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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.

NYWIFT member Dana Offenbach is currently in India shooting her latest film, A Look Inside, a story of forbidden love that examines issues of class and social differences that resonate worldwide. She has partnered with Parvin Dabas's Swen Entertainment for production. Parvin (Monsoon Wedding, My Name Is Kahn) is co-producing the film and will star with Mansi Rachh (24 - India, Student of The Year). The film was cast by Nandini Shrikent (Life Of Pi, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Indian Summers) and Karan Mally and will be shot in Mumbai by legendary Indian cinematographer Sunil Patel. Production began on September 26th. In the photo to the left, see Dana (going left) with her Art Director, CinemaStreet's new full-time Production Coordinator, and her Production Supervisor. Just some of the women on the team!

Member Marzy Hart's web series Working On It was just accepted in NYC Web Fest. Indiewire made the announcement here. It's a three day festival in Manhattan from November 10-12 highlighting stand out web content. Refinery29 premiered one of their series there last year. Working on It is a series about 3 couples and 1 trio who aren't afraid of working on their relationships. The series breaks the taboo on therapy in a comedic quirky manor and has a strong focus on reflecting the world around us on screen. Their characters are diverse as is the team behind the camera. They've recently won Best Web Series at LAFA, screened at @CongestedCat's IndieWorks Series month and will be screening at Brooklyn Web Fest on October 8th, nominated for their Emerging Voices category.

NYWIFT member Paula Landry's quirky dark comedy about a crazy cat lady, A Cat’s Tale, recently won Best Director in the San Francisco Best Actor's Film Festival, and will be a world premiere in the upcoming Chelsea Film Festival. Paula would like to invite all NYWIFT members to join her and the filmmakers at the premiere on Oct. 16 at 11 PM. Tickets are $18. Buy tickets.

Five short films featuring the work of NYWIFT members will screen at the Yonkers Film Festival 2016 this October. NYWIFT member Patty Schumann is the Festival Director and NYWIFT Board Member Annetta Marion is on the Festival’s Advisory Board. Get your pass for The Birch Grove, Blackwell Summers Mysteries, Arts and Crafts, Echoes and Moral Compass now. NYWIFT members get 20% off multi-day passes using an exclusive discount code - find in in your "Weeky Deals, News and Tips" e-blast on Tuesdays. See more on our site.

Producer/director Leslie McCleave's feature documentary How Sweet the Sound -- The Blind Boys of Alabama will screen October 15 at 3 PM in the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Filmed over the course of ten years, How Sweet the Sound is the fist film to tell the story of this legendary singing group who first met as children in the 1930s at a state-run segregated vocational school and would become one of the last great gospel quartets traversing the famed "gospel highway" and beyond. As the surviving band members recount their unlikely success story, we see a rare, frank view of life on the road and off with these renowned performers, now in their 70s and 80s. Leslie will be doing a Q&A following the screening. Buy tickets and watch the trailer! For more information and updates please follow the film on Facebook.

NYWIFT member Katie Hyde starts production October 2 in NYC on a female-driven feature-length comedy in the vein of Annie Hall. She's creating a daily video diary about the film's production - be sure to follow along! She wants to build a community of filmmakers who can discuss their process, tips, tricks, wars stories, failures and successes. Follow her vlog on YouTube, check out the film on Facebook, and see her company Indie City Films post blogs daily on their Facebook page.

Congrats to member Heidi Philpsen, who is among the list of official producers receiving the Producers Guild of America p.g.a mark! The list represents those who have been vetted by the Producers Guild of America to have performed a major portion of the producing functions in a decision-making capacity for Producers Mark certification and/or Awards consideration. Heidi's first feature as a producer and director is This is Nowhere. Heidi was also featured on the cover of the September issue of Herlife magazine. She is a contributor to the NYWIFT blog - you can read her posts here.

