AWD newsletter 05/31/17
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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.
Please follow, tweet, post, share, and like AWD's social media accounts. If you have something you want us to share on our social media channels, send an email to the Communication Committee with all the pertinent details.

Reaching Out To The Hollywood Community
Melissa Goodman at AWD's Jeffersonian Dinner in March 2017

The Alliance is reaching out to the Hollywood community to fill out our advisory board and our coffers. After a wonderful Jeffersonian Dinner in March at the Upper West Restaurant organized by Board Member Emily Dell, on June 15th the AWD Board will be hosting another event for Hollywood industry, this time titled "Cocktails & Conversation" with Melissa Goodman, Director of Gender Parity of the ACLU SoCal. The discussion will be about gender parity in the entertainment industry, inquiries into hiring discrimination, and what constructive solutions can be suggested to fix this ongoing problem.

Melissa Goodman is Audrey Irmas director of the LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU of Southern California.

She joined ACLU SoCal as a senior staff attorney in October 2012. Melissa conducts legal and policy advocacy concerning LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, gender equality, and the rights of people with HIV. She leads the ACLU SoCal’s advocacy to end discrimination against women directors, to protect the rights of transgender students and adults, to expand access to quality and confidential reproductive healthcare, to increase protections for working parents, to end bias and over-policing and over-incarceration of LGBTQ people and to improve health care for incarcerated women.

Digital Release
The Wedding Invitation” is being released in the US and Canada by Freestyle Releasing on June 6, 2017. Pre-order on iTunes

Three best friends endure heartbreak, humiliation and hangovers, trying to get dates for the wedding of a lifetime.
AWD member Rainy Kerwin is the writer, director, producer and star of “The Wedding Invitation.” After being told that she couldn’t make this film with three female leads because 'Women meant nothing in the foreign market,' she financed, produced and shot the film with an all-female production crew. 

To pay it forward, the producers are donating 5% of the net profits to ten women’s charities and organizations. The film has spent the last year on the festival circuit, playing to packed houses, winning 6 awards & 2 nominations.

Watch the trailer and help Rainy Kerwin spread the word on Social Media: TwitterFacebook and Instagram


Upcoming Events
AWD is growing rapidly and has expanded our mission to educate, support, and advocate for women directors in Atlanta and all over the Southeast. 

The Atlanta Chapter of AWD is steered by a dynamic group of women with years of combined experience in the movie-making business, including television and related fields of media. 
Let Us Share With You What’s in Store!
Join us for one of our upcoming 
AWD Info Sessions at 

Dream Café
249 Peters Street
Atlanta, GA 30313

Monday, June 19, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Monday, June 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Feature Film Screenings

AWD Hosts "Never Here" at LAFF

AWD will be hosting AWD member, writer and director Camille Thoman's debut feature film "Never Here" at this year's Los Angeles Film Festival!

Please join us in supporting this "taut psychological thriller with sumptuous imagery and sonic clues that steadily seep into the subconscious mind." In “Never Here,” disturbing events lead an artist who photographs strangers to suspect that someone out there is watching HER. Boundaries blur between real and imaginary, crime and art, the watcher and the watched.

Cast: Mireille Enos, Sam Shepard, Goran Visnjic, Vincent Piazza, Nana Arianda, Ana Nogueira, Desmin Borges

"Never Here" screens

Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 6:15 PM

at the Arclight Cinemas in Culver City
9500 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Get your tickets

"Chavella" Centerpiece Documentary at Frameline

AWD member Catherine Gund co-directed this larger-than-life portrait of one of the toughest, most talented singers of her generation, the iconic chanteuse and sexual outlaw Chavela Vargas - a favorite of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. She was a macha lesbian who forcefully played by her own subversive rules.  In Spanish and English with English subtitles.

A recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund Grant, "Chavela" premiered and won the second place Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, was the documentary winner of the New Renaissance Film Festival, and has been gathering steam with numerous screenings across the globe, including BACIFI Film Fest in Argentina, Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Fest, Hot Docs in Toronto, Q-Docs in Portland, Seattle International Film Fest. and now Frameline.
Centerpiece Documentary at Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

June 19, 2017 at 6:30 PM
June 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM 


"Chavela" will also screen at AFI Docs in Washington D.C.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Saturday, June 17, 2017

"Dispatches from Cleveland"

"Dispatches from Cleveland" is a feature-length documentary in five parts that closely examines the early 21st century, rust-belt city of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the most racially divided cities in America. The film follows ordinary people – long shaken by police misconduct, social discrimination, and poverty – whose love for their home pushes them to work together to bring about real change.

