets are available at menoftheclothfilm.com/  








Dukhtar, co-produced by NYWIFT member Thea Kerman and directed by Afia Nathaniel, is Pakistan's Official entry to the Academy Awards 2015. Dukhtar (Daughter) is a thriller set in Pakistan. The story follows a mother on the run with her ten-year-old daughter on the eve of the child’s forced marriage to a tribal leader. They are relentlessly hunted for bringing dishonour to their families. As the chase intensifies, the mother meets a truck driver whose destiny entwines with hers and kindles a forbidden attraction. The trio embarks on an epic journey through the stunning landscape of Pakistan where the quest for freedom comes with a price. 

The timely and powerful, critically-acclaimed documentary The Supreme Price about women and the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, will open October 3-9, 2014 for a theatrical run at The Quad in New York City and Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills, CA. The film was showcased at IFP Spotlight on Documentaries and is being distributed in North America by Women Make Movies. Directed and Produced by award-winning filmmaker Joanna Lipper, The Supreme Price received the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award.

Ann Deborah Levy's film Rain Painting will be screening at Transient Visions, Festival of the Moving Image on October 17-18, 2014 in Johnson City, NY. Deena F. Greenberg co-directed and appears in the comedy short Bun Girl, which screened at Iron Mule’s (ironmulenyc.com) comedy shorts program at symphonyspace on October 5, 2014. Tracey D. Smith served as the Creative Director for EDGE Magazine's photo shoot with Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser. She also interviewed Kartheiser and his castmates Harry Hamlin and Rich Sommer.

Tova Beck-Friedman's film, Red Father, is screening at Impugning Impunity: ALBA's Human Rights Documentary Film Festival on Tuesday, September 30 at the Instituto Cervantes.

Lisa G. Black, Dual Member, is serving as Executive Producer on the Nordic Noir Dukken i Taket (Doll in the Ceiling), which recently began principal photography in Fjearland, Norway. Females round out the creative team with Kjersti Steinbø at the helm, Kristine Knudsen (Mercy) producing, and Anna Myking (Happy Happy) as Cinematographer. The film will be released in late 2015. 

Wendy Lidell's distribution company International Film Circuit, inc. has released the documentary I Am Eleven, in theatres now. 

Veronique Doumbe recently traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe to attend the International Images Film Festival of Women 2014. The film she edited and co-produced, Imbabazi: The Pardon, won the Best Director award at the festival.






Barbara Kopple's acclaimed documentary film "Running from Crazy" received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special. "Running from Crazy" focuses on Academy Award-nominated actress and mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway, a granddaughter of the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway. Barbara Kopple who is a Two-Time Academy Award winning filmmaker, used archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters with scenes from Mariel's life today. The documentary mainly shows Mariel Hemmingway exploring her family's disturbing history of mental illness and suicide and how she seeks to live a rigorously healthy lifestyle to combat what appears to be a difficult family birthright. The film was produced by Cabin Creek Films for the Oprah Winfrey Network, Barbara Kopple both produced and directed. 

Sammy Simpson recently left the New York Daily News and has now joined Entertainment Partners as the Vice President of Marketing. Simpson is a marketing and digital executive with over 27 years of experience in the entertainment and media industries. He will be based out of EP’s New York office and will work on a wide range of company initiatives.

Mara Lesemann's first feature film, "Surviving Family," is being released on iTunes on August 15. The romantic drama with 'a dose of comedy' screened at 19 festivals in the US and Canada. The film tells the story of  a young woman from a dysfunctional family returning home to plan her wedding in just 6 days.  In that time, she learns the truth about her mother's death, her father's alcoholism, and the half sister she never knew she had. "Surviving Family" stars Sarah Wilson, Billy Magnussen, Tara Westwood, & Phyllis Somerville. Mara Lesemann both wrote and produced. You may check out the trailer here. 


Yvonne Russo has written an Op-Ed article for the Huffington Post about Native Americans in Broadcasting. To check out her article titled "Broadcasting Without Borders: American (Indian) Pie" Please click here. 



