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  • 11 Jul 2019 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Portland area women join WIFVNE for a happy hour at Wild Root Kombucha to discuss the film world, what they need, and their own projects. Attendees included Jill Harrigan, Phoebe Parker, Liz Hall (from the Maine Film Association), Kendra Smith, Kathleen O’Heron and memebrs of the Jynx Productions team.  WIFVNE President Alecia Orsini and WIFVNE State Chair Juliette Sutherland were also present.  There was a special appearance by Scott Lebeda (camera operator, former WIFVNE Board member, and Alecia’s husband) and Finley Lebeda (Alecia and Scott’s amazing son).

    WIFVNE heard some great ideas about how WIFVNE can support you and production stories:

    • Jill talked about wanting a casting service so she can easily connect with actors and crew in the area, even though various Facebooks groups exist they aren’t in good use.
    • Phoebe and Kendra talked about projects and business they’ve started and everyone revelled in getting to spend time with other women in this profession.
    • The Jynx Production team shared some stories about creating American-focused content for German TV.

    Shout out to Root Wild for hosting WIFVNE! Almost everyone got the grapefruit kombucha with notes of hibiscus. YUM.

  • 11 Jul 2019 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    This blog post was written by Meghan Mickela, a rising junior at Keene State College where she studies film production/critical studies with a minor in women’s and gender studies.  After college, she desires to wotk in a writers room.  Meghan is a WIFVNE intern.

    The second stop on Women In Film and Video New England’s 2019 Community Tour was Derry, New Hampshire on June 6th at the brand-new Studio Lab. Attendees were able to mingle in the stunning space being built for creatives all over New Hampshire.

    Studio Lab provides a new location for people looking to expand their project space and community into the New Hampshire film business. With state-of-the-art equipment and studios, the brand-new Studio Lab will bring a community of like-minded filmmakers to the New Hampshire area, which New Hampshire previously lacked. The space offers a diverse range of options for anyone looking to work on projects locally. Owner and founder Tim Messina states “Studio Lab offers co-working space for entrepreneurs and creatives working in the event, film, and media industries and also offers the largest film, recording, photo, and rehearsal studios in the state. Studio Lab is the sister company to Events United which is the largest rental and production house in NH.  For information on joining Studio Lab, visit www.studiolab.community

    WIFVNE NH State Chair Christine Altan with Matt Newton of the NH Film Office
    Photos: Zel MacWilliams at Black Hat Photos

    Guests were able to view the available office spaces in Studio Lab and converse about their own projects with other guests from the area. The event ended with a discussion between Matt Newton from the New Hampshire Film office, Christine Altan, the WIFVNE NH Regional Chair, and WIFVNE President Alecia Orsini. Attendees discussed what types of film initiatives they would like to see come to NH and certain opportunities through WIFVNE that will help expand those ideas, hopefully bring more business to the New Hampshire Film community. 

    Tim Messina at Studio Lab
    Photos: Zel MacWilliams at Black Hat Photos

    Tim Messina also went on to praise WIFVNE stating, “I’m so excited that Christine took the initiative to [act as State Chair for WIFVNE]. I’ve spent the past year building Studio Lab, a space to bring creatives together to work on larger films, events, and other media driven projects. Women in Film [and Video – New England] is inspiring because they have similar goals and have the drive and passion that matches ours. NH is a small state with many talented and creative individuals that are capable of heading up large projects and with the initiatives that Women in Film and Studio Lab are working on, there is now a platform for these individuals and smaller teams to step up to something bigger as a creative community”.

    Thanks to everyone who joined us at Studio Lab for the NH Stop on the Community Listening Tour!
    Photos: Zel MacWilliams at Black Hat Photos — with Scott Lebeda, Matt Newton, Amanda McGrady, Alecia Orsini, Christine Altan, Nikki Bevans and Tim Messina at Studio Lab.

    With the expansion of the film community in Derry, Studio Lab will hopefully bring more film projects to the New Hampshire area. 

