DIY Workshop July 16th

DIY Mania:  The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

With Cathy Reinking

Spitfire Studios

 710 10th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

REGISTER HERE

 

Everyone’s doing it. In fact, it’s a requirement now for not only filmmakers but actors, musicians, artists of any kind.  But what are the pitfalls along with the joys and inspirations?  After spending decades in the trenches of casting for other people’s projects, Cathy Reinking ventured out into DIY land without really knowing anything.  After two successful Kickstarter campaigns (and a third that didn’t reach it’s goal) and three completed projects, Cathy will share her insights and experience with WIFTA.

Credits: 10+ Years in Network Casting (including two Emmy-awarding winning sitcoms and a stint as Manager of Casting at NBC).

About Cathy:

cathy reinnking sq

Cathy Reinking has been working as a Casting Director in Hollywood since the early ‘90s, working on “Frasier,” “Arrested Development,“According to Jim,” and many, many, MANY other shows, pilots, films, web series, commercials, plays, musicals – you name the genre, she has cast it. She also served as NBC’s Manager of Casting and holds a degree in theatre arts from UCLA, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Recently she has cast many webseries – “Jeff and Ravi Fail History,” “Frat House Musical,” “Miss Mustard Glade” (that just won an Emmy) and one she also co-wrote & co-produced- “The British Invasion” in which an Asian-American actor pretends to be British in order to get work.

She’s currently casting the indie film “The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg” in Atlanta and the short “The Real Man” that she directed, co-wrote and is producing.

The second edition of her book, “How To Book Acting Jobs in TV and Film: The Truth About the Acting Industry – Conversations with a Veteran Hollywood Casting Director,” is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Check out her blog HERE


The Inaugural Women in Production Summit!

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Photography by Hannah Pniewski

 

WOW – what an incredible night!  When WIFTA partnered with PGA-WIN, Black Women Film Network, Film Fatales and New Mavericks, we wanted to create something big and empowering to inspire and support the talented women in Atlanta’s production community.  And we did just that!

The evening at SCADSHOW started off with 12 powerful women who moved us with personal anecdotes and musings about the ways that confidence can propel us past obstacles real or imagined.  Many of you have asked for additional information about them and you can find it below this summary.

Then we had a short panel discussion that covered the basics of each organization.  With all that we have going on in 2016, we hope you will become an active part of WIFTA.  The power of women supporting women is game-changing!

Finally, some strategies for moving forward were introduced.  WIFTA board member Lisa Moore introduced WIFTA’s Legal Clinic in September – details should be up on our website early next week.  Erin Bernhardt introduced Creative Visions Foundations opportunity (www.creativevisions.org), Christina Campagnola informed us of a program APA is creating with GA Film Academy to offer in-kind support for indigenous indie film projects (for submissions (GFAAPA2016@gmail.com).  And finally Lydia Dean Pilcher, one of the founders of PGA’s WIN program, talked frankly about the need for adding women’s voices to the conversation – on and off screen – and the tools they created to help make that happen (msfactortoolkit.com).  It was fast, it was furious and it was the first.  We’re already thinking about the next one.

We thank SCADFILM for hosting us, Indie Placements LLC, Wild Heaven Craft Beer and Green’s Beverages for sponsoring the Mixer .

Whew!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and that you feel inspired to “Make Your Movie Now“!

All the best,

Susan Moss – WIFTA Executive Director

THE CONFIDENCE PIECE:

SHAY BENTLEY-GRIFFIN – Producer/Casting Director/Leader

Website: chezstudios.com

Wrap comments:

Women in Production Summit was just what we needed to promote and support the talented professional women in the Georgia film industry. With the formation of the new “Georgia Women Film Alliance” we plan to make this goal a major part of the Georgia film Industry future. Last night I attended “Georgia Night in LA”. I took every opportunity to promote this important group of filmmakers in our state. Let’s be a part of keeping Georgia one of the top three film centers in the country. I look forward to working with all of you to achieve this goal.

Bio:

As Vice-Chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Board and founding President of the Georgia Production Partnership, Shay Bentley-Griffin collaborated with industry and government leaders to create and secure passage of Georgia’s highly successful 2008 Entertainment Tax Incentive.

As a Casting Director for more than 225 TV series and feature films, Shay has earned 3 Emmy nominations and her clients include Oscar-winning directors Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman. As a Producer, Bentley-Griffin now develops and produces Georgia-based original content for television and film and oversees Chez Studios’ diversity of professional training opportunities for actors and other industry creatives.

