AWD newsletter 03/31/17
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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.

Opening Weekend
Rucha Humnabadkar’s 'For Here Or To Go?' opens in 27 theaters across 12 states in the US

AWD received four tickets exclusively for our members.
First come first served: two individual tickets per show for 6:50 PM showtimes in LA:
Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2.

"No recent film illustrates the late Roger Ebert’s assertion that movies are “empathy machines” better than Rucha Humnabadkar’s presciently salient English/Hindi comic drama “For Here or to Go?” - Dann Gire, Chicago Daily Herald

Los AngelesCinemark 18 & XD, 6081 Center Drive, Suite 201, Los Angeles CA 90045 at 6:50 PM and 9:40 PM

AMC North Dekalb Mall 16 — Decatur & 
Regal Medlock Crossing Stadium 18 — Duluth

New York:
AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street, New York, New York 10036

Link to Fandango for trailer & tickets

Digital Releases
'Dropping the Soap' goes behind the scenes of soap-opera "Colliding Lives" and the ridiculous antics of its gorgeous (-ish), unrelenting cast. This show has it all: the eye candy (for women) and the ever charming Jane Lynch, cutting careers short with a gracious smile.

Just released on Amazon, 'Dropping The Soap' reminds one of the show 'The Comedians'. Michaela von Schweinitz asked AWD member writer-director Mandy Fabian how this quirky series came to be. 

Mandy Fabian Drops The Soap
"'Dropping the Soap' was the first time I'd ever attempted writing a "series" and I quite fell into it.  I loved the idea of soaps and loved the challenge of writing parts for specific actors...they were a group of friends who wanted to do "something" but didn't really have writing chops then.  So I took it on, but just for one episode, since I was pregnant at the time.  Then they got money for another episode.  So I did that.  Then two then I was pregnant with the second and really loved it. I had fully committed to whatever the project was going to become. 

Jane Lynch saw it and wanted to come on as an Executive Producer, so we pitched it for a while to different platforms, brands, etc.  I re-wrote this thing a hundred times, different arcs, storylines, half-hour, 12 episodes, 10 episodes...but finally did it for 10 episodes, a series arc using Jane and a bunch of celebrity cameos.  She's been terrifically supportive of the project, and she opens a lot of doors.  The producers and stars, Paul Witten and Kate Mines are a real example of tenacity, of just not taking no for an answer. 

Ellie Kanner got the financing for the project and came on to direct all ten episodes. She was great, and had some great relationships with actors from her years as a casting director and a relationship with Dori Zuckerman our casting director on this. So, a lot of persistence and some great luck and it all came together.  It's been really fun.  I'm hoping I'll get to direct an episode next season, if there is one."
We wish Mandy lots of success for the show and hope she might get to direct in the following season. Watch 'Dropping The Soap' on Amazon now. It is a lot of fun and Patrick Fabian, known as Howard Hamlin in 'Better Call Saul,' gets to flex his comedian muscle as Lance Dudiford.
Through The Wild Kurdistan
AWD member Natalie Avital’s 'The Three Hikers' documents the ordeal of three young Americans hiking in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009 who were captured and held as political hostages by the Iranian Government for more than two years.
Starring: Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal
Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes
The story is set against the backdrop of the complex geopolitical stalemate between the United States and Iran and follows the emergence of their crisis as an international news story.

'The Three Hikers' is now streaming on Vudu, Itunes, Amazon, Google play amd Sony Playstation, as well as being On-Demand for Comcast and Time Warner.
Available to watch on supported devices

Feature Film Screenings

AWD member director-producer Varda Bar-Kar screens her award-winning documentary 'Big Voice' about Santa Monica High School choir director Jeffe Huls and a group of students he tries to form into one glorious "big voice." You have the opportunity to see this passionate teacher's determination at work on the big screen:

Screening and post-film discussion with Varda Bar-Kar 

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 2 PM
Film runtime: 83 min.

Santa Monica Public Library, 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 
601 Santa Monica Blvd,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

If you can't make it to either of the screenings, you can find 'Big Voice' on Netflix.

Our newest member Morgan Dameron made her feature debut with 'Different Flowers,' which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and is now touring the festival circuit.

