AWD newsletter 04/30/17
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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.

Award Season

Kaye Kittrell won the 2017 award for Best Reality Series with her urban garden web series 'Late Bloomer' at Vancouver Web Fest 2017.

 'Late Bloomer' exists to inspire people to grow their own food. It premiered on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2012, and is in its fifth season with 100 episodes on YouTube. An accompanying vlog began a year ago.

'Late Bloomer' won Best Edutainment Series at the Miami Web Fest 2015, and was nominated for Best Reality Series three years in a row at Vancouver Web Fest, Canada’s premiere digital festival.

'Late Bloomer' was an Official Selection at Sicily Web Fest 2016 and is an Official Selection at Die Seriale in Germany in June. Check out Kaye's fundraising campaign.

Click Kaye Kittrell's picture to watch the 100th episode of 'Late Bloomer' on Youtube.  Congrats!

Spot Light
My Lunch With Janet Batchler
At a time when writers prepare to fight for their fair share I sat down for lunch with Janet Batchler, a founding member of AWD, an award winning director, and an accomplished screenplay writer.

Interview by Michaela von Schweinitz

Janet, you’ve been a member of the Writers Guild for 25 years. What’s the low down of last weeks development that keeps us all in suspense?

Before we took the strike authorization vote, what we were asking for was 1/3 of 1% of the 51 Billion Dollars in profits that companies made last year, record profits. One third of one percent of that to be spread over three years. Record profits. Remember these are Hollywood profits, so these are profits they couldn’t hide. What they offered was 1/25 of 1% of the 51 Billion that they made in profits last year to be spread over three years. That’s the gap that has to close this week. If it closes sufficiently we don’t strike. If it doesn't close sufficiently then 96.3 percent of us said we will strike. And we will.


Just in time before a possible writer’s strike you signed a contract?

That was an option on a script already written. So they can go forward with that historical drama around the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debates on election and make offers to directors and to stars. It started to go out to some movie stars. Also, we are executive producers on that. We’ll be involved as producers. We’re also EP'd over the last year a little Indie shot in Hawaii. It’s in post right now. It’s called ‘Jo’ and it’s set about a hundred years ago on a coffee plantation in Hawaii, so it’s taking us into a world of what we’ve really never seen. It’s a world of extreme racial prejudice. The star is a young man who is half white, half asian, so nobody would talk to him because of that. He is shunned, he is an outcast, and he falls in love with the daughter of the plantation owner. It gets complicated.


How did you get involved?

We have actually seen the script, we were asked to look at the script. It was structurally a mess but it had moments that were so lyrical and so beautiful, we’re like, we want to see those moments on the screen. We got involved, we helped sort of shepherd the script through several drafts. Wonderful to give notes and have them taken and see it all come together. We’re waiting to see the rough cut at any moment. And we can sort of comment on editors notes as producers, that’s not a writer task. We can work as producers, but no, we can not write, we can not meet, we can not do any writerly duties during the strike. And again: maybe there will not be a strike. And if the studios make the right offer before the contract ends, there will not be a strike. They make an acceptable offer, no strike.


How much of your writing for Hollywood is business versus creative work?

That’s a great question. I’ve talked to actors who say their job is not to act, their job is to audition. Acting is the payoff they would get if they audition well. I think in many ways it takes longer, you put in more time trying to get a job or sell something than actually creating it. Much longer. And you can spend two years trying to sell something, going through various permutations of it and then have it go nowhere. You can also spend that time writing something and have it go nowhere but at least you have something to show for that time. I write with a partner. It generally takes us anywhere from three to nine month to write a script, depending on the project, how difficult it is. Some are just harder to write than others.


Do you have a particular strategy?

There are really two paths that we try to be pursuing simultaneously. We’ll have things that we are pitching. Right now we out pitching a serialized legal drama. So we’re holding our breath with the strike because they’re places we're supposed to go with it and we don’t know if we are. We’ll talk to our producers next week, depending on if we are on strike or not, to see how we are proceeding. That’s something we’ve been out pitching, we continue to go out pitching, where we have the preliminary deal but we’re looking for the deal where it is set up. That’s one kind.

Click here to read the entire interview with Janet Scott Batchler

Film Powered : Jen McGowan

Or Die Trying executive producers Sarah Hawkins and Myah Hollis caught up with AWD member and Film Powered founder Jen McGowan to talk about her journey as a filmmaker, and empowering other women in film through her unique, educational community.

Director McGowan just signed with a new management company. She is now with Writ Large.

Read the article in Or Die Trying from April 4, 2017 here.