ERIN BERNHARDT – Filmmaker/Leader/Speaker

Twitter: @erinbernhardt4

Websites:   IMBA MEANS SING // Creative Visions + Rock Your World // Art Farm at Serenbe

Wrap comments:

Thank you amazing ladies for all the inspiration! I would love for you to stay connected by joining the Creative Activist Network – www.creativevisions.org/can – it’s free to join and will get you into many more special screenings, educational events, networking parties + more. If you have any questions or ideas after checking out all the Creative Visions site shares and joining the Network, please feel free to email me at erin.bernhardt@creativevisions.org. Keep up the great work!

Bio:

Erin Bernhardt works at the intersection of marketing, storytelling and impact. She just completed a year-long tour with her first feature film, Imba Means Sing. The film released in December 2015 in 37 languages in over 100 countries. Erin is currently serving as the Director of the Art Farm at Serenbe, a mixed-use 1,000-acre culture- and arts-based community. She is also consulting as the Impact Producer for the Creative Visions Foundation, an LA-based arts incubator. Erin is a former CNN writer/producer and Peace Corp Volunteer. She is a frequent speaker locally and nationally – including TED talks, the UN and the White House. Outside of work, Erin loves adventuring with friends and family, traveling, and practicing or teaching yoga.

EBONY BLANDING – Writer/Producers

Twitter: @ebony_blanding

Bio:

Ebony Blanding is a blooming filmmaker + screenwriter and proud native of Atlanta, GA. Blanding has worked as a freelance writer for various online platforms in which she penned think-pieces for opinion and life and culture columns.

In summer of 2013, Ebony formed an indie art film house with a bourgeoning filmmaker and fellow film student, Amber L.N. Bournett, to create content to address a void of women and people of color in film living in fullness and colorfully in modern and imagined context.

Using authorial cinematographic expressiveness to create more thoughtful characters and artfully crafted visuals, Blanding has written and co-directed award winning short films and web series content on subject matters that are often deemed taboo and advocate for the narratives of those who are largely marginalized by mainstream media.

She is a graduate of Georgia State University where she studied Public Relations and Film & Video.

FRAN BURST-TERRANELLA – Producer/Director/Activist

Twitter: @SissyCarlyle

Bio:

As a producer, director and trailblazer, Fran’s film and television work spans 4 decades, encompasses over 700 productions and has earned more than 100 honors and awards. Her documentaries have aired nationally on ABC, TBS and PBS and her corporate and non-profit clients are of every size and scope.

Her newest project and debut feature film – “The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle” — is the wittily insightful story of a young woman who escapes her ordinary life by creating daring, alternate personalities whose fantastic adventures she chronicles in secret journals.

A founding member of WIFTA (1974) and Atlanta Film Society (1976), Fran served as co-president of the Georgia Production Partnership during passage of Georgia’s successful entertainment tax incentive in 2008.

ROBYN HICKS – Writer/Director/Producer

Website: boymeetsgirlproductions.com

Wrap Comments:

On behalf of everyone at New Mavericks, thank you so much for organizing such a special event! I was honored to be there and rep our organization. As a member of New Mavs, Film Fatales, and a grad student at SCAD, I was so excited to see all these worlds collide and get to know the other organizations. I look forward to many more collaborations and events!

Bio:

Robyn Hicks is a writer, director, and producer based in Atlanta, GA. Que Sera, a short film she wrote and directed, was recently awarded the Southern Spotlight Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. Other credits include the award winning short film, Picture Show, along with Nirvana: a short film about lung cancer, inspired by her husband’s cancer diagnosis in 2013. Currently, she is pursuing a MFA in Film and Television at SCAD Atlanta and in production on her debut feature film as a producer. She is also working with her husband, Jonathan Hicks, to develop Que Sera into a feature film.

CARRIE ANNE HUNT – Actor/Writer/Producer

Twitter: @carrieannehunt

Bio:

Carrie Anne Hunt is an actress, writer, and producer originally from Columbia, SC. She started her career on stage and her classical training has proved to be a strong foundation for her current work in television and film. Carrie Anne first realized that she wanted to pursue a professional career as an actress while performing at the acclaimed Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is best known for her work in Magic Mike XXL (Warner Brothers), Sleepy Hollow (FOX) and Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime). Carrie Anne is also the founder of Faerie Path Productions, where she is currently developing fantasy adventure series, Otherworld. In addition, she also serves as Vice Chair on the volunteer-based SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Indie Outreach Committee, where she is committed to helping local independent film continue to grow and thrive.

CHERYL JENKINS – Production Accountant/Consultant/Leader

Website: pacsintl.com

Wrap comments:

What a historic night! I’m quite thankful to all who came together to create this wonderful event and just as thankful to those who chose to attend. The amount of talent and passion in the room was electrifying. I’m proud to be president of WIFTA and honored to be a part of such a dynamic community! Join us and let’s keep the energy going!

