April 7th – WIFTA and New Mavericks celebrate women directors!

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:

  • April 7th
  • 5:00 – 6:30 pm
  • Gallery L1
  • 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.


After the festivities, we will head over to the Plaza Theatre for a screening of SPEED SISTERS  (http://atlantafilmfestival.com/2016/speed-sisters/)


  • 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

“Making Film Festivals Work For You” and calling Producers, Writers and Actors!

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!

Our guests:


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




The Writers Lab: Info and WIFTA discount

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)!

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


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 OnAquamarine), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of BeesBeyond the Lights), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of MindPersonal Velocity), Meg LeFauve (Inside OutThe Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records, I Like It Like That)Lydia Dean-Pilcher (The LunchboxThe Reluctant Fundamentalist), Mary Jane Skalski (Win WinThe Station Agent), and Kirsten Smith (Legally BlondeTen 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.


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.


Questions? Call: 212-679-0870 or  contact@thewriterslab.nyc

Former WIFTA President Fran Burst Terranella to be honored

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/

Recap: Pop-Up Event with “Devious Maids” Director Mary Lou Belli

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.

Visit her website at: http://www.maryloubelli.com/

Are you camera ready?



This will be a great experience to work and bond with members!  We had lots of fun when we did this in December.  We got exposure for WIFTA and raised $ for GPB’s excellent programming.  Join us!

  • Date: Sunday, March 20, 6:30PM to 11:30PM
  • Volunteer Check In Time: 6:15PM   
  • Training will begin at 6:45PM for the new phone bank computer system for in-taking donation.
  • Volunteer Participation Includes: In the GPB TV studio at out phone bank taking calls from members, viewers and listeners with an in-studio time of 7:15 PM.
  • Location: GPB Studios @ 260 14th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30039
  • Dress: Camera-ready! Comfortably, casual or business attire, organization t-shirts (no logo or advertising shirts for other organizations other than WIFTA)
  • Everyone will receive:
  •  Catered meal
  •  Opportunities to win great raffle prizes
  •  Free parking
  •  Training


Volunteer Today by emailing executivedirector@wifta.org

General membership meeting this Wednesday!

Join us for an update on 2016 WIFTA plans and a presentation on tax tips:  

The Bottom Line for Above the Line and Below the Line!

Please join us at the GPB Studios at 260 14th St from 7:00 – 9:00 pm as we gather to discuss all the excitement in Atlanta over WIFTA’s plans for 2016!  Free for members – $20 for guests:  cash or check at door.

  • Meet your new Executive Director:  Susan Moss
  • Hear about our Actor, Producer and Writer track programming plans
  • Join in the discussion about future board members
  • Help us explore options for increasing membership
  • Mark your calendars for meetings, mixers and fundraisers

Whew!  And after all that – our tax experts will talk about ways to save time and hassles in preparing your taxes!

Our guest speakers:

Clabugh-Kristy sm


Kristy Clabaugh

A CPA and Firm Development Coordinator at Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C., Kristy specializes in the film and entertainment industry. Kristy is highly motivated by opening doors for her clients as well helping them grow their businesses. She provides accounting and consulting services to production companies who need to meet expenditure requirements to qualify for state film tax credits. Kristy is a member of many local organizations, as well as the AICPA, Georgia Society of CPAs, and Georgia Production Partnership.  Kristy and her husband Erik, Film and Moving Image Studies Ph.D ABD, live in McDonough with their two sons.  kclabaugh@whtcpa.com

Tomasello-Will sm

Will Tomasello

A CPA and Partner at Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C., Will provides tax and consulting services for a wide range of businesses including the film & entertainment industry. His client base in the production industry is vast and spans across the nation. Will has served on numerous boards and authorities including the Clayton County Housing Authority, Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, Southern Regional Hospital, Community Capital Bank and the United Methodist Church of North Georgia. Wtomasello@whtcpa.com

Will and Kristy’s CPA firm, Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C. (WHT) has 3 locations in Metro-Atlanta.  WHT provides film & entertainment industry services to production companies, film studios, independent filmmakers and video game producers.  The firm’s services include:

  • Issuance of comfort letters
  • Audit, accounting & assurance
  • On-site production accounting
  • Tax return preparation and consulting
  • Maximizing domestic production activity deduction (DPAD) calculation
  • Royalty, licensing and profit participating reporting
  • Consulting
  • Forensic accounting
  • Business valuation
  • CFO services



Lisa A. Wright

Lisa is a CPA with over 17 years of experience in the Accounting Industry. Her experience began at Deloitte & Touché, LLP, an international accounting firm. Another significant experience is her tenure at H.J. Russell & Company, a Black Enterprise 100 Company, where she was the Personal Financial Manager for Herman J. Russell Sr., founder and Chairman.

Lisa levied her knowledge to developed her own accounting and business advisory firm, L.A. Wright and Associates, LLC.  One of her specializations is the entertainment industry. She has served as Director of Finance for an amphitheatre whose roster of artists included Luther Vandross, Elton John and Boyz to Men. She has worked with various entertainers such as Edwin Hawkins, Takes Six and Micah Stampley. Her skills were also utilized by Central City Productions, the producer of the Stellar Awards. Promotions for artists is also a skill that she possesses. She is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.  Lisa served as the Treasurer for WIFTA for 2009-2010. And currently serves as the Treasurer for the Black Women In Film Network as well as for GPP.  In addition, Lisa has worked with various non-profit organizations as a financial consultant and or Board Member.
Contact Information:
L.A. Wright & Associates, LLC
2910 Evans Mill Road, Suite B-304
Lithonia, GA 30038
Cell phone: (404) 455-7631
Email: lisa.wright@lawrightonline.com

General Membership Meeting

Tax Tips:  The bottom line for above the line and below the line

  • “Can I deduct my cable bill?”
  • “Would I be better off incorporating?”
  • “Is my agent’s fee an allowed expense?”
  • “What’s the difference between a professional and a hobbyist?”

These are the kind of questions that may be keeping you up at night lately.  Our first general membership meeting will feature tax tips and answers to your important tax questions from seasoned professionals who focus on the entertainment industry.

Also, meet WIFTA’s first Executive Director and hear about the exciting plans your Executive Committee has for 2016!

  • Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • GPB Studios:  260 14th St, 1st floor, Atlanta 30318

Members free; $20 for non- members


A WIFTA Pop-Up program for Directors, Producers and Actors:

A Conversation with Mary Lou Belli – A Devious Maids Director


mlbemmy sq

She also:

  • Has won multiple Emmy awards
  • Has over 20 years of experience in directing television
  • Is co-author of three books: The NEW Sitcom Career Book, Acting for Young Actors and Directors Tell The Story
  • Has judged at multiple film festivals including Newport Beach Film Festival and the Sapporo Short Film Festival
  • Is a part-time instructor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts
  • Directed o a groundbreaking and award winning webseries

Mary Lou Belli on IMDb

Saturday, February 20th
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

GPB Studios – 1st floor
260 14th Street N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30318

Cost: Free for Members
$20 for Non-Members

REGISTER TODAY: http://wifta.wildapricot.org/event-2170401

The GA Film Office Needs Our Help

Please help create a photo montage of Georgians working in the film and television industry and holding signs of support. It’s one thing to say it, but another to show the faces of the people whose lives have changed for the better as a result of our tax incentive.

Please post single photos or group shots today on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #gafilmday. Please thank legislators for supporting the industry and say how the Georgia film industry has impacted you.


Thank you. I bought your first house thanks to the industry. #gafilmday

Thank you. I’m now a crew member and a vendor.  #gafilmday

Thank you. I invested in a new business that supports the industry. #gafilmday

Also, please add the hashtag #wiftatlanta, so that legislators will see WIFTA’s participation as well.

Lastly, please send photos to film@georgia.org, and forward this message to anyone working in our industry.

We would love to have you come to the Capitol to share your stories with passing legislators, but because we know a lot of people will be working. The photo montage will provide an opportunity to educate people about the impact of film and television production in Georgia and how it continues to generate money for the state and jobs for residents.