AWD newsletter 02/05/17
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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.

Join The Campaign
Maria Burton directed 'What Are You Marching For,' inspired by the collaboration and optimism embodied in the Women's March, GlobalGirl Media, and The Representation Project. Watch the video, write why you march on your hand, and share it with the #MarchingForward hashtag!

Upcoming Events

Save the date for the AFCI Locations, Global Production & Finance Conference, April 6-8, 2017 at the Marriott Burbank & Convention Center, the premier marketplace connecting you global locations and film funding resources for your next production. The three day event is comprised of two parts:

AFCI Locations - access to Billions of Dollars in Film Incentives from more than 80 Film Commissions and Service Industry Partners exhibiting from more than 30 countries.

Global Production & Finance Conference - presentations from global finance leaders on co-production, national film funds and private capital opportunities.

Early bird now opened - register to attend here.
AWD Career Advancement
TV Shadowing

How-To Workshop

with Hanelle Culpepper

Monday, February 13th, 7 - 10 PM
Workshop limited to 20 participants
Join acclaimed TV Director and AWD Honorary Board Member Hanelle Culpepper for a focused workshop on how to target TV Shadowing spots that are a necessary step to directing television. At this small-group workshop Hanelle will break-down how shadowing works, how to be strategic about securing shadowing spots.  Each attendee will leave with a plan of action for finding future shadowing opportunities. Come prepared to work-- bring a pen & pad!

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

This is for AWD Members in good standing - Watch out 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!

Award Season
On February 4, 2017 Nancy Schreiber will be honored with the President’s Award for her contribution to the art of cinematography at the 31st Annual ASC Awards ceremony. 

Her can-do spunk, work ethic and cinematic acuity kick-started her camera career leading to an eclectic mix of features, television series and documentaries.

Schreiber's advice for aspiring cinematographers: “Find your own voice and live a large life of passion beyond our industry”. Read the interview Nancy gave  in Filmmaker Magazine.
Nancy Schreiber, ASC, is represented by Claire Best and Associates
323 601-5001 -
Production Legal Services


The Entertainment Law Clinic at Chapman Law School provides provides production legal services for selected ultralow budget filmmakers and currently has openings for new clients.  The Clinic legal work is provided by upper level law students under the direct supervision of law professors with many years of experience as entertainment attorneys and all legal services are free of charge..

If you are planning to begin principal photography in the next few weeks or months, the Entertainment Law Clinic can provide most of the documents you will need for the production and chain of title.  Clinic services typically include:  forming an LLC, registering copyright for the script, agreements to acquire underlying rights, employment contracts (producer, writer, director, actors, crew), music agreements, location agreements, and releases.

All of the Clinic services and documents are always FREE. 
Interested Filmmakers should contact: 
Professor Kathy Heller, Esq - 714-628-2675.
Let him know you were referred by AWD Member Romell Foster-Owens.

Collaboration With Partners

Exclusive Pre-Launch Invite for AWD Members to Join KitSplit, the AirBNB of Cameras.

KitSplit is a private community of tens of thousands of vetted and insured filmmakers and production companies renting gear to and from each other.  Called “the AirBNB for creative equipment” by Forbes and Fast Company, KitSplit makes it safe and easy for people and companies who own gear earn extra money renting it out when they’re not using it.  

In preparation for their LA launch, KitSplit invites AWD members to join as Founding Members and list gear with exclusive benefits. For those who sign up in February or March, they’ll offer their concierge service for FREE and will list your gear for you. They’ll also promote it to the growing LA community and give it special visibility.  

We hope you'll join them!  Sign up here. To get free concierge listing service, email your gear list to and mention AWD.

Deadline to submit is February 5, 2017 11:59 PM

Click here to submit your online screener

Check out this great campaign to see what companies have signed up to get a woman director bid on every advertising pitch. They also have signed directors featured on their site and additionally feature an unsigned female director every two weeks. To submit to be featured contact

Upcoming Workshops
Crowdfunding Fundamentals

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 3:30 PM - 5 PM
Sign up for this class

Learn about the basics, the pitfalls, the strategies, and the tricks of having a successful crowdfunding campaign. Also discussed will be:
    •    How to utilize a 501(c)(3) for your project
    •    How to attract a fan base that is unfamiliar to you
    •    Getting the most out of social media
    •    Basic Taxes 101
    •    How to deal with the roller coaster of emotions

Stay after the workshop to enoy some wine and continue the conversation!