Bio:

Cheryl Jenkins is a consultant, entrepreneur, and production accountant in the film and television industry. Her expertise and leadership spans almost 20 years beginning in the entertainment mecca in Los Angeles to working with major and independent film productions in Honduras, Houston, New York and Atlanta. Jenkins’ perfected her skills and knowledge while working at major studios such as NBC/Universal, New Line Television, VH-1, MTV, BET and Fox Television.

Now residing in Atlanta, Jenkins develops and manages production budgets worldwide through her company, Production Accounting and Crew Services International (PACS). For the past three years, PACS has held the distinct honor as the official carrier of the votes for the Southeast Emmys. Jenkins’ prominence in Atlanta has also recently led her to be elected for a second two-year term as President of Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA), a professional membership organization for creative media professionals. Her goals for the organization is to empower members to think outside the box by promoting education and outreach. “I want to be instrumental in creating professional development opportunities and changing the dynamic for the impressive, yet untapped talent and producers in Atlanta,” Jenkins’ shares.

TY JOHNSTON – Producer/Educator

Twitter: @TyJohnston

Bio:

Ty Johnston, producer, professor and CEO of T.Y. Entertainment. She is responsible for all creative and business decisions, including the creation, development, acquisition, sale and production of scripted and unscripted television and new media projects. Ty has created and produced original formats, feature films & reality television for numerous networks and has collaborated with plenty production companies. She leverages the universal market by partnering and distributing content to affiliates such as Netflix, Amazon & Walmart. She has built an empire of valued relationships over the past 2 decades and has established herself internationally as a leader and influential collaborator with many networks and international channels. In addition, she has worked closely with TV and film veterans such as Mark Koops, Executive Producer & creator of The Biggest Loser & Ugly Betty and Mona Scott Young of the Franchise, Love & Hip Hop. Ty also expanded her brand with the launch of The Atlanta Pitch Summit, a marketplace where screenwriters and producers pitch film and TV projects to key entertainment executives. Since its launch date, The Atlanta Pitch Summit has connected many aspiring artists with Hollywood decision makers including Atlanta’s own pioneer producer Will Packer, award winning filmmaker Tracey Edmonds and Robert Townsend, along with a compilation of compelling success stories to prove it.

DEIDRE MCDONALD – Founder/Artistic Director Bronze Lens Film Festival

Website: bronzelens.com

Wrap Comments:

Thank you to all who were involved with the Summit. Superb, empowering, authentic, nurturing, and magic are just some words that come to my mind. Also ENCORE!!!!!

BTW – The Seventh Annual BronzeLens Film Festival will be held August 25-28th at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis. The line-up includes Nina Yang Bongiovi (producer-Fruitvale Station, Creed), Script Supervisor Dawn Gilliam (Boys in the Hood, Hunger Games, Star Wars: Awakens + more). Films include 9 Rides (shot entirely by cell phone) which screened at SXSW. There are many EXCITING panels, events and films scheduled. Look to each organization you belong to for details on discounts! The website will have the full schedule soon.

Bio:

Deidre McDonald is currently Founding Artistic Director for the BronzeLens Film Festival. Previously she served as Project Leader for the Georgia Entertainment Media Work Ready Region (GEM), an economic development initiative focusing on job training. In addition, she has been a college level educator who has been involved with curriculum design and student career enhancement. As Senior Producer for Programs and Projects for WXIA-TV/11Alive she was an eight time Emmy Award winning producer/writer who created programming shot locally, nationally and internationally. She is a former President of Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) and former Chair of the Black Women Film Network.

HILDA MERCADO – DP/IATSE Local 600

Website:    hildamercado.com

Bio:

Hilda Mercado is a cinematographer born and raised in Mexico City. She has a BA in communications and a MFA in cinematography from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California. Hilda attends several training programs and equipment demos a month, just enough to keep her up with new technology and creative tools.

Over the years, Hilda has worked worldwide in countries like China, Kuwait, Costa Rica, Panama and of course, Mexico, on feature films, documentaries and advertising mostly. She has a wide experience with formats ranging from 35mm film to digital and mostly any camera in the market these days.

In her free time, Hilda teaches lighting and camera workshops in the US and Mexico.

DEBORAH RILEY DRAPER -Filmmaker

Website:   coffeebluffpictures.com                                                    Twitter: @Atladgirl

Bio:

Deborah Riley Draper is a marketing guru and award-winning filmmaker. Deborah is a 2016 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow and was recently named to the Variety Magazine 2016 Top Ten Documakers to watch. Her current project Olympic Pride, American Prejudice chronicles the untold story of 18 black Olympians who defied racism in America and Germany to win medals and hearts at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The film enjoyed a world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2016.