Irene Walsh performed classic Samba music with the two top Brazilian musicians Cesar Garabini and Sergio Krakowski. The event will take place Tuesday, July 22 from 7PM to 10PM at Caffe Vivaldi in Greenwich Village32 Jones St,  NYC

Charlotte Schioler's Slor was screened at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles on July 9th, then at the Golden Apricote Intl. Film Festival in Armenia later in July, in August in Denmark and in September at Kazan International Film Fest in Russia. 

Daralyn Jay is costarring in Tobacco Burn, a short film that has won several awards on the film festival circuit. Set decades before the Civil War, the film follows the actions of a brutal overseer that spark the fire of revolution on a Southern tobacco farm. “Tobacco Burn” will screen at the Maine International Film Festival (7/11–7/20), Indianapolis International Film Festival (7/17–7/26), The Woods Hole Film Festival (7/26–8/2) and Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival (8/5–8/9). Additional information is available here.

Gayle Kirschenbaum and Lee Eypper, As part of the group Writers on Hudson, will be reading their original pieces at Cornelia Street Café.  The event is entitled Writes of Summer and it runs from 6:00p - 7:30p on Sunday, July 13.  It is downstairs at Cornelia Street Café at 29 Cornelia Street between West 4th and Bleecker Streets.  Reservations are recommended and they can be made at (212) 989-9319.  Cover is $8.00 which includes a drink. ​

Shoshanna Gleich AKA Super Fire Woman the Roller Dancing Hero Of The Heart, will present a segment of her show The Forever Beautiful Botoxless Tour at The Blue Deer Center, July 5th. Still from the show shot by Jing Ross Niramon. Check out the full event here.


Linnette Harrigan of LH Media (music supervision & publishing) is grateful to have worked with the late, great actress Ms. Ruby Dee.  Ms. Dee served as a narrator to a special CD project in 2010, titled MUSICAL AESOP, which is now part of the song catalog owned/managed by the Linnette Harrigan Media  company. Whoever would like to hear a small excerpt may click here.


You may also see Linnette's  website and contact here. Lauren Buchter, has been awarded the Gold Medal in the Narrative Category of the 2014 Student Academy Awards for "Above the Sea", -- a short film with an original score by the NYWIFT member and composer. The Film is now in the running for an Oscar in the Short Film Category. You can find out more about the film here:   www.abovetheseafilm.com  and more about Lauren here:  www.laurenbuchter.com  

Lee Eypper's short play One Tired Teller will premiere at Playsmiths FlashFest 2014. The event will take place on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at the Manhattan Theatre Club. For more info and tickets click here.

Heidi Elizabeth Philipsen-Meissner is crowdfunding for her film THIS IS NOWHERE. To find out more about the campaign dates and perks click here. Also check out her latest article on Bitch Flicks. 

Catherine Hardwicke director of Twilight will attend the three day Women In Film Conference in Pittsburgh. To register and learn more about the panel topics click here. 

Nicole (“Niki”) D. Cubides ​worked on ALL ABOUT ANN: GOVERNOR RICHARDS OF THE LONE STAR STATE. A documentary film being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26th, and will also to be aired on HBO. For tickets click here. 

Amy Nicholson is directing a Special Jury Prize winning documentary called Zipper: Coney Island's Last Ride that chronicles the recent tumultuous history of Coney Island. It will be broadcast on Channel 13 at 10PM on April 28th. For more about the film click here.

Vicki Vasilopoulos directed MEN OF THE CLOTH, a documentary portrait of three Italian master tailors. A screening will take place at the Montclair Film Festival on Sunday May 4th at 2PM in New Jersey. For more information about the film and tickets click here. 

Amy Rapp -produced with Meredith Vieira an album of spoken word, comedy, and music called Life in a Marital Institution by JamesBraly now avail on itunes. To find the album and more click here.  

Anita Thatcher has entered the Short Program, Digital Dilemma in the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival for her film "CUT".  

