AWD newsletter 10/31/17
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AWD works to support and promote the work, visibility, and professional development for women-identifying and gender non-conforming directors through a variety of programs including screenings, educational events, and networking events both for their members, and the general public.
AWD Statement on Harvey Weinstein

Alliance of Women Directors is an organization of empowerment for our members as well as upcoming women and gender non-conforming directors. Our organization exemplifies hard work and tenacity to the community of women and young girls.

AWD summarily denounces the impropriety and abuse of power exhibited by Harvey Weinstein, others like him, and the system that would enable it. We applaud the University of Southern California for rejecting Weinstein's insulting offer to fund an endowment for women directors. Weinstein can't continue to pay women for their silence.

AWD wholeheartedly supports the women who have, and those that will continue to, come forward. They show enormous bravery and resilience in putting faces on this ongoing mistreatment and abuse. They are the epitome of the empowerment our organization supports and develops.  

Growth is never easy and often comes with pain and the reminder that we have not taken the easiest road to success. We are confident that continuing to come together to raise our voices can be a driving force to change the climate of our industry, state, and country.

We remain here for you.

Support Alliance of Women Directors
AWD has entered in the WeWork Creator Awards, a new year-long global initiative to recognize and reward creators (individual and organization) with over $20M of available awards. Securing this award in The Scale category would expand AWD's ability to continue supporting the growth of its members.

To contribute to a successful campaign, please share the below posts on social media:

FACEBOOK (adjust the tags accordingly):
Reposting on INSTAGRAM

Thank you!
Festival and Distribution News
Upcoming Festivals and Screenings
AWD member Angela Cohen's Oscar-qualifying film "Without Grace" will screen at the St. Louis International Film Festival. It stars Emmy winner Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale).

Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 2pm
Buy your tickets here
Beauty School, a film by member Samantha Shada, continues its festival tour by screening as part of the Studio City International Film Festival in Block #27.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 5:15pm
Buy your tickets here
Trouble Creek - the Web Series by members Shea E. Butler and Stacey K. Black has been selected for the Studio City International Film Festival as part of Block #11.

Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 3:15pm
Buy your tickets here
Seeing is Believing: Women Direct will have its next screening at the High Falls Film Festival (Rochester, NY), followed by Q&A with AWD member and director Cady McClain.

Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 8:30pm
Buy your tickets here
"The Empire" by member Susan Davis will play as part of the top ten for The Producers Guild of America's Make Your Mark Film Weekend Shorts Competition.

Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 8pm
Buy your tickets here
Distribution and Premieres
AWD member Gabriela Tollman's feature Somebody's Mother has completed its theatrical run and had its Video-On-Demand premiere on Amazon.

See the film here.
Psychological thriller Never Here, directed by AWD member Camille Thoman, premiered at this summer's LA Film Festival and recently had its day-and-date theatrical release.

The film can now can be seen on iTunes, Amazon, and DirecTV.
Member Hannah Lux Davis' documentary film Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated has premiered on YouTube as part of YouTube Originals.

Watch the film here.
Member Natalie Avital's documentary 3 Hikers premiered on STARZ as part of their new documentary series.
Completed Festivals and Screenings
Traipsing Thru Films's music video "Waving a Wand" by members Renee Sotile and MJ Godges has screened during the The Valley Film Festival 2017.
Member Maria Luna has screened her film "Dada" as part of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles October 2017 festival.
Darcy, a film co-directed by member Heidi Elizabeth Philipsen-Meissner, had its world premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival 2017.
Atlanta Leadership Committee member Lou Simon has screened her film Lou Simon's 3 at two film festivals: FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival (Orlando, FL) and NYC Horror Film Festival (New York).
Military-themed short film scratch on metal by AWD member Marina Viscun has screened during Canon Burbank Short Night.
Submission Deadlines
Approaching November grant deadlines (Source: No Film School):