Her debut film, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, was heralded by New York Times and Los Angeles Times film critics. Versailles ‘73 is the first intimate look at the Palace of Versailles fundraiser that became a major fashion movement led by black models. The film screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Denver DocNights, and Elle Croatia Fashion Film Festival and by invitation at Toronto Fashion Week, Saudi Design Week, Holon Fashion Week in Israel and broadcast premiered on Logo TV in September 2015.

 

SUZAN SATTERFIELD – Producer

Website: picturewindow.tv                                                            Twitter: @suzansatt

Bio:

Every production calls for special talents and skills. Suzan’s greatest strength is to find and transform a diverse group into a cohesive team that turns an idea into a riveting story. From a branded eco-adventure series for Turner Broadcasting to lifestyle reality (HGTV’s Ground Breakers, DIY Network’s MEGA DENS) to EcoSense for Living on PBS, Suzan has created and run multiple seasons of several diverse series. Her current projects include producing and directing “The Van Life,” a smart short form comedy based in Oakland, California that’s cross-pollinating an audience of VW bus enthusiasts with cynical academics. She’s also co-writer and producer of “That Renovation Show,” a mockumentary-style television comedy that goes behind the scenes of a dysfunctional makeover reality series.

Suzan has served on numerous industry boards, including as President of Women In Film & Television/Atlanta (WIFTA) and is a founding member of the Producers Guild of America, Atlanta Chapter and chairs their local Women’s Impact Committee. Her production company is Picture Window Productions.

 

JEN WEST – Writer/Director/Producer

Website: fourxproductions.com                                                                     Twitter: @thejenwestquest

Bio:

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is an award-winning writer, director and producer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing short indie films like Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Little Cabbage (2015) and the St. Paul and the Broken Bones’ music video Call Me (2014). West also produced The New Orleans Sazerac and Bottomless, which are being featured at the 2016 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion as part of the Cannes Film Festival. Currently in development on her first feature called Electric Bleau, West studied design at Jacksonville State University and film at The Art Institute of Atlanta.


ACTORS TRACK – Workshop #3 – July 19th

Improv for A Better Audition

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 Dig a little deeper into the freeing world of Improv

with special guest instructor Jade Fernandez

 from Highwire Comedy 

as she leads you through exercises that will

develop your confidence and flexibility in any type of audition.

Highwire_profile

Free to members; $20/session guest fee for others

REGISTER HERE


Industry Wide Mixer – July 12th

WIFTA takes the month of July off but we encourage all WIFTA members and supporters to attend the GPP Industry Wide Mix & Mingle – July 12th poolside* at Crowne Plaza/Staybridge Suites Midtown Atlanta.

*Rain or Shine – event moved inside in case of bad weather.

Tickets and details here


WOMEN IN PRODUCTION SUMMIT – June 22nd

WIFTA joins with

the Producers Guild of America -Women’s Impact Network

Black Women Film Network

Film Fatales and

Atlanta Film Society’s New Mavericks!

All women involved in film, television and digital media production are welcome.

Come for inspiration, motivation, and information about how to succeed in the industry.

We want to collectively lift up women in film, television, and media to help Atlanta become the most fair, diverse, and inclusive market in the country.

Presented 

by SCADFilm

at SCADshow

173 14th Street, Atlanta 30309

6:00 Mixer

7:00 – 9:00 program

Free to all who pre-register – register here

Tonight’s program features inspiring stories from talented, successful women on the subject of

THE CONFIDENCE PIECE:

SHAY BENTLEY-GRIFFIN

As Vice-Chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Board and founding President of the Georgia Production Partnership, Shay Bentley-Griffin collaborated with industry and government leaders to create and secure passage of Georgia’s highly successful 2008 Entertainment Tax Incentive.

As a Casting Director for more than 225 TV series and feature films, Shay has earned 3 Emmy nominations and her clients include Oscar-winning directors Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman. As a Producer, Bentley-Griffin now develops and produces Georgia-based original content for television and film and oversees Chez Studios’ diversity of professional training opportunities for actors and other industry creatives.

