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Members in the News

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Darcy, also known as This Is Nowhere, was nominated for "Best Feature" and Heidi Philipsen and Jon Russell Craig, who both co-directed, were nominated for "Best Director" in the Influx Magazine Online Film Awards. Heidi, a proud member of NYWFIT, produced, co-directed, and acted in the film while Jon co-directed and was a co-writer. Darcy is about a teenage girl who is working at her family’s motel for the summer. As well as being a regular motel, it also hosts individuals who have been previously incarcerated. Young Darcy just sees the residents as people and doesn’t see the potential dangers that surround her. As she begins to realize everything around her, she has to make a decision. She has to choose whether she wants to stay in her innocent and mundane life or continue to venture into the world she has recently discovered as uncertain but all the more tempting. Darcy was filmed entirely in Palenville, New York. They made it in the top six among some pretty impressive competition including The Meanest Man In Texas and Glass Ceiling in the Best Director category.
If you would like to hear more about Heidi and Jon or any of the other nominated directors and feature films, read more in Influx Magazine.
In related news, Heidi also graduated from UCLA's professional screenwriting program in June. Congratulations, Heidi, on all of your recent success!


NYWIFT member Francesca Van Horne’s play Tales from the Trundle will be performed June 26 at 7:30 PM in Brooklyn. Tickets are $12 advance; $15 at the door. Buy tickets. Starring Francesca Van Horne. James Phillip Gates directs. Telling of a mother’s survival from abuse & addiction, battling the New York court system and divorce, this story is a journey into healing. Through laughter, tears, friendship, romance and sex, via Paris and Los Angeles, we are led to the ultimate destination of self-transformation and self-love. Van Horne will also perform the piece at upcoming shows in Paris and London in July!

NYWIFT member Stephanie Stender’s short film La Sirène is premiering on June 20 at 7 PM at The Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA. In this underwater adventure, a stodgy Victorian man falls into his aquarium - and into a whole new world, filled with burlesque mermaids! Lolli Hoops stars in the film, as the mesmerizing temptress. After the film, Lolli Hoops will perform, and Doorstop Productions will showcase three of their new comedy shorts, featured on Elizabeth Banks' WhoHaha (and one starring the talented Lolli Hoops!). Cost to attend is $5 cash. See details.

The Heritage Program of the League of Professional Theatre Women presents Suffragists from the Stage. Meet some of the actress/activists who were powerhouses in the Suffragists movement, with a special spotlight on Izetta Jewel (1883-1978), Fola La Follette (1882-1970), and Mary Shaw (1854-1929). Curated by NYWIFT member Mari Lyn Henry, director of the LPTW Heritage Program, with In Her Own Words reading selections by LPTW members Melody Brooks, Ginger Grace, Laura E. Johnston, and Judy Rosenblatt. June 22 from 6-8 PM at Pearl Studios (500 Eighth Avenue, Room 404). Free to LPTW Members; $15 non-members. RSVP to stagestrucknyc@gmail.com. See details.

Join Board Member Kathryn O’Kane as she live tweets during Talking Dead, Sunday nights at 10 PM EST on AMC through July 16. O’Kane returns to Rosarito, Mexico to direct exclusive on-set interviews with the cast and crew of Fear The Walking Dead. Talking Dead, hosted by Chris Hardwick, continues to be the number one talk show on television among adults ages 18-49. TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Busy_Kay WEBSITE: www.busyk.com.

Member Eva Zelig's documentary, An Unknown Country, will premiere on the PBS TV station Thirteen/WNET in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - Monday, June 12 at 10 PM. For night owls there will be a repeat broadcast Tuesday, June 20 at 4 AM. Check your local listings and if you can’t catch it live, set your DVR for later viewing at your leisure. This inspiring film tells the story of European Jews who fled Nazi persecution and the rising Holocaust to find refuge in Ecuador, a small country with few resources. Through the exiles' personal testimonies, the documentary chronicles their heartbreaking search for a country that would take them in when most had closed their doors. It sheds light on why Ecuador granted asylum to the refugees. It also explores the actions of Ecuador's consuls in Europe. The film shows how the exiles remade their lives in what was for them an exotic, unfamiliar land, and it highlights their contributions to many aspects of life in their host country.

NYWIFT member Claudia Murdoch is the Executive Producer of Imitation Girl, which makes its Southern California Premiere at the Dancing with Films Festival. The dramatic sci-fi screens at TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood on June 6 at 7:15 PM - with actor and filmmakers in attendance. A mysterious being appears in the Southwestern desert and assumes the identity of the first person she sees - a woman on a magazine cover. Taken in by Iranian immigrants, she forms an understanding of her new surroundings, and comes to appreciate the beauty and the sadness of her new world. At the same time, Julianna, Imitation’s world-weary earthly double, knows both glitz and grit working as an entertainer in New York City, where her fraying life and relationships threaten her dreams for an audition that might finally set her on a happier path. On learning of Juliana’s existence, Imitation heads to New York, where only by sacrificing themselves to each other can the cosmic twins complete a full portrait of a woman. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets.


