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Members in the News


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

 

Member Katie Tibaldi’s web series, Seeking Sublet, is an Official Selection of the Big Apple Film Festival and screens on Nov. 3 at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $20. Buy tickets.Seeking Sublet is an ensemble comedy series about two roommates in search of the perfect third roommate in NYC. Think you’ve had bad roommates? Tune in. Commiserating begins here. Spotlighted by the likes of MovieMaker Magazine, Funny or Die, Script Magazine and Tumblr, with over 100,500 views just on Funny or Die alone of their 23 sketches, nine Season 1 episodes will debut soon, currently screening on the film festival circuit. Recent festivals include: Brooklyn Web Fest (Nominated for 5 Awards), 2016 Katra Film Series, 2017 CIFF41, 2017 IndieWorks Screening Series, 2017 ITVFest Network Notes & Development Selection and 2017 Big Apple Film Festival.


NYWIFT member Jean Criss has launched Crisscross Intimates, a collection made for women and men in need of compression undergarments for any type of post-operative surgery. The company produces chic, colorful and comfortable compression Post-op Bras, Prosthesis Pocket Bras, matching Panties, Leggings, Accessories, Men's Compression Vests and educational products of Inspiration. Look for the worldwide launch of this brand on Modern Living TV with Kathy Ireland by following Jean's blog, (her initial post on Modern Living TV can be found here) and taking a look at the press coverage on the show, such as this article. The show with Jean Criss will be aired in November, so look out for updates!

NYWIFT member Heidi Philipsen’s feature film Darcy will have its world premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival in Minneapolis on Oct. 24 at 5:30 PM. The film is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT. It's summer break and fifteen-year-old Darcy is working in her family's motel, a seedy operation on the edge of town. Sustaining the motel is the practice of taking in occupants who have until only recently been incarcerated—an arrangement that Darcy’s parents have made with the Department of Corrections for a price. Those people desperate to sleep for a night are the strangers lurking the halls, never knowing who is shooting up, or of the pimp leading a man to a working-girl next door. The idealistic Darcy sees the motel’s residents only as people, not realizing the danger she might be in. Appearing like a vision from the cover of the romance novels she sneaks off to read in the woods. Darcy’s eyes open a bit wider and her feelings are tapped a little deeper when the older, handsome and brooding Luke checks into the motel. Slowly beginning to come of age surrounded by people that society wants to forget, along with an alluring stranger whose arrival sparks the possibilities that life has to offer, Darcy is presented with a decision to make: Stay close to the mundane life she knows and loathes, or venture off into the uncertain but undeniably tempting world outside of the motel’s doors. Tickets are $12. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Sandra Luckow’s That Way Madness Lies is the opening night feature at the Big Apple Film Festival Nov. 1 at 9 PM at SVA Theater (333 West 23rd St). One woman and her family trek the broken mental health system in an effort to save her brother as he descends into madness. Beginning as a testimony of his sanity, his iPhone video diary ultimately becomes an unfiltered look at the mind of an untreated schizophrenic. Tickets are $20. Buy tickets.


NYWIFT member Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s short film Fragile Beauty will debut at The Chelsea Film Festival on Oct. 21 at 1:30 PM at Lowe's AMC (312 West 34 St.). Wendy is the producer, narrator, and host and her husband is the director of photography. Traveling to the remote Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, Fragile Beauty is a documentary short exploring the customs of the Hamar, Karo, and Mursi people, their day-to-day lives, that have stayed much the same through centuries. But the question is, how different are they from us, and how much longer will they remain that way? The challenges of their unique way of life, their extreme adornment, elaborate body painting, and piercings, are now being threatened by the outside world. Their story is told through a narrative and interviews by Wendy Stuart Kaplan with extraordinary visuals by Alan Kaplan. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets (it’s in Short Film Series 7).


NYWIFT member Margaret Galbraith is the director of Stickman: The Roosevelt Wilkerson Story, a deeply moving documentary about a Dallas homeless man, Roosevelt Wilkerson, whose passion for carving walking sticks connects him to a world beyond the streets and launches him on an incredible journey. Within the backdrop of the American South, with its history of slavery and segregation, the film shows how the power of the human spirit can overcome the rigid boundaries of social class and race that still pervade society. Stickman debuted at the USA Film Festival in April and most recently won Best Documentary Feature at the Frame4Frame Film Festival. The film will be shown at LA Femme Festival in Los Angeles, and tickets can be found here with the code "special." Look out for showings in Portland by following the Portland Film Festival website. The film will also be screened as part of the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas at the AMC Palace 9 on November 10 with $10 tickets available at the door. Check out the Stickman website, and watch the trailer!