DIY Publicity: Tips + Strategies for Landing Press for Your Indie Project

Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 12 PM - 2 PM
Sign up for this class

This course covers the basics of promoting your indie project via a DIY Press Strategy:

  • Crafting an effective press release and pitch (you'll take home handouts with examples/templates you can use) 
  • Identifying which media outlets to target (with a resource list of outlets that LOVE to support female filmmakers) 
  • Developing a manageable outreach strategy you can easily implement 
  • Promoting within the industry as well as directly to your project's target audience (and where to find your audience!) 
Introducing VR

Marcy Boyle, co-founder of Hot Bit VR, an upcoming virtual reality platform for comedy, games, stunts and art, will be organizing a workshop to introduce VR content creation to AWD members, and discuss the artistic, philosophical, and technical challenges of working in VR.

Imagine being inside the drama, the adventure, the interaction? VR presents unique narrative challenges: what happens without a frame? The emerging virtual reality era presents a rare opportunity to be a part of pioneering the new art form of active experiential entertainment. 

It is vital that diversity be reflected in the content production to build a richly textured culture language of artistic expression in virtual reality.

Invitations will be sent out to those expressing their interest in VR as the future of story telling. If you are interested in writing and directing content for VR, we would like to hear from you. Write to Marcie Boyle or Michaela von Schweinitz.

Open Submissions

Warner Bros. Television studio has opened the application period for the 2017 Directors’ Workshop, which is designed to provide up-and-coming directors with the opportunity to break into primetime television and prepare elite helming talent for the transition to episodic TV.

The 8-week master class will be taught by veteran director and author Bethany Rooney, who directed close to 200 episodes of prime-time network shows, including episodes of “Arrow,” “Criminal Minds,” “Nashville,” and more.

The program has been especially important in furthering the TV careers of talent of color and women since it launched in 2014, with 100% of the Class of 2016 landing directing jobs on Warner Bros.–produced television series. Last year, the program partnered with Warner Horizon Television, Ava DuVernay and the OWN Network to support the 6 first-time episodic directors who helmed “Queen Sugar.”

Submission period ends February 16.
 Click here for more information and how to apply.

The Etheria Film Night is open for submissions. According to the website, the film night is “The world’s most respected showcase of new sci-fi, fantasy, action, thriller and horror films made by women. Etheria Film Night is an annual showcase screening of a progressive slate of genre films directed by women for an audience including producers, managers, show runners, distributors, and genre fans.” Check out the website to submit your film for the June 2017 event.
NewFilmmakers NY Film Festival is seeking female directed films, preferably films that are New York based and/or New York affiliated.  Contact Brandon Ruckdashel, head of programming directly at:
Let him know you were referred by Robin Bain.

Producer looking for scripts: Family, or romance stories. ie. Hallmark channel-type movies and "feel good" films. Scripts must not have  nudity or bad language and unfortunately they can NOT be period pieces. 2 films come to mind to use as reference: 'The Christmas Ornament,' starring Kellie Martin, and 'The Seven Year Hitch' (2012), starring unknowns Natalie Hall & Darin Brooks. Looking for completed scripts only.  Please also send a log line or synopsis.

Joe Russell - Producer

Read In The World Wide Web

Will the new medium find authors interested in inventing new expressive languages? 
by  Luca Celada

Virtual Reality Is Here to Stay and It Needs Screenwriters by
Director Rachel Feldman is Looking For ‘Fair Fight’ To Tell Lilly Ledbetter Story
Oscars: No Women Nominated for Best Director — Again by Lorena O'Neil
The Drop In Female Directors In 2016 Can Be Fixed Going Forward In One Simple Way by Shannon Carlin
Best Reviewed Women Directed Films of 2016 according to Rotten Tomatoes
The Celluloid Ceiling Report

Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 100, 250, and 500 Films of 2016

The current numbers for women in film

Introducing LA Board Member

Evette Vargas, named by the NY Times as an "Artist to Watch," is an award-winning writer, director and 360 multiplatform creator. Evette's work includes series for MTV, Bravo, DirectTV; branded ent., apps & games for FAST & FURIOUS, LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and Madonna.

Evette EPed, wrote and directed her digital series DARK PROPHET, starring Henry Rollins, which was nominated for two Emmys and premiered at Sundance.

The Virtual Reality series premiers on the Sony Playstation VR. A member of the WGA, ATAS and PGA, Evette was born in the Bronx and learned to tell stories at the dinner table with her family where the imagination ruled. Evette kick boxes; loves tennis; collects action figures, typewriters and shoes; has past lives as a DJ, a fashion designer and is a recovering NY advertising Art Director.
Introducing Atlanta Board Member
Laura Hutson completed her bachelor's degree in multi-media communication with an emphasis on film and production. Over the years, she honed her storytelling skills and knowledge through extensive courses covering narrative film production, lighting and cinematography, environmental documentary production, digital media post production, and several film study courses. The experience she has garnered has instilled in her the vast importance of every stage (i.e. pre-production, production, and post-production) of this realm of expression, and has ignited her passion for the craft. 

She assisted in the Middle School Migrant Film Workshop, where she taught students how to create short minute stop-motion films.