Live Your Light, shot and directed by NYWIFT member Jendra Jarnagin is having its world premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival, screening June 4 at 2:30 PM and June 10 at 3 PM at the Wythe Hotel, as part of the experimental shorts block. Eight unique and accomplished professional performers from the Bushwick Brooklyn circus arts collaborative called "House of Yes" perform for the camera in this stylized dance film. They speak to the audience not just through movement, but in their own voices, via woven-together audio interviews, reflecting on their relationship to their art and what moves them to perform. These artists have dedicated their lives to the premise of "Radical Self Expression," one of the ten principles of Burning Man culture. Featuring fire-spinning, fire-breathing, hooping, aerial silks, lyra, trapeze and cross-disciplinary dance, we connect with each dancer in their own emotional, raw and vulnerable words as we are awed with their feats of seemingly effortless grace. By letting their own light shine, these artists inspire others to do the same. Tickets are $15. Buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Mary McCarthy’s web series, The Goodpie Girl, has debuted online. In the series, a pie baker tries to make the baking show of her dreams, only to be foiled by all of her guests. Episodes debut every Tuesday. Watch nowSubscribe on YouTube.

Join author and host, NYWIFT member Squeaky Moore, of The Pitch 101 for her #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made So You Don't Have To first ever, LIVE #100Pitches, book tour & bootcamp, unlike anything that's ever been done before! For the June 13 at 6 PM NYC kick-off launch of Squeaky's book, she will have #100 spots open for you to attend and learn straight from the chapters of her book! NYC industy guest panelists to include Robyn Arrington (TV One), Dafina Roberts (Nickelodeon), Tracey Baker Simons (Being Bobby Brown), J. Alexander Martin (FUBU TV), and more. Tickets are $47. Read more and buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Serena Dykman’s documentary Nana screens at the Lower East Side Film Festival on June 13 at 8 PM at Sunshine Cinemas. Nana documents the filmmaker's journey with her mother Alice retracing their (grand)mother’s Auschwitz survival story, and investigating how her lifelong fight against intolerance can continue to be taught to the new generations, against the backdrop of current events. Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, the filmmaker’s grandmother, born in Poland, survived Ravensbruck, Malchow, and Auschwitz, where she was the forced translator of the “Angel of Death”, Dr. Mengele. She dedicated her post-war life to publicly speaking of her survival to the young generations, so that it would never be forgotten or repeated. Alice and Serena, her daughter and granddaughter, explore how Maryla’s activism and crucial message can continue today, in a world where survivors are disappearing, and intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism are on the rise. Tickets are $16. Buy tickets.

Between the Shades
Between the Shades
NYWIFT member Jill Salvino’s Between the Shades premieres at the SoHo International Film Festival on June 17 at 4:20 PM at Village East Main Theatre. Between the Shades seeks to put faces to the letters that make up LGBTQI and how those letters have evolved and expanded over time. The film examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love. Between the Shades is a documentary by filmmaker Jill Salvino and features 50+ voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias. Watch the trailer. Tickets are $16. Buy tickets.

Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi received its third NY Emmy® win for Best Entertainment Program/Special for the “Bright Lights of Broadway” episode – this is in anticipation of Season 2 of the series, Bare Feet in NYC with Mickela Mallozzi, on national public television this July.  The show follows Mickela Mallozzi as she highlights the ethnic neighborhoods of New York City, discovering the dance and music traditions of local New Yorkers in Mallozzi’s in the city. In the season 2 premiere, Mallozzi heads to Manhattan’s Chinatown to dig deeper into one of New York’s oldest and most iconic ethnic neighborhoods. Mallozzi herself comes from a family of immigrants, and her goal with Bare Feet Season 2 is to share similar American immigrant stories through the presentation and preservation of these culturally diverse dance forms and styles.

House of Teeth
, written and directed by NYWIFT member Susanna Styron and scored by member Wendy Blackstone, will screen at the New York International Shorts Festival on May 31 at 7:45 PM at Landmark Sunshine Cinema. In the aftermath of her divorce, a woman in midlife sets out to find her bearings -- and her mojo -- as she discovers the challenges and surprises of life beyond marriage. Tickets are $14. Buy tickets (this film is featured in Program 5).

Landing Up, a feature film produced by and featuring NYWIFT member Marzy Hart, will make its world premier at the Dances with Films Festival in LA on June 7 at 9:30 PM at the TLC Chinese Theater. Chrissie (Stacey Maltin) is young, wild, and living on the streets. She and her best friend Cece (E'Dena Hines) use their youth and good looks to their advantage, playing a con game with strangers to put a roof over their heads while all the time fantasizing about having enough money to score their dream apartment. When Chrissie meets David (Ben Rappaport), a funny, genuine guy who works his way into her heart, she falls for him and must decide whether to confess the real circumstances of her life or continue her carefully crafted lie at all costs; even the cost of someone’s life. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets.