A testament to the resilience and untapped power of a unified community, this series shows how civil disruption and operating outside the current power structure are necessary for change. 

"Dispatches from Cleveland" premiered at the Cleveland International Film Festival, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, in Chicago at the (In)Justice for All Film Festival and now in San Francisco at Frameline.
"Dispatches from Cleveland" co-presented
by National Center for Lesbian Rights 

Roxie Theater 

3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 9:15 PM


Short Film Screenings
Shelby's Vacation

After almost four years of work on this project AWD member, director and editor Vickie Sampson is proud to announce that "Shelby's Vacation," written by Nancy Beverly, will have two screenings.

Shelby sets out from L.A. on a much-needed vacation to mend her heart from its latest unrequited crush and ends up at a rustic mountain resort where she meets manager Carol, who has her own fantasies that are getting in the way of creating a real relationship. Their casual vacation encounter turns into something more profound than either of them had bargained for as they learn what holds them back from living life fully in the present.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 7:15 PM

The San Gabriel Valley LGBT Center. 
2607 S. Santa Anita Ave, Arcadia, CA 91006
Doors open at 6:30 PM

Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Akbar (bar with little parking lot in back, mostly street parking)
4356 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles 90029
Doors open at 6:30 PM

You MUST RSVP for June 18 – there are only 50 seats available.

Etheria Film Night Shorts Program
AWD member Cameo Wood's short film “Real Artists” is one of eight shorts screening at the Etheria Film Night. Her story takes place in the near future, when a young animator is offered what should be her dream job, but, when she discovers the truth of the modern 'creative' process, she must make a hard choice about her passion for film. Click to watch the trailer.

Etheria will also be giving the 2017 Inspiration Award to exploitation film director Stephanie Rothman (“The Velvet Vampire” "Student Nurses" "Terminal Island").  

After the program, stick around for a Q&A with filmmakers Cameo Wood (“Real Artists”), Tara Price (“Earworm”), Bridget Savage Cole (“SWELL”), and Thirati Kulyingwattanavit (“Kumal”) conducted by Rebekah McKendry ( as well as the awards ceremony.
Saturday June 3, 2017

Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028. 
Cash parking available behind the theatre off McCadden.

5:00 PM Red Carpet and Cocktail Courtyard Reception
6:00 PM VIP Networking Lounge - RSVP here
7:00 PM Short Film Program

Buy Tickets Now!
Etheria is the world's most respected showcase of new horror, comedy, science fiction, fantasy, action, and thriller films made by emerging women directors.
KCET Premiere Screening Event
"My Mom And The Girl" by Susie Singer Carter will screen at Fine Cut. The  Premiere Screening Event is followed by a Filmmaker Reception honoring students and emerging filmmakers from around the world. RSVP here.

SUNDAY June 4, 2017 at 4 PM

Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028. 
Cash parking available behind the theatre off McCadden.

AWD In Cannes
Three of our members had their movies screened at the Marché Du Film in Cannes: Rainy Kerwin's debut feature film "Wedding Invitation," Kate Rees Davies's "Altered Perception," and Susie Singer Carter's "My Mom And The Girl."
"My Mom And The Girl" won the Jury's Honorable Mention LGBTQ at The American Pavillion in Cannes.
When three best friends get a last minute "Wedding Invitation" to an 80’s prom-themed wedding, they’re suddenly catapulted into a desperate tailspin to land dates. Rainy Kerwin wrote, directed, produced and stared in her feature debut "Wedding Invitation," which releases in the US and Canada on June 6, 2017. 

atch the trailer on Youtube.
"Altered Perception" centers around the idea of a governmentally designed drug created to help correct or strategically alter perceptions gathered during times of trauma or stress. Four couples are chosen to test this drug, and soon find their memories and sanity challenged. 

"Altered Perception" has been released on DVD.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo
"My Mom And The Girl" is a true story based on an odd encounter that an East Coast woman with Alzheimer's (Valerie Harper) has one night on the capricious streets of East L.A. This chance meeting proves to have a profoundly positive effect on three very disparate - desperate - women.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo

BelowSusie Singer Carter during a panel on the courtyard of the American Pavilion.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Susie Singer Carter:
Cannes Short Film Corner - My Mom and The Girl
Susie Singer Carter during Q&A after the awards were announced. Susie's film won the Jury's 'Honorable Mention LGBTQ and Best Short at KCET Fine Cut. Fine cut will screen at the Egyptian Theater on Sunday June 4, 2017 at 4 PM. RSVP here.