Member Laura Meoli-Ferrigon is one of 25 semifinalists selected for "Pitch, Please!," a new contest from The Roster, Ghetto Film School's professional network for diverse young professionals in New York's media and entertainment sectors. Five semifinalists will then pitch their ideas in person to an esteemed panel of television experts, including Empire creator and award-winning filmmaker Lee Daniels, during IFP Film Week from September 17-22. 21CF is a longtime supporter of Ghetto Film School, serving as founding sponsor of GFS Los Angeles and continuing to arrange exclusive behind-the-scenes access and executive masterclasses for the students. Laura submitted her project CTV after reading about the submission opportunity in an e-blast to NYWIFT members. CTV is a dark comedy version of NBC’s 30 Rock set behind the scenes of a low-budget local TV station featuring a cast and crew of unqualified misfits.  Read more about Laura and see her pitch here.

NYWIFT member Sonja O'Hara's pilot Doomsday will be an official selection at the upcoming Brooklyn Web Fest (where the show has been nominated for Best Drama) and will screen on Oct. 7 at the IFP New Media Center in Dumbo. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more info visit http://brooklynwebfest.com. Doomsday (written, produced, co-directed and starring member Sonja O'Hara) is an episodic drama that chronicles the daily lives and backstories of the members of an upstate New York cult, uncovering the gray area where youthful idealism evolves into deadly extremism. Doomsday is also a finalist at the 2016 Sundance Institute New Voices YouTube Lab! Watch the trailer.

Love, New York
a short comedy film written and directed by NYWIFT member Dionna McMillian will have its world premiere at the Coney Island Festival on Sept. 17 at 2 PM. The film is about Carmen, a struggling New York actress who accidentally grabs the wrong cup of coffee on her way into a big audition leaving her fighting a lot more than just nerves. Love, New York will also screen at the Bushwick Film Festival between Sept. 29-Oct. 2, and at the Reel Sisters Film Festival on Oct. 23 at 1PM, where the film is nominated as a finalist for Reel Sisters' Centric/Reel Sisters Award. For more information and updates follow the film at www.facebook.com/lovenewyorkfilm.

NYWIFT member and writer/director Nicole Franklin’s narrative feature film debut Title VII will be the spotlight “Clips & Conversation” program at this year’s 20th anniversary of the Urbanworld Film Festival on Sept. 22 at 5:30 PM at AMC Empire Theater 12. The CEO of Sanger International, an IT consulting firm, is powerful and successful Hillary Kelsey. Kelsey is a Black woman with no Black employees and no one can figure out why—until Darryl Montgomery, her 9:30am interview, enters the firm. On this day filled with an unbelievably awful morning that reminds Hillary of her “place” in a racially charged society, a pending account that could make or break the future of a company and a mystery man determined to turn Hillary’s world upside down, the events of the film TITLE VII illustrate why same-race discrimination can not only ruin a company, but possibly destroy lives. Tickets are $16.50. Buy tickets.

Ghost Team
, a horror comedy produced by NYWIFT member Julie Christeas, is now available to watch on iTunes and on demand! Determined to catch some ghosts on film, a paranormal-obsessed man mounts his own investigation into the beyond with his depressed best friend, misfit nephew, a cable access medium and an overeager security by his side. Stars Jon Heder, David Krumholz, Amy Sedaris, Justin Long and more. Watch it now!

NYWIFT member Petol Weekes’ short film Glass Flowers will screen Sept. 11 at 2:30 PM at the The Knitting Factory at the Williamsburgh International Film Festival (Willifest) as part of the SHORT FILM PROGRAM. NYWIFT member Kennedy Smith is associate producer. The film tells the story of a young girl’s struggle for self-acceptance. There will be a Q & A with attending film directors at the end of the film block. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online. For more information on Glass Flowers, please visit the film’s WebsiteFacebook and Instagram.

Member Geraldine Visco has been featured in several publications this summer. Michael Musto profiled her in The New York Times on July 20 in "The 61-Year-Old Club Kid." She talked - and modeled - hair dye for older women with Refinery29. She also spoke to iConversations about her life, career, and love of astrology.

Are you setting out to change the world? Here's a stat you should know: nonviolent campaigns are 100 percent more likely to succeed than violent ones. So why don't more groups use nonviolence when faced with conflict? Filmmaker and NYWIFT member Julia Bacha shares stories of effective nonviolent resistance, including eye-opening research on the crucial leadership role that women play. Watch her TED Talk – now available to stream.