Someone To Listen To : Rachel Feldman

Among the hundreds of women directors whom the EEOC interviewed during the course of its investigation was Rachel Feldman. She’s worked in television and film, with credits on “Doogie Howser, MD,” “Lizzie Maguire” and “Sisters.” She tells The Frame that in her meetings with the EEOC they asked a wide range of questions about how hiring works in Hollywood and the discrimination she's faced in her film career.
Read more and listen in on the interview

AWD Career Advancement

In-House Shadowing & Industry Support Applications
The AWD Career Advancement Committee is excited to launch the applications for its In-House Shadowing & Industry Support Programs. Period of submission for both programs opens Monday, May 1st and will close Monday, May 29th. There is no submission fee.
In-House Shadowing Program
This is our peer-to-peer mentorship program. We connect applicants with our AWD members directing Film, Commercial, and/or Television spots for shadowing opportunities. We are seeking candidates who are eager to learn more about the craft of directing by participating in our Craft Enrichment Series.
Apply for the In-House Shadowing Program
Industry Support Program
This is our industry mentorship program. We connect applicants to industry professionals that will foster and encourage shadowing opportunities. We are seeking candidates who are professional directors who’ve directed several features, music videos, digital content, but have yet to land a television episode.
Apply for the Industry Support Program
Questions? Please contact Lagueria at




You've seen the ads. You've read the emails. Produced By 2017 is playing host to everyone from Queen Sugar producers Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, to Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, to the directors of two of the signature films of the past year, Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Jordan Peele (Get Out). Finally, this year's conference closes for the first time with the Producers Mashup, a tremendous new mentoring initiative that will put you face-to-face with top producers and development execs.

Obviously, you're going, right?

If you haven't yet registered for Produced By 2017, this is the moment. Prices go up after Monday, May 1, for both general admission and industry/student rates. So register today.

Wherever you are in your profession, whatever format or medium you work in - or whatever format you're hoping to transition to - Produced By will help you take your career to the next level. It's the only conference created by producers, for producers, and it sells out every year. If you're going to go, you may as well go for less money, right?

Make the most of your budget, and register for Produced By 2017 by May 1 to lock in your discount. Just click on to register. We'll see you on the 20th Century Fox Studios lot on June 10 and 11!

AWD & NFMLA Seeks Content for NFMLA & AWD Shorts Night
AWD is 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. 
On October 21st NFMLA and AWD will partner to host a block of selected shorts directed by AWD members. There is a $25 submission fee. Period of submission opens Monday, April 10th and will close Monday, May 8th. 
Submit here: NFMLA & AWD Shorts Night
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lagueria Davis at Thank you and we look forward to screening your work! 

Short Film Screenings
"Best Short" winner 'Waste' screens at the IFS FILM FESTIVAL

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 6:30pm
at the Pacific Grove Theater
Click for tickets here

Come watch AWD member Justine Raczkiewicz's directorial debut screen at the IFS Film festival. 'Waste' has screened as shorts showcases sponsored by WIF and AWD, as well as at the Atlanta, Vail, Rincon, Minneapolis, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills film festivals. 

'Waste' is an absurdist short about extreme foodiesm, love, the dangers of consumption and unsatiated curiosity. 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?

'My Mom And The Girl,' will be screening at 
the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers at Cannes Film Fest. 
AWD member Susie Singer Carter directed and starred in 'My Mom And The Girl,' along with Valerie Harper, who won Best Leading Actor at the IndieFEST Film Awards. 
Read the interview with Susie Singer Carter in SCREEN COMMENT

Upcoming Events
Panel and Mixer

Local 600 and Alliance of Women Directors

Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 3 PM - 6:30 PM

Please join us for a panel and cocktail mixer in this collaboration between Local 600 and the Alliance of Women Directors. Our panel of female Directors and female Directors of Photography will discuss the relationship between Director and DP from prep to post and the challenges working women continue to face on set and beyond. 

Directors of Photography Amy Vincent and Lisa Wiegand
s Mary Lou Belli and Stacey K. Black*
Moderator: Wendy Calhoun

Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served after the panel discussion.
For questions and RSVP's please contact Kate Rees Davies.

*Panelist subject to change based on availability.

Upcoming Workshops
Finding a Crew and Keeping Them Happy

One of the greatest challenges of filmmaking is finding the right crew, but once you do, they often stick with you for life. This class will provide advice about different ways to find a great crew, even at the last minute, and keep them happy so they keep coming back when you call.

We'll talk about crafty, organization, morale and all the other elements that don't always find their way to the priority list but make a huge difference in the mood on set.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sign up for this class taught by Emily Blake

The professional Script Supervisor and co-host of the filmmaking podcast Chicks Who Script will be joined by her friend Calvin, once known on Twitter as @MysteryGrip.

Vidiots and Seed&Spark host a quarterly Film Screening Series with the next screening being LORDS OF DOGTOWN with a discussion with director Catherine Hardwicke. It is open to Filmpowered members.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM 

Sign up for the event
AWD Members Tour Bus
Panel and Pitch event at USC School of Cinematic Arts
Check out James insta on our fabulous event! Fifteen directors got an opportunity to pitch themselves to James LaRosa from VH1's 'Hit The Floor' and DeAnn Heline from the hit ABC show 'The Middle' after both Studio executives gave valuable information on what they look for when hiring a director. Moderated by Melanie Wagor, the panel took place during the USC Talent Week Tuesday April 18, 2017.
Panel Discussion at the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival

AWD member Angela Cohen was one of seven Women in VR discussing the leaps taken in 360 VR filmmaking and the pioneering role women play in it.  Sponsored by Hyperator VR, some of the leading women in VR today took the stage at the Laemmle Monica Film Center Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Virtual Reality Mixer
Director Angela Cohen invited women to talk about all things VR. Some of them were already making it happen; others were interested in getting on board. The evening was filled with basic information, show pieces, hands on exploration of the V.R. gear and creative ideas for this fast developing medium ensued.
The Mother Lode Experience
AWD member Samantha Shada and Jaclyn Bernstein welcomed 'Mother Lode' Co-Founders Carole Isenberg & Sue Kiel to lead this Film Powered workshop, which encouraged us to explore our mother/daughter relationship in order to become "radically responsible" for ourselves and our internal narrative. Bringing more consciousness into the nature of this relationship allowed participants to appreciate their own abilities and obtain greater mastery in their lives. The pictures shows some of the women who took the workshop on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Financing The Female Way
AWD member Jeanne Marie Spicuzza led the discussion on film financing, sharing her experience as independent filmmaker. She gave advice in areas such as leadership structures, EINs, creating LLCs and other corporate entities, legal representation to protect yourself and your work, intellectual property rights, the importance of written agreements and WGA versus U.S. copyright registration. Spicuzza inspired us to construct motion picture projects from start to finish that Sunday, April 30, 2017. 
Read In The World Wide Web
Why You Might Have to Wait for More of Your Favorite TV Shows By: Eoin Higgins on APRIL 21, 2017 
CBS Chief Leslie Moonves Sees 2016 Salary Soar to $69.6 Million
by  Managing Editor: Television @Variety_Cynthia
Welcome New Members
Anna Simone Scott is an actor, playwright, and award winning filmmaker. Her work spanned Australia Europe and the US. She is the recipient of BAFTA/LA Platinum Award for Best Film and Screenplay for 'Chasing Chekhov'. Anna wrote and produced the film based on her produced play, her directorial debut 'The Aerial Girl'. The film screened at thirty-six Film Festivals including The Courts Métrage Cannes Film Festival. Anna wrote and produced 'Coming Into Money' and 'The Red Scarf'. Most recently she wrote and directed the dark comedy 'Finding Momma.' 
Persephonie Rose is a writer/director currently working at Paramount Television in Development and Production. She has written and directed two short films and is currently pitching for her first feature.
Angela Cohen founded Charley Bear Productions Inc in 2012, with a vision to effect change through art, showcasing the female perspective in front of and behind the camera. With a degree from Emory University in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Angela is fascinated with the brain and the overlap of art and science. The synergy of this will be actualized in her upcoming Narrative Virtual Reality experience, which advanced to the final round of the Sundance New Frontier Labs in 2017. 
Liz Graham started her career as a Script Supervisor on various film and television projects and is now a first-time director. She co-directed the feature 'From Hollywood To Rose,’ which won Best Comedy Feature in the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and was an Official Selection in the Manhattan Film Festival. Currently she is in pre-production on a narrative short film and a PSA based on a true event that affected a family member dealing with sexual predators. Liz also continues to work as a Script Supervisor and has shadowed two directors on the series ‘Criminal Minds.’
Maya Albanese is a director, producer, and writer whose multimedia content has been published across platforms including NBC News, the Today Show, The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Vox, Eater, PopSugar,, and whose films have played at festivals nationwide including DOCNYC and the LA Independent Film Festival. 

She is known for her stories showcasing female heroes and exposing social and environmental issues. She has a Masters degree in Journalism & Documentary Filmmaking from Columbia University in New York.
Lesley Demetriades has been an active television Director and Supervising Producer with docu-reality shows and documentaries under her professional belt. Lesley directs and produces films that address issues in our society today, as well as projects that offer substantial roles for women. Lesley co-founded Unknown Works, an independent film production company. Unknown Works is currently in post-production on a feature narrative film titled “Women & Sometimes Men” and a feature documentary titled “Obscene Beauty".  ​
Join AWD now
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AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
Copy Editor: Marty Elcan

The next issue will appear Thursday, June 1, 2017 -
Submit your announcements by Friday, May 26, 2017 at midnight. 
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