There are multiple NYWIFT members' films being featured in YoFiFest, The Yonkers Film Festival from November 3-11 2017! Patty Schumann, the festival director, and Annetta Marion, an advisory board member of the festival, are both NYWIFT members, and proud to be featuring the work several NYWIFT members at this year's YoFiFest. NYWIFT member Jenn Shaw's $15 Kicks, Gabrielle Lasner's The Stronger, and Francesca Andre's Charcoal play November 5. NYWIFT member Claudia Murdoch produced Time is the Longest Distance, which is playing November 8. Amy Leland, another NYWIFT member, edited the film Sundown, which is playing November 4. NYWIFT members have a special offer of 20% off single, two-, and three-day passes! Go to yofifest.com and enter the passcode YOFIDAY to access your pass for Friday-Saturday-Sunday, Saturday and Sunday, or just Saturday or Sunday! 

WIFV DC member Jody Hassett Sanchez is the director and producer of the film More Art Upstairs, a documentary that will have its New York premiere on November 15 at the IFC Center as part of the DOC NYC series. More Art Upstairs follows four accomplished artists as they compete at ArtPrize, a populist experiment that’s challenging the art world’s hierarchy by giving the public the power to decide which art will win almost half the $500,000 in prize money. With unmatched access to artists, organizers, jurors and visitors, the film captures the entire wild ride of this competition. The result – a thoughtful yet exuberant experience about this curious confluence of paintings, populism and the notion that art can express something important about what it means to be human. Purchase your tickets to the New York premiere! Visit the film website, Facebook, and Twitter, and learn more about DOC NYC here

NYWIFT member Melissa eXelberth has been nominated for a SOVAS Voice Arts Award for her narration of a video, "Wind...Energy...Power." View the full list of nominees for the SOVAS Voice Arts Awards here. Melissa is a bilingual ISDN voice talent, who has done corporate, commercial, and broadcast work, and more. Visit her website to watch and listen to the projects on which she has worked. Follow Melissa on LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter

NYWIFT Member Romina Schwedler wrote, directed, edited, and produced her short film The Visit, which tells the story of a son visiting his mother in a hospital visiting area as she grapples with dementia. The film stars Oscar Nominee June Squibb (Nebraska, About Schmidt) and Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity), and has been on the festival circuit since its Burbank International Film Festival premiere in September, when it was still a work in progress, but the festival still treated it as a World Premiere and we won the Best Short Film by a Woman Award as well as a Best Actor Nomination for Sean Maher. The film will also be featured in the Oscar Qualifying festivals: Cinequest Film Festival and St. Louis International Film Festival. The film also received several nominations (including Best Short) and additional awards, most recently the Audience Award at Martha's Vineyard International and the U.S. Short Film Award of Excellence at Catalina. Watch the trailer, visit the website, and follow the film on Facebook and Twitter

NYWIFT member Misha Calvert won the Emerging Voices Award at the 2017 Brooklyn Web Festival, an event dedicated to highlighting phenomenal online storytelling from digital innovators. Ms. Calvert's web series Tinder is the Night screened at the festival and also earned her nominations for Best Actress and Best New York Show. The awards were announced at the Made in NY/IFP Center on October 7th, 2017. As an actor-writer-director Ms. Calvert is what's known as a multihyphenate artist, a new genre of entertainer quickly gaining momentum in Hollywood. Inspired by real events, Tinder is the Night is a romantic comedy that follows a young New York woman named Eddie and her three best friends who are looking for love, sex, and companionship. Throughout the series a string of increasingly bizarre internet meetups make the women question the sanity of dating. You can find out more at www.tinderisthenight.showTinder is the Night is also nominated for Best Digital Series at the Bushwick Film Festival, where it screens October 14th, and the New Zealand Web Festival, where it screens November 18th. The show recently garnered an Honorable Mention at the Wendie Web Festival and was a Finalist at Elba Comedy Festival.

NYWIFT Member Eldonie S. Mason, Esq. Founding Member of Mason Firm, LLC, spoke at the Ocktober Film Festival on the topic "Filmmakers, protect your work!" She spoke as part of the workshop series on October 7, 2017, and Mason Firm, LLC was also a proud sponsor and was an exhibitor in The Filmmaker's Resource Lounge. Eldonie has represented the founder of the Ocktober Film Festival, acted as production attorney on independent films, represented actors, directors and producers, and acquired rights for film and TV. The Ocktober Film Festival (OFF) is a New York film festival that serves as a platform for artist to express themselves through film and new media. They are heavily involved with the independent filmmaking community making the festival a trusted resource for emerging and established filmmakers.