DGA Mentorship Program
Amongst the 2017 Protégé participants are three AWD members: Liz R. Hinlein, A. Laura James, Paige Morrow Kimball. Congratulations!
The program pairs early-career directors (Protégés) with veteran TV directors (Mentors) who will serve as their professional guides to the working world of episodic television throughout the 2017-18 season. Participants in the structured, intensive career development program are matched based on their work experience, interpersonal chemistry and mutual craft interests to ensure a fulfilling experience. 

In addition to one-on-one coaching, Protégés will benefit from craft and career seminars as well as group activities with all Mentors. Last month, as part of the Director Development Initiative, Protégés engaged in a concentrated three-day DGA craft workshop.

“With television directing jobs on the rise and more industry employers heeding the call for director diversity, our members have told us that they are seeking career-development resources to help set them up for success,” said DGA President Paris Barclay, who will be among the Mentors. “And the DGA has the best resources in the world – a deep well of talent made up of seasoned TV directors who are dedicated and eager to give back to their Guild and share their years of expert experience with the next generation.” Read more here.

Upcoming Workshops
Writing Master Class with Janet Batchler

Janet Batchler has a long history of helping writers find their voice and do great work. She teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and is happy to help women filmmakers create compelling work.

AWD is proud to offer this Master Class for a second time. We need a minimum of five writers to attend (the maximum attendees will be eight). 

The breakdown would be as follows:
We'd start in early June and run through the end of August, for 12 weeks in all. We'll spend 2-4 weeks working on story and the rest of the time writing a screenplay (or pilot), with the goal of creating something terrific by the end of the summer. 

We'll meet once a week for 3+ hours, at a time that's mutually workable for everyone in the group. Janet will open up her home in Sherman Oaks for the class, and she'll make sure we have some nice munchies every week (because writing requires fuel).

This will be a workshop class. Everyone's work will be gone over every single week, and Janet will provide written notes on all script pages every week.This workshop will take place over the course of three months and is open to AWD members and non-members who are beyond the novice level as screenwriters. This masterclass is not for people who've never written a screenplay before. 

Priority is given to AWD members who will receive a discount of 25%. Non-members will pay the full price of $1600.

"Janet's class is a great way to get layered feedback on your script - whether you're just starting out or you have a rough draft. The sense of writers helping each other was very empowering and I felt like I had a great roadmap for my story." Vickie Sampson, AWD.

Please email AWD if you are interested in this master class. 

How To Communicate With The Press

Ever wondered how filmmakers get press for their films, especially on a low budget? Nervous to reach out to magazines/newspapers? No clue where to start, or how to address them? How can you be more successful at getting them to write about (and promote) your film? 

In this class Manon Reeper will talk about what types of coverage are often offered to filmmakers, and how to decide what coverage is best for you. She will share her insights as editor in chief of the online film magazine Film Inquiry. She'll share what catches her eye and what doesn't.

Film Inquiry is a progressive, independent film magazine that aims to redefine film journalism. It publishes in-depth, high quality articles written by a diverse group of people; without falsely baiting your attention, it offers genuine, passionate insight into the world of film. Film Inquiry actively promotes diversity in front of and behind the camera. Learn more about Film Inquiry here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 AM
Sign up for this class

Manon de Reeper is originally from The Netherlands, now residing in Australia. She's the editor in chief of Film Inquiry, and a screenwriter. 

What You Need To Know About Fiscal Sponsorship

Learn the ins & outs of hacking the indie producing system by using a fiscal agent, from a writer/director/producer who runs the West Coast's only fiscal sponsorship program specifically for women filmmmakers. In this class she'll walk you through what a fiscal sponsor does, how your project qualifies (or doesn't), how it serves as a producing conduit, what the benefits and drawbacks may include, and she will even offer up some fundraising and crowdfunding tips.  

Cinefemme is a non-profit organization which helps women filmmakers realize their independent projects through its Fiscal Sponsorship Program, on-line fundraising platform, and annual Femme Film Festival.  Submissions accepted into the Fiscal Sponsorship Program are qualified non-commercial projects with a woman director at the helm.  While actual fundraising is the applicant's responsibility, many grants and funding sources require an individual to have fiscal sponsorship through a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Additionally, Cinefemme sponsorship allows donations from individual sources to be tax-deductible. Learn more about Cinefemme here:  @cinefemmefilms

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 7:00 PM - 9 PM
Sign up for this class

Michelle Kantor is the Executive Director and founder of Cinefemme, and has been running the fiscal sponsorship program since 2007.
AWD Tour Bus

Local 600 and Alliance of Women Directors

Sunday May 7th Wendy Calhoun exquisitely moderated a panel of female Directors and female Directors of Photography discussing the relationship between Director and DP from prep to post and the challenges working women continue to face on set and beyond. 

