AWD newsletter 03/03/17
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AWD works to support and promote the work, visibility, and professional development for female directors through a variety of programs including screenings, educational events, and industry parties both for their members, and the general public.

Rebel Alliance
AWD Founder member Jennifer Warren featured in ‘OnWisconsin' article

For Warren, the future is now, and promise is being realized incrementally. 

“In this business, you have to develop a Zen-like view of life in order to not have it make you crazy,” Warren adds. “I’m a very impatient person, but I must say, I now view this as a process.”

Read the article by Andrew Faught

Theatrical Release 
AWD member Rucha Humnabadkar’s debut feature 'For Here or To Go?' will open in theatres on March 31. Not only is it vital to support women directors' work at the grass roots level, but the subject matter of Rucha’s film is especially timely! Watch the trailer on iTunes, Fandango, IMDB, or Rotten Tomatoes and Youtube.
Starring Ali Fazal (Furious 7) and Melanie Chandra (CBS's Code Black).
Young Silicon Valley software engineer Vivek Pandit is poised to become a key hire at a promising healthcare startup, but when they realize his work visa has less than a year remaining, the offer disappears. American in mind and Indian at heart, this is a contemporary story of ambition, ambivalence, and the dilemma of modern cultural displacement. 

The movie had an exclusive itunes trailer release on Feb 23.

AWD Career Advancement
TV Shadowing Pre-Pro How-To
with Mary Lou Belli

Wednesday, March 22nd, 7 - 10 PM

Welcome Reception from 7:00 - 7:30 PM
Workshop 7:30 - 10 PM

Free for AWD Members
(Workshop capped at 30 participants)
Join acclaimed TV Director and AWD Honorary Board Member Mary Lou Belli (NCIS: New Orleans, Pitch) for a focused workshop on what goes into prepping to direct an episode of episodic television. 

At this small-group workshop May Lou will break-down how pre-production works and how to work creatively with the production team.  Each attendee will leave with the necessary tools to navigate pre-production for directing an episode of episodic television.

Come prepared to work-- bring assigned homework and tablet/laptop!

Free for AWD Members - Watch for the special announcement!

This workshop is a part of the Craft Enrichment Series (CES) and is for our members interested in applying for shadowing opportunities. More details coming soon!

Upcoming Workshop
Finding the Beats - Structural Script Breakdown

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 2 - 4 PM
Sign up for this class with Samantha Shade   

The tactictal approach to narrative script breakdown, while taught in theatre directing courses, rarely filters into film education.  In this workshop we will approach story from the vantage point of character objective, moving into breaking down the beats of a scene, finally identifying the actions characters use in pursuit of their wants and needs. 

AWD Members Screen Their Shorts
In celebration of National Women's History Month, the City of West Hollywood hosts a night of selected shorts by local women directors.  
Saturday, March 11, 2017,  5 - 10 PM
AWD member Cady McClain will be the Keynote Speaker at this mini-film festival/conference. AWD members Rachel Goldberg, Alexis Korycinski and Mandy Fabian have their films screening.
Women's Leadership, Conference & Network
West Hollywood City Council Chambers
The 625 N. San Vincente Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069

General Seating free
Reserved Seating $10 (limited).


This annual international film festival is hosted by the Women's Museum of California in San Diego, and was created to celebrate women's stories and experiences through film. Our goal is to select films that represent the diversity of women from around the world. WFFSD gives independent female film makers a platform, and allows women focused issues to come alive on screen.
AWD member Kate Rees Davies will be on a panel about solving the female director problem. Her short film 'The Vanished' will be screening on March 25th.


March 24 - 26, 2017

THE LOT Liberty Station
2620 Truxtun Road, San Diego, CA 92106

Festival Waivers
AWD members have been granted film submission waivers for the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival. All genres are accepted. Only projects completed after January 1, 2015 are eligible to submit.

Extended Deadline: March 15, 2017

Screenings by our Community Partners
In Celebration of Women’s History Month, the Committee of Women Writers of the WGAW is hosting a reception and special screening

Saturday, March 4, 2017 7:00 - 11:00 PM

135 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Q & A with writer Patricia Resnick, moderated by CWW Co-Chair and Oscar nominated screenwriter Allison Schroeder  (Hidden Figures) will follow the screening.

We invite you to join us for this special evening of camaraderie and celebration of women in film. FREE FOR AWD MEMBERS

A Celebration of Women and Diversity in Entertainment
at The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd, LA, CA 90010

Wednesday March 8, 2017
Doors open at 6:00PM

Women's Panel at 7:00 PM

Alisa Xayalith, Lead singer of The Naked & Famous, Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film Association, Tori Letzler, Singer and composer for film music (American Horror Story: Coven) and Callie Khouri, Writer (Thelma & Louise), will discuss their career, obstacles in getting to where they are today, and give recommendations for young women wanting to get into the business. Moderated by Lisa Licht, Live Nation, Chief Marketing Officer.

Screening at 8:30 PM

All ages, full bar and food. Tickets start at $10.50. Partial proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood LA. Tickets available at: &

GA Tickets $10.50 plus fees: General Admission Seating, first come first serve

VIP Tickets: $14 plus fees: General Admission Reserved seating in VIP area, Skip the Line, One popcorn.

*AWD members received a code for free admission

InFocus: Female Directors

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, AWD is happy to announce that we will be partnering with New Filmmakers L.A. for the second year in a row!  NFMLA presents another installment of its InFocus series.