NYWIFT member Christina Eliopoulos’ short film Tonight and Every Night makes its world premiere at the Dances With Films Festival in Los Angeles at the TCL Chinese Theatre on June 3 at 5 PM. Yianni is the star and celebrated host of Tonight and Every Night, the talk show that plays in his own beautiful but fractured mind. On one fateful day, Yianni who suffers from dementia, wanders out of his house and comes to the aid of a lonely and lost little boy. The film was fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT. Tickets are $13. Buy tickets.


NYWIFT member Linnette Harrigan was the music supervisor for the new romantic comedy film After Words – Opposite of Foreplay. The film, produced & directed by NYWIFT member Maria Bunai and produced by member Tracy Daniels, features music selected, cleared and licensed by Linnette’s music company. The After Words film will play starting May 31 at NY Shorts Fest, Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 E. Houston St. Linnette is happy to provide affordable music supervision & discounted rates for all NYWIFT members. Contact INFO@LINNETTEHARRIGANMEDIA.COM for more information.


NYWIFT member Nan Gill-Wilson’s Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc. has confirmed their full-length motion picture, Collar, will be a featured entry in the 11th Annual High Desert International Film Festival (HDIFF) at The Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino in Pahrump, NV. It will screen the afternoon of May 28, the closing day, right before the awards banquet. (Check the schedule on Facebook for the exact time and location of the screening.) This festival showing comes slightly in advance of the long-awaited ‘limited’ release of the film, starring Tom Sizemore, David Patrick Wilson, Rebecca De Mornay, Richard Roundtree and a brilliant ensemble cast, slated for later this summer in select theaters throughout the U.S. The much acclaimed, highly controversial, action-packed police drama deals with a veteran detective’s shooting of a young black man, a local hero in a small city in upstate New York. The story could have been ripped from the ‘front pages’ of dozens of newspapers in similar cities across the country over the past few years. It addresses a whole array of crucial issues currently plaguing America’s social landscape and the challenges of law enforcement in these troubled times.

Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc. Talk show, Empowering Women Everywhere, produced and hosted by Nan Gill-Wilson has garnered a ‘Bronze” Telly Award in their first year. The interview strip focuses on women of character who are doing great things in their respective communities. The show provides vital insight and information that these people are doing to raise awareness of important women’s issues. It examines critical services available in many areas throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. It also highlights the major impact they are having in providing solutions to today’s many challenges. With 31 episodes already produced. Collar will be honored at the High Desert International Film Festival later this month.


The Karma Club, produced by NYWIFT member Lisa Carville, will screen at the Hoboken Film Festival on May 24 at 4 PM. The Karma Club is about three orphaned brothers who do whatever is needed to survive in a small Southern town. But after accepting a job from a mysterious woman, the bond between these brothers will be tested like never before. See details and buy tickets. The film was nominated for 12 awards at the NOVA Film Festival in Fairfax, Virginia, last month. It won seven of those awards, including Film of the Year! Wins: Film of the Year, Best Feature Film, Best Film Noir, Best Screenplay, Best Score, Best Director - Kevin Porter Young and Best Supporting Actor - Kevin Porter Young. Runners up: Best Actress - Tara Westwood, Best Ensemble, and Best Cinematography - Greg Harriott. Watch the trailer.

NYWIFT member Mari Lyn Henry is the founder of the Society for the Preservation of Theatrical History, which will present Stage Struck! Reclaiming the History of Women in Theatre, written and performed by Paula Ewin, Ginger Grace, Mari Lyn Henry, Judy Rosenblatt and Sandhi Santini. Join them for an intimate soiree with five women who helped to shape the modern Theatre and whose personal exploits, on and off the stage, made a difference in the civic and artistic life of New York City and the country. May 19-22. Friday, Saturday, Monday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 3 PM; Sunday at 5 PM; at New Perspectives Studio (458 W. 37th St.). Tickets: $20; students/seniors with ID pay $15. See details and buy tickets.

NYWIFT member Victoria Negri's debut feature film Gold Star is premiering Opening Night at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival on June 7 at 9 PM at St. Francis College (182 Remsen Street, Brooklyn). The film is inspired by Victoria's real-life experiences caring for her elderly father after he suffered a stroke, and stars Oscar-nominated actor Robert Vaughn in his last on-screen performance. Gold Star is an inaugural Kickstart Diversity project with Big Vision Empty Wallet. Awards include: Audience Award at the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Lisa Blount Memorial Award for Acting at the Oxford Film Festival. The film has been featured in: The Hollywood Reporter, New York Daily News, The Talkhouse, and NoFilmSchool. For more information on the film, visit its website. To RSVP for the screening and for tickets, see the film’s Facebook event.

NYWIFT member Maleni Chaitoo can be seen in Netflix's critically-acclaimed Master of None season 2! The series was created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, and stars Ansari in the lead role of Dev, a 30-year-old actor who attempts to make his way through life in New York City. Chaitoo is featured in episode 6, "New York, I Love You." In this episode: As Dev and his friends go to see a popular new movie, the lives of ordinary New Yorkers intersect in subtle ways.