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  • 08 Sep 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    WOMEN IN FILM & VIDEO: NEW ENGLAND is currently casting for a staged reading production of an award-winning script: looking for actors in the Boston area, to play Latino male, female and child roles.

    IN SEARCH OF OUR FATHER, SYLVESTER STALLONE, written by Worcester State grad Santa Sierra is the Women in Film & Video New England Screenplay Competition winner of 2013. In celebration of this writer’s achievement and to highlight and promote local writing, directing and acting talent, WIFVNE is launching a staged presentation of the screenplay.

    Logline: ROCKY and BALBOA, a young brother and sister, are growing up in poverty in El Salvador. After they lose their mother SOFIA to gang violence, the wise-beyond-their-years siblings embark on a dangerous journey to the United States hoping to find the man their mother always claimed was their father: SYLVESTER STALLONE.

    Auditions: Saturday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 20 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!
    Sides will be distributed prior to audition
    Audition location: In/around Greater Boston Area and T-Accessible!
    SAG/AFTRA and Non-Union
    Submit headshot/resume to: INSEARCHOFCASTING@GMAIL.COM – Please note role and preferred audition date. We will respond via email to confirm your audition times.

    If you are unable to make the audition date, but are available for the event date, we will accept video auditions

    SCHEDULING INFORMATION
    Staged Reading Performance: Tuesday, October 28 at Central Square Theater
    Call time: 5:00 PM, Showtime: 7:00 PM
    Rehearsal Dates: October 12 – October 26
    There will be two full cast readings and then the director will work with smaller groups during the two weeks prior to the staged reading. Rehearsals will be minimal.

    LEAD CHARACTERS
    BALBOA: Female, 10-13,to play 9 yr old Latina, well-built, strong headed lead with good comic timing.
    ROCKY: Male, 10-13, to play 9 yr old quiet, introspective Latino boy
    DRIGO: Male, 20’s to early 30’s , to play Latino, strong-silent type, lead character
    SOFIA: Female, 25-35, to play young Latina, mother of Rocky and Balboa

    SUPPORTING ROLES
    (will be playing at least three different characters)
    Young Hispanic Woman – 20 -30’s
    Older Hispanic Woman – 20’s-30’s
    Young Hispanic Man – 18-22
    Older Hispanic Man – 40’s-50’s
    Older White Man – 40’s-50’s
    Younger Man (open) – 20’s -40’s
    Young Woman (open) 20’s-30’s

    CREATIVE TEAM
    Writer: Santa Sierra
    Director: Gauri Adelkar
    Creative Consultant: Christina Marin
    Producing Team: Women in Film & Video Board and Members

  • 05 Sep 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Women in Film and Video: New England (WIFV/NE)
    in collaboration with Harvard Square Script Writers (HSSW)
    is proud to present a staged reading of Santa Sierra’s
    IN SEARCH OF OUR FATHER, SYLVESTER STALLONE
    on October 28 at the Central Square Theater.

    On October 28, 2014, join Women in Film and Video: New England at Central Square Theater for a staged reading of our 2013 Screenwriting Competition Winner: In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone by Santa Sierra.

    In Search of Our Father is the story of a young brother and sister growing up in poverty in El Salvador. After they lose their mother to gang violence, the wise-beyond-their-years siblings embark on a dangerous journey to the US, hoping to find the man their mother always claimed was their father: Sylvester Stallone. “I grew up being an immigrant in Massachusetts,” screenwriter Santa Sierra explains, “so I understand the many reasons why people would risk their lives to come to the United States. I wanted to tell an engaging story that would make someone look beyond the immigration status of a person.”

    santa sierraScreenwriter Santa Sierra

    Sierra, a native of the Dominican Republic, grew up in Worcester and graduated from Worcester State with a Masters in Spanish Education. She moved out to Los Angeles shortly thereafter, but wrote In Search of Our Father while home for the holidays in 2012. “The faces we see of immigration are the male faces… we don’t get to see children and women who try to come to the US.  All the information I had been soaking up through research, my own writing, my personal experiences as a teacher – all came together to bring this script to life.”

    To date, In Search of Our Father has placed in the top 15% of the Nicholl Competition, ranked on The Tracking Board’s 2013 Young & Hungry List, was a finalist in the 2013 PAGE awards, finaled in the WriteMovies.Com awards, and won WIFV/NE’s 2013 Screenwriting Competition.  Santa is repped by Bryan Brucks at Luber/Roklin Entertainment.

    Director Gauri Adelkar is very excited to bring Sierra’s piece to life on the stage for the very first time. Based in Somerville, MA, and originally from Mumbai, India, Adelkar won the Indie Soul Best Director Award at the Boston International Film Festival for her short film, “The Theft.” “Within a few pages of reading the wonderful script by Santa Sierra, I instantly wanted to be part of bringing the children’s journey to stage,” says Adelkar. “Every year, a record number of unaccompanied children from Central America are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Their stories and struggles need to be told and I believe that theater is a powerful medium to do so.”