 

ERIN BERNHARDT

Erin Bernhardt works at the intersection of marketing, storytelling and impact. She just completed a year-long tour with her first feature film, Imba Means Sing. The film released in December 2015 in 37 languages in over 100 countries. Erin is currently serving as the Director of the Art Farm at Serenbe, a mixed-use 1,000-acre culture- and arts-based community. She is also consulting as the Impact Producer for the Creative Visions Foundation, an LA-based arts incubator. Erin is a former CNN writer/producer and Peace Corp Volunteer. She is a frequent speaker locally and nationally – including TED talks, the UN and the White House. Outside of work, Erin loves adventuring with friends and family, traveling, and practicing or teaching yoga.

 

EBONY BLANDING

Ebony Blanding is a blooming filmmaker + screenwriter and proud native of Atlanta, GA.

She is a graduate of Georgia State University where she studied Public Relations and Film & Video.

Blanding has worked as a freelance writer for various online platforms in which she penned think-pieces for opinion and life and culture columns.

In summer of 2013, Ebony formed an indie art film house with a bourgeoning filmmaker and fellow film student, Amber L.N. Bournett, to create content to address a void of women and people of color in film living in fullness and colorfully in modern and imagined context.

Using authorial cinematographic expressiveness to create more thoughtful characters and artfully crafted visuals, Blanding has written and co-directed award winning short films and web series content on subject matters that are often deemed taboo and advocate for the narratives of those who are largely marginalized by mainstream media.

 

FRAN BURST-TERRANELLA

As a producer, director and trailblazer, Fran’s film and television work spans 4 decades, encompasses over 700 productions and has earned more than 100 honors and awards.  Her documentaries have aired nationally on ABC, TBS and PBS and her corporate and non-profit clients are of every size and scope.

Her newest project and debut feature film – “The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle” — is the wittily insightful story of a young woman who escapes her ordinary life by creating daring, alternate personalities whose fantastic adventures she chronicles in secret journals.

A founding member of WIFTA (1974) and Atlanta Film Society (1976), Fran served as co-president of the Georgia Production Partnership during passage of Georgia’s successful entertainment tax incentive in 2008.

 

ROBYN HICKS

Robyn Hicks is a writer, director, and producer based in Atlanta, GA. Que Sera, a short film she wrote and directed, was recently awarded the Southern Spotlight Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. Other credits include the award winning short film, Picture Show, along with Nirvana: a short film about lung cancer, inspired by her husband’s cancer diagnosis in 2013. Currently, she is pursuing a MFA in Film and Television at SCAD Atlanta and in production on her debut feature film as a producer. She is also working with her husband, Jonathan Hicks, to develop Que Sera into a feature film.

CARRIE ANNE HUNT

Carrie Anne Hunt is an actress, writer, and producer originally from Columbia, SC. She started her career on stage and her classical training has proved to be a strong foundation for her current work in television and film. Carrie Anne first realized that she wanted to pursue a professional career as an actress while performing at the acclaimed Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is best known for her work in Magic Mike XXL (Warner Brothers), Sleepy Hollow (FOX) and Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime). Carrie Anne is also the founder of Faerie Path Productions, where she is currently developing fantasy adventure series, Otherworld. In addition, she also serves as Vice Chair on the volunteer-based SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Indie Outreach Committee, where she is committed to helping local independent film continue to grow and thrive.

 

CHERYL JENKINS

Cheryl Jenkins is a consultant, entrepreneur, and production accountant in the film and television industry. Her expertise and leadership spans almost 20 years beginning in the entertainment mecca in Los Angeles to working with major and independent film productions in Honduras, Houston, New York and Atlanta. Jenkins’ perfected her skills and knowledge while working at major studios such as NBC/Universal, New Line Television, VH-1, MTV, BET and Fox Television.

Now residing in Atlanta, Jenkins develops and manages production budgets worldwide through her company, Production Accounting and Crew Services International (PACS).  For the past three years, PACS has held the distinct honor as the official carrier of the votes for the Southeast Emmys. Jenkins’ prominence in Atlanta has also recently led her to be elected for a second two-year term as President of Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA), a professional membership organization for creative media professionals.  Her goals for the organization is to empower members to think outside the box by promoting education and outreach. “I want to be instrumental in creating professional development opportunities and changing the dynamic for the impressive, yet untapped talent and producers in Atlanta,” Jenkins’ shares.