Left to Right: Rachel Morrison - Cinematographer, Xiomara Comrie - ICG National Diversity Officer, Stacey Black - Director and AWD Member, Mary Lou Belli - Director and AWD Member, Kate Rees Davies - Director and AWD Board Member, Amy Vincent - Cinematographer, Uta Briesewitz - Cinematographer and Director, Lisa Wiegand - Cinematographer, Wendy Calhoun - Executive Producer, Writer and Panel Moderator, Rebecca Rhine - ICG National Executive Director 

Members of local 600 and AWD had ample opportunity to question the panelists as well as connect with each other for future collaborations. Mary Lou Belli stated: I felt the positive energy in the room and the will to help each other! Our thanks go to Jen McGowan and host Xiomara Comrie for the initiative and to Kate Rees Davies for organizing this wonderful panel and cocktail mixer.
PhotographerBonnie Osborne

Left to Right: AWD members Tracy Wren, Michaela von Schweinitz, Mary Lou Belli, Jennifer Warren, Joy Maheffey, Corinne Jayaweera, and Jen McGowan (mover and shaker at FilmPoweredTM)
Left to right (top to bottom): Megan Johnson, ICG with Eve Moon, AWD
Lisa Wiegand, ICG, with Amy Vincent, ICG and Kristy Tully Bottoms, ICG

Film & Music Collaboration : A Director Perspective 

Sponsored by The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) - a non-profit organization for music professionals - a panel discussion on the director's perspective on the collaboration with composers and songwriters took place at the American Film Institute on Sunday, May 23rd.
Left to Right: Inbal-Rotem Sagiv (Moderator), Arun Vir, Justine Raczkiewicz, AWD, Rainy Kerwin, AWD, Sandra Seeling Lipski, Emily Robinson and Miranda Winters
Photographer: Lynn Kowel

AWD members Justine Raczkiewicz and Rainy Kerwin, as well as Emily RobinsonSandra Seeling LipskiArun Vir and Miranda Winters, whose work span a wide range of genres — features, shorts, documentaries, and TV — discussed short selections of their work and the process they use to work with composers / songwriters.  

The panel was curated and moderated by seasoned film producer Inbal-Rotem Sagiv and
followed by audience Q&A. For participant bios and more info, please visit the official SCL publication.

Coffee And Conversation At ASC

The American Society of Cinematographers presented David Klein, ASC, who discussed short selections of his work on "Homeland."
Left to Right: Nancy Schreiber, ASC, David Klein, ASC, Michaela von Schweinitz, AWD, and Kate Rees Davies, AWD.
Left to Right: Julie Richardson, AWD, Michael Goi, ASC, and Kate Rees Davies, AWD, enjoyed coffee and conversation at the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood on Thursday, May 25th.
Read In The World Wide Web
Marché du Film Breaks Its Own Record
by Sidney Levine May 30, 2017

Nicole Kidman: I will work with a female director every 18 months
by Gwilym Mumford, May 24, 2017

Women Face Long Odds at U.S. Film Festivals, Study Finds
By Stephanie Goodman, May 17, 2017
Strong women's stories are required to be told
by Taylor Pittman, May 17, 2017
Women writers and directors reflect on the female gaze
by  May 5, 2017
Do enough women show up at the polls?
By , MAY 18, 2016
Welcome Our New Member
Sarah Sellman is a filmmaker and artist based in Los Angeles. Sarah graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television. Her feature documentary, "American Bear: An Adventure In The Kindness Of Strangers" screened at festivals across the country, culminating in a self organized theatrical release and educational screening tour, as well as an online and DVD release.

Sellman served as the Managing Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival during its 9th and 10th years and Communications Coordinator for internationally celebrated photography nonprofit Light Work.

During that time, Sarah’s original television pilot "Cottonwood" was selected as the winner of Project Screenplay and a finalist for Sundance’s Episodic Story Lab. Her surreal short film "Hold Your Arms Out" was one of nine projects offered a fellowship at Hewlett-Packard’s inaugural post-production program at Sundance Film Festival.

Sarah is currently developing a nonfiction/fiction hybrid project inspired by her year spent traveling around the world with her husband in 2016, called "I am Here," as well as the screenplay for her first feature-length narrative directing endeavor.
Join AWD now
AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
AWD Newsletter Copy Editor: Nikki Braendlin

The next issue will appear Saturday July 1, 2017 -
Submit your announcements by Sunday, June 25, 2017 at midnight. 
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