After winning nine major awards in 2015, and two awards at the London International Film Festival 2016, member Maria Soccor’s Lords of BSV made its digital television debut on July 31 on Red Bull TV and is now available on VOD. Lords of BSV is the latest addition to the online media platform from the Austrian Red Bull company which broadcasts live global events, and an extensive selection of sports, music and lifestyle entertainment. The Red Bull TV debut follows Soccor and Lords of BSV being featured for a second time on WABC-TV in New York City. Above and Beyond: Inspiring People In Our Community profiled the director in the program which aired June 25 and 26. Lords of BSV tells the inspiring story of the breathtaking Brukup dancers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of New York City.

Member Sonja O’Hara’s pilot Doomsday, which she wrote, produced and stars in, is an official selection of the 2016 New York Television Festival. It is one of only 63 pilots chosen from approximately 3,500 submissions. Read the announcement in Variety. Doomsday is an episodic drama that chronicles the daily lives and backstories of the members of an upstate New York cult, uncovering the gray area where youthful idealism evolves into deadly extremism. Doomsday is also an official selection at the upcoming ITV Fest and Series Fest, and is a finalist at the 2016 Sundance Institute New Voices YouTube Lab! Watch the trailer.

Westside Spirit recently ran an article about member Caytha Jentis, who discusses her web series The Other F Word. The series celebrates the highs and lows women experience after turning 40 in a fun and fearless way. Caytha felt this demographic was underserved on screen and decided to focus on what she calls a “rebranding of aging.” Read the full interview online. Cayhta also wrote a guest post on the Women and Hollywood blog about her experiences. NYWIFT will screen The Other F Word as part of our Member Screening Series on September 27 at 7 PM at Anthology Film Archives.

Member Mary Murphy invites you to tune in to Fireside Mystery Theatre, a monthly live show and ongoing podcast. Fireside Mystery Theatre is a motley assortment of actors, writers, musicians, and technicians united by one common goal: to take your darkest fears and put them in your ears. A Prairie Home Companion met The Twilight Zone and birthed FMT, a live show and podcast with a penchant for the mysterious and the macabre, as well as a healthy dose of humor and spirited musical performances. This twisted take on the old-style radio variety show is performed monthly and recorded in one take before a live audience. A current in-studio summer series, "The Midnight Reading," shares dramatic recitations in miniature of lost classics of dark literature with performances exquisitely rendered by regular cast members Mary Murphy, James Rieser and Ali Silva. New podcast episodes are available each week leading up to FMT's LIVE season premiere September 25 at The Slipper Room in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Find out more on firesidemysterytheatre.com.

Member Ela Thier’s sci-fi comedy Tomorrow Ever After will have its world premiere at the Moondance Festival in Boulder, CO, on September 4. It is one of five feature film winners and will receive its award on September 5. When a historian living 600 years in the future time-travels to the year 2015, she navigates the societal ills that she’s read about in history books. Read more on the film’s website. See a complete list of Moondance winners and finalists, and buy tickets for the festival.

, written, produced, directed by and starring member Angela Atwood screens at Chain NYC Film Festival’s “Is This Love?” program on August 14 at 12 PM. The mission of the Chain NYC Film Festival is to encourage the development of quality independent cinema in our burgeoning digital age. The Chain NYC Film Festival serves as a showcase to the NYC film community. Freebie is 8.5 minutes of awkward and desire, starring Chris Beetem, Angela Atwood and Rege Lewis. It premiered at the 2016 Manhattan Film Festival, where is won Best Romantic Drama Short. Here's a peek at the Freebie trailer!

The LoudaVision Podcast is for visionaries, artists and creative people. Emmy award-winning Filmmaker & NYWIFT member Laura Meoli interviews experts to discuss what it takes to succeed in the arts, and methods for bringing your creative vision to life. The latest interview features filmmaker and business owner Lina Lansky, who is a fellow NYWIFT member. Lansky is a self taught filmmaker and producer with her own production company, Landsky Media Productions LLC. Even with an MBA degree, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur, and she talks about her own missteps starting out. “Having a business degree doesn’t mean jack. Hands-on experience is far more important”, she says. The LoudaVision podcast is FREE and available at www.LoudaVision.com.

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