Narrative New Media
Awards Season
Congratulations to AWD Leadership Committee member Tomeka M Winborne on her Award of Merit in Directing from the Southern Shorts Awards for her film Aged Out.
Member Vickie Sampson's film Shelby's Vacation was honored with the Best LGBTQ Film Award at the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival. Congratulations!
Partnerships and Collaborations
AWD joins ESC Non-Profit Development Program
Source: Twitter @escsocal
We are excited to announce that AWD was recently accepted into ESC's Developing Development Program for 2017-2018. The program helps non-profits build sustainable and strategic growth and development infrastructure. We are honored to be on this journey with other organizations, including OutFest, Downtown Women's Shelter, and Pathways LA. Through workshops and one-on-one meetings with a Development Coach, AWD will implement plans for strategic growth, with the end-goal of hiring a full-time Executive Director to advocate for AWD and women directors. Stay updated about AWD's fundraising efforts and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

New Organization for Middle East and North African Female Filmmakers
Women Creating Change is a community of inspiring female artists and filmmakers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who seek to inspire change and bridge cultural and religious divides by championing creative, inclusive collaborations through storytelling.
WCC is hosting a daylong LAUNCH EVENT in Los Angeles on November 18, consisting of powerful discussions around women empowerment, interactive workshops, and one-on-one sessions with top executives, casting directors, a networking reception and more. 
The community is open to women filmmakers and actors of Middle Eastern or Northern African background (MENA). To learn more about the Women Creating Change or its launch event, please email

Become KitSplit's LA Founding Member
AWD is happy to partner with KitSplit, which includes invites to our members for their LA launch party November 3rd. 

KitSplit is a community of tens of thousands of vetted filmmakers and production companies renting gear to and from each other. Called “the Airbnb for creative equipment” by Forbes and Fast Company, KitSplit saves you time and money; you can search hundreds of vendors at once, buy shoot insurance on the spot and have gear delivered straight to your shoot. If you own gear, they make it safe and easy for you to earn extra money renting it out.  

AWD members are invited to join KitSplit as LA Founding Members and to list gear with exclusive benefits. Those who reach out in October or November, will receive the concierge services for FREE and KitSplit will list your gear for you (to learn how to unlock this benefit check your inbox). To get 10% off your first rental, sign up for KitSplit (check your inboxes for the discount code).

To attend their LAUNCH PARTY on November 3rd, RSVP here (password = KSVIP066).

Unlock Raindance LA Course Discount
AWD members get 15% off Raindance LA's SALES AND DISTRIBUTION Course taught by industry veterans sales agent Jason Piette, sales agent Glenn Kendrick Ackermann, distributor Chris Charalambous, and producer Julia Verdin.

The five-Mondays evenings course will focus on understanding the current marketplace, US distributors, foreign sales agents, self/online distribution, deliverables, legal pitfalls to protect your film, marketing and film festivals. With Raindance's hybrid training, you have the freedom to join in person, online, or catch up a day later after each class on VOD.

Dates: Mondays, October 30th to November 27th, 6pm to 8pm.
For more information and to reserve your seat visit Raindance LA using the discount code provided in a separate email to AWD members.
Upcoming Workshops and Events
AWD is thrilled to present the panel, "The Future is Female" at AFM 2017. Women make up over half of the world’s population, and are a driving force in theatrical box office as well as television, cable and digital viewing. This Roundtable will highlight how female-driven stories can expand a film's audience and profitability. Our panel will explore the benefits of developing strong female leads and hiring women directors, producers and writers.

The panelists:
Jim Whitaker - Producer (A Wrinkle in Time, Peter Pan)
Geena Davis - Actress and Activist
Neema Barnette - Director (Queen Sugar, Being Mary Jane)
Jen McGowan - Director, AWD member, and Film Powered founder
Moderator: Wendy Calhoun - Writer/Producer (Empire, Justified)

NOTE: AFM Roundtables are approximately 90 minutes long. Each Roundtable draws an audience of 80-100 producers and filmmakers from around the world who have a keen professional interest in the topic. You must have an AFM badge to attend Roundtables. However, overflow audiences and non-badge holders can watch Roundtables on screens in the Loews Hotel lobby.

Sunday, November 5th, 2017; 5:00pm – 6:30pm     
AFM Studio, Loews Hotel Santa Monica
Members Successes and Updates
CBS Announces Participants in its 2017-2018 Directors Initiative
(L-R): Jennifer Derwingson, Paige Morrow Kimball, A. Laura James, Maria Burton, Kevin Berlandi (Source: CBS)
Congratulations to AWD members Jennifer Derwingson, Paige Morrow Kimball, A. Laura James, and Maria Burton with their selection as the participants of the CBS 2017-2018 Directors Initiative. Now in its 14th year, the initiative provides a platform for experienced directors to gain access to showrunners, executives, managers, agents and the opportunity to shadow CBS Television Network and CBS Television Studio shows throughout the year.
Learn more about the new participants and the programs here.
Thank You for Your Service
We are excited to announce two new Committee Chairs and our new newsletter editor. As a volunteer-driven organization, these positions are vital to us. Thank you to these members for stepping up to lead: 
Christianna Carmine
Membership Committee Chair (
Kim Furst
Festival Outreach Committee Chair (
Marina Viscún
Newsletter Editor (
Members who are interested in volunteering, please email Nikki Braendlin for information on our Committees.
Members Iram Parveen Bilal and Rachel Feldman have joined the Why Women Voices Matter in Media panel as part of Left Coast Forum 2017: State of the Struggle event.

Sunday, 5 November, 10:30 am
Buy your tickets here

Ripped from the callsheets: Kate Rees Davies participated in Film Threat podcast ... Kayden Phoenix shot her film Santa ... Christianna Carmine did pickup shots for Solstice Ranch ... Jenn Page is in pre-production for Playing with Beethoven ... Ellen Gerstein shot Waiting for Ronald ... Jill Von D shot her film Rebirth ... Susie Singer Carter has appeared on Fox 11 Los Angeles and ABC7 to chat up My Mom and the Girl ... Rachel Feldman talked about gender justice on 89.3 KPCC's The Frame and women in the industry on a Digital Hollywood panel ... Anna Simone Scott was interviewed about The Aerial Girl by We Are Moving Stories ... Tomeka M Winborne chatted filmmaking with The Creative Outsiders podcast ... Regina Ainsworth spoke during DGA panel ... Marty Elcan completed post-production on her film As If... ... Jennifer Warren discusses gender representation with the LA Times and Nylon Magazine ... Neobe Velis and Marina Viscun will host Social Event: Best Practices for Dealing with Sexual Harassment ... Nancy Friedman will teach Acting for Directors class.
Send your updates for the next newsletter edition by November 25, 2017 at midnight to
AWD Tour Bus

AWD members attended panels, events, and conversations covering packaging content, branding, Next Gen creatives, social media, VR and others during Digital Hollywood event in October.

AWD sister organization Women in Media had its RELAUNCH with a black carpet event! The organization celebrated its NEW 501(c)(3) status, website, and VIP memberships for women. If you aren't familiar with them, we encourage you to be! They are awesome and work tirelessly toward inclusion and gender parity in the film industry.

AWD members were invited to The Wrap's Power Women Breakfast LA focusing on inclusion in championing new stories and changing the culture of systemic sexism. The event was followed by #MeToo Town Hall that offered actionable steps for dealing with difficult situations of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.
Found on the World Wide Web
AWD honorary member Michelle MacLaren (The Deuce, Game of Thrones) talks about being present, filming all-over the world, and working with HBO.
Member Rachel Feldman contributed a guest column to The Hollywood Reporter on how to fix employment exclusion, scarcity, and representation.
Member Paige Morrow Kimball joined Directing Magic Podcast to chat about her directing experience and her process in applying to various mentorship programs.
WIRED chats with Angela Robinson about her Professor Marston & The Wonder Women film: the epoch the story originated from, the research that goes into making a film, and the correlation between the past and the future.
Read more news on our Facebook page.
Welcome to new AWD Members
Join AWD now
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
AWD Newsletter Editor: Marina Viscun
AWD Newsletter Copy Editor: Marty Elcan and Nikki Braendlin 

The next issue will appear on Friday, December 1.
Submit your announcements by Saturday, November 25 at midnight. 
Copyright © 2017 Alliance of Women Directors, All rights reserved.

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