I have interviewed numerous female filmmakers (producers and directors), organizational leaders of NYWIFTV, Women Make Movies and more. Below is a list of bios.
Jane Ainbinder has a Masters in Fine Arts in Film Production from University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. She garnered many awards for her skills as director, cinematographer and editor in the festival circuit including Best Experimental Film at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival for her film The Pearl Necklace. She was the recipient of the John Huston Directing Fellowship, Panavision’s New Filmmakers Grant, and a Fleishhacker Foundation Grant. In 2006 she produced and directed the feature film Nail Polish.
Manon Banta began teaching with The Mary Pickford Institute in 2008 and currently designs and teaches curriculum that combines the VAPA and CTE Standards for Media with real world, hands-on experience. She holds an MFA from The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She then shifted her storytelling skills to documentary filmmaking – directing, producing and editing the short documentary, Probable Odds, filmed during the 2003 Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita Race Track. She’s worked as an Interviewer for the AFI Film Festival’s red carpet premieres, Field Producer for the Associated Press Television at the Sundance Film Festival, production coordinator/ line producer for numerous independent films as well as occasionally appearing in front of the camera.
Diahnna Nicole Baxter is the Emmy Award-Winning actress/writer/executive producer of sci-fi thriller SATACRACY 88 and took home the Peoples Voice 2007 Webby Award in on-line drama and was named an Official Honoree of the 2008 Webby Awards. She teaches others to successfully produce online content through WebTV Workshop and is currently workshopping a script about Billie Holiday which she is considering directing. A graduate of Duke, her studies of Literature and African/Women studies took her to Cairo, Egypt where she worked with famed activist and writer Nawal Al-Saadawi. Returning to the states with a new worldview and inspiration, Diahnna integrated her love for acting and passion for studies of marginalized voices with performance.
Abigail Zealey Bess hails from London and has worked extensively in New York’s film and theatre community as a director, independent filmmaker, producer and writer. She has been directing theatre, specializing in new work since she arrived on these shores and established Weird Sisters as a theatrical entity in 1997. She subsequently directed and produced her debut film, the award winning baseball trilogy, Play Ball!, which screened at festivals in the USA and all over the world including the Berlin Film Festival. In addition to winning Best Film at seven USA festivals, she was awarded 1st Prize for best short film by woman director at the LA Women In Film Competition. As a long-standing member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre based in New York, one of the leading developmental theatres of new plays in the USA, she has directed and produced numerous new works. She continues to head Weird Sisters developing theatrical ventures and feature film projects that promote and support prolific women artists and writers giving voice to new and exciting work. Her feature film project Mary and Louise is currently in pre-production.
Nira Burstein is a recent graduate of CUNY Queens college. She recently completed her first short film The Light House shot on 16mm.
Tracy Lynch Britton has been dubbed “BOOM BOOM BRITTON” by the FX and stunt Departments for her fearless fast action style. After writing and directing her first feature film Maximum Breakout a video copy fell into the hands of the producers of FOX-TV’s America’s Most Wanted and she was immediately hired to write and direct 8 episodes. She was the only woman to direct Baywatch Nights and the first woman to direct for Baywatch – the most successful and most watched television show in the world. She also directed Melrose Place for Aaron Spelling. Presently, Tracy is in negotiations for her original feature film script Mickey Flanagan – a wonderful, heartwarming family film that she will direct on location in New Orleans and developing her sexy, new musical drama That’s My Heart which includes original hot Salsa, R&B and pop music.
Aleta Chappelle began her career in the film business working with Francis Coppola at Zoetrope Studios in the casting department. Moving up to Casting Director, her credits include; Drumline, Godfather 3, New York Stories, Rambling Rose, New York casting for Sofia Coppola’s film Somewhere and many more. Her feature film directing credits include Goosed which premiered on Showtime starring Jennifer Tilly, Damon Wayans and Joan Rivers, and the micro-budget Action/Love Story Fire which enjoyed a limited theatrical release in the USA and Canada, and the Sequel Return to Fire. Her short film A Harlem Fantasy premiered on PBS as part of the Paul Robeson Gala Presentation in 2007. Her next directorial project is Macbett, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the Caribbean starring Terrence Howard and Sanaa Lathan with her company Moon Shadow Films.
Julie Dash is the first African American woman to have a theatrical release of a feature film with her movie Daughters of the Dust. After commercial success and critical acclaim with Daughters of the Dust, she went on to direct the award winning HBO special The Rosa Parks Story, Funny Valentines, Love Song, Incognito and Sax Cantor Rif in the HBO series of shorts Subway Stories. She is set to direct Tupelo 77 which is scheduled to shoot later this year. “The film chronicles the lives of a group of women of various ages and races who are regulars at a roadside diner. Together they struggle to transcend the obstacles of poverty, racial and religious differences, and the persistent wounds of war.”
Erin Donovan is the chief film programmer for the annual Siren Nation Arts Festival in Portland, Oregon. The festival honors women in the arts. It began as a music festival but now includes a film portion of female directed documentaries and narrative films curated by Erin. She is the founder of A Million Movies a Minute, a documentary distributor whose inaugural release After the War: Life post-Yugoslavia featured 9 short documentaries from 5 award-winning, international film-makers and is the in-house producer for Field Recordings, a production company founded by Lance Bangs.
Judyann Elder graduated from Emerson College in Boston as the first recipient of the Carol Burnett Award in the Performing Arts. She began her professional career in New York off-Broadway as a founding member of and resident actor with the Tony Award-winning Negro Ensemble Company. As an actor she has appeared in numerous theatre, television and film productions. She is an alumna of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women where she produced and directed the short film, Behind God’s Back, based on an Alice Walker short story and starring Beau Bridges. She has directed numerous theatre productions including A Private Act for the Robey Theatre Company. She is currently in pre-production to shoot A Private Act as a short film. The mother of three children, Ms. Elder is the recipient of a Screenwriting Fellowship with Walt Disney Studios and was honored in 2005 with an NAACP Trailblazer Award. She is also a 2010 recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from Emerson College. A consummate storyteller, she relays tales through various methods.
Jacqueline Gault is a producer, writer, director and editor who is currently making waves in the festival circuit with her most recent short film Sack Lunch. Her revenge series, which includes Sack Lunch, is a series of short comedic films with a common theme. In and of themselves they are wonderful films – and she is using these shorts as a stepping stone to what she hopes to be her directorial feature debut Meet Jane Doe. Jacqueline started Jackal Films LLC, a Limited Liability Company, an independent motion picture production company assembled from creative and business entertainment industry professionals with a common goal of producing the independent films, television series, short-form commercials, web series and viral videos.
Maria Giese wrote and directed the British film “When Saturday Comes” starring Academy Award nominated actor, Pete Postlethwaite, Sean Bean and Emily Lloyd. This film, shot on location in Sheffield, England for Capitol Films, was released theatrically around the world in 1996. Giese also wrote, directed and produced the digital feature film “Hunger” (available on Amazon 2011), her contemporary adaptation of Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s 1890 existentialist masterpiece. The San Francisco Examiner called the film “A champion,” “A shot-on-video wonder” and named it the “The pick of the pack” at the SF Independent Film Festival. It won Best Feature Film and Best Underground Film at international festivals. The recipient of numerous awards, Giese won two Golden Cine Eagles, a Kovler Writing Award, a Spotlight Award, First Prize at the American International Film Festival, a Charles Speroni Scholarship, and an MPAA Award of Excellence. She has taught film & TV production at UCLA Extension, lectures regularly, and writes extensively about the under-representation of women directors in America on her blog, www.womendirectorsinhollywood.com. In 2014, Giese was elected DGA Women’s Director Category Representative. She is an activist for women directors and is the co-founder of the globally read web forum, “Women Directors: Navigating the Boys’ Club.” She lives in Venice, CA and has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1999.
Anais Godard is a producer, writer, director and creator of the blog The Making of XX Films, a forum for filmmakers. She created and directed the critically acclaimed short The Room and works as a producer for E! News International. Most recently she directed the music video Tik Tok Nation for Brad Standley & The Foxflies – a mashup of Ke$ha ‘s Tik Tok and The White Stripe’s 7 Nation Army executed all in one take.
Bette Gordon premiered her most recent feature Handsome Harry at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival in the world narrative competition section. The film stars an ensemble cast including Campbell Scott, Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, and Karen Young. A pioneer in the American Independent Film world, Gordon is best known for her bold explorations of themes related to sexuality. Her early short films, most notably Empty Suitcases, won numerous awards and festival acclaim worldwide, including showings at the Berlin International Film Festival, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Biennial. Variety (1984) marked her debut as a feature film director, particularly in light of the film’s invitational showing at The Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight. Luminous Motion, based on the acclaimed novel History of Luminous Motion, was produced by Ted Hope and Anthony Bregman of Good Machine.
Maggie Greenwald directed The Kill-Off acknowledged by the British Film Institute as one of the “100 Best American Independents.” Her acclaimed, ground-breaking Western, The Ballad of Little Jo was released worldwide by Fine Line Features and Polygram Filmed Entertainment and won an Independent Spirit Award. Subsequently, Greenwald wrote and directed Songcatcher with music produced and created by composer David Mansfield. The film premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2000 where it garnered a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance. In 2002 Greenwald was awarded the Dorothy Arzner Award from the Director’s View Film Festival. For television, Greenwald has directed the GLAAD Award winning film What Makes a Family (starring Brooke Shields, Whoopi Goldberg and Cherry Jones), Get a Clue (starring Lindsey Lohan), Tempted (starring Virginia Madsen) and Comfort and Joy. Episodic work includes The Adventures of Pete Pete (Cable ACE Award), The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo and Wildfire.
Kristin Hahn produced and directed her own documentary Anthem before going on to executive produce films such as The Departed, The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Switch. With actress Jennifer Aniston she formed Echo Films. She produced the Lifetime Special Five, an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives – all female directed.
Leslie Harris directed her first feature-length film, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. over a two year period using her own funds and resources which eventually led to distribution by Miramax. The movie achieved recognition and acclaim at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. After being awarded the Special Jury Prize for Distinction at Sundance, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. was released nationally in February of 1993 to good reviews. The Washington Post called it a “breakthrough film,” while Rolling Stone called Harris “a bracing new voice.” She is currently working on I Love Cinema or How a Woman Survives in a “So-Called” Post- Racial World.
Sian Heder was selected for the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women in 2005. Mother, Heder’s first short film as writer and director, won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at the Florida Film Festival and was selected for the May 2006 Cinéfondation Competition of the Cannes Film Festival and continued to receive acclaim in film festivals across the United States. In 2010, along with her fellow writers, she won a Peabody Award for her work on Men of a Certain Age. Most recently she wrote and directed a short comedy to raise awareness for pet adoption, Dog Eat Dog (A Short Tale) starring Zachary Quinto – funded by Kickstarter.
Ted Hope is a prolific independent film producer and social media advocate. He co-founded and ran the 90’s production & sales powerhouse Good Machine, which he and his partners sold to Universal in 2002. Good Machine was honored by a retrospective at the Museum Of Modern Art in 2001. Hope subsequently co-founded the New York production company This is that with his former assistant Anthony Bregman and Anne Carey. This is that produced eighteen features, receiving numerous awards, including four Academy Award Best Screenplay nominations. Most recently, he founded Double Hope Films with his wife, filmmaker Vanessa Hope. Hope is an avid social media proselytizer, posting regularly on his HopeForFilm blog, home of Truly Free Film. He also co-founded HammerToNail.com, a film review site focused on Truly Independent Film. He has produced the work of female filmmakers Cheryl Dunye, Nicole Holofcener, Cindy Sherman, Jill Godmilow, Tamara Jenkins and Bette Gordon.
Annie J. Howell has written and directed short films that have played internationally at film festivals including SXSW, Newport, Full Frame, and Clermont-Ferrand. Her work has aired on the Sundance Channel, PBS, and the Independent Film Channel, and as part of the ITVS web series, FutureStates. Her screenwriting work has been the recipient of a Nantucket Screenwriters’ Colony fellowship, the Grand Prize Award at IFP’s 2008 Independent Film Week, and a SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant. Her most recent script is in development with producers Jordan Horowitz (The Kids are All Right) and Jared Ian Goldman (Solitary Man). Her web series, Sparks, co-created with Lisa Robinson, is syndicated on the Sundance Channel’s website, where she also blogs about film and storytelling. Her feature film Small Beautifully Moving Parts based on the Sparks webseries is currently on the film festival circuit. Howell earned an MFA at New York University’s Graduate Program in Film and is currently Assistant Professor of Film at Ohio University.
Caron K worked as a foreign and film scout for Franklin-Siegal, director of literary affairs at Fox Features and was associate producer for the movie Waiting to Exhale. Publishers Weekly referred to her as “scout/producer/editor and chutzpah queen.” She now heads up Caron K Literary Enterprises Unlimited.
Lizzy Kelleher is a student at Piedmont High School who participated in the Non-Fiction Project where students study and create their own documentaries. She addressed the way different genders approached the project and what her experiences were behind the camera.
Linda Goldstein Knowlton most recently directed the documentary Somewhere Between – the story of four teenage girls adopted from China and growing up in America. She also directed The World According to Sesame Street and executive produced Niki Caro’s Whale Rider. She produced The Shipping News, Mumford and Crazy in Alabama.
Terry Lawler is Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television. She is a Vice President/Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance and serves on the advisory committee of Reel New York, an independent film and video series broadcast on WNET/13. She also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Katahdin Foundation. Prior to joining NYWIFT, Lawler was Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies and National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has been a media consultant for foundations and non-profit groups including the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Goethe Institute, among others. She was production executive on several network television specials. She also was Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992), which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle in 1992, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990.
Meg LeFauve was President of Jodie Foster’s production company Egg Pictures. She produced The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and The Baby Dance and currently teaches development and production at the UCLA School of Theatre Film & Television.
Lynn Hershman Leeson pioneered site specific, performance and interactive media. Most recently, she was honored by the Digital Art Museum in Berlin with the d.velop digital art award (d.daa), the most distinguished honor for lifetime achievement in the field of new media. Her other honors include the prestigious Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica, the ZKM/Seimens Media Arts Award and, as a Sundance Screenwriter Fellow, she was honored with the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. She has also received The Alfred P. Sloan Film Prize for writing and directing Teknolust, and in 2006, the International Association of Digital Arts award for “innovative storytelling,” Zero One Prize for “Media that Matters” and a Creative Capital Grant for her documentary, !Women Art Revolution. In 2009, she became a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Siggraph. Hershman Leeson wrote, directed and produced the feature films Teknolust, Conceiving Ada and Strange Culture, in addition to 14 other films and shorts. The films starred Tilda Swinton, were shown at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival, and were all internationally distributed.
Ghen Laraya Long is on the Board of Directors of Women in Film. She is an experienced international technology and entertainment attorney specializing in transactional contracts for the creation, production and distribution of traditional media content over new media platforms. Most recently she was the Assistant General Counsel and Director of Mobile Partnerships for CBS Corporation where she served as the primary legal counsel for the mobile initiatives of CBS Corporation, its subsidiaries (including CBS Interactive) and its affiliates (including Simon & Schuster, Paramount Pictures Corporation and the CW). She worked on the distribution of video content, internet websites, mobile games, and applications for such content as Star Trek the Movie, Late Show with David Letterman, Survivor, the Amazing Race, Entertainment Tonight, Twilight Zone, CBS News, CBS Sports, 90210, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place, tv.com, cnet.com, GameSpot and Last.fm. She also worked on the interactive media campaign for Big Brother 8- America’s Player which was nominated for an Interactive Media Emmy.
April Maxey is a Texas native who received her BFA in Film/Video at Pratt Institute in 2012. Her short film work has collectively screened at over 25 festivals internationally. Polaroid Girl, her thesis film at Pratt, has won four awards so far, including the “Best Short Film” prize at QFilm Festival. April is currently developing a new short with her producing partner, Summer Czajak. When April is not working on her own films or art, she splits her time between doing freelance videography projects and crewing in the camera department on other film sets. April currently lives in Brooklyn with her giant green iguana, Sgt. Baker.
Nina Menkes Hailed as “One of the greatest figures in new wave feminist cinema” at her recent retrospective at the Viennale, and “Brilliant, one of the most provocative artists in film today” by the Los Angeles Times, Nina Menkes synthesizes inner dream-worlds with harsh, outer realities. Sight and Sound has described her body of work as “Controversial, intense and visually stunning.” Menkes typically controls all aspects of her movies, including directing, writing, operating camera, as well as editing picture and sound on her own productions. She has worked in various media including Super-8, 16mm, 35mm and lately HD. Her films have often met with hostility, as she confronts and expresses violence in an unusual way, creating and following her own rules. Menkes’ Phantom Love (2007) premiered at Sundance to rave reviews. Her most recent feature Dissolution (2010), shot in Tel Aviv in Hebrew (with some Arabic) marked her first collaboration with the Israeli David Fire, who played the lead role as well as collaborated with Menkes on writing and editing. The film received the “Anat Pirchi Award for Best Israeli Drama” at the Jerusalem International Film festival in 2010, and was hailed by The New York Times as “exquisite and remarkable.” Nina Menkes has an MFA with high honors from the UCLA Film School. She has taught film directing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), California Institute of the Arts, and Tel Aviv University’s Department of Cinema, Israel. Menkes holds citizenship in Israel, the United States, and Germany.
Heather de Michele has 15 years experience directing and teaching professional theater, most recently as the Artistic Director of American Girl Theater, NYC. Her directing/producing credits for film/tv include the feature documentary Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama Goes to Sweden! (Frameline, Newfest, IFC and more), The short film Sondra Stingray: Sapphic Gumshoe (Winner Best Short, Long Beach Q Film Festival) and the upcoming short, Cry For Me Now. Heather also directs the ongoing improv based web-series Twins: It’s Like Looking in a Dirty Mirror and is collaborating on a new web-series for pre-teen girls called Go Girl!. As a VCAM producer for Current TV, Heather has directed/edited over a dozen promo spots. She was also the director of the award winning Real Girls Guide to Everything Else.
Carmen Elena Mitchell is the Executive Producer and writer of the award winning Real Girls Guide to Everything Else. She made her filmmaking debut with Evidence (Vine Shorts Fest, San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, Zero Film Festival, Red Orchid Film Festival), and co-wrote the Jury Level Filmaka Short “Who Could Ask for More?” with Craig Ouellette. Playwriting credits include Beyond the Dinner Table: The Unintentional Poetry of Howie Small (Los Angeles Edge of the World Theatre Festival), and Off-Chance Production’s Anatomy of a Slap for which she served as lead writer with Luis Reyes .
Nadia Munla attended USC’s Peter Stark Program. An up and coming independent producer with an expertise in low budget production she recently completed her directorial debut Hannah has a Ho Phase. The film is also the first feature for her company, Hourglass Entertainment, which focuses on micro-budget films and webseries.
Hugh Munro Neely is a documentary filmmaker, theater director, and musician. A native of California, he attended the USC School of Music. He began his film work in 1989, directing several episodes of Air Combat for the Our Century series on the A&E cable network. In 1996, with his partners, he started Timeline Films. For Timeline he has written, produced or directed eight documentaries, including films on the lives of Mary Pickford, Louise Brooks, Clara Bow, and Marion Davies. Most of these have appeared on the Turner Classic Movies channel, and have received screenings at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Italy and other festivals.
Joe Petricca holds an MFA in Screenwriting from AFI and a BFA in Film Production from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Petricca is responsible for oversight of administrative functions for the AFI Conservatory, National Workshops and special projects. He directly oversees the Directing Workshop for Women, the Sloan Foundation funded programs and the Catalyst Workshop. As a screenwriter, he has had feature screenplays optioned, has written for Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies and has taught/spoken at film festivals, trade shows and colleges around the world. As a film critic he wrote for the KCET Web site. As an art director, Petricca has worked on numerous TV, film, music video and commercial projects. As a producer, he has produced short films, industrials and music videos.
Rosie Reid is a teacher at Piedmont High School who works with students on creating documentaries as part of their English curriculum. She addressed how different genders approached the project and how the use of film has become more ubiquitous in the past decade.
Lisa Robinson works as a screenwriter and director. She has written and directed three short films that have screened at film festivals around the world including Cannes-Directors Fortnight, Telluride, Edinburgh, and Clermont-Ferrand. Her writing includes MIND BLAST, an IMAX project for the Blue Man Group that is currently in development. Her web series, Sparks, co-created with Annie J. Howell, is syndicated by the Sundance Channel. Small Beautifully Moving Parts, a feature film based on Sparks, is currently on the film festival circuit. Her feature project, SYNAPSE, received the Sloan Foundation Feature Production Award and is in development with Salty Features. She is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Prize, the Mitsubishi Digital Media Lab Award for Excellence, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Robinson received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Directing Program and is currently Assistant Professor of Film at Long Island University.
Melissa Silverstein is a media consultant and writer with 15 years experience in the non-profit and communications fields. She specializes in the area of women issues, with an emphasis on women and Hollywood. She blogs regularly on issues related to women and Hollywood from a feminist perspective at her blog, Women & Hollywood, which was recently named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch.”
Susanna Styron is the director and co-writer of the Columbia Pictures feature film Shadrach, starring Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell. She wrote and directed for A&E’s TV series 100 Centre Street, created by Sidney Lumet. She has directed several short films, including the award-winning A Day Like No Other, starring Richard Beymer and Ally Sheedy. Susanna co-authored (with Bridget Terry) the television movies In From the Night starring Marcia Gay Harden, and Back When We were Grown Ups starring Blythe Danner and Peter Fonda, both for Hallmark Hall of Fame; as well as Taking Back Our Town for Lifetime Television (Christopher Award; Environmental Media Award); and Crossing the Line, also for Lifetime. As a documentary film-maker, Susanna produced and directed 9/12: From Chaos to Community about volunteers and rescue workers at Ground Zero; In our Own Backyards about the nuclear industry on the Navajo Reservation; and Suspended Sentence, a documentary short.
Lise Swenson has been involved in the media arts in the Bay Area since the early 1980s. As a media artist she creates documentaries, experimental documentaries, feature length fiction and short experimental video art works. Swenson also creates multi-monitor and site specific video installation. In 1984 she co-founded ATA, (Artists’ Television Access), a non-profit media arts access and education facility and in 1995 she founded TILT (Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools), a nonprofit that works within school programs and community organizations to teach the fundamentals of media literacy and moviemaking. Swenson’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards and grants. She was the recipient of a Creative Work Fund grant which helped to seed the creation of Mission Movie, her first feature length award winning narrative film. She also attended the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where she represented Lynn Hershman Leeson’s critically acclaimed hybrid documentary Strange Culture as Producer and Assistant Director.
Swenson is currently in the last stages of preproduction on her current feature film Saltwater, slated to begin production in 2012.
Lauren Tracy Lauren Tracy is a writer/director living in Los Angeles and Boston. She studied undergraduate film at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). When she was in college Lauren started a company with her father, X-Factor Filmmakers (xfactorfilm.com), to support female filmmakers. After three years in Los Angeles directing shorts and editing feature films, Lauren and her team are now developing her own feature thriller entitled Sweet Desert Palm and intend to continue working together on future projects creating a reputatoin for themselves as viable busienss partners in the film industry.Lauren is excited to put her journey on film in Jennifer’s documentary in order, “to encourage potential aspiring female talent,” by showing women the great possibilities out there for them in moviemaking. See the film’s website at sweetdesertpalm.com and more of Lauren’s work at laurentracyfilm.com.
Zipora Trope is a writer and director and professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has astute observations on the issues of gender in the industry and continues to make films in addition to teaching at the University. Her feature films include: Tell Me That You Love Me, HBO; Tel Aviv Berlin – Best Israeli film Award, Best Script Award, screened at: Berlin, Montreal, London, Kadis, Munich, Monpelie, Barcelona; Chronicle of Love screened at: Torino, Milan, and Taromina; Six Million Pieces, Israeli Television Movie of the Week; Adela, documentary; The Magic Circle (writer, director, producer); A Day With Madeline; My Brother; A Dream Comes True; Nava’s Hair Salon; Political Theater; Close And Far Away, Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, First Prize New York Expo of Short Films and Video; and The Prime Minister’s Wife (documentary).
Linda Weitzler is the mentoring program manager at Women in Film in Los Angeles. After graduating from Hofstra University, Linda gained the patience necessary for non-profit work while teaching third and fourth graders in the New York City school system. Ms. Weitzler started her career in show business as an assistant at ABC Television in New York, and moved up to talent booker on AM America, the name before the show was re-branded as Good Morning America. After being transferred to California, Linda became Director of Talent Relations at ABC until Frank Price hired her to be Vice President of Talent Relations at Columbia Pictures. She held the same position at Universal Studios, and then Lew Wasserman singled out Weitzler to handle fundraising. Ms. Weitzler also spent time at The Gersh Agency. Linda is the longest-standing employee at WIF, having handled the gift bags for the Crystal+Lucy Awards for two years before joining the WIF staff in 2004.
Anna Wenger is the Head of Physical Production at Funny or Die. She manages the budgets for all of the online shows produced by Funny or Die and produces their HBO show Billy on the Street. Funny or Die is a comedy video website that combines user-generated content with original, exclusive content. They are one of the few revenue generating webseries sites and in 2008 Funny or Die made a deal with HBO where they produce shows with the network separately from the web generated content.
Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit NY based film organization which supports women filmmakers, since 1983. During her tenure it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world and our internationally recognized Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM have won prizes at the last three Sundance Film Festivals including The Oath by Laura Poitras, Rough Aunties, Best Documentary World Cinema and Best Director, Natalia Almada for El General. Zimmerman is in great demand around the world as a speaker on independent film distribution, marketing and financing as well as on women’s film. She has moderated panels and given master classes at the Sundance Film Festival, MIPDOC and Reel Screen as well as film festivals in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.