After Party
, a feature film starring Rachel Nichols and Steve Guttenberg and costume designed by NYWIFT member Jevyn Nelms, will screen at the Chelsea Film Festival at AMC Lowes 34th Street on Oct. 20 at 1:30 PM. Charlie throws New York’s best parties; where downtown artists, uptown intellectuals, hipsters and hangers-on gather to drink, dance and be seen. Yet right under the surface of the decadence is fear. Fear of success, fear of being alone, and fear about what the world looks like when the party’s over. Tonight is going to be one of Charlie’s most memorable parties. It’s also her last, but not even she knows it. After Party is the winner of the 2017 Best Comedy Feature Award at the Madrid International Film Festival. Individual tickets are $13. Buy tickets


Come out to hear sensational singing performances by Ms. Melba Moore, Rhonda Ross (daughter of Diana Ross) and many more for Virgin Islands Hurricane Relief. Proceeds go to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. Takes place Sunday, Nov. 12 from 3-5 PM EST at the Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College (250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468). This concert will be filmed live for television. Tickets are limited so purchase your tickets now. If you can't attend, but would like to make a donation, you can do so here. Concert Co-produced by NYWIFT member Linnette Harrigan

PHAT GIRL COSTUMES
: A Big Girl’s journey of self acceptance, one homemade Halloween costume at a time. Size matters. To Brooke Hoover. Well, her size. Bound and determined to embrace her inner phat* girl, Brooke invites us to examine her costumes of yore and opens up about her struggles attempting to fit in...to her body. (*Pretty Hot And Tempting) NYWIFT member Brooke Hoover’s newest solo show Phat Girl Costumes appears as part of Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series at TADA! Theater (15 West 28th Street 2nd Floor) on Oct. 22 at 7 PM. Tickets are $10 and are available via www.BrookeHoover.com/Performances. Phat Girl Costumes is written and performed by Brooke Hoover, directed by Brian Lady (titlepoint.org), script advisor Nick Robideau (playwright of Inanimate playing at The Flea) and costume designer Anne Olivier Hoover (also Brooke’s beloved Momma.)

NYWIFT member Jeanine Bartel is excited to share that #MotherJudger (the web-series co-produced by and starring NYWIFT members Ursula Abbott, Jeanine Bartel, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Tricia Paoluccio and Laura Shoop) has been chosen as an official selection at the ITVFest up in Manchester, Vermont. It will play at the Village Picture Show Theatre on Oct. 12 from 3:30-4:30 PM and Oct. 14 from 1:30 – 3 PM. #MotherJudger is a new web series about a group of mom friends who struggle to justify their parenting choices to the world...and themselves. Please also check out www.therefinerynyc.com to enjoy #MotherJudger and like and follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

NYWIFT member Sydney Smith’s hello is a modern fable about an introverted young Brooklynite whose sole companion is a beloved pet fish. Herby spends his days busking as a living statue of The Tin Man, at once immersed in and protected from a disheartening world. When a mysterious young woman and her curious pup move into the apartment next door, they rouse Herby from his narrow existence. It has been accepted into The Kerry Film, Festival, in Killarney, Ireland, which takes place Oct. 19-22. (Details here.) It also recently won an Award of Excellence from the BEST SHORTS COMPETITION. The film premiered at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in May, as part of New York International Shorts.

NYWIFT Member Lara Slife's international award winning documentary Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story will be airing an encore presentation on CBS Sports Network on Friday, October 6th at 8pm EST/ 5pm PST. Born to Lead is the story of Sal Aunese, the University of Colorado’s star Samoan Quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989 and how his team promptly dedicated their season to him. Through reflections from his friends, family, and teammates, as well as rare archival footage, Born to Lead chronicles Sal’s rise to the top as one of his team’s most valuable players and his valiant battle with the disease that took his life in 1989. Reminiscent of such poignant sports films of the past such as Brian’s Song and Rudy, Born to Lead is a rousing story of courage, friendship, and living life against the most brutal of obstacles. Make sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8pm EST on the CBS Sports Network, and check out the Facebook, Twitter, website, IMDb and YouTube channels associated with the documentary.

Amy Nicholson's short documentary Pickle was named "Best in Documentary" at the Women in Film and Television International Short Film Showcase. In Pickle, a couple recounts the various animals they have adopted as pets over the course of their marriage, including a paraplegic possum and a fish that couldn’t swim. The film explores the human capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted lives until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate deaths. Watch the doc and read a statement from Amy here.