Welcome New Members
Florencia Krochik was born in Argentina but left the country for a better life in 2001. She succeeded in gaining a full scholarship to USC’s film school and has directed shorts and PSA’s focusing on the social issues of our time – namely, immigration & human trafficking.  Currently she is in post-production of her first feature film PATHWAYS, a documentary bringing to light the experiences of undocumented immigrant youth. 

Camille Thoman wrote, directed and produced the thriller 'You Were Never Here' which stars Mireille Enos, Sam Shepard, Vincent Piazza, Goran Visnjic and Nina Arianda. In 2017 she will release the award-winning documentary 'The Longest Game.' In 2006, she wrote and directed the short 'Falling Objects', starring Golden Globe nominee Mireille Enos, Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Mad Men's Kevin Rahm. 

Marina Viscún is an award-winning filmmaker living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Her range of experience includes film, television, 
digital/web, branded entertainment/commercials, and music videos. As a producer, she has been honored with Best US Documentary Premiere 2015 by Heartland Film Festival and Best Documentary 2015 by NewFilmmakers LA for 'Big Voice,' Grand Jury and Audience Awards 2011 by NewFilmmakers LA for 'Ode to Los Angeles,' and Silver Telly 2011 for 'Journey to Safety.'

Stacey K. Black has helmed TV series 'Major Crimes,' 'NCIS - New Orleans,' and 'The Closer,' a feature length music documentary, 'Send My Mail to Nashville,' several music videos, numerous short films, and videos. Stacey created 'Trouble Creek,' a quirky-dramatic web series she produced and directed with Shea E. Butler, through their production company “Something in the Water Productions, LLC.”

Stacey re-worked her documentary 'Send My Mail to Nashville,' into a web series, and is developing her first feature length narrative film, 'Light.'

Nicole Wensel is an award-winning writer, director, actress and producer. She studied cinema + tv production at the USC's School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC, Nicole worked on various film sets, in development offices and produced many short films. She wrote, directed and starred in her first feature film, 'Quarter Life Coach,' which was produced on a shoestring budget and received the Merit Award of Awareness at the Awareness Festival and the Gold Award at the International Film Festival for Women, Social Issues and Zero Discrimination in Indonesia.

Corinne Jayaweera is a film producer/director and event planner with diverse cultural experiences. Producer and director of feature length documentaries, shorts, public service announcements, unique product launch videos, and other award winning films – one of which was chosen for screening at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (American Pavilion). 

Alle Hsu is a Chinese American filmmaker double majoring in Media Studies and Asian Studies. After attending NYU Tisch Asia for her MFA degree she directed four short films in Singapore, Hong Kong, France, and most recently, Orange County, CA.

Her Hong Kong short 'Sophie' screened at over fifteen film festivals, including Oscar Qualifiers – Austin FF (WP) and Foyle FF (IP). In April 2016 she shot
a short film with Emmy-nominated actress Michelle Ang.

As a producer, she’s been part of productions in the Philippines, China, New York / Utah, and is currently producing a short film to be shot in both Mexico and San Diego, CA. She recently became a Shorts Programmer at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Elizabeth Blake Thomas works in the genres Family drama, Thriller, Kids horror, Family Comedy, Drama. Her passion is directing and she is aiming to shoot four feature films every year for four years. "This is all I do and will do till my dying day."

She is about to direct her fifth, sixth and seventh feature this year and has a book coming out later this year called 'Four Features in my First year as a Female Director'. Elizabeth will be speaking on four festival panels this year  to empower other women in the industry.


Bonné Bartron moved to LA in 2006 and got her first PA job a month later. She teamed up with the legendary show runner Diane Burroughs who guided her through the murky waters of writing for television. Bonné wrote the film 'Unbridled,' coming to theaters this year.

She is interested in collaborating with passionate, professional people who want to use their platform to show the world what it can be and remind us who we are truly becoming.

Maria Luna started working at QED international before graduating from UCLA as a Theater Film and Television mayor. Maria studied at the Stella Adler conservatory, New York and in Los Angeles she studied with many well known professors, such as Mary Lou Belly, Arthur Mendoza, Cameron Thor Studio and Judith Weston. Maria has worked in varios movies in the production or directing department of 'Palo Alto,' 'Rabi Dan Gets a Night Job,' and 'Journey of a Female Comic.' She directed the narrating stories 'A Romanian Fairytale' and 'Dada.' 

Justine Raczkiewicz began her career in film working in physical production at The Weinstein Company, after which she continued on to produce and work alongside director, Alexandre Aja for the next six years. 

Most recently, Justine started her own production company, Building J under which she has produced short form content including an opera adaptation, as well as her directorial debut 'Waste' which is currently on the festival circuit. 


Join AWD now
AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
AWD Newsletter Copy Editors: Summer Perkins and Nikki Braendlin
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