About Events Partners Press Resources Join Members Blog Donate

Home Page
Calendar of Events
Member Center

NYWIFT Member Screening Series: Documentary Shorts

Join us for this month's NYWIFT Member Screening Series featuring documentary shorts. Featured filmmakers are Therese Shechter (Vinnie: I Break for Cycles), Debra Zarne (Adult Day Center/ ReCharge!), Rebecca Stern (Just the Muscle), Jen Fineran (The Invisible World), Michelle Ortega (Single Ladies of NY) and Denise Dragiewicz (A Butterly Space). The filmmakers will be available for a Q&A immediately following the screening.

The series provides members with the opportunity to show their work in a theatrical setting. Screenings take place at Anthology Film Archives, followed by networking at a nearby bar.

Vinnie: I Break for Cycles
Therese Shechter (Director, Producer, Co-Editor)
2003/2015, 5:07, Digital

For filmmaker Therese Shechter and the thousands of other women who acquired a Vinnie’s Tampon Case in the early 2000’s, its namesake seemed more myth than reality. In fact, not only does the artist and provocateur Vinnie Angel exist, but he has a lot to say about his line of menstruation-related products. Why don’t guys want to touch the tampon case? And how ignorance about periods is a feminist issue. Shechter originally interviewed Vinnie for her 2005 documentary I Was A Teenage Feminist, from which this footage is adapted.

Therese Shechter
is a filmmaker, writer and multi-media storyteller based in Brooklyn. Her work fuses humor, personal narrative and grassroots activism, most recently as the writer and director of the feature documentary How To Lose Your Virginity. She also curates the interactive crowd-sourced story collection The V-Card Diaries, which was recently exhibited at The Kinsey Institute. Shechter’s work has been covered by The Atlantic, Salon, Elle, Jezebel, The Guardian and the Jakarta Globe, among others. Since the release of her first films, the award-winning I Was A Teenage Feminist and How I Learned to Speak Turkish, she has shown her work on television, and in festivals, universities and art galleries around the globe. In her spare time Shechter is part of the podcasting group Damsels in Discussion, whose most popular series is Downton Gabby.

Adult Day Center/ReCharge!

Debra Zarne (Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor and Sound Designer)
2014, 10:13, Digital

Adult Day Center/ReCharge!
is a labor of love showcasing two innovative programs for elderly folks in Milwaukee. The Adult Day Center assists people with functional impairment, and the “ReCharge!” class helps people with memory loss. The programs are open to the general public and provide a beautiful, engaging and supportive environment for the participants. Former Wisconsin Governor Martin Schreiber and his wife Elaine appear in the film, along with various other participants and family members.

Debra Zarne
graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School and then practiced law for many years in NYC, Milwaukee and Tokyo. Ultimately, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker and went to film school at USC (Film Production M.F.A.). Primarily a writer/director, Zarne has made over 25 short films, several of which have screened on the festival circuit and won awards. She has also written award-winning scripts, features and a sitcom pilot. Zarne’s artwork has been featured in the Charles Allis Art Museum (Milwaukee), and she has had poetry published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and travel articles in Elle and Ladies’ Home Journal.

Just the Muscle

Rebecca Stern (Director/Producer)
2015, 5:07 Digital

Just the Muscle
reveals an unlikely neighbor – the warmhearted club bouncer – as he tirelessly works late nights dodging punches and calming drunken bar-goers in order to make a living, raise his daughter, and maintain his optimistic view on life.

Rebecca Stern
began her career serving as the Campaign Coordinator for the Emmy-nominated documentary Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, working directly with the award-winning filmmaking team, Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. In this role, Stern organized large-scale national screening events, developed key campaign partnerships, managed social media and coordinated internal operations for the campaign and the filmmakers. After Escape Fire, Stern assisted production on Heineman’s Sundance selected documentary, Cartel Land, before moving to Picture Motion, a leading marketing and impact firm focused on helping film change the world.

The Invisible World

Jen Fineran (Producer/Director/Editor)
2015, 13:00, Digital

To work at the threshold of the image, between the form of the psyche and the formlessness of the spirit, the artist must travel to the invisible world. Emmy-nominated editor Jen Fineran follows the artist Mark Weiss as he strives to create a new method of automatic painting, revealing as it creates – and perhaps hurting and healing the artist in the process. The film asks age-old questions of art and representation: does the painter project what’s inside the mind? Or does he apprehend something larger – and external to us?

Jen Fineran is best known for her intimate, non-fiction storytelling. She received an “Outstanding Editing” Emmy nomination for her work on Alison Klayman’s feature documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (IFC Films) which won numerous awards including a Sundance Special Jury Prize. Fineran recently edited and produced the 2015 Academy-award winning student documentary I Married My Family’s Killer (Dir: Emily Kassie). She is currently editing and co-producing Kristi Zea’s upcoming documentary Everybody Knows … Elizabeth Murray.

The Single Ladies of NY
Michelle Ortega (Producer/Director)
2015, 17:00, Digital

The Single Ladies
of NY features women of various ages (20's-60) sharing their experiences while looking for love in New York. Their stories provide insight into modern urban women's perspectives, challenges and expectations, and the unique benefits and hurdles that dating in New York presents. The film also shares a dating expert's advice, do's and don'ts, and provides insight into what women are looking for in relationships.

Michelle Ortega
, Owner and Executive Producer for mashNY, has worked as a video producer and director for the past 18 years. She worked as a Video Producer at Google in New York and the headquarters in Mountain View, creating high-profile online videos, many of which became viral and were seen by millions of people. Michelle launched her own successful video production business called North Beach Digital, in 2009, which continues today. Prior to that, Michelle received numerous awards for excellence in video production as a Senior Producer at Macy's Satellite Network. As a Past President of the San Francisco chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, she continues to promote diversity in media.

A Butterfly Space

Denise Dragiewicz (Director)
2014, 28:00, Digital

A Butterfly Space
chronicles the efforts of two British women who set up a volunteer community project in Nkhata Bay, Malawi, Africa, improving the lives of villagers, both with environmental initiatives and social services. Currently, their programs include a primary and nursery school, a disability center, HIV nutritional meetings, courses on sustainable gardening, an information and literacy center, vocational training, and a radio initiative providing classes to locals in their native language, a first of its kind in Malawi.

Denise Dragiewicz
edited the narrative films Yattra (Golden Door Film Festival) and Girl Clown (First Glance Film Festival), co-edited the experimental short MatterSpaceTime (New Jersey Film Festival), was assistant editor on the feature documentary Missing People (Hot Docs 2015), and acted as associate editor for the up-coming Renegade Dreamers. Her first director’s credit was with the short documentary The Ballad of Acadia (Maine Outdoor Film Festival). In 2013-2014, Dragiewicz documented both environmental turmoil and community conservation in seven East African countries. The first released, A Butterfly Space, will debut at The Global Peace Film Festival in Orlando, Florida.


Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @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