NYWIFT member Frida Torresblanco is a producer of the film Disobedience, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Happily single and living a rich life as a photographer in New York, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is very much the black sheep of her London-based Orthodox Jewish family. When her revered rabbi father dies, Ronit returns home to pay her respects and liquidate her inheritance. But surprises await, chief among them the news that Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) — the heir apparent to Ronit's father and very much the son he never had — has married Ronit's childhood friend Esti (Rachel McAdams). While Dovid prepares to take over the hallowed place at the synagogue, Ronit and Esti become reacquainted. An old flame is reignited — one that could torch everything this family most cherishes. Read the reviews in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Follow more projects produced by Frida Torresblanco by checking out her production company website.

Dr. Louise Nutter from The Lulu Sessions
Dr. Louise Nutter from The Lulu Sessions
NYWIFT Board Member S. Casper Wong’s documentary The Lulu Sessions is now available to rent for $3.99 on Vimeo On Demand. Unlike anyone you've ever met, LuLu is a hard-living, chain-smoking rebel with a tender heart; poet with a potty mouth; farm girl; former cheerleader; world-class biochemistry pioneer; and beloved professor. Aka Dr. Louise Nutter, she has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when, at 42, she learns she has terminal breast cancer. Reminiscent of Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin’s Silverlake Life, The Lulu Sessions, via video diary, records the journey S. Casper Wong shared with her mentor, best friend, and on-again-off-again lover over the last 15 months before LuLu died. Her compelling film chronicles how the two women test the limits of their bond and take on life's ultimate adventure, shedding old presumptions and values while adopting new ones in the process. Reflective, intensely honest, and surprisingly humorous, this unforgettable documentary makes life’s last journey accessible in ways rarely seen before on screen. The film was screened at NYWIFT in 2013. Watch it now!

NYWIFT member Geneva Peschka is the co-director and producer of the short documentary Unspoken, which will make its world premiere at the 40th Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 12 at 3 PM and Oct. 14 at 2:30 PM, at CineArts at Sequoia Theater (Theater 2), 25 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA. It will screen with the feature Just One Drop. Using her insightful writing as a catalyst and remedy to the fear surrounding autism, Emma Zurcher-Long presents Unspoken as a collaborative self-portrait; a chronicle of a teenager who lives in the beauty beyond spoken language. Follow Emma’s journey as she enriches our understanding of what it means to be human. Tickets are $15. Buy tickets.They are also fundraising to help send the directors to the festival. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.


NYWIFT Board Member Heidi Brod's debut novel, Seeing Red, is now available in Kindle, hardcover and paperback on Amazon! The birth of her child, Sky, is a trigger for Seraphine Swift-Whitlock as she is once again haunted by nightmares and flashbacks from the night she was attacked. She thought that when she married Harper Swift, she would escape her troubled past; but instead, she is haunted by a deadly secret that won't stay buried and a jigsaw puzzle of feelings and images that threatens to tear her world apart. When a college student is murdered and the gruesome crime scene parallels what happened that night on the streets of Boston, it's Harper that's put on the case. As more bodies surface, Seraphine is thrown back into a labyrinth of darkness, once again fighting for her life. Frightened and desperate, she has to get stronger and learn to fight if she's going to be able to save her beautiful baby girl, Sky, and the only man she's ever loved. The characters are all intertwined and pawns in a game as Seraphine tries desperately to unravel the mystery behind the murders before the killer is back to finish what he started. Buy Heidi's book, Seeing Red, through AmazonSmile and you can support NYWIFT in the process. When you shop with AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to NYWIFT whenever you make a purchase – at no extra charge to you! Click here to set your Amazon account to automatically donate to NYWIFT, and be sure to type in smile.amazon.com whenever you make an Amazon purchase.

NYWIFT Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant recipient documentary Swim Team will be broadcast on PBS’ POV on Monday, October 2nd at 10 PM. In Swim Team by NYWIFT member Lara Stolman, parents of a boy on the autism spectrum form a competitive swim team, recruiting other teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. The film chronicles the extraordinary rise of three diverse young athletes, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels like winning. Learn more on the PBS POV website. Join the conversation online with hashtag #SwimTeamPBS.

Check out the next episode of Laura Meoli’s LoudaVision podast. Teraj is an accomplished model, dancer, and social media influencer. He’s following his dreams and just recorded his debut album, Defy. You might have seen Teraj in music videos with Meek Mill, Wiz Khalifa or Miley Cyrus- or even on Million Dollar Listing! He discusses how crowdfunding provided him the opportunity to produce deeply personal music with a positive message. Don’t miss this episode of the LoudaVision podcast featuring Teraj’s debut single “We got each other” off his EP album Defy. Are you a creative person struggling to turn your passion into a career? The LoudaVision podcast is for YOU! Listen here.