 

TY JOHNSTON

Ty Johnston, producer, professor and CEO of T.Y. Entertainment. She is responsible for all creative and business decisions, including the creation, development, acquisition, sale and production of scripted and unscripted television and new media projects. Ty has created and produced original formats, feature films & reality television for numerous networks and has collaborated with plenty production companies. She leverages the universal market by partnering and distributing content to affiliates such as Netflix, Amazon & Walmart. She has built an empire of valued relationships over the past 2 decades and has established herself internationally as a leader and influential collaborator with many networks and international channels.  In addition, she has worked closely with TV and film veterans such as Mark Koops, Executive Producer & creator of The Biggest Loser & Ugly Betty and  Mona Scott Young of the Franchise, Love & Hip Hop.  Ty also expanded her brand with the launch of The Atlanta Pitch Summit, a marketplace where screenwriters and producers pitch film and TV projects to key entertainment executives. Since its launch date, The Atlanta Pitch Summit has connected many aspiring artists with Hollywood decision makers including Atlanta’s own pioneer producer Will Packer, award winning filmmaker Tracey Edmonds and Robert Townsend, along with a compilation of compelling success stories to prove it.

 

DEIDRE MCDONALD

Deidre McDonald is currently Founding Artistic Director for the BronzeLens Film Festival.  Previously she served as Project Leader for the Georgia Entertainment Media Work Ready Region (GEM), an economic development initiative focusing on job training.   In addition, she has been a college level educator who has been involved with curriculum design and student career enhancement.   As Senior Producer for Programs and Projects for WXIA-TV/11Alive she was an eight time Emmy Award winning producer/writer who created programming shot locally, nationally and internationally.  She is a former President of Women in Film and Television Atlanta and former Chair of the Black Women Film Network.

 

DEBORAH RILEY DRAPER

Deborah Riley Draper is a marketing guru and award-winning filmmaker. Deborah is a 2016 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow and was recently named to the Variety Magazine 2016 Top Ten Documakers to watch. Her current project Olympic Pride, American Prejudice chronicles the untold story of 18 black Olympians who defied racism in America and Germany to win medals and hearts at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The film enjoyed a world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2016.

Her debut film, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, was heralded by New York Times and Los Angeles Times film critics. Versailles ‘73 is the first intimate look at the Palace of Versailles fundraiser that became a major fashion movement led by black models. The film screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Denver DocNights, and Elle Croatia Fashion Film Festival and by invitation at Toronto Fashion Week, Saudi Design Week, Holon Fashion Week in Israel and broadcast premiered on Logo TV in September 2015.

 

SUZAN SATTERFIELD

Every production calls for special talents and skills. Suzan’s greatest strength is to find and transform a diverse group into a cohesive team that turns an idea into a riveting story. From a branded eco-adventure series for Turner Broadcasting to lifestyle reality (HGTV’s Ground Breakers, DIY Network’s MEGA DENS) to EcoSense for Living on PBS, Suzan has created and run multiple seasons of several diverse series.  Her current projects include producing and directing “The Van Life,” a smart short form comedy based in Oakland, California that’s cross-pollinating an audience of VW bus enthusiasts with cynical academics. She’s also co-writer and producer of “That Renovation Show,” a mockumentary-style television comedy that goes behind the scenes of a dysfunctional makeover reality series.

Suzan has served on numerous industry boards, including as President of Women In Film & Television/Atlanta and is a founding member of the Producers Guild of America, Atlanta Chapter and chairs their local Women’s Impact Committee.  Her production company is Picture Window Productions.

 

JEN WEST

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is an award-winning writer, director and producer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing short indie films like Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Little Cabbage (2015) and the St. Paul and the Broken Bones’ music video Call Me (2014). West also produced The New Orleans Sazerac and Bottomless, which are being featured at the 2016 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion as part of the Cannes Film Festival. Currently in development on her first feature called Electric Bleau, West studied design at Jacksonville State University and film at The Art Institute of Atlanta.


WHISKEY with WIFTA – August 6th!

Whiskey with WIFTA: August 6!

We will still be sipping, now just a few weeks later.  The Whiskey with WIFTA event is now on Saturday, August 6th. Same time, same place.  Join us for some Georgia spirits (beer, wine & soft drinks too)  in support of Women in Film and Television Atlanta programs and events.  

And you can sample the finer tastes of Georgia whiskey, bourbon and rum in our Private Tasting Lounge courtesy of Independent Distilling Company, American Spirit Whiskey, and Richland Rum.

  • WHISKEY with WIFTA
  • NEW DATE: Saturday, August 6
  • 5:00-7:00 PM
  • Gallery 874
  • 874 Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW, Atlanta GA 30318

TICKETS and DETAILS HERE

Your contribution will support these important WIFTA endeavors –

  • The WIFTA PSA project – Our annual Public Service Announcement project in support of an Atlanta non-profit community organization or issue; 
  • The WIFTA Web Series – A new project combining talented WIFTA veteran filmmakers with energetic rookies to create a quality episodic series spotlighting the local crisis in human trafficking; 
  • The WIFTA Workshop Series – WIFTA’s ongoing training programs that prepare WIFTA and film community members to lead the Atlanta film & television industry; and
  • The WIFTA Scholarship – awarded each year to a talented, deserving filmmaker in training.
  • And our other ongoing programs

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support!