    WIFVNE heard some great ideas about how WIFVNE can support you:

    • Small informative workshops about the “business” of acting and filmmaking, i.e. resumes (proper format), headshots, classes, agents, etc.
    • Seminars for starting filmmakers: how to fund/submit for grants; how to find crew; how to organize production; etc.
    • More meetups to better connect
    • Producing workshop; mentorship for new producers; hiring events/resume forwarding
    Photos: Zel MacWilliams at Black Hat Photos — with Matt Newton, Alecia Orsini and Christine Altan at Studio Lab. Photos: Zel MacWilliams at Black Hat Photos — with Amanda McGrady and Nikki Bevans at Studio Lab.
  • 11 Jul 2019 6:00 AM | Anonymous

    This blog post was written by Meghan Mickela, a rising junior at Keene State College where she studies film production/critical studies with a minor in women’s and gender studies.  After college, she desires to wotk in a writers room.  Meghan is a WIFVNE intern.

    The Monadnock International Film Festival takes place in Keene, New Hampshire over four days in April. Each year, this festival brings films from all over the world and screens them for audiences. This fall I was able to work as a volunteer in addition to attending a few of the film screenings. I was asked to write about my experiences as both a volunteer and an audience member and share what I thought about the film festival overall.

    The first films I was able to attend were shown on Friday at the Putnam Theater on the Keene State College campus. The festival began on Friday, April 26th and ran to Sunday night with the closing ceremony. As a volunteer I collected tickets from audience members rating their experience in the films and the post film discussion. I also greeted patrons and checked passes as they filed into the theater. I was able to watch two films while at the Putnam and volunteering. I saw The Silence of Others and Transmilitary. Both films are documentaries which explore vastly different stories of two different subjects, but both were excellent examples of the film on display at MONIFF. 

    The first film, The Silence of Others, details the effects of the dictatorship in Spain and the first attempt to bring the crimes of the government to court. Through the separate detailing of crimes against different groups of people in Spain, the film showcases the multiple injustices that have plagued the people of Spain decades after the dictatorship ended. After the film, Keene State Faculty members discussed the film in a Q and A. The next film shown was Transmilitary, which evidently examines the lives of trans members of the military. The film showcases the importance of both the soldiers being transgender and their military status, accentuating the divergence of both. This film especially presented the overall pride in the job that each soldier has, when not everyone in the country they are protecting has respect for them.

    On my second day, I was able to attend one film while I volunteered at the main venue, The Colonial Theater. This historical theater is located in the center of Keene’s downtown area and is the local hub for all events happening at MONIFF. Here I did the same volunteering job I did the first day, collecting tickets and checking tags while greeting patrons. I was able to see the film Capernaum

    This film is a stunning look at the life of a 12-year-old as he navigates life and takes on his parents in court, suing them for giving birth to him. Capernaum is a scathing tale that left many audience members shocked and devastated at the sheer devastation faced by the characters. The film is perhaps one of the most audacious of the many bold stories shown at the festival. 

    The Monadnock International Film Festival brings films to the rural town of Keene, New Hampshire where moviegoers can hear tales from all over the world. The festival is an annual event that takes place every April. For cinephiles in the Monadnock region or surrounding areas this festival is a perfect opportunity. 

  • 11 Jun 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

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    Pare Lorentz was an award-winning documentary pioneer whose work illuminated the most pressing social issues in the United States. In his spirit, International Documentary Association (IDA)’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund provides production and post production grants to full-length independent films that embody the spirit and artistic vision of Pare Lorentz’s work.

    Each year the fund will focuses on select issue areas that were hallmarks of Pare Lorentz’s films. In 2019, the focus is economic inequality with grants up to $25,000. Apply by July 1, 2019!

    Learn more and start your application here:  https://www.documentary.org/funding/pare-lorentz-documentary-fund

  • 06 Jun 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    2019 Paul Berg Scholarship

    ACM Northeast will fund one person to attend the ACM national conference in Portland, Oregon on July 10-12. This scholarship includes:

    • full conference registration
    • up to three nights at the conference hotel
    • meals and money towards transportation

    This scholarship is a partial reimbursement, and receipts must be provided in order to receive the funds. If necessary, ACM-NE will front most conference and travel costs so that anyone can apply. Other expenses would be the responsibility of the recipient. The maximum value of the scholarship is $1,500.

    Application Due June 28th

    Click here to download the application:  ACM-NE Berg Scholarship Application

    Please email this application to​: Erica Jones, ACMNE Chair at ejones@somervillemedia.org by 5PM Friday, June 28, 2019

    This scholarship is named in memory of Paul Berg, former Executive Director of NewTV in Newton, MA. A graduate of Emerson College, Paul was extremely good-natured, intelligent, thoughtful, and fair, creating a collaborative atmosphere for his staff to share their ideas to improve NewTV. Paul generously shared his expertise with other stations, cities and towns. He received the Chuck Sherwood Leadership Award in 2005 from the ACM-Northeast Region. Paul passed away in February 2015.

  • 17 May 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Imagine you, your film or work-in-progress, and a week in a bucolic setting with other filmmakers. Film screenings in the barn, problem solving in the hot tub, networking at the swimming hole, conquering Kickstarter over coffee on the deck…

    At a time when you feel overwhelmed by everything it takes to make your film, this is the week to assess what filmmaking is to you and what it will take for you to succeed on your terms. Join us to recharge your creative battery with a special brand of radical relaxation: great films, great food and deep discussions on the art, politics and plain fun of filmmaking.

    Plan on bringing 20 minutes of your work to share – either a work-in-progress or one that you’ve recently completed – for brainstorming, problem solving, and deep discussion. The seminars are organized by Susi Walsh, Executive Director of CID, and John Scagliotti, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer. Guest speakers will join throughout the week.

    Past alumni include Lisa D’Apolito (director of ‘Love, Gilda’), Traci Strain (director of ‘Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart’), Nancy Kates (director of ‘Brother Outsider: The Life Of Bayard Rustin’), James Demo (director of ‘The Peacemaker’), and many more.

    For more info, visit https://www.documentaries.org/kopkind-cid-film-camp/

  • 07 May 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Liane Brandon is an award-winning independent filmmaker, photographer, and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emerita. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the Women’s Movement. She is a co-founder of New Day Films, the nationally known cooperative that pioneered in the distribution of feminist/social issue films and videos.

    Her photography credits include production stills for the PBS series American ExperienceNova, and American Masters, as well as Unsolved Mysteries and many others.  Her photos have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston GlobeNew York Daily News, and many other publications.

    Her classic films include “Anything You Want To Be”, “Betty Tells Her Story”, “Once Upon A Choice”, and “How To Prevent A Nuclear War”. They have won numerous awards and have been featured on HBO, TLC, USA Cable, and Cinemax. They have also been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Chicago Art Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other venues. “Betty Tells Her Story” was nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry and “Anything You Want To Be” was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    Learn more about Liane at https://www.newday.com/filmmaker/42

    Meet WIFVNE Member Liane Brandon!

    How did you get started in the work that you do?  
    As a filmmaker:   I was a member of Bread and Roses in Cambridge, one of the first “Women’s Liberation” collectives in the country. I realized that there were almost no films about the issues girls and women were facing — or about the lives of ordinary women.  We needed films to expand and strengthen the Women’s Movement, so I decided to make them.  When I started making films in 1969, there was no portable video and very few people had access to 16mm cameras and editing equipment.  Film schools were few and far between and very few women were admitted. With no filmmaking experience, I had to borrow a high school football team’s 16mm camera in the off season and teach myself how to use it to make my first film.

    As a still photographer:  When one of my friends was shooting for the TV series “Unsolved Mysteries”, I got a call saying they needed a still photographer to document some of the stunts they were shooting, and since I had worked as a stuntwoman, they thought I would be good for the job.  That led to work shooting stills for many PBS series including “Nova”, “American Masters”, “American Experience”, etc.

    What do you love about the work that you do?  
    It’s challenging and creative:  a mix of art, craft and technology.  I get to work on interesting projects or explore subjects that I am passionate about.

    What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on? Candace Puopolo training at Total Performance Sports, Everett, MA 2013

    I’ve been involved in so many different projects, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  One of my personal still photography projects was documenting four women powerlifters who have won national or world competitions.  They range in age from 27 to 62, and they are smart, interesting, strong women.

    What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like?  
    When I started making films, I was one of 3 women filmmakers in New England.   There were virtually no outlets for political or social issue films, let alone films directed by women.

    Distributors said there was no audience for films about women’s issues — so we started our own distribution co-op, New Day Films.  We were told that we’d fail in a year.  New Day is now 48 years old and a leading distributor of social issue films!   Fortunately times have changed for women filmmakers, but there is still a long way to go.

    Do you have a mentor?  Are you a mentor? 
    I’ve mentored many filmmakers over the years (and I taught filmmaking at UMass Amherst).

    What is some advice you would give to someone who wants to do what do? 
    Learn as much as you can.  Work hard.  Persevere.

    Production still from “Louisa May Alcott: the Woman Behind Little Women”

    What are some things you wish could change/would help if more women were in the industry?  
    Ageism:  the stereotypical portrayal of older women in film and TV as nagging, befuddled, meddling, cranky, etc.  We need more portrayals of wise, thoughtful, active, courageous older women.

    Less graphic portrayal of violence against women in film and TV shows.

    What can you share about what you are working on now?
    Two projects:  Working with Duke University to preserve my early films of the Women’s Movement and to archive the history of New Day Films.  And new photo project…

    Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive

    Photo (c) Liane Brandon
    Executive Producer/Writer/Director: Eric Stange

    Why are you a member of WIFVNE?
    I’m a member of WIFVNE because of its support and advocacy for women in the industry.   Having been a member since its beginning over 35 years ago (!) I’m so proud of WIFVNE for its long history of empowerment of women filmmakers.

    Liane’s interview was conducted by WIFVNE intern Dina Klein.

    Photo credits
    1.  Liane Brandon: photo by Boyd Estus
    2.  Still from “Anything You Want to Be” (c) Liane Brandon
    3.  Powerlifters Series (c) Liane Brandon
    4.  Alcott Poster photos (c) Liane Brandon
    3.  Poe poster photo (c) Liane Brandon

  • 07 May 2019 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Heather Cassano epitomizes how independent documentary producers are connected in the local film community, learning from one another: she teaches documentary production in Boston to students and finds mentorship for herself from seasoned pros, such as those in the The Non-Fiction Cartel.  Heather’s first feature-length documentary, “The Limits of My World” was a huge challenge personally and professionally, as it delves into her own family history and discusses the traumas of growing up with a severely autistic sibling.  To learn more about the film, visit www.thelimitsofmyworld.com 

    Meet WIFVNE Member Heather Cassano! 

    How did you get started in the work that you do?  
    I started working in documentary film during my undergrad at Elon University. I was pursuing a career in photojournalism until my Junior year when I discovered the power of documentary film. After I graduated, I moved to New York and took an internship with Hard Working Movies to work on Jeremiah Zagar’s documentary “CAPTIVATED: The Trials of Pamela Smart.” The internship turned into a part-time production assistant job. It was there that I learned how to produce an independent documentary. After a year or so of living and freelancing in New York, I realized that I wanted to direct my own films. I moved to Boston to pursue my MFA in Film and Media Art at Emerson College. There I produced my first feature-length documentary, “The Limits of My World.”

    What do you love about the work that you do?  
    Documentary film gives us the opportunity to understand each other. I have met so many people through my work that I never would have met under other circumstances. I believe that documentary film is the key to bridging gaps between cultures and classes. It gives the audience a lens through which they can understand another person’s story.

    I’ve always felt at home telling non-fiction stories. I love the idea that a person can walk into a theater knowing nothing about a subject and walk out after the film a mini-expert on the subject. This has happened to me personally many times. I think of documentaries like “Pervert Park” and “The Wolfpack” that showed me worlds I didn’t know existed. It’s telling these individual stories that shine a light on greater issues within our society.

    Who is one person you really want to work with?
    Kirsten Johnson: I admire her cinematography. The way she builds relationships with her subjects and captures the beauty within everyday life is astonishing. I recommend that every aspiring documentary director and cinematographer watch her film “Cameraperson.” I would love to work with her as a DP on one of my future films.

    What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on?
    My first feature-length documentary “The Limits of My World” is probably my favorite project thus far. The film follows my brother Brian as he navigates adulthood with severe autism. Brian aged out of the school system when he turned 21 years old and was forced to make the transition from residential school to semi-independent living. The film is an exploration of what it means to be a nonverbal disabled person in today’s society.

    The film was also extremely rewarding. It allowed me to forge a relationship with my brother and we are now closer than we have ever been before. Making “The Limits of My World” allowed me to better understand my brother Brian.

    What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like?  
    Being a woman in the film industry definitely has its challenges, but I think the documentary film community is much more welcoming to women then other aspects of the industry. This was part of the reason I chose to work in documentary film. In my experience, women are often overlooked on narrative film sets. They aren’t chosen for some of the more technical jobs, like the camera department. In documentary, the roles are much more malleable and being a woman can be an asset in the more nuanced relationships with your subjects.

    Do you have a mentor?  Are you a mentor? The Limits of My World poster
    Many of my mentors have come from my experience in academia. The filmmakers and professors on my thesis committee were invaluable during the making of “The Limits of My World.” Professionally, I’ve found the most useful mentorship within groups of peers. The Non-Fiction Cartel, a working collaborative of documentary filmmakers in Boston, has been a huge asset to me. Many of the filmmakers in the Cartel are a few years ahead of me in my career. Learning from their experiences as I begin production on my next film has been indispensable.

    I teach documentary production at Emerson College. Seeing my students develop a passion for documentary film has been very exciting for me. As I progress in my career, I anticipate that mentorship will become an important part of my creative practice.

    What can you share about what you are working on now?  
    My next film, “The Fate of Human Beings,” is currently in development. In Waltham, Massachusetts there is a cemetery where 310 unidentified people are buried. Graves are marked only with a letter and a number. “C” stands for Catholic and “P” for Protestant, the number indicating the order in which they were buried. The cemetery, known as the Metfern Cemetery, served as a burial site for patients housed within the walls of nearby mental institutions: The Fernald School for “feeble-minded” children, and The Metropolitan State Hospital. Hidden among the trees of Beaver Brook Reservation, Metfern Cemetery is only accessible by hiking trails. 310 lives suspended in anonymity. “The Fate of Human Beings” uncovers the stories of the unidentified people buried in the Metfern Cemetery, interrogating the collective memory of mental institutions held by the surrounding city of Waltham.

    To learn more about the film, visit our page on the Center for Independent Documentary website: https://www.documentaries.org/the-fate-of-human-beings

    Why are you a member of WIFVNE?
    I chose to become a member of WIFVNE because I believe in creating a supportive network of female filmmakers across New England. Through my involvement with other peer-to-peer organizations, I’ve seen how helpful it can be to have a community you can turn to for advice and to share your work. WIFVNE is a wonderful part of the film community in the Boston area and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow even more.

    Interview conducted by Dina Klein.

    Photo credits
    1.  Heather Cassano
    2.  Heather at work
    3.  Film still from “The Limits of My World”
    4.  Film still from “The Limits of My World”
    3.  “The Limits of My World” poster

  • 01 May 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Women in Film and Video – New England is honored to receive, and share with Teen Empowerment, the Outstanding Community Partner Award from Somerville Center Media.  Board President Alecia Orsini accepted the award at Somerville Media Center’s Honors Gala event on March 8 at the Arts at the Armory (pictured below, SMC’s Erica Jones at left).  WIFVNE is also delighted that Yvette Wilks, Board Vice President, was honored with the Outstanding Media Producer Award.

    Somerville Media Center’s gala celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of greater Somerville’s community media producers. [Watch the FULL SMC HONORS GALA VIDEO ONLINE HERE.]   The full list of honorees and awardees is below.

    Honoree and Awardee List


    SMC President’s Award

    Jesse Moos

    Eugene C. Brune Honor

    Eugene C. Brune

    2019 Public Service Honor

    Michael E. Capuano

    2019 Community Media Ambassador

    Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ)



    Outstanding Community Partner

    Teen Empowerment


    Women in Film & Video of New England

    SMC Volunteer of the Year

    Rui Teixeira

    Youth Media Leader

    Ramón Fireside-Rivera & Seamus Rudolph

    Best Youth Created Production


    Best Young Producer

    Bob Emilia Graham

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    Dan Hurley and Jim Campano, The Somerville Pundits

    Outstanding Media Producer

    Yvette Wilks

    Best Boston Free Radio On-Air DJ

    Diane Wong & Pharoah Saunders

    Best Field Production


    Best Live SCATV Show Host

    JoAnn Rivieccio

    Best Multilingual Production

    Bostonde Radio

    Best New SCATV Show

    The Somerville Labor Show

    Best Live SCATV Show

    Heavy Leather Topless Dance Party

    Best Boston Free Radio Music Show

    The Misery of Cities

    Best Boston Free Radio Talk Show

    Let’s Talk About Race

    Best Arts and Culture SCATV Show


    Best Boston Free Radio Podcast

    We’re Trying Here, Society!

    Best New Boston Free Radio Show

    Future Perfect

    Best Informational SCATV Show

    Somerville Overcoming Addiction

    Best News Production

    Greater Somerville


    To view the full SMC Honors Gala Album visit SMC’s Facebook Page!

  • 26 Apr 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    NewEnglandFilm.com announces a free open call for the New England Film Star Award, a grant to be given to one film project by a marginalized filmmaker residing in New England.

    NewEnglandFilm.com has announced a free open call for the New England Film Star Award, a grant for a film by a New England filmmaker marginalized by race, gender, sexuality, able-bodiedness, or other.

    This grant represents NewEnglandFilm.com’s ongoing commitment to supporting filmmakers from all backgrounds, and it is completely open to films that are any genre and length, no matter what stage (from pre- to post-production). Applicants need only reside in New England, have a current project in the works, and be able to articulate how they will benefit from the award.

    The award recipient will receive:

    • Rule / Boston Camera $650 certificate for rental
    • Hunts Photo & Video $500 certificate for rental
    • Talamas $300 certificate for rental
    • Adobe Creative Cloud 1-year membership
    • Women in Film Video New England 1-year membership
    • Two in-person strategy/consulting sessions with members of the Animus Studios team (including one of the partners) at Animus Studios in Riverside, Rhode Island
    • Event services and hosting for a public/private screening event at Jupiter Hall in Manchester, New Hampshire
    • A hair and make-up session with Sydney Hunt, MUA and a private photo shoot culminating in one professional photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens at her studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
    • A film strategy session with NewEnglandFilm.com Founder Michele Meek via Skype or Zoom

    “After talking with so many women and other marginalized filmmakers over the years, I feel this is one thing we can do as a community—to give someone the boost they need to get their project off the ground,” says NewEnglandFilm.com Founder Michele Meek and editor of the 2019 book Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle Through Interviews, Profiles, and Manifestos.

    There will be several finalists announced during summer of 2019, and the Award will be announced in the fall of 2019.

    To make the call for entries as egalitarian as possible, there is no fee for application, which is due by July 15. To submit, you will need to login to your free NewEnglandFilm.com account (so we can reduce spam submissions). If you don’t already have a free account, you can request one.

    For more information about the grant guidelines, eligibility requirements, and to apply visit https://newenglandfilm.com/festival/star-award 



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