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.

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.

Award winning actress and writer (and NYWIFT member) Dipti Mehta is set to perform her new solo show HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan at the Fringe Festival in NYC this August. Slumdog Millionaire meets Memoirs of Geisha meets the Indian epic Mahabharata in this dark and entertaining story of a priest, pimp, prostitute and a eunuch who call Mumbai's red light district their home. All performances are at Fringe Venue # 8 which is WOW Cafe Theater (59-61 East 4th Street, 4th Floor). Show times are Aug. 16 @ 4:15 PM (with a talk back), Aug. 19 @ 7:45 PM, Aug. 22 @ 7 PM, Aug. 26 @ 2 PM, and Aug. 27 @ 5 PM. Tickets are $18. Buy tickets. Part of the proceeds go to www.apneaap.org, an organization doing grass roots work to rescue and empower trafficked victims.

Member Jennifer Snowdon was the costume designer for the film No Pay, Nudity, which won a Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Filmmaking at the Stony Brook Film Festival. No Pay, Nudity is a film about hanging out, hanging in and hanging on. Gabriel Byrne, playing comically against type, portrays aging actor Lester Rosenthal, a man who has lost his way with his career, family and friends. A hilarious Nathan Lane, along with Frances Conroy and Boyd Gaines, portray his fellow thespians, all waiting for the right role to come along as they hang out in the Actors Equity lobby. Read more.

The documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, produced by NYWIFT member Caralene Robinson’s company Coffee Bluff Pictures, will screen Aug. 5-11 at Cinema Village. In addition to five daily shows, the Aug. 5 at 7 PM screening will be followed by a Q&A and reception featuring director Deborah Riley Draper and narrator Blair Underwood. Jesse Owens wasn’t the only African American at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Olympic Pride, American Prejudice explores the 18 African American Olympians who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the Berlin games. Set against the turbulent atmosphere of a racially divided America torn between boycotting Hitler’s Olympics, or participating in the Third Reich’s grandest affair, the film tells the story of 16 men and two women – the one you know, and the others you don't. Tickets are $12; seniors and students pay $8. Buy tickets.