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May Meeting and Panel: GETTING THE GIG – hiring above & below the line!

Wednesday, May 25th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

REGISTER HERE

Experts will tell you how to build relationships, find the work, sharpen your tools and get the gig here in Atlanta.

We will open with a special 30 minute session with personal branding consultant Christine Leuthold; she will discuss the creative ways you can set yourself apart in this very competitive industry.

Then Al Dickerson, Unit Production Manager for Greenleaf and Jeffrey Stepakoff, former Executive Producer and current Executive Director of Georgia Film Academy will join and offer their experience and insights on what people do that can help or hurt them in landing the job.

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Christine Leuthold (sounds like “sleuth”) is a proven innovator in brand development and integration and the Founder and Creative Director of C Insight Group.

With an approach that connects core identity to growth, Christine’s professional signature and soft spoken wisdom come from decades of experience on staff, as an outside consultant or as a trusted advisor to a wide range of organizations, including:  Ralph Lauren Corporation, The African National Congress & Robert DeNiro (for Nelson Mandela’s 1990 U.S. visit), SIM Digitla/Bling, Earth Artist Studios, Film Forum, The Perrier Group, Appeltiser, Chase/JP Morgan, Food Forward, Wellness Within Your Walls, SCAD, Sotheby’s International Realty, The Kensington Chelsea Women’s Club and Communities in Schools, to name just a few.

Christine is also the author of the critically-acclaimed book Comfort Living: A Back to Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle, in which she focuses attention on personal branding and individual quality of life.

With a B.S. degree in Mandarin Chinese and Business from Georgetown University, Christine furthered those studies in Taiwan, Paris and Shanghai.  She is also certified in residential interior design from Atlanta College of Art (now SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design).

A dual citizen of the U.S. and Switzerland, Christine is now based in Los Angeles and has lived in Asia and Europe and elsewhere in the U.S. — most recently in Atlanta, where she raised her two children.

 

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Jeffrey Stepakoff was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an accomplished writer-producer and an experienced academic, with a twenty-eight year entertainment industry career that includes sweeping internationally-recognized credits, leadership roles in content creation and production management, and a track record of collaboration, innovation, and success in virtually all forms of commercial media.

After earning a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and then completing his Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama, Stepakoff moved to Hollywood and began writing and producing film, television and digital entertainment.

He has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-seven television episodes, has written for fifteen different series, and has been a writer and/or writer-producer on eight primetime or first-run cable staffs, credited on more than two hundred episodes of popular television. The TV credits for which he is most known include the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Sisters, Wild Card, Hyperion Bay, The Magic School, C16:FBI, Robin’s Hoods, Land’s End, Flipper, Sons & Daughters, Major Dad, The Yakov Smirnoff Show, Beauty & the Beast, Have Faith, Simon & Simon, and break-out hit Dawson’s Creek, where he was Co-Executive Producer. Until July 2015, he worked as the Co-Executive Producer of Chasing Life for ABC Family.

Stepakoff has also created and developed pilots for many of the major studios and networks, including 20th Century, Paramount, MTM, Fox and ABC, and a variety of production companies and producers, such as Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries), Michael Pillar (Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine), and David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue).

He has also developed and written major motion pictures, including Disney’s Brother Bear, Tarzan, for which Phil Collin’s won an Academy Award, and EM Entertainment’s Lapitch, Croatia’s selection for the 1998 Academy Awards.
Stepakoff has worked for numerous entertainment companies in the research and digital arts space, such as SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, HarperCollins Interactive, Citicorp Transactional Technology, Digital Pictures, Inscape (HBO/Time Warner), and Universal Studios. He wrote the popular videogames Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka. Creating a new storytelling model as one of the first “webisodic” shows, and the initial original content project for the digital media division of Paramount Studios, he developed and wrote Perspectives, an interactive drama series for the internet.

There are over a million copies of Stepakoff’s novels in print in twenty languages, as well.

 

GPB Studios
260 14th St NW
Free parking in deck adjacent to building

Free for members
$20 fee for guests


Actors Track – Workshop #2 – June 14th

Tuesday June 14th – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The special WIFTA series just for actors continues!  SAG-AFTRA actor and coach Victoria Spencer Smith will lead you through technique, tips and challenging exercises designed to increase actors’ booking rates!

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Breaking Down the Script – Part 2 Television and Film

This workshop will assist the actor in making informed choices based on questions that will guide them into a stand out performance.

Free to members; $20/session guest fee for others

REGISTER HERE


The Actor Track

A special WIFTA series just for actors! Whether you want to brush up a few skills or add some new ones to your toolbox, join us for a new workshop each month! SAG-AFTRA actor and coach Victoria Spencer Smith and special guest instructors will lead you through technique, tips and challenging exercises designed to increase your booking rate!

We continue this monthly series June 14th 7:00 p.m. at Gallery L1, 828 Ralph McGill Blvd, Ste L1, Atlanta, GA 30306.  Free to WIFTA members and film fatales; $20/session guest fee for others.

Breaking Down the Script

June 14th –  Part 2 Television and Film – REGISTER HERE
This workshop will assist the actor in making informed choices based on questions that will guide them into a stand out performance.

July 19th-  Improv for a better audition  – REGISTER HERE

Dig a little deeper into the freeing world of improvisation to enhance your ability to make on-the-spot changes and have more fun in auditions. Special guest instructor Jade Fernandez from Highwire Comedy will work with you to bring more life to your performances.

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Jade Fernandez is a local Atlanta actor and improviser. She graduated from the University of Georgia with B.A. in Theatre and Spanish. She has trained in long form improv with Highwire Comedy since 2014. Jade has performed in numerous plays, but the majority of her work is in film and television. She can be seen in AT&T stores nationwide as the Technista, Kayla, and various independent films. Most recently, she had a small role on the new television show, “Atlanta.”  She performs with the improv troupe The Blast at Highwire.

On Camera Auditions
August 15th – Part 1 Commercials

September 20th – Part 2 Television & Film

This workshop will take elements from Breaking Down the Script, Scene Study and Improv to continue to build the actors tool box and will expand by using technical skills.

Monologues
This workshop will include how to find suitable material, how to prepare, and how to deliver the best performance.

Voice Overs
This workshop will dive into the specialized area of Voice Overs and include what is needed to be successful in the field.

About Victoria Spencer Smith:

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Victoria is a SAG/AFTRA professionally working actress in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles and is currently represented by J. Pervis Talent. She pursued her study in craft at The Joanne Baron/DW Brown Meisner Studio in Santa Monica California. She has appeared in over 100 commercials, television, film and video roles and attributes her success to family support, wonderful coaches and her tenacity to her craft and not ever giving up on herself or others. She became involved in her profession after starting in theater when she was young. She stopped her work when her son was born and restarted her career after he was old enough for her to return. One brother is a cartoonist and the other an independent contractor, her sister is a business manager and her mother a visual artist who could have been a terrific doctor who decided to marry her father (welder by trade) at 17 years old and had Victoria at 18.

Highlights of her life includes marrying her husband and the birth of their son from which unconditional love helped deepen her commitment to the wonders of the craft of acting. She admits to having an innate commitment to tell the story truthfully because of her connection to others and what it means to truly care for one another and have empathy. By using her mind, body and spirit as the instrument in which the character is built and by adding the specifics of the history from which every character has uniquely as their own. This enables her to deliver the writers story from the truth of real life challenges and the courage to push through it all which allows us all to soar.


Want to talk to an Academy Award winning director?

WIFTA invites you to a special evening with a screening and a talk-back with the Academy Award winning director and associate producer of the film SOLD, a riveting and meaningful project dedicated to end child trafficking worldwide.  A talkback featuring director Jeffrey Brown and Actress Seirah Royin who is also an associate producer.

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SOLD is the story of an innocent young girl, Lakshmi, who is tricked into leaving her home in a pastoral, rural village in Nepal for a new job in the big city. Soon she realizes she has been trafficked into a gritty prison brothel in Kolkata, India. Based on true stories, SOLD is a narrative feature film adaptation of the internationally critically acclaimed novel by two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick.

Through one extraordinary girl’s story, SOLD illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Globally the average age of a trafficked girl is thirteen, the same age as Lakshmi. The film is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit through one girl’s quest for freedom.

SOLD is directed by Academy and Emmy award-winner, Jeffrey D. Brown, Executive Produced by two-time Academy Award winner, Emma Thompson, Produced by Jane Charles, Co-Produced by Katie Mustard and Written by Joseph Kwong and Jeffrey D. Brown. The ensemble cast includes Gillian Anderson (X-FILES) and David Arquette.

Shandra McDonald, former WIFTA board member and filmmaker will lead the panel discussion which will also include local advocates who are combating the problem on Atlanta’s front lines.  Join us for this provocative and enlightening discussion about a very real, very local issue.

Trailer:  soldthemovie.com

  • May 8th, 7:15 p.m.
  • Plaza Theater, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
  • Tickets are $12/$9 for seniors