Emmy Award® Winner Shelley Long stars as Grandma Mildred in this independent dramedy full of girl power. 'Different Flowers' was executive produced by AWD member Sue Vicory's Heartland Films.

The story about uptight Millie Haven (Emma Bell), who gets cold feet moments before her big Kansas City wedding, and her little sister Emma (Hope Lauren) embarking on a roadtrip to their grandmother’s farm was inspired by the summers Dameron spent at her grandparents' farm in Moberly, MO.

Next screenings:
Kansas City Film Festival 
Presented by Women in Film, Saturday, April 8, 2017

Phoenix Film Festival
Friday April 7, Sunday April 9 &
Sunday April 10, 2017

Asked about what’s been the most rewarding aspect of making 'Different Flowers' Morgan replied: "The most rewarding aspect of this journey has been inspiring other young filmmakers to pursue their passions. We hired one of our PAs because she had seen our crowdfunding campaign and approached me in the airport.

My aunt sent me a 
photograph of my two 11-year-old cousins (the flower girls) writing their own scripts after they came home from set. Recently one of our crewmembers told me she’s decided to shift her college major to film production.

Forming these connections as 
you start out in film is so important, especially for women. One of those women for me is Sue Vicory, who gave me my first internship in Kansas City, and her company Heartland Films is now our Executive Producer.

I hope Millie’s journey and the journey of the creation of this movie – deciding to give yourself a chance - inspires people to follow their hearts."

In Competition

[in]visible’ made it into the Semi-Finals of The Audience Awards

Nina Bergman, actress

Two more days to vote for AWD member Rosser Goodman’s suspenseful short, produced for ‘The Disability Film Challenge’, starring Nina Bergman as Bug and Bryan Dillbeck as Bjorn. Rosser Goodman is also the Executive Producer, along with Bryan Dillbeck and cinematographer Brad Rishing.
'Heads Or Tails', written, directed and produced by AWD member Eva von Schweinitz, is nominated for BEST SHORT FILM ENSEMBLE CAST at the Twister Alley International Film Festival

The short plays as part of the program "LIFE IS FUNNY: COMEDY FLAVORED SHORT FILMS."
Saturday, April 29th at 2:45 PM

Get your ticket

All shows play at the Woodward Arts & Theatre on 818 Main St, Woodward, Oklahoma 73801
April 27-29, 2017  
Buy Your Festival Pass here

Read the interview with Eva in WE ARE MOVING STORIES

Submission Deadline
One of AWD's core missions is to aide in diversity. The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is a great way to do that!

Call For Entries: – Late Entry Deadline April 19
Special discount code for AWD members!

Register today for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, an annual weekend-long short film competition April 21-23. Entrants--with or without a disability--are given 55 hours to make a three-to-five-minute film based on an assigned genre that will showcase disability in its many forms, expand the audience’s understanding of disability today, and inspire people to join the conversation. Sign up today and join in this opportunity to bring awareness of the disability community through filmmaking and storytelling.

Winners of the challenge will be mentored by top industry players such as: veteran writer/producer Scott Silveri (Speechless, Friends, Joey, Grinder); actor writer/producer/activist Amy Brenneman (Judging Amy, Private Practice, The Leftovers); actor/writer/director Randall Park (Fresh off the Boat, Veep); casting director Pam Dixon (City Slickers, The Green Lantern); and Executive Vice President, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion & Communications at CBS Entertainment Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i.

Winners will also have their films screened at the TCL Chinese Theaters during the Academy Award-qualifying festival HollyShorts Film Festival, and receive a Dell mobile workstation or Dell 2-in-1 computer.

Click here for rules and guidelines 

Sign up today and join in this opportunity to bring awareness of the disability community through filmmaking and storytelling.

More Short Film Screenings

[in]visible’ will have its WORLD PREMIERE as one of the Top Ten Women’s Film Challenge Shorts at the Audience Awards Film Festival (AudFest).

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM 

EL PORTAL THEATER in North Hollywood

WOMEN’S FILM CHALLENGE (WFC) asked Filmmakers to submit short films, narrative or documentary, made with a woman in one of the above-the-line positions. If disparity is caused by lack of opportunity, Audience Awards is set on providing opportunity and exposure to female filmmakers. AudFest celebrates these top ten finalists in a red carpet event and provides those filmmakers mentorship with some of the most revered women in the film industry. 