April Yvette Thompson is Crowdfunding for her play Good Bread Alley. To find out more click here.

Meredith Riley Stewart  has launched a crowd funding campaign for her original web series, SOUTHERN DISH directed by Darla Delayne. To find out more click here.  

Alice Hunter worked as the story editor on the Tribeca Spotlight movie MISS MEADOWS featuring Katie Holmes and produced by Rob Carliner and Eric Brenner.

Caitlin McCarthy made the list of Top 25 of The Tracking Board's first-ever Launch Pad Pilot Competition for "Pass/Fail" co-written with Jim Forbes. You can find out more about the competition click here. To find out more about Caitllin click here.

Nan Avant is being nominated in the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards. Her Tributum composed for Bagpipes and Chamber Orchestra is being nominated for "Best Instrumental Song" and has been included into the Celebrate World Music compilation CD. Find out more here. 

Lee Hunkins is an honored recipient of the National Center for Creative Aging's and Life's DHL Beautiful Minds Contest for 2014. Find out more about Hunkins' work here. 

Erinnisse Heuer ​directed, produced and edited a campaign for the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) warning against the consequences of drinking and driving. The campaign is currently playing on Taxi TV, in movie theaters, gas station televisions, online, and through digital displays over the entrances to subways. For more information on the campaign, click here. Find out more about Erinnisse Heuer's work here.

Leigh M. Devine was presented the Better Life Award by the Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for Best Psychology Book of 2013. The ceremony was held on March 10, 2014 with host and television personality Meredith Viera, along with presenters Ariana Huffington and Pamela Paul. Devine's latest book The Fear Reflex is set to come out this fall by Hazelden Publishing. Linnette Harrigan, a music supervisor, publisher and President of Linnette Harrigan Media Inc, has recently signed a deal with MTV Networks.  Harrigan is also in process of providing music tracks for use in a number of indie film projects via her online license store. Find her productions and other work here.




Writer and producer Mara Lesemann is currently in pre-production for her second feature film, Detours, following the successful run of her first film, Surviving Families. For more information on Detours, visit the film's website and Facebook page. To learn more about Mara Lesemann, click here.



Gail Gendler, of AMC and the Sundance Panel, has been promoted to Vice President of Acquisitions. The announcement coincides with a year that has seen AMC's largest international and on-demand content growth. Gender has been with the company since 2000, and talks more about her new role at Variety.com. 



Richarda Abrams was recently featured in a reading of Sister Soldier at La Mama for Black History Month's Shadow Series. She will also be featured in Womanspeak on March 8 and First By Faith, a self-written one person show about Mary McLeod Bethune for the Actors Equity Association's Women's History Month series on March 24. Abrams will also be featured in the workshop production of a play about homelessness at the Actor's Studio this April.

Tracey D. Smith, a media publicist and editor-at-large, recently published a fashion editorial and extensive interview with brand spokesperson Dennis Haysbert for the winter 2014 issue of Edge Magazine. 

Priscilla J. Mattison recently published two articles (An Overview of Synchronization Licenses and An Overview of Masters use Licenses: Film and Television Uses) in Licensing of Music - From BC to AD (Before the Change/After Digital), a publication by the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers. Mattison presented her findings at the 48th Annual MIDEM conference in Cannes, France.

Lillian T. Mehrel, recipient of the NYWIFT Scholarship at NYU Film School, recently finished production on her short film A Crack. 

Marcia Rock and Patricia Stotter recently shot, edited and co-produced SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home. The film was recently nominated for a New York Emmy Award for Best Military Program. 

Heidi Philipsen-Meissner worked as a production coordinator and actress for The Better Angels, directed by A.J. Edwards and named as an Official Selection for the Sundance and Berlin International Film Festivals. Philipsen-Meissner is currently working on the indie feature This is Nowhere, written by John Russell and Tracy Nichole Cring, through her production company Personae Entertainment.

