AWD newsletter 07/31/17
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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 networking events both for their members, and the general public.

20th Anniversary Celebration Bash 

Alliance of Women Directors (AWD) is the leading non-profit industry organization dedicated solely to the advocacy, education and support of female directors.

Started by alumnae from AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, the AWD family now has over 240 members, welcoming more every month. 

For our 20th anniversary, more than 120 women--members, prospective members, and industry friends--gathered to celebrate, enjoying good food and empowering conversation.

This is an exciting time and we were thrilled to talk about our new endeavors with so many accomplished, inspiring women.

With several committees working to advance AWD's mission, there are numerous ways to get involved. Volunteering is a great opportunity for members to become leaders within AWD and help shape the organization for the future.
In addition to working within the AWD family, volunteers network with individuals and organizations in the industry, helping to build relationships that will further the careers of female filmmakers. 
To join a committee, email our new member liaison, Nikki Braendlin, for more information. 
DGA directors in attendance at our 20th Anniversary Bash.
Five former board members, from left: Jacqui Barcos, Jennifer Warren, Julie Janata, Maria Burton, Vickie Sampson.
Eight of AWD's current board members, from left: Lagueria Davis, Kate Rees Davies, Michaela von Schweinitz, Nikki Braendlin, Jennifer Warren, C.M. Landrus, Emily Dell, Marty Elcan, not pictured: Sarah Bullion.
Photos provided by Marty Elcan.

Submission Deadlines
Important Announcement for AWD Members 
If you are an AWD member and are applying/submitting to the following, let us know! AWD will be sending a list to each:

Sundance Film Festival 2018: Email Nikki Braendlin by September 10th with the TITLE OF YOUR FILM, DIRECTOR'S NAME (must be an AWD member), CATEGORY, LOGLINE (one or two sentences only). 

Athena Film Festival and The Athena List: Email Nikki Braendlin with the TITLE OF YOUR FILM, DIRECTOR'S NAME (must be an AWD member), CATEGORY, LOGLINE (one or two sentences only) or NAME and TITLE OF SCRIPT. 

Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program: Email Lagueria Davis with your name after you APPLY.


For answers to the most commonly asked questions about submitting to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, download this FAQ document. Please read the Rules & Regulations thoroughly before submitting your project. Deadlines dates for 2018 festival consideration:

Shorts VR and Episodic:
Early Deadline: August 7th, Official: August 21st, Late: September 15th
Early Deadline: August 11th, Official: August 25th, Late: September 18th

Click here to begin the application process through Withoutabox.

Athena Film Festival

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College is a weekend of inspiring films that tell the extraordinary stories of strong, bold women leaders from all walks of life – stories of ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie. The curated program includes Academy Award-nominated films, top-tier features, documentaries, and shorts — including U.S. and world premieres. It is a weekend that celebrates the stories of remarkable women — stories that need to be told and deserve to be honored. 
Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

The Sony Pictures Television Diversity & Inclusion team is accepting submissions for this year’s Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program.

The SPT Diverse Directors Program provides access for highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds to potential directing opportunities on scripted SPT series. This program offers participants the chance to shadow veteran directors and meet with SPT studio creative executives, executive producers and diverse DGA TV directors. The program’s participants take part in an intensive episodic directing workshop and attend guest speaker events. Those participants who do well during the first season of the program may be invited back to direct an episode of a scripted SPT series the following season.

Submissions will close on Sunday, August 20, 2017 or when they reach 400 applicants. 

NDIVA Women's Film Fetival

Ndiva Women's Film Festival 2017 calls for films: Films by women, films for women by women, and films for women by men.  
Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 25, 2017.

Submit here now

From The Heart Productions

Win, Shoot, Get Score with Roy W. Dean Film Grant

Applications are now being accepted for the fall Roy W. Dean Film Grant. Winner receives $3,000 cash, $30,000 in film services to shoot and finish their project, including a film score!  Grant seeks films that are unique and contribute to society.  Projects can be documentaries, short films, features, or web series.

Award winning composer David Raiklen will give the grant recipient $15,000 in theme music and score for their project.  David recently provided music for the Emmy award and Roy W. Dean Grant winning documentary “Mia: A Dancer’s Journey."  Emmy award winner Charlie Canfield will donate $6,000 in animation services to the winner.

Other prizes include a hard drive from G-Technology, one week DSLR camera package rental from Birns & Sawyer, and 25% discount on conform and deliverables services from Light Iron, and much more from many heartfelt donors.  

Unique to this grant is each applicant for the grant receives a consultation on his/her project from a member of From The Heart Productions which sponsors the grant. 

Deadline for submission is September 30, 2017.
Click here to apply for the grant 

For more information, please email or call 805-984-0098.

International Academy of Web Television Awards

The International Academy of Web Television Awards is offering our AWD members $25 OFF submissions. 