    Director Gauri AdelkarDirector Gauri Adelkar

    Adelkar will be joined by Dramatic Consultant Christina Marín, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at Emerson College. “I am thrilled to be participating in this project,” says Marin, “I feel it touches upon important contemporary social issues affecting our global society”.

    WIFV/NE would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors: Lesley University, The Boston Latino Film Festival, Saint Aire Productions, Local Sightings, Gregger Jones/Panasonic, Final Draft, Inktip, Talamas, High Output and Chelsea Collaborative.

     

    STAGED READING
    In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone by Santa Sierra
    Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Central Square Theater: 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02134
    Reception 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Performance begins at 7:00 PM and concludes with a Q&A

    Admission: $15 for members of HSSW or WIFVNE and $20 for non-members.  

    Tickets on sale now!

  • 14 Aug 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Harvard Square Script Writers and Women in Film and Video: New England partner to present two staged reading events this fall

    Cambridge, MA—Harvard Square Script Writers (HSSW) and Women in Film and Video: New England (WIFV/NE) are proud to announce their collaboration on two staged screenplay readings, coming this fall to the Central Square Theater!

    Nonprofits HSSW and WIFV/NE are joining forces to present two readings of wildly different scripts penned by local authors – Zombie Cop by Joel Karlinsky on Tuesday, September 23rd and In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone by Santa Sierra on Tuesday, October 28th.

    The first staged reading, Zombie Cop, depicts the story of Stanley Fisher, a brilliant and principled undercover cop who is framed for the death of his partner.  After his execution, he awakens to find himself reanimated as Officer Z59, part of a fantastic, but ill-conceived, government experiment where death row alums are wiped of their memories and groomed to join a super-powered police force of ZOMBIE COPS.

    Written by Joel Karlinsky, a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at BU, Zombie Cop recently placed as a quarter finalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Contest. Director Christine Cannavo brings the sci-fi comedy to life, after honing her theatrical chops as an alum of ImprovBoston and Improv Asylum.“It’s a true screwball comedy,” says HSSW Director, Genine Tillotson, “Imagine if Mel Brooks wrote Blade Runner… I anticipate a night of raucous entertainment with top notch local comedians playing the parts.”

    The second Staged Reading features the winner of WIFV/NE’s 2013 Screenwriting Competition: In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone, by Santa Sierra. This touching, timely story chronicles the journey of a young brother and sister growing up in poverty in El Salvador. After they lose their mother to gang violence, the wise-beyond-their-years siblings embark on a dangerous journey to the U.S. to find the man their mother always claimed was their father – Sylvester Stallone. “I was inspired by the documentary Which Way Home, which follows eight kids on a dangerous journey to the USA,” says Ms. Sierra. “During the filming of the documentary, the director lost two of the children… In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone is my answer to what may have happened.”

    Director Gauri Adelkar—winner of Best Director at the 2014 Boston International Film Festival—is excited to bring Ms. Sierra’s script to life on the stage.  She will be supported by Christina Marin, Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at Emerson College.

    Admission for each event is $15 for members of HSSW or WIFV/NE and $20 for non-members.

    About Harvard Square Script Writers

    Harvard Square Script Writers (HSSW) is one of the oldest and most established script writing groups in the nation. The organization offers assistance in the development, refinement, and promotion of films, TV pilots, video and film shorts, webisodes, indie films, and stage productions. They meet weekly to critique members’ work (currently in Newton, Massachusetts) and sponsor workshops on a wide range of topics, ranging from how to write a compelling log line to developing a powerful third act. For more information, please visit: http://www.hsswriters.com or contact HSSW Director, Genine Tillotson at genine@hsswriters.com .

    About Women in Film and Video: New England

    Founded in 1981, Women in Film & Video: New England is a nonprofit membership organization and one of 40 local chapters of Women in Film and Television International, that supports female voices within the film, television and media industry. By bringing together industry officials, workers & audiences, WIFV/NE promotes positive images of women to the public, and works to empower women working in the industry to achieve their professional potential.  For more information, please visit: http://www.womeninfilmvideo.org or contact WIFV/NE President, Joan Cassin at joan@womeninfilmvideo.org .

    Media Contact: Shannon Vossler, marketing@womeninfilmvideo.org, 646.535.1362

    ###

  • 05 Jan 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    2014 = (Hard Work + Some Luck) x Lessons Learned – Guest Blog from filmmaker Valentina Valentini

    Producing in Hollywood is not as glamorous as it sounds.

    I’ve had to teach an actor how to properly slap an ass, had to toss a Dorito without breaking it’s perfect triangle shape, wrangled dogs, babies  and over-zealous extras, belched on cue, and sexily stuffed a hot dog down my throat.

    I got to where I am today in a fairly roundabout way. I grew up in Massachusetts, mostly Northampton, Hadley and Amherst, and thought for a long time that I wanted to be a lawyer. I went to Northeastern University in 2002 as a Poli Sci major (as it’s called) only to drop out two years later.

