AWD newsletter 11/30/17
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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.
Celebrating AWD Achievements of 2017
Year 2017 was a year of paradigm shifts with "Wonder Woman" becoming the top grossing origins film of all time and sexual harassment scandals and their aftermath permeating as topic-du-jour. Alliance of Women Directors contributed to the productive metamorphosis and campaigned for the continuous growth of women representation in the entertainment industry.
AWD has a lot to celebrate this year, an obvious cause célèbre being our 20th Anniversary. This milestone helped us spring forward in our outreach, educational programs, and networking and craft-enrichment events. We are now a 280+ members-strong organization of emerging and established TV and film directors, whose experience secured placements in the CBS and DGA Mentorship Programs, WB Emerging Film Directors Workshop, and Ryan Murphy's Half Initiative; led to two Oscar-qualifying short films; and involved participation in many panels on diversity and inclusion.
Numerous veteran filmmakers participated in an expanded number of AWD events. Throughout the year we’ve hosted Living Room Chats with Patty Jenkins and Dan Attias, CBS Episodic Directing panel with Kimberly Peirce and Anna Mastro, Writers Boot Camp with Lesli Linka Glatter, Pre-production Workshop with Mary Lou Belli, TV Shadowing How-To with Hanelle Culpepper, and developed our In-House Shadowing and Industry Support program. Our exclusive mixers with ICFC, Film Powered, Women in Media, PGA, WGA, ICG, Cinefemme, Alliance for Women Film Composers, The Society of Composers and Lyricists, and ASC were in high demand. Equally thriving were the industry panels “The Future Is Female” at the HollyShorts and AFM, multiple “50/50 by 2020” gender parity discussions, and the salon with ACLU’s Melissa Goodman strategizing solutions to hiring bias.
AWD’s outreach was multi-faceted. We have developed our Atlanta branch (launching in January 2018), sponsored female-helmed films at upper-tier festivals (Marianna Palka’s “Bitch” at Sundance NextFest, Camille Thoman’s “Never Here” at LAFF, and Noël Well’s “Mr. Roosevelt” and Ildikó Enyedi’s “On Body and Soul” at AFI FEST), participated in industry screenings (“Lady Bird” by Greta Gerwig and “Mudbound” by Dee Rees), and enhanced our burgeoning reputation through expanded social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Monthly Newsletter). And we rebranded our logo with a new website to follow!
Alliance of Women Directors’ commitment to its members is the foundation of the organization. Benefiting from ESC’s Developing Development Program, we strive to provide more opportunities and mentorships, create robust partnerships with industry professionals, and support career advancement. As a volunteer-based organization, we are thankful to our board members, committee chairs, and contributors for their selfless investment into AWD, and to all our partners who support us in our mission of magnifying the voices of women directors. Here’s to an even grander 2018!
To cap the year of extensive achievements, let's celebrate in style at Pour Vous!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 7:30-9:30pm
Please RSVP for you and a guest
Support AWD's Growth in 2018
As we celebrate our individual and joint accomplishments, one of AWD's biggest goals is to hire an Executive Director to embody the role of an advocate for all our qualified, professional members, to speak as our voice to the studios, networks and diversity programs, and to campaign as a steadfast champion for equality and change.

Our volunteer-based organization has grown spectacularly this year and, to remain on its trajectory, it will require hiring someone to focus exclusively on expanding our Career Advancement programs, to spearhead our Film Development Pipeline with the guilds, to instate a Film Finishing Fund with greenlight power, and to continue to offer impactful events, like our Fireside Chats and masterclasses.

We must empower ourselves and our prospective Executive Director to be the best we can be. Your support would transform this goal into reality. A tax-deductible donation request campaign will follow shortly. Please consider contributing and spreading the word in support of women filmmakers.
East Coast News
Our Atlanta Branch Will Open to Membership in January 2018!
Join the Atlanta Chair Chaun Pinkston and the Leadership Committee for a Holiday Meet and Greet. Please spread the word to friends and colleagues in the Atlanta region.

Sunday, December 10, 2017, 3:30-5pm
Midtown Panera Bread
Festival and Distribution News
Upcoming Festivals and Screenings
AWD member Edina Kishonthy's film "In A Dream" will screen at the Canada Shorts in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 11am
Buy your tickets here
Seeing is Believing: Women Direct documentary by AWD member Cady McClain will screen at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Annual DocuSlate - Program #4.

Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 4pm
Buy your tickets here
AWD member Vickie Sampson will screen a new cut of her film Shelby's Vacation at the CO4 LGBT Center in Orange County.

Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 5pm
Get your tickets here
Distribution and Premieres
Untitled Debra Granik Project (aka "My Abandonment") by AWD honorary member Debra Granik will screen during Sundance Film Festival 2018 in the Premiere category.
AWD member Kim Garland’s Resurrection Trilogy, a trio of supernatural short films (Vivienne Again, Deal Travis In, The End of Mara), premiered on ShortsTV and is now in regular rotation on the channel.
GODSPEED: The Story of Page Jones, a documentary feature by AWD member Luann Barry, had its VOD premiere and is now available for viewing on iTunes, Amazon, XBOX, and Google Play.
"In A Dream", by AWD member Edina Kishonthy, had its New Jersey premiere at the River Town Film Festival in Clinton, NJ.
AWD member Soma Helmi directed one of the episodes for CA Technologies' mini docu-series exploring diversity in STEM. It recently premiered on YouTube.
Women and Sometimes Men, a film by AWD member Lesley Demetriades, had its West Coast premiere at the Portland Film Festival. Demetriades was also interviewed about her film by #DirectedByWomen.
AWD member Robyn Paris's web-series The Room Actors: Where Are They Now? premiered on Funny Or Die.
Completed Festivals and Screenings
Oscar-qualified My Mom and the Girl by AWD member Susie Singer Carter screened at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre during the HollyShorts Monthly Screenings.

AWD member Cady McClain screened her Seeing is Believing: Women Direct documentary at the St Louis Film Festival.

Shelby's Vacation by AWD member Vickie Sampson screened at The Watermark, along with her previous project "Click Three Times".
Military-themed short film scratch on metal by AWD member Marina Viscun screened during Clovis Veterans Memorial Film Festival.
AWD member Micky Levy's short film Page's Great and Grand Escape has screened during Flicks4Change.
AWD member Julia Verdin screened her film "Lost Girls" during Social Messaging through Film seminar presented by Artists for Change and The Camera Division, followed by a discussion about making of the film and effective messaging through narrative storytelling.
"The Empire", by AWD member Susan Davis, screened as the finalist of The Producers Guild of America's Make Your Mark 2017 competition.
AWD member Kayden Phoenix's film "See the Universe" screened during the 21st edition of the Chicano International Film Festival.
FlyGirls, a documentary series by AWD member Matia Karrell, screened at The Museum of Flying with 3 Women Airforce Service Pilots and 5 Female Military Aviators in attendance.
AWD member Mary-Lyn Chambers's feature film PLURAL OF BLOOD screened at The Virginia Film Festival.
"Beauty School" short by AWD member Samantha Shada screened at the Studio City International Film Festival.
Share your directorial successes on AWD Facebook page and
by tagging your Instagram set photos with @AWD_directors.
Submission Deadlines
Approaching December 2017 application deadlines:

Documentary Narrative New Media Distribution
Other deadlines and submissions information can be found at:
Awards Season
AWD member Edina Kishonthy's film "In A Dream" received Best Comedy award at the Canada Shorts Film Festival.

AWD members Shea E. Butler and Stacey K. Black's Trouble Creek was nominated in multiple categories: Best Web Series, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Costume Design at the International Online Web Fest.

AWD members Shea E. Butler and Stacey K. Black also won the Best Dramatic Web Series award for Trouble Creek at the Studio City International Film Festival.

The score to AWD member Mary-Lyn Chambers's film Plural of Blood was nominated for Hollywood Music in Media awards. Congratulations!

AWD member Cady McClain's Venice: The Series has been nominated for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series by the The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

AWD member Micky Levy received the Judge's Choice, Best Script, and Best Actress nominations for her Page's Great and Grand Escape short film at Flicks4Change festival.

Partnerships and Collaborations
"The Future Is Female" Success

AWD presented "The Future is Female" panel during American Film Market 2017.
This year, one of the biggest events during the American Film Market, taking place every November in Santa Monica, was the AWD-presented panel The Future Is Female, featuring panelists Geena Davis of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, AWD member and director Jen McGowan, and producers Catherine Hand and Jim Whitaker of upcoming Ava DuVernay film A Wrinkle in Time. The panel was moderated by writer Wendy Calhoun and introduced by AWD founder and chairperson Jennifer Warren.
The roundtable's lively discussion focused on the current developments in the industry: lack of female directors, strife for parity in front and behind camera, and the tangible increase in viewership of projects helmed by women or having new viewpoints toward storylines and characters.
Davis' interest in this topic originated from observing the lack of female characters in children's programming that later expanded toward casting diversity and unconscious bias. Both Davis and McGowan agreed that choosing a director often falls into the conscious bias category, which then trickles down to the department heads, as experienced by McGowan. To combat that, McGowan setup Film Powered, a community of almost 1,500 women in the industry that allows for networking and sharing knowledge and expertise on a barter-basis. Hand and Whitaker added that DuVernay provided them with a new experience of having a director actively seek underrepresented above- and below-the-line talent. The panel attendees left with an inspirational advice from Hand to not give up because there are an increasing number of opportunities to be heard in a highly-connected world.

"The Future Is Female" roundtable was organized by AWD board member Kate Rees Davies. More information about the panel can be found in Shoot.
Panel: Wendy Calhoun, Geena Davis, Jen McGowan, Catherine Hand, and Jim Whitaker.
Above: Calhoun, Davis, and Jennifer Warren. Images courtesy of AFM.

AWD Sponsors Films at AFI FEST 2017
Alliance of Women Directors sponsored two films that screened during AFI FEST 2017:
  • Mr. Roosevelt, directed by Noël Wells (feature debut), tells the story of Emily Martin who returns to her college town and is forced to spend the weekend with her ex-boyfriend and his new and improved girlfriend.
  • On Body and Soul, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, creates an uncanny world in which two individuals working in a slaughterhouse, who share the same dream at night, decide to recreate it in daylight.
Members Successes and Updates
Rosser Goodman Part of Fatelink's
30 Days/30 Directors Initiative
AWD member Rosser Goodman is one of the directors included in the 30 Days/30 Directors initiative. In her interview, Goodman addresses her preparation and development approaches, the narrative of the queer filmmaking, distribution advice, and the trust on and off set. 
AWD Members Fetted at AFI FEST
21st Century Fox hosted a breakfast honoring alumnaes of Fox Filmmakers Lab at the AFI FEST 2017.
The inaugural program is a partnership between the AFI Conservatory, AFI Directing Workshop for Women, and 20th Century Fox Films. Congratulations to the AWD members who were part of the program: Rachel Goldberg, Alexis Ostrander, Maggie Mahrt, Lisanne Sartor, and Thoranna Sigurdardottir.
Ripped from the callsheets: Kate Rees Davies led Advanced Filmmaking Workshop with Laura James as a panelist ... Romell Foster-Owens taught How to Work with Producers class at Canon Burbank ... Angela Cohen participated in the Women of SciFi panel at the Kapow IFF 2017 ... Kayden Phonex is developing a Latina heroine short Jalisco ... Micky Levy is in post production of her short "Union" ... Jan Reesman directed a staged reading of "Erwin and Otis" ... Soma Helmi shot a short film The Change ... Camille Thoman was interviewed about Never Here ... Celiné Tricart tested new gear ... Varda Bar-Kar was interviewed by about her documentary Big Voice ... Morgan Dameron hosted a Reddit session about directing ... Regina Ainsworth spoke at a DGA Diversity event ... Edina Kishonthy is in development of her short Reborn ... Heidi Elizabeth Philipsen-Meissner was interviewed about her film Darcy ... Varda Bar-Kar has been selected for Ryan Murhpy's Half Initiative ... Jen McGowan was interviewed by The Other 50% ... Susie Singer Carter's My Mom and the Girl was reviewed by The LA Beat
Send your updates for the next newsletter edition by December 22, 2017 at midnight to
AWD Tour Bus
Alliance of Women Directors members attended discussions around women empowerment, interactive workshops, and one-on-one sessions with top executives, casting directors, a networking reception at the Women Creating Change event.

Top: WCC attendees participate in one-on-one sessions. Bottom: Ruby E. Lopez (Women in Film), Tema Staig (Women in Media), and Kate Rees Davis (Alliance of Women Directors) address WCC attendees.
Photos by: Karen C Photography and Mary-Lyn Chambers
AWD Members of participated in the Film Powered mixer with ICFC : International Collective of Female Cinematographers, Alliance for Women Film Composers, and Women In Media at Canon Burbank.
Found on the World Wide Web
Check out these 156 live-action films featuring teenage girls by the master-level female directors.
Film Independent announced its 2018 Spirit Awards nominations and awards. Congratulations to all the female-helmed films!
The National Board of Review and The New York Film Critics Circle celebrated multiple films directed by women.
DGA has released its 2016-2017 Episodic TV Director Diversity Report showing a 4% increase for female episodic directors and 3% increase in ethnic minorities.
AFI DWW alumnae Tessa Blake was named the inaugural Director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives. The AFI Conservatory's Initiative was funded by a $500,000 donation from Nancy Malone estate.
Read more news on our Facebook page.
Welcome to New AWD Members
Donations to Alliance of Women Directors, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible and help us grow our programs and expand our advocacy to serve even more women directors. 
Help us raise all voices!
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 Monday, January 1, 2018.
Submit your announcements by Friday, December 22, 2017 at midnight. 
Copyright © 2017 Alliance of Women Directors, All rights reserved.

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