'My Mom And The Girl,' will be screening at 
Cleveland International Film Festival 
Newport Beach Film Festival
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 4 PM.
Click to watch the trailer.
AWD member Susie Singer Carter directed and starred in 'My Mom And The Girl,' along with Valerie Harper.

Her short was an Official Selection at the Sedona Film Festival, and won the Best Shorts Competition and the Jury Prize at the Connect Film Festival in Australia. Valerie Harper won Best Leading Actor at the IndieFEST Film Awards. 
Read the interview with Susie in SCREEN COMMENT

AWD Career Advancement

Our Pre-Pro How-To Workshop on Wednesday March 22 sold out in minutes. We are grateful for everyone's enthusiasm and dedication. Thanks go to Lagueria Davis for organizing and taking pictures and to our volunteers Morgan Lariah and Jenn Page. Here is what a few of our directors had to say about Mary Lou Belli who continues to inspire us.

Pre-Production Workshop with Mary Lou Belli

"Mary Lou Belli's workshop was easily one of the most helpful, inspiring, and practical directing workshops I've ever had the pleasure of attending.  She had us dive in...instead of telling us about directing, she had us think like directors, approach a script from our perspective, build a vision board for a character, do an actual shot list for a small scene, and then compare notes so that we might learn from each other, all the while, guiding us with the tools she uses and the questions she asks when she's doing the work.  She's enthusiastic, encouraging, and fearless, an obvious champion for women, and her passion for storytelling is reminded me of why I became a director in the first place.  Thank you thank you thank you for doing this!" --Mandy Fabian

"Dear Mary Lou, YOUR talent, energy and authentic generosity is contagious- I left your wonderful workshop completely inspired - THANK YOU!" -- Deborah Attoinese

"I especially enjoyed hearing our various outlooks as to how we would shot list a specific scene.  I am so thankful for such an enriching experience." -- Corinne Jayaweera 

"Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend this workshop!  I look forward to continuing the AWD Shadowing Program."
-- Michelle McChesney

"This was really a great workshop because there was no fluff. Just practical information and exercises. I was really impressed.  Big thanks to the AWD for making it happen!" 
-- D.G. Brock

We are thrilled to announce that in a few months we will be accepting applications for our new In-House Shadowing Program. It is being developed to connect AWD members in good standing with fellow AWD members currently directing films, commercials, and/or television spots for shadowing opportunities. Members at all levels will be encouraged to apply.

Taking Off
'FlyGirls' is an unprecedented ten-part dramatic limited television series portraying the untold story of America's first women military pilots of WWII, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), as well as their predecessors, the American women of the British ATA. 'FlyGirls' is the female 'Band of Brothers' and is one of the last untold stories of WWII: and there has never been a television event like this.  

Producer Lillah McCarthy with WASP Edna Davis

Producer Hilary Prentice and AWD member and creator of the show Matia Karell are now joined by Executive Producer Lillah McCarthy, who brings over 25 years of experience in television.

The 'Flygirls' team is taking off for a series of meetings in London, which will hopefully bring enough air under their wings to lift them up. We wish them a bright green light when they return home and lots of money in their cargo.

'FlyGirls' is being developed by Oscar-nominated director and AWD Member, Matia Karrell's company, The Red Door Films, and will be epic in scope. Her story follows both the American women pilots, who crossed the Atlantic to fly with the women of the British Air Transport Auxiliary, as well as the team of over one thousand women pilots stationed at bases all across the United States, including Tuskegee Air Base, where the first African American women pilots were serving.

Upcoming Events
Panel and Pitch event at USC School of Cinematic Arts

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Studio executives will be giving valuable info on what they look for when hiring a director. At the end of the panel AWD members and USC students will have the opportunity to pitch their project.

Watch out for our more detailed announcement.

Global Production & Finance Conference

Thursday, April 6 - Saturday April 8, 2017
Marriott Burbank 
2500 N. Hollywood Way,
Burbank, CA 91505
Information and registration
Registering for the conference also grants free access to the Locations Show exhibitors.

Upcoming Workshops
Virtual Reality Mixer

At the request of many, let's talk Virtual Reality, meet the people who are already making it happen, the ones interested in getting on board, and discuss logistics about collaboration, jobs, monetization, and advancing the medium. 

Trade cards, mingle over wine and bites, and share open source info on the medium. We will have a Sony Playstation, Oculus Vive, Samsung Gear, Dream, and Google Cardboards on hand so you can get a sense of what's out there to view & exhibit your work. Feel free to bring whatever you have as well if you want to share your content! 

Angela Cohen is an actor, director, writer, and producer. Her upcoming film, Turtles!, recently advanced to the final round of the 2017 Sundance New Frontier Labs and is currently in development. 
Angela Cohen

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 7:00 PM
The Mother Lode Experience

AWD member Samantha Shada and Jaclyn Bernstein welcome 'Mother Lode' Co-Founders Carole Isenberg & Sue Kiel to lead this workshop, which encourages & promotes female mastery through exploration and understanding of the matrilineal line. In this introductory workshop, you will begin to examine how this archetype influences your work through the characters you write, the stories you tell, and the films you make:

• Explore the impact of the Matrilineal Myth
• Change limiting old stories and become the author of your new narrative
• Appreciate and learn to express the fullest, most powerful you – courageous, juicy, unique, magical, funny, wild and brilliant.

Exploring the mother/daughter relationship is crucial for becoming "radically responsible" for ourselves and our internal narrative. Bringing more consciousness into the nature of this relationship has allowed participants to appreciate their own abilities and obtain greater mastery in their lives.

"When we heal this relationship within, we have a tremendous opportunity to collectively heal the future of the women who come after us."

Saturday, April 15, 2017 - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Sign up for this event
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.

Emily Blake (me) is a professional Script Supervisor and co-host of the filmmaking podcast Chicks Who Script. My buddy Calvin, once known on Twitter as @MysteryGrip, will join me to share his perspective as a long-suffering grip.

We will also be joined by a tiny dog who loves people.

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

Sign up for this event
Where To Get Your Funds 
"The SFFILM / KRF Filmmaking Grant supports feature narrative films that through plot, character, theme or setting explore human and civil rights, anti-discrimination, gender and sexual identity and other social issues of our time. SFFILM / KRF is the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US."
Glaadgrants provides completion funding and creative mentorships to content creators for in-progress works that specifically advance GLAAD’s mission of amplifying diverse voices from the LGBTQ community.”
AWD Members Tour Bus
AWD member Gina Levy’s short thriller 'In Their Eyes' - which she wrote, directed, and edited -screened at the LAWomensFest on March 19th.
Women’s International Film Festival San Diego

AWD members unite in San Diego: Morgan Dameron, director of 'Different Flowers', Kate Rees Davies, director of 'The Vanished' and Sue Vicory, producer of 'Different Flowers.'

Panel discussing the Gender issue in Hollywood with Barbi Applequist from The Geena Davis Institute, and Kate Reese Davies, Morgan Dameron and Sue Vicory from AWD. Hosted by The WOMEN'S MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA the weekend of March 24th.
Read In The World Wide Web
WOMEN'S MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA asks: Where are the Women?

Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About

Ten Important Screenwriting Competitions & Deadlines

How I Got My Feature Film On Amazon Prime and How Much I have Made


Graphic Novel by AWD Member
In honor of Women's History Month, Emet Comics celebrated women in comics and their newest graphic novel 'Verona'. AWD members came out to support creator Emily Dell.

Written and created by AWD member Emily Dell and artists Mollie Helms and Bryndon Everett, ‘Verona’ is an original graphic novel just released by Emet Comics.

Emily has been working on this project for the last two years and the release was celebrated with a big party at Lock & Key on March 21.

Emet Comics is a publisher dedicated to working with female creators and made ‘Verona’ available through the Kickstarter Campaign for their ‘Fresh Romance Volume 2’.

Welcome New Members
Lauren Hoekstra is one of a new generation of female director/producers with a penchant for action meshed with romance. Lauren is currently finalizing an interactive first-person video, 'His-Her', starring celebrity photographer Tyler Shields ('Final Girl'). 

At the same time, she's gearing up to produce 'Dacoit', a Sundance Lab finalist project, and winding up 'Moon', a film for James Franco. 
This is Lauren's second collaboration with James Franco. Previously she directed 'City Bus' for his Boswell anthology, 'Heyday Of The Insensitive Bastards' which appeared on Indiewire's wish list for Sundance. 'City Bus' won the Best Narrative Short award at the Los Angeles International Underground film festival and the Platinum award for a student film at the International Independent Film Awards.
Barbara Brown has worked as a script supervisor on feature films, television and commercials for 25 years. Brown directed two episodes of the TV show Glee in 2015, having worked as the script supervisor on the show since the pilot in 2009.

After script supervising the pilot of 'Scream Queens' (2015), she directed two episodes the first season, followed by more in season three. 
Sharon Everitt is a director working in genre and action films, commercials, music, and comedy. She is also an accomplished editor and producer, receiving three Emmy nominations for her work. She recently returned from working as director of previsualization on “Asura,” a fantasy action project filming in Beijing, and is currently directing the controversial new show “The High Court” for Comedy Central.

Sharon graduated from Butler University, studied visual effects Toronto and Chicago, and now lives in Los Angeles. She is involved with the TED Conference and is active in the stunt community, training in Wing Chun Kung Fu for the past decade. It’s also been said that she makes a mean Mai Tai.
Carey Lundin is the director and co-producer of 'Jens Jensen The Living Green,' a feature documentary for PBS about the irascible Prairie Style landscape architect and the Midwest’s first great conservationist. 

Lundin is filming a companion documentary to Jens Jensen called 'Jardincito' about how one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation is changed by the addition of a nature park.

Previously, Lundin field produced for 'Unsolved Mysteries' starring Robert Stack. She garnered an Emmy nomination for the series, 'CPS Right Now,' 
and won Accolade and Ada awards as the Supervising Producer of ABCs 'Treasure Hunters Roadshow.'
Born in Korea, Christine Shin moved to the United States by herself at the age of 16 to follow her dream as a filmmaker. 

She received her M.F.A. degree in Film & Television Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts. While studying at USC, Christine directed a commercial spot, Movie Date, as one of the ten national finalists for Coca Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award Contest. 

Her award-winning thesis film 'Janie' had a successful run at nearly 50 festivals worldwide and received numerous awards such as Cine Golden Eagle Award and Dances With Films Audience Award. 'Janie' had its TV premiere on PBS as part of the Fine Cut Series and has been distributed online through Little Film Big Heart.

With her feature script 'My Fake Husband,' Christine received a Filmmakers Development Lab fellowship from Korean Film Council. She also was one of the Honorees for Project: Involve by Film Independent and selected to participate in the USC First Team as a director.

Her latest film 'Encounter' had its premiere at Worldfest Houston and garnered Platinum Remi Award. It has been purchased for distribution by Shorts International and is now available on iTunes.
Rebecca Feldman created the Tony Award Winning Broadway show 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' which won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical. She directed its World Premiere at Barrington Stage.

Rebecca is a graduate of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.
Her short film, 'My First Time Driving' won the Jean Firstenburg Award at AFI, as well as Best Short at Lake Arrowhead Film Fest, and Best of Shorts at Outfest.

Her other films include A/V Club (NYTVF 2005), Uber Alice (Woodstock 2008), Dead Cat (Producer, TFF 2011) and her most recent short, Irving (Ft. Lauderdale Film Fest, Atlanta Jewish Film Fest, Dances With Films)

Morgan Dameron is a writer, director and producer who has always blazed her own path. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she was awarded the Women in Film and Television's “Trailblazer Award” for Up and Coming Women in Film, while in high school.

Morgan received a Trustee scholarship to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she graduated summa cum laude. Her award-winning short films have been selected for film festivals worldwide.

After graduating, she worked at Bad Robot Productions on such films as 'Star Trek: Into Darkness' and 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. She directs branded content for the fastest-growing food production company in Los Angeles, with videos garnering millions of views.
Join AWD now
AWD Newsletter Editor: Michaela von Schweinitz
AWD Newsletter Copy Editors: Marty Elcan, Nikki Braendlin, Summer Perkins, and Stacy Adamski.
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