ABOUT THE AWARDS:  The IAWTV is now a division of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors. The Caucus mission is “Leading the evolution of television by providing a creative forum for Producers, Writers & Directors to explore the issues of the ever-changing landscape of content and exhibition.” The IAWTV Awards support this mission by rewarding shows that expand the boundaries of independent television. 

The IAWTV Awards have been credited with launching Hollywood careers. Julian De Zotti, co-creator of “Whatever Linda” said, “Winning an IAWTV Award opened the door to our development deal with The Mark Gordon Company to turn our series into an hour-long TV show.”

The 5th IAWTV Awards, a celebration honoring the best in streaming series will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, in the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Red Carpet will start at 5 p.m. The entire ceremony will be streamed live online.

To submit, check your inbox for instructions, or email Nikki Braendlin.

Interested in attending the IAWTV Awards show in October? Click here for Early Bird tickets 

Feature Screening
Sundance Next Fest
AWD is thrilled to be supporting an evening at Sundance Next Fest 2017. "Sundance NEXT FEST brings the summer's boldest indie movies and music to the heart of LA. Straight from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, these movies make their LA debuts." Join us for a night of movies, music, and mischief! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017, 8 PM
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 

Screening of "Bitch" by Marianna Palka, starring Marianna Palka, Jason Ritter, and Jaime King followed by a live performance from Brooklyn-based band Sleigh Bells.

Click here to buy your tickets

World Premieres
LA Shorts International Film Festival
All screenings @ The NoHo 7
5240 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Beauty School

Samantha Shada will be premiering two of her shorts.

"Beauty School" 
Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 3:15 PM
Click here to buy tickets

Sunday, August 6, 2017 - 9:55 PM
Click here to buy tickets

Here Now

"Here Now" directed by Rachel Feldman, shot by ASC cinematographer Nancy Schreiber with sound editing by Vickie Sampson will have its world premiere.

Friday, August 4th, 7:45 PM
Click here to buy tickets

Panel Discussion
The Future Is Female  - 
Wonder Women In Hollywood

Saturday, August 12, 2017, 5:00 PM
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd, LA 90028

Event Tickets

Can the myth that "women cannot handle big budget movie making" be dispelled? Join a lively panel discussion moderated by Kate Rees Davies of The Alliance of Women Directors with working industry females about the challenges women face in today's film & entertainment business.

Alexis Ostrander (AWD), "Bambina" plays at HollyShorts Film
Cindy Baer (AWD) - HollyShorts Alumni
Sarah Phillips (AWD), "Smile: A Musical"  plays at HollyShorts Film 
Sarah J. Cornelius, Producer - Whitewater Films
Moderator: Kate Rees Davies (AWD)

Followed by a reception sponsored by Peroni Beer 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Short Film Screenings
Holly Shorts Film Festival
August 10 - 19, 2017
Without Grace
Angela Cohen wrote, produced and stars in "Without Grace," which will have its LA Premiere in the 'Family Drama' Program.

Friday, August 11th - 2:30 PM
@ The TCL Chinese 6

Click here to buy tickets
Here Now

"Here Now" directed by Rachel Feldman will screen together with "Waste" directed by Justine Raczkiewicz in the 'Women in Film' Program.

Saturday, August 12, 2017, 12 PM
@ The TCL Chinese 6
Click here to buy tickets

Smile: A Musical

"Smile: A Musical" directed by Sarah Philips will screen in the 'Dance & Music' Program.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 12 PM
@ The TCL Chinese 6
Click here to buy tickets

Sarah Philips was awarded 10K for her other film "Separation of Church & Livia." She came in second place at the AT&T Share Create-A-Thon.

That Party That One Night
"That Party That One Night" directed by Mylissa Fitzsimmons will screen in the 'Coming Of Age' Program.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 2:30 PM

@ The TCL Chinese 6

Click here to buy tickets
Screenings @ The TCL Chinese 6, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, LA, 90028
Six Letter Word
"Six Letter Word" written and directed by Lisanne Sartor will screen at Harmony Gold Theater.

Wednesday, August 19, 2017, 6 PM
7655 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Click here to buy tickets

New Filmmakers Los Angeles

We're excited to partner with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) for a screening of short films directed by AWD members.

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world, providing the Los Angeles community of entertainment professionals and film goers with a constant surge of monthly screening events. And they've dedicated one of their program slots entirely to us!

Congratulations to the AWD selected shorts and filmmakers:
"Come Here Often?" - Director Morgan Dameron
"Irving" - Director Rebecca Feldman
"The Singing Bones" - Director Danishka Esterhazy
"Real Artists"- Director Cameo Wood
"Waste"- Director Justine Raczkiewicz


Come Here Often?
The Singing Bones
Real Artists

Saturday, August 26, 2017, 7:30 PM
1139 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

**Parking available at 1133 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
For more info on the evening: 
NFMLA & AWD Shorts Night Program 2

Tickets are only $5 (online). They're $7 at the door, and $15 if you want to see more programs and take advantage of the open bar!