Mojisola Sonoiki of Iyalode Productions is a founder of the Women of Color Arts & Film (WOCAF) Festival in Atlanta and creator of a new and exciting interview series Indigo Tongues, that brings the inspiring voices of trailblazers of African descent into one platform.

The series debuts with a women in media segment: this month's episode features her fellow NYWIFT member Mariette Monpierre.

My Reincarnation, directed by Jennifer Fox and executive-produced by NYWIFT member Joanna Plafsky, was recently nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Informational Program: Long Form.


The Oscar-nominated documentary short Mondays at Racine made its broadcast premiere Monday, October 14 at 9PM and will have several broadcast repeats. NYWIFT member Maria Pusateri worked as an associate producer on the project and former member Vanessa Bergonzoli acted as co-producer. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade (Freeheld) follows Cynthia and Rachel, two sisters from Long Island, New York as they open their hair salon called Racine and begin to offer free beauty services for women undergoing chemotherapy. Determined to make their customers feel beautiful, the sisters give women who are losing their hair, eyebrows and eyelashes a sense of normalcy and dignity in a traumatic and uncertain time. This story of what hair means to us quickly unfolds into a study of womanhood, marriage and survival.


Kissed by Inspiration is a short film featuring the work of three NYWIFT members: Marissa Kelton (Producer and Actor), Véroniqué N. Doumbe (Editor) and Malika Franklin (Colorist). Set in the 1950s, the film tells the story of an ad campaign fighting for survival. It premiered at the tenth annual Big Apple Film Festival in New York City, and has also been screened at Shorts Block 11 at Tribeca Cinemas.



Join filmmaker Dami Akinnusi Saturdays on MNN (cable channel 34 and online) as she hosts Ancester House and interviews guests live from 5:30 to 6:30PM on this popular weekly television show. To view this week's program details, including a list of her latest topics and guests,  click here. If you have a story that you are interested in sharing with New York City, Dami would like to hear from you. Please contact her click here.

NYWIFT member Barbara Masry and Adam Nadler's upcoming film  A Wake Up Call  is a film about coping with cancer was featured in the Brooklyn Eagle. The story dramatizes two Brooklyn families, Syrian-Jewish and African-American, touched by breast cancer, one with insurance and one without. Actors Mira Sorvino, Dan Hedaya, Peter Jacobson, Ashanti and Amanda Setton are also attached to the project. To read more Click Here.

NYWIFT member Jules Suo's short film 528 New York, screened at the New York Open Film Festival on July 3, 2013. The film was also an open selection at Big Apple Film Festival, Tribeca Cinemas, Queens World Film Festival, Zero Film Festival, Coney Island Film Festival and the Film Festival of the Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. Suo was born in South Korea and raised in California. She has made several other short films: Laundry, Interviews and Boys from Coney Island.



Michele Baldwin & Tony Wilkes

NYWIFT members Michele Baldwin and Tony Wilkes, co-produders with Area Bay Productions, present Elizabeth's Precious Kitty at the DC Black Theater Festival. Elizabeth’s Precious Kitty is a sensual and highly stimulating, erotic, farcical play that promises to shock and titillate the audience as they’re taken on a sexy, voyeuristic fantasy view inside the life of a middle age virgin Dominatrix who under stress from forces is trying to take away her “precious kitty.” To purchase tickets Click Here and Support them at Kickstarter.

Laurie Layton Schapira

NYWIFT member Laurie Layton Schapira was interviewed by Geoff Brady on WBAI FM on Monday, June 10 on the subject of Jung's concept of the"Shadow."  To listen to the interview
Click Here.

Malika Franklin & Véronique N. Doumbé

Woman to Woman, directed by Malika Franklin and co-directed by Véronique N. Doumbé, is available online. Doumbé has completed work on Ndolo Films' first International co-production.

I want to add April Yvette Thompson to website for Member in the News and Crowdfunding Campaign. We just launched our Kickstarter campaign.   April bio is here Good Bread Alley Website


Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywiftlive | @nywift

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 Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts