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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Announcing the exciting addition of Rachel Winter, producer of Krystal (now shooting with William H. Macy directing) and Dallas Buyers Club to our indie casting panel! And thanks to the generosity of our hosts Sim Digital/Bling and sponsors CORT Furniture, we’ve added 25 more seats…but they’ll go quick!
April 27th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Register Closed
NOTE: Special location for April SIM Digital, 1379 Chattahoochee Ave., Atlanta, GA 30318
Writers, directors and producers of independent, smaller budget productions always have a great vision of the look, sound and mannerisms of their beloved characters; it’s clear in their mind. But how to get a skilled, experienced and directable actor onto the call sheet next to that role? Our experts will give you tips on the nuances of casting like:
creating compelling breakdowns
using a reputable casting site
casting in a pre-production timeline
targeting professional actors
dissecting the resume and reel
running a successful audition
negotiating with agents
getting a great performance on set
Actors won’t be left out! A lively discussion on the importance of relationship building in the indie community as well as tips on finding, preparing for indie auditions will be served up as well.
Rachel Winteris the Academy Award®-nominated producer of the acclaimed film “Dallas Buyers Club,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. Winter, with longtime friend and fellow producer Robbie Brenner, brought the film to screen following its legendary decades-long journey through development and multiple iterations of filmmakers and actors. The film went on to receive six Academy Award® nominations including best picture, winning three of them including lead actor for McConaughey and supporting actor for Leto. The film also received accolades from the Producers Guild of America, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards and the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics Choice Awards.
Winter is currently in production in Georgia on “Krystal” which marks William H. Macy’s directorial debut. The cast includes Nick Robinson, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman,T.I.,Grant Gustin, Kathy Bates and John Leguizamo. The film is an ensemble dramedy about a young man who has never had a drink in his life and upon meeting the woman of his dreams – an ex-hooker-stripper-junkie-alcoholic – pretends to be in AA to try and woo her. Fresh and smartly written, humor and heart get to win a little over fear and addiction. Winter is producing the project with Dan Keston, the two have been developing the project since 2002
Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd is a Brooklyn-born and raised casting director with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Byrd has the vision to spot actors who can bring complicated and nuanced storylines from page to motion picture. Her work on Stomp the Yard, The Blind Side, Notorious, Jumping the Broom, Filly Brown, Sparkle, Black Nativity, Fruitvale Station and now SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU along with Atlanta’s own Being Mary Jane prove as much. Byrd has spent decades channeling her super power of finding the perfect person for every role.
Her eye for raw talent, one of her keys to success is her belief that no project is too big or too small. She has worked on a number of independent and student projects including Ryan Coogler’s Fig, which appeared on HBO and currently Cast his Hit Feature Film “FRUITVALE STATION”. With her feet planted firmly in multiple worlds, Byrd often surprises producers and directors with her spot-on casting and leaves them exclaiming, “Where’d you find this actor?”
Along with her duties at Tyler Perry Studios, Rhavynn Drummer is also a freelance principle casting director. She and her casting team specialize in casting SAG feature films and television series, along with independent projects, commercials, music videos, web series, pilots, and stage plays. Through her innovative approach to casting and her relentless search of finding the best talent she has been able to achieve much success for all the projects she has cast. Although she is based in Atlanta, her range of casting expands beyond the Southeast to the New York and Los Angeles markets as well.
Atlanta native Jayson Warner Smith is an actor in film, television and theatre. He started in theatre at age nine and since that time, Smith has been in a play a TV show or a film every year of his life. .. and the last two have been busy ones. Beginning in March of 2015, Smith performed major supporting roles in, Devil and the Deep Blue Sea with Maisie Williams and Jason Sudekis, Christine with Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall, The Birth of a Nation with Nate Parker and Armee Hammer, and Mena with Tom Cruise. All of these films will be coming out in 2016 and 2017. Most notably, The Birth of a Nation and Christine both premiered to wide acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; Devil and the Deep Blue Sea just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is a writer and director living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Call Me (music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, 2014), and Little Cabbage (2015). Her company is Four X Productions, which she runs with her partner James Martin. The team currently has two active projects, The New Orleans Sazerac, a documentary which will be screened this year in the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. The other (written, directed and co produced by Jen), currently in production, is a 1980s punk rock thriller called Electric Bleau, slated to shoot summer 2016.
Free to WIFTA members; $20 guest fee. Payment by credit card online, cash or check at door.
In lieu of our monthly mixer, WIFTA proudly joins with Atlanta Film Festival’s New Mavericks to celebrate Film Fatales– a group of women pursuing excellence in directing! All WIFTA members are invited to a reception:
5:00 – 6:30 pm
828 Ralph McGill Blvd, Ste L1,
Atlanta, GA 30306
Grab a bite, have a drink and mingle with local filmmakers as well as ones attending the film festival in support of their projects.
Thursday, April 7, 2016, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
The first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East coined themselves The Speed Sisters. These female professionals are no strangers to headlines, drama, or trophies, but crossing the finish line in a male-dominated industry takes more than experience. Amplified by larger-than-life personalities, this race to become the best while working together wins the hearts of both sport and documentary spectators. —Mikaela Dyett
Our Panel at our General Membership Meeting on Wednesday March 23rd, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at GPB Studios will be representatives of the:
Atlanta Film Festival;
the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival;
Bronze Lens Film Festival; and
the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival
Whether you are submitting, screening or just attending, there are ways to get more bang for your buck; get our experts’ advice on:
Selecting the right festivals to submit
Understanding judging criteria
Things that you get your project noticed for the right/wrong reasons
How to enter in order to give your project the best shot
If chosen, how to promote your project
How to attend a film festival – with or without a film – panels, meet and greets, parties, etc.
We will have a panel discussion followed by Q&A session so be prepared with your questions!
Stick around after that as we will discuss our Track Programming designed to cover topics of interests for Producers, Writers and Actors; each has their separate series. We want your input!
Now celebrating a 40-year history, the ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL is the area’s preeminent celebration of cinema. One of only two dozen Academy Award-qualifying events in the country, the Atlanta Film Festival showcases over 200 films annually to nearly 25,000 attendees across a ten day event each spring. Each year, the Atlanta Film Festival receives nearly 5,000 submissions from 120 countries across the globe. It has been distinguished as the ‘Best Film Festival’ by Creative Loafing, Sunday Paper, 10Best and Atlanta Magazine, as well as one of the ’25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ and one of ’50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’ by MovieMaker Magazine.
The Atlanta Film Festival is the chief annual operation of the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS), one of the oldest and largest organizations dedicated to the promotion and education of film in the United States. Enriching the community through screenings, classes, workshops and other events year-round, the ATLFS is a membership-based 501(c)(3) arts non-profit
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival continues its long tradition in 2016, delivering the best experience for festival goers as the world’s largest Jewish film festival. After 23 days, 184 screenings (including 15 encores of our most popular films), and eight different venues across the metro area, the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival came to a close.
Just over 36,000 audience members passed into AJFF theaters at the 2016 festival, enjoying more films and more screenings than ever before offered. The festival has embarked on a multi-year plan to increase access to the festival for audiences of all ages, from every background, and from all across the Atlanta area and beyond. This included the addition in 2016 of a new theatrical venue, SCADshow in Midtown Atlanta. AJFF also announced expanded year-round programming during the 2016 festival, and will continue to upgrade and expand its programming footprint for future festivals.
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is an independent non-profit arts organization that continues an active partnership with its founding agency, American Jewish Committee. Both organizations share a common commitment to strengthen Jewish life and foster intergroup understanding among Atlanta’s diverse cultural, ethnic and religious populations.
BronzeLens Film Festival showcases films by seasoned as well as the “next generation” of filmmakers that are by, for and/or depicting people of color, particularly of the African Diaspora. The Festival features outstanding films and Workshops, Master Classes and Conversations about the art and business of filmmaking. Our attendees often say that the BLFF is a welcome addition to the festival circuit noting the quality of films, programming and access to expert panelists who are seasoned professionals with local, national and international stature BronzeLens also does year round programming of films and workshops.
Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival is encouraging filmmakers to submit their faith-based films to our film festival today! Distribution reviews from our distributors are performed on a monthly basis. Kingdomwood’s Red Carpet Competition will allow selected filmmakers to receive the “grand” experience of all times! KCFF also has an “enticing program” for filmmakers that you don’t want to miss! Join Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival from October 7-9, 2016 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center. www.kingdomwood.com
WIFTA members can get a discount and application fee is only $30! Email ExecutiveDirector@wifta.org for letter confirming membership.
Writers Lab 2016: Call for Submissions
The Writers Lab, produced by IRIS and New York Women in Film & Television and funded by Meryl Streep, is now open for submissions of screenplays by women over the age of 40 (birthdate on or before 4/14/76)!
SUBMISSION INFORMATION Regular Deadline – Thursday, March 31, 2016 Fee: $50.00 Late Deadline – Thursday, April 14, 2016 Fee $65.00
Member Fee: $30.00 – Deadline April 14, 2016 NYWIFT, other WIF chapters, and WGA members (Members of other Women in Film chapters must provide proof of membership via a letter from their chapter’s staff or Board President.)
Applicants must be women who were born on or prior to April 14, 1976, and must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents. The Lab seeks submissions from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups. Submissions must be full-length narrative screenplays in English. (No TV scripts, shorts or documentaries.)
The following materials are required for your application and must be submitted electronically: 1) A PDF of a feature-length narrative screenplay. 2) Contact information, logline, brief personal statement, and short synopsis. 3) Payment via Paypal or with a Credit Card
ABOUT THE LAB:
The Writers Lab brings 12 women screenwriters over the age of 40 with promising scripts together with outstanding professional female filmmakers for an intensive four-day screenwriting retreat of one-on-one meetings, panel discussions and other activities designed to inspire the artists; to prompt rigorous creative exploration; and, through revision, to cultivate first-rate cinematic stories.
We seek a broad selection of screenplays across all genres of fiction. Scripts by more than one writer will be considered, but all writers must be female, and only one writer can attend the Lab. We welcome submissions from professionals, amateurs, and everyone in between who has a story to tell and a cinematic vision. Selections are based on the script’s artistic merit and craftsmanship, not the applicant’s level of professional experience, though The Writers Lab is not a screenplay writing workshop for novices.
The 2016 Writers Lab will take place September 22 to 25, 2016, outside of New York City. Presented by IRIS and NYWIFT, The Writers Lab is presented with additional support from The Writers Guild of America, East.
The 2015 inaugural Writers Lab received more than 3,500 submissions and international recognition, becoming a beacon for women filmmakers everywhere. The weekend itself was an exceptional, deeply inspiring experience for everyone involved. Mentors included Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Personal Velocity), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records, I Like It Like That), Lydia Dean-Pilcher (The Lunchbox, The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win, The Station Agent), and Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, Ten Things I Hate About You).
The Writers Lab is dedicated to developing promising feature scripts of cinematic scope and imagination, in all genres, by women screenwriters over the age of 40, as part of the movement to amplify the female voice in narrative film. We are committed to female storytellers, yet do not limit our search to stories about women. It is the consciousness of the storyteller that will take us into new territory.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS
IRIS IRIS is a collective of women filmmakers founded by Kyle Ann Stokes, Nitza Wilon and Elizabeth Kaiden to champion the female voice in fictional narrative film. IRIS built this lab for female storytellers, targeting the development stage of filmmaking in order to address the gender imbalance in the film industry and ensure that women have an impact through their work on both sides of the camera.
New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) New York Women in Film and Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality. The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. NYWIFT is a nonprofit 501c3 public charity.
Black Women Film Network 2016 Untold Stories Winners include Fran Burst Terranella, who served as WIFTA president not once, but twice!
She will be honored by the Black Women Film Network on Friday, March 11 at 11:00AM, at the “Untold Stories” Luncheon. The luncheon will take place at the Intercontinental Buckhead (3315 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta GA 30326), where several VIPs will be honored for their career achievements and “untold” secrets to success. The event also serves as a fundraiser for scholarships for students entering the ﬁlm and television industries.
Fran Burst Terranella is an EMMY-winning independent film and television Director and Producer. Her award-winning work spans 4 decades and totals more than 700 productions – from television shows, commercials, PSAs and documentaries to branded entertainment, corporate marketing and motivational projects and fundraising, identity and special event projects for nonprofits.
A multi-faceted Director with the ability to quickly build rapport with everyone who appears in front of her camera, Fran has just completed her first narrative feature film – “The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle.” In this darkly comic independent film, Sissy Carlyle – determined to experience a life less ordinary – creates fantastic, sometimes absurd, always exciting alternative lives for herself in her secret journals.
Fran’s documentaries have aired nationally on ABC, TBS and PBS and her narrative and documentary work has garnered more than 100 honors including Tellys, CINE Golden Eagles and recognition at film festivals from New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles to Australia, Scotland, Spain and Canada.
As co-president of the Georgia Production Partnership, 2006-2009, Fran worked closely with GPP and legislative leadership to gain passage of Georgia’s very successful 2008 entertainment tax incentive. She continues to serve GPP as Chair of the Speakers Series and the Festivals Committee.
Along with being a founding member of Atlanta Film Society and Women in Film and Television/Atlanta (WIFTA), Fran was president of WIFTA in 1978 and 1980. A former Board member of NATAS Southeast, Fran also is a member of the Producers Guild of America and Women in Film/ Los Angeles.
As a senior faculty member at the Art Institute of Atlanta from 2000-2014, her teaching specialties include directing and producing fiction and non-fiction, scriptwriting, project development and portfolio preparation.
An avid advocate for clean water, clean air, protection of wildlife and green space and reversing climate change, Fran has created more than 40 projects that inspire and empower viewers to keep life on our planet sustainable. A former board member of Keep Atlanta Beautiful and a current member of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Advisory Board, Fran has actively volunteered her time as a media consultant and filmmaker to CRK and other environmental organizations and initiatives for more than 20 years.
For more information on the luncheon and summit: http://www.blackwomenfilmsummit.org/
On Saturday, February 20, “Devious Maids” director Mary Lou Belli shared her expertise with WIFTA members and guests from the industry. Mary Lou surprised the attendees with a request – to move the chairs from a standard lecture set-up to a more comfortable and intimate circle.
Mary Lou explained her career path and then dove into an acting exercise, advising the participants to say simple lines such as “Go Away” to the person sitting next to her using various intents, tones and inflections. Mary Lou first provided some directing advice to the participants and then allowed others to suggest direction.
Following the acting and direction section of the event, Mary Lou fielded questions from the guests. The event was a great opportunity for people from all backgrounds to gain more insight into the process for directors on set, as well as how to incorporate instructions from a director as an actor.
Member Comments: “Mary Lou Belli’s directing workshop was as insightful as it was inspiring. I learned REAL techniques to use behind and in front of the camera as well as how to better fit into my local filmmaking community.” -Velissa Robinson
“Mary Lou provides a truly interactive experience tailored for every group. Whether you’re a director, producer, writer, or actor, you’ll benefit from her insights and have a blast.”Read more about the event on the WIFTA Reel Focus Blog here.