We'd love to have a huge turnout to support our AWD directors! Let's make a night of it! Any questions, email Lagueria Davis

Video Productions
AWD member Moni Vargas produced & directed a music video for Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz for their song, “Intrigued.” Nico & Vinz requested to work with a female director to highlight the song's theme celebrating women’s intrinsic worth. The video has almost 150K YouTube views. Check it out here
More from Moni’s production company, NUYORKTRICITY.
AWD has a special invitation to meet "INEZ MILHOLLAND ~ Forward into Light," AWD member Martha Wheelock's documentary about a courageous suffragist who invested in our lives and died working for women’s right to vote. Click here to order your free DVD.
“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.” 

AWD Tour Bus
10 trips - 7 cities - 200 Female Executives

AWD sponsored Ashley Kron, a filmmaker studying at Chapman University. Board Members Kate Rees Davies and Nikki Braendlin had the opportunity to ride the GenHERation Discovery Days 2017 Los Angeles bus to talk about AWD and working in Hollywood.

The tour was one of ten happening around the country, providing high school and college women with the opportunity to visit various companies and hear from professionals. During legs of the tour, different speakers talked about their careers and answered questions.
AT&T Shape
Congratulations to AWD Member Sarah Phillips who came in second at the AT&T Shape Create-A-Thon, with her film "Separation of Church & Livia."

The AT&T Create-a-thon is a competition that challenges content creators and filmmakers to produce a short film during a weekend. 

AT&T Shape gave AWD members unlimited passes for the weekend event! Several of our members took advantage of this and Caro von Holdt recorded some of the panels for those who couldn't make it! 

AWD member Caro von Holdt taped the panel with Patty Jenkins.

AT&T Shape is doing another filmmaking challenge in the Bay Area:
AT&T Create-a-thon in San Francisco August 11th through 13th. 
Register for a chance to win $$$$$!

Upcoming Workshops

Raindance LA is offering our members 15% off their upcoming "Film Financing Foundation" course which is available in person, live online, and on VOD. This 5-Tuesday-evening intensive course is designed to teach all you need to know about financing your film, with financier / sales agent Jason Piette and producer Julia Verdin. AWD members will receive a special discount code to register for this course!

Tuesday, August 1st to Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 6 PM to 8 PM.

Click here for more info and to register

Check your inboxes, or email Nikki for the discount code. 

Film Powered

An Evening with Screenwriter Liz Hannah (THE PAPERS)

Join us for a moderated Q&A to hear about Liz's path from AFI to topping the Black List to having Meryl Streep star in her screenplay. With a background in producing and development, to current success writing in film and TV, Liz's experience offers great insight into navigating a multifaceted career in the media arts.

Liz's script THE PAPERS was ranked #2 on The Black List and is being directed by Steven Spielberg. This evening is for professional writers to discuss craft and navigating Hollywood. Moderated by writer/director Rachel Feldman.

(Please arrive promptly and bring $3 to defray costs of parking permits which you will receive from the host.) 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sign up for this class

Creating, Packaging & Selling Non-Fiction TV Series with AMPLE

AMPLE was founded in 2015 by former Sundance, AMC and Xbox Executive Ari Mark, and acclaimed Executive Producer and Showrunner Phil Lott. Their current shows include "Cold Case Files" on A&E Co-Produced with Blumhouse TV, "Cooper’s Treasure" on Discovery Co-Produced with Amblin TV, "Hacking The Wild" on Science Channel and "Going Under: White Supremacy" on History Channel.

Ari &/or Phil (depending on their production schedules) will walk you through the process of creating, packing and selling non-fiction tv series in the current marketplace.

Friday, August 18, 2017, 9:00 - 11:00 AM

Sign up for this class

Found In The World Wide Web
“Wonder Woman” director Jenkins and “Atomic Blonde” star Theron worked together on 2003’s “Monster,” which garnered Theron an Academy Award for best actress by Trey Williams, July 28, 2017
HBO’s “Room 104” is Over 50 Percent Women-Directed by Laura Berger, July 28, 2017
Top of the Lake’s Elisabeth Moss and Jane Campion on the gender war that brought them together by E Jane Dickson, July 27, 2017
Databases and Online Platforms for Films Outside the IMDb Box by Sydney Levine July 26, 2017
Hailey Gates Viceland docu-series "States Of Undress" uses style as a point of access to sociopolitical reporting by  July 24, 2017
Charlize Theron: “We’re just as good as the guys.”
by  and  July 22, 2017
Skydance and its partner Ilion Animation Studios taps Vicky Jenson to direct animation movie, a untitled fantasy script by Linda Woolverton by Borys Kit, July 19, 2017
New 'Doctor Who' Star Jodie Whittaker: Don't Be "Scared by My Gender" by Lesley Goldberg July 16, 2017
'Queen Sugar' actress talks Evanston, female directors and on-screen relationships by , July 5, 2017
Welcome Our New Members

Engineer - Navy Officer - Screenwriter. Jackie Perez worked in development in LA for three years at CAA and Perfect Storm Entertainment before switching gears to the creative side and graduating with an MFA in TV and Screenwriting from Stephens College. She is currently adapting one of Stephen King's 'Dollar Babies' to direct. She loves horror and is focusing on creating micro-horror films.