Talented female directors give us stories depicting everything from loss of innocence tales to dark comedies about psychotic soccer moms.

AWD members in good standing will be receiving a 50% discount code for the event! Details to follow. 

AWD Directors Showcase at Sony
Congratulations to our members who were selected for the SONY/Wave event hosted on Feb. 23. A third-party committee reviewed all the AWD-directed films and selected the following to screen:
'Waste' by Justine Raczkiewicz Roger lives a grim and detached life, picking up medical waste for a living, but looks forward to his evening conversations with his quirky roommate and foodie, Olive. But as the meals become increasingly strange, and push the limits of curiosity, Roger must ask himself how far he will go for love?

'Come Away With Me' by Ellen Gerstein An inter-racial couple, sweethearts in the 60's, were torn apart by war and social pressure. A women summons the courage to go to her high school reunion hoping to rekindle the romance with the love of her life.

'Meredes: Portrait of a Street Sweeper' by Meena Nanji and AWD member Amie Williams In the streets of Havana, we meet Mercedes, a woman who loves her job and loves her country.

'Play Date' by Paige Morrow Kimball When a little girl discovers a homeless woman in her backyard, she invites her inside for a play date while her busy parents are too distracted to notice.

'The Yellow Wood' by Jennifer Derwingson What if you could go back in time to the moment when everything in your life changed...and then, change it back? Should you travel the road not taken?
Thank you to the selection committee: 
Kim Adelman, Author of 'Making it Big in Shorts, Kimberly Browning, Hollywood Shorts Filmfest, Manon de Reeper, Editor of Film Inquiry, Heidi Honeycuff, Etheria Film Night, Michelle Kantor, Executive Director of Cinefemme, and James McCathy, International Screenwriters Association
Thank you Sam Shada for organizing yet another memorable movie night!
AWD Members Tour Bus
BANFF Connect LA is an exclusive marketplace established to connect producers, broadcasters, distributors, content creators, and executives across the film, television, advertising, and digital media industries. 

Strong showing of AWD members in attendance: Suzanne Lezotte, Corinne Jayaweera, Kristy Linderholm, Jennifer Page, Kate Rees Davies, Melanie Wagor, Jacqui Barcos and Monique Sorgen.

Read In The World Wide Web

Black Women Directors Killing It Behind The Scenes Of TV 
Alanna Bennett

AWD Honorary member Hanelle Culpepper
Depicting the lives of others is an act of resistance by 
Narrative VR Production, from Script to Post by Oakley Anderson-Moore

The Eastman Kodak Company has decided to bring back the KODAK EKTACHROME Super 8 Film to support its newly introduced KODAK Super 8 movie camera.

New Novel on Amazon by AWD Member  
Halli Lorenzato just published her debut novel, 'In Pursuit of a New Day.' It’s a historical piece set in World War II and into the Cold War that explores how differently three particular Americans see their roles as patriots doing all they can to protect the integrity and safety of their country.
Although a fellow director, Halli has been focusing more on her work as an actor and writer recently, following a number of plays, screenplays and teleplays with this, her first novel.
Her own mother was Halli’s research assistant throughout working on the book, using memories from her youth as a base, and for some of the details, for parts of the novel.  Halli is very excited to go on the journey of first-time novelist and to get going on her next one, which she has already begun.

Halli's book is available at Amazon and on Kindle and she hopes that some fellow AWDers will find their way there and let her know if they enjoyed reading it.
Welcome New Members
Monique Sorgen worked as a director’s assistant in television dramas and comedies after graduating from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. Her first short film, “Pants on Fire,” garnered international distribution. This led to writing for television and film, during a brief hiatus from directing.

Monique came back to directing with a bang, when her first music video was distributed on the Disney channel. She made a short web series pilot based on her first novel, “How Long You Should Wait to Have Sex.” Most recently she wrote for a popular Brazilian television series, and directed a trio of reality-based shows for Fashion One, which are currently in post-production.
Melanie Wagor produced and unit-production-managed a number of feature films, television shows, and commercials after graduating Magna Cum Laude from USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, with a concentration in film and television Directing and a minor in Screenwriting. 

In 2015 she was awarded a 67th Emmy Award for directing “OPCC & DGA PSA.” Throughout 2016 Melanie was in production directing 2nd Unit on season 2 of the series “Guidance” produced by Dreamwork’s AwesomenessTV. Currently she is attached to direct the feature film “Cloudhopper,” produced by Simon Johnson. 

Breven Angaelica Warren is passionate about film, art, festivals and event production. She is directing, curating, producing and programming extraordinary works by new and emerging artists from around the world. She is a resourceful connector with a deep dedication to visionary creators.

Breven commits herself to various festivals and programs to foster artist development. She founded and continues to direct a not-for-profit film festival as well as mentorship programs. She has lived and worked in various countries throughout the world. Breven is continually increasing her own education and experiences to be able to foster creative support and engagement

Eva von Schweinitz, born in Germany, is a New York-based interdisciplinary filmmaker with a background in theater who creates both narrative and documentary work. Eva's films have premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and Palm Springs ShortFest, screened at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany, and other festivals around the world.

Eva has presented her projects and related research in the form of workshops and lectures at Cologne Game Lab, Germany, The Office for Creative Research, and Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology. She holds a BA in Film from International Filmschool Cologne. Germany, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College, NY.

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AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
AWD Newsletter Copy Editors: Marty Elcan, Nikki Braendlin and Summer Perkins
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