NYWIFT member Paula Landry’s book Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide (2nd Edition) is now available for $39.95 through Samuel French. Budgeting and scheduling are easy in principle but hard in practice. The successful producer has a solid plan for juggling dozens of activities and costs while retaining the flexibility to cope with those inevitable last-minute changes and stay on course. Preplanning the budget and schedule of any media project is absolutely essential, and the 2nd edition of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide shows you the intricacies of handling both budgeting and scheduling successfully. Buy it now!
NYWIFT board member Rosalind Murphy produced her first feature film, Dope Fiend, which debuted on VOD on August 29th. Dope Fiend tells the gritty story of crooked business developers with fiendish plans to take over the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy through gentrification. Money, drugs, and violence are used to manipulate the lives of three warring families, forcing them to address their ills or face destruction. Watch the trailer! Visit the film's website, read the coverage of the film, and check out the IMDb page. Watch the film online by renting it on Amazon Video.

NYWIFT member Vicky Lee's film Missing Question Mark will be shown at the Seward Park Library on Monday, October 2, from 6:30-8:30 PM. The screening is free and open to the public as part of a series of films that weave oral history into different filmic techniques to provide the viewer unique insight into the lives of New York City teenagers. Missing Question Mark is a creative portrait of a reticent teenager's battle with depression and her fragile connection with the evolving world around her. Her other film How To Be Bad is screening at the All American High School Film Festival on October 7. Visit Vicky Lee's website to learn more about her projects, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog

Between the Shades
Between the Shades
See Between the Shades at the Palm Springs LGBTQ Festival on Sept. 22 at 3:30 PM. Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved and expanded since the Stonewall riots. The film, by NYWIFT member Jill Salvino, examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. The team invited fifty people, each with a connection to the LGBTQI community to begin a conversation by sharing their stories for this film that premiered at The Soho Film Festival and became an audience favorite and finalist for best documentary. Between the Shades features many voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andrew Tobias. No film can ever capture the immense diversity of the LGBTQI community, but it didn’t stop the team from trying. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be loved. See ticket options.

NYWIFT member Francesca Andre wrote and directed Charcoal, a short film which tackles skin-tone based discrimination (i.e. colorism). The film has been nominated and will be shown at several international film festivals. Charcoal captures the stories of two women, as they embark on a lifelong journey to overcome internalized colorism, find self-acceptance, and ultimately redemption. To many, colorism is a social disease that exists not just among black communities, but in many parts of Asia and Latin America. Discussions on race, class, and gender have become more common, but the conversation on the destructive, generational cycle of colorism is lacking. Charcoal will be shown at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival on September 20 and 22, the 8th Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival on September 29 through October 1, the Yonkers Film Festival on November 3 - 8, and the Slum Film Festival in Kenya on October 1 - 27. It has been nominated for the following awards: Best Short Film at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, a Visionary Award at the Crystal Ship Mini Indie Film Festival, and a Juror's Certificate for the Women of African Descent Film Festival. Francesca Andre grew up in Haiti where skin bleaching remains very common. Charcoal hopes to spark conversations that address these colonial traumas, and show that redefining one’s own beauty standards is possible and often necessary for one’s survival.

The film Chavela, which received a Women in Film Finishing Fund award, will be released in theaters in the first week of October. Chavela is being distributed theatrically in the US by Music Box Films, Inc. and will open in New York on October 4th at the Film Forum, in Los Angeles on October 6th at the Landmark NuArt and in seven other cities nationwide thereafter. Directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi will be in attendance at the premiere on October 4 at 8:10 pm, October 7 at 6:15pm, and October 8 at 2:20pm. Daresha Kyi will also be at the LA premiere on Friday, October 6. Chavela is the captivating look at the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame. Chavela centers around a 1991 interview--the singer's first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. In the final years of her life, Chavela openly comes out as a lesbian and rises into her momentous third act, becoming a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earning a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and selling out performances at prestigious concert halls around the world. Buy tickets!

NYWIFT board members Rosalind Murphy, Kathryn O'Kane, and Casper Wong were each featured last week on the podcast "Curious About Screenwriting Network," in which they discussed topics relevant to their field within the film and television industries. The three episodes in which they were featured are part of a series of interviews with NYWIFT board members, co-produced with the International Screenwriters' Association. Rosalind Murphy discussed audience development, Kathryn O'Kane shared her expertise on advertising and producing, and Casper Wong spoke about her entrepreneurial and filmmaking experience. Visit the International Screenwriters' Association website to learn more about the organization, and to follow the podcast