Sponsored by WIFVNE, The Norwalk Film Festival and Bridgeport Film Festival
in celebration of Woman’s History Month,
our Panel of Female Film and Video Career Professionals will share
their journeys, pitfalls, successes, and advice in navigating a career in film, TV, and video.
Please register for this free event
Moderated by Margaret Costa, Documentary Filmmaker and Director of The Norwalk Film Festival and Dusty Noval, Narrative Filmmaker and Connecticut Co-Chair of WIFVNE.
Sharbari Zohra Ahmed, Series Writer/Novelist/Adjunct Professor
Ahmed was on the writing team for the first season of the ABC show Quantico, making her the first woman of Bangladeshi origin to write for a network show. She is currently one of the head writers of the show Kriya Karam to be released on Voot (Viacom/Paramount) in India in 2023, and internationally soon after. She adapted the middle grade novel, Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Bose Perkins, for the screen, the adaptation of which has won several awards. The screen adaptation of her stage play Raisins not Virgins: A Romantic Comedy about Jihad (Workshop Theater Co.) was part of the Tribeca All Access program at the Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for best original screenplay. Sharbari is the author of the novel, Dust Under Her Feet, 2019 (Westland) and a short story collection, The Ocean of Mrs. Nagai: Stories, 2013. The novel is currently being adapted into a multi season series by Sharbari with Naz Haider (wiip) producing. Her short fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Catamaran, Caravan Magazine, Inroads, Wasafiri, Painted Bride Quarterly, Roanoke Review and New England Review. She presented a TedX talk: Between the Kabah Sharif and A Hard Place in April, 2018. She teaches in the Film and TV Master’s program at Sacred Heart University and the MFA program at Manhattanville College.
Shelly Evans, Screenwriter/Educator
Shelley has written teleplays for ABC, CBS, Showtime, USA Network, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and Lifetime Television. Her produced scripts have starred, among others, Anne Heche, Sam Shepard, Josh Brolin, James Caan, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen and Mercedes Ruehl. She has taught dramatic writing and story development at Fairfield University Low Residency MFA, New Hampshire Institute of the Arts Low Residency MFA, Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency MFA, Harvard Extension School, New York University, and (thanks to Zoom) the Danish National School of Performing Arts. She received her BA from Wesleyan University, and an MFA from New York University, where she was awarded the Graduate Prize in Dramatic Writing. A member of the Writer's Guild of America, she lives in Cambridge, MA.
Amanda Parvis-Lanzo, Managing Producer, World Wrestling Entertainment
Amanda (WIFVNE member) has spent 15+ years writing, producing and editing promos for The WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Creative Media Department. She currently leads a small team of producers and is enjoying the managerial aspects of her job as much as the creative! Amanda is also a singer/songwriter who released her first single last month, "Going for the Gold", a collaboration with the rock band, HeatedXChange. She is currently writing music for the upcoming short film, Last Girls Trip by Dusty Noval, and is excited to work with other film and video content makers in the future! Amanda lives on Connecticut's Shoreline in the borough of Woodmont, in the city of Milford.
Stephanie Stender, Creative Director/Founder, DoorStop Productions
Stephanie (WIFVNE Member) is an award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter. Her works have been screened at film festivals around the world, from Australia to the UK, at such prestigious independent theaters as the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, and on television – from PBS to the WB. "Still Right Here," the music video she directed and produced for Melissa Ferrick, premiered on the front page of The Huffington Post to celebrate the launch of Queer Voices and won Fan Favorite and Best Pro Pop/Rock Video at the Right Out TV Music Video Awards. Since then, she has directed numerous narrative films, commercials, and music videos, as well as documentaries including Bingo Nation which premiered at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Her works, both on the page and on the screen, are characterized by a stirring blend of dark humor and breathtaking visuals, with a focus on women and queer issues. In 2001, she founded Doorstop Productions, an all-women’s film production company, with five fellow female filmmakers. Doorstop’s intrinsic purpose is to allow women interested in directing, writing, and producing films a creative, safe, and nurturing environment to do so. Stephanie received her MFA in Film Production from Boston University.
Special thank you to Women Make Movies for event support.