Luann Barry, the president and owner of 1st Wave Productions, has received recognition for her work as both producer and director. She has worked in commercial production for over twenty years, earning both CLIO and ANDY awards for excellence. As a director/writer, she was awarded two LULU Awards for work with clients HFS and Children's' Institute International. Her ground breaking documentary Voice: Kids of Divorce is in post production. She is a co-founder and active member of the Women In Film PSA program, which has produced over 55 campaigns for national and local non-profits supporting issues of women and children. Luann is a member of the Directors Guild of America and Board Member of the Hollywood Rock Academy Foundation, a non-profit "Juilliard of Rock" enriching young lives through contemporary music creation and performance. Her most recent film is a documentary entitled "Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones."

Though technically a native of upstate New York, Valerie Resciniti has lived in cities and countries around the world, but considers California her home. She has spent the past 15 years producing and directing audiovisual content for the U.S. Government, and is working to make a career in Hollywood. She is currently studying producing, directing, and screenwriting at UCLA.

Wendy Shear is the daughter of the late director/producer Barry Shear and actress Sondra Roe Shear. Born in Brooklyn, NY she moved to Beverly Hills, California when she was 6 years old. Growing up, Shear spent most of her free time following her father, learning the business first hand on numerous productions. Escaping/graduating Hollywood High School, she went straight into working for KLAC/KMET radio then making the leap into the music business. It was there she met her first husband, a road manager for The Who.

Shear moved to London for five years where she worked for Universal Television. Wendy came back to California and began her TV/film career in earnest, working as an assistant director on such shows as "Dynasty," "Wings," "Sisters" and Clint Eastwood's iconic film "Every Which Way But Loose."

Shannon Flynn is an accomplished, energetic and thriving film, television and web series director. She has directed a wide array of hit shows, including HULU/AwesomenessTV’s Betch Sketch, Mutt and Stuff (produced by the legendary Sid and Marty Krofft), and shows for Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and TV Land. Currently, she is in pre-production on her first full-length feature film.

Shannon has directed more than 100 episodes of television for various networks. Other directing credits include the short films Drive, Whitewash and Scary Dark House. In addition, she has directed industrial videos for PepsiCo, commercials for Banana Boat and is the creator/producer of the digital comedy series, Voodoo Skidoo.

Shannon began her career mentored by director Lee Shallat Chemel on such hit series as "Gilmore Girls," "Bernie Mac" and "Arrested Development."

Mylissa Fitzsimmons spent her early years in Moab, Utah where where she spent most nights at the drive-in movies or in a tent by the river. As a teenager in Oregon, she would photograph bands passing through town saying she was a photographer for the local news papers. She would then sell the photos to her classmates to make money to buy super 8 film so she could make skateboard videos of her and her friends. In high school she was introduced to documentary filmmaking by a teacher. 

Her first short documentary film The Secret Lives of Suburban Moms won some awards and lost her some friends. She bounced around between Seattle and LA in her early twenties photographing bands and making short documentaries until finally making the decision to make Los Angeles, CA her home. Recently she transitioned to writing, directing and producing narrative short films. Her films include "Long Way Home," "My First Love," "Mercy," and "That Party That One Night" and "Who Decides." Her films have played at various film festivals around the world and can be seen online. She is currently working on her first feature film.

Dawn Higginbotham has written and produced several feature films picked up for distribution, including "Off The Ledge," a comedy/drama, "Diamonds & Guns," a comedy, "Night of the Templar," a horror/cult. Currently attached to direct two feature projects, both thrillers she wrote, Dawn directed the award-winning documentary "DreamWorks 3D Animation w/ Valerie Lettera Spletzer" and the web doc series "WEFilmLA," currently in post. Dawn directed two sizzle reels "The Hub" and "Last Chance" for TV series and was recently interviewed for Podcasts Indie Film Tribe and International Women In Film.
Join AWD now
AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
AWD Newsletter Copy Editor: Marty Elcan and Nikki Braendlin

The next issue will appear Tuesday September 1, 2017.
Submit your announcements by Tuesday, August 25, 2017 at midnight. 
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