    I ended up in San Diego – because goodness knows my head wasn’t on straight – and began working at a law firm of all places and eventually landed myself back in school to finish a degree, this time in Communication because I was, well, good at communicating. I began interning at a small PR firm that represented all the films shot on Kodak, which led me to writing and learning a lot about cinematographers and their art and craft.

    Eventually, PR turned into straight journalism when the writers strike was going on and no one in Hollywood was hiring. Writing I could do in my living room, I could do on my own time, and I could work other jobs to keep money coming in. After three years, I was able to focus only on journalism – writing for over 15 print and web publications – and building my clips, resume, and reach in that world.

    I had this dream though, from a long time ago, that I wanted to make movies. I didn’t know how to do it or where to start, and I knew that film school wasn’t an option… I’m just not an academia kind of girl. Plus, I didn’t have the money, as I am already paying off previous school loans.

    Four years ago, I was set up on a friend-date with a girl who had a dream similar to mine. She had recently graduated and wanted to be a screenwriter and director. So we put our heads together and made our first short film Save Me.

    "Save Me"“Save Me”

    We’d spent only a few hundred out of our own pockets, shot with barely any equipment besides a Canon 7D and generally had no idea what we were doing. We made a million and one mistakes, but I learned more on that shoot than a full year in film school.

    Over the next two years I worked on anything I could get my hands on or join or beg my way into. I made practically no money, still writing full time and nannying so I could earn a living.

    This was my film school.

    "Dear 11009"

    “Dear 11009”

    "For Who I Am"

    “For Who I Am”

    The Ninth Lane

    “The Ninth Lane”

    I’ve since produced seven short films, a web series, a regional commercial and two music videos, and worked on many other projects as a UPM, PA, extra, anything, just to get set experience.

    I started ViV Productions two years ago, and it would be ludicrous to assume that I’m anywhere other than where I am – “in talks” with feature productions, hustling to get better-paying short films or music video gigs, constantly and annoyingly always talking about the next thing I want to do or the crazy idea I have for a documentary. I haven’t “made it.” I’ve barely begun, but I am having a lot of fun… usually.

    The not-so-fun parts come when you spend $1000 submitting to festivals all over the world just to be rejected by all of them, or when you work on a short that had the potential to be funny but turns out crass and stupid, or when your family asks, “What is it you do again?”

    But that film that didn’t get accepted anywhere… it’s not a bad film. There are just 10,000 other people submitting to the festivals as well. That short that turned out stupid… I learned that I won’t work with that director again. And my family… Well, I suppose when I’m walking up to the podium to accept my Oscar for Best Feature, they’ll understand what it was I was doing all these years.

    For now, I was hired. I’m working on a big-budget, short film shooting in the desert at the end of this month. I’m not being paid and even pulling favors to help keep our budget down where possible, and I do feel I deserve to be paid, but when you’re on your way up the ladder I think it’s near-sighted to not go with your gut on a passion project. Most of the non-paying positions I’ve taken have led to something paying down the line. And you know who I’m going to call when I need a favor? The person that couldn’t pay me last year.

    If you’re stubborn in this town you’ll never make it. If you’re ambitious and willing to roll up your sleeves and pick up dog poop, you’re on the right path. That path, at least for the time being, is certainly not clear. Maybe it won’t ever be, but my script – the one I add about 200 words to every six months – will take me back to Massachusetts. And I can’t wait for that path to open up for me.

    Thank you to the WIF New England chapter for having me guest blog. And please follow me on Twitter as I fairly often have semi-smart things to say. Also, I’ll be at Sundance and SXSW in the coming months and writing for Twitch Film, IndieWire, MovieMaker and more, and will be Twittering constantly.

    For more information, please visit:  Vimeo  ViV Productions Facebook

    Valentina Valentini

  • 02 Dec 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Women_of_the_Year_2013

    2013 has been an amazing year for Boston film, television, video and media in general! As the year comes to a close, WIFVNE would like to recognize the ground-breaking, earth-shaking women who’ve made an impact on the industry around us.

    And so, we are instituting our first annual Women of the Year Award! We are calling on you, our Members, to nominate incredible local ladies who should be applauded for their work, their spirit and their support of women.

    Nominees should meet the following criteria:

    • Be a woman (sorry, gents!).
    • Live and work in the New England area.
    • Have influenced, inspired, or assisted other women in the industry.
    • Have done something of particular note in the past calendar year.

    Winners will be announced in mid-January.

    Please submit your nominations before December 31st via the link below:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10LC1R2QQv_Jwwkjwsej6x1To1RwYdxjkCusay85Arng/viewform

  • 05 Nov 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Join us for the next event in our Members-Only Made in Massachusetts seminar series, featuring Chris O’Donnell, local Business Agent for IATSE (481), the largest union representing workers in the entertainment industry.

     

    Chris and special guests from the union will answer all your questions – most importantly, the steps you can take to join and advance your career.

     

    The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees represents more than 113,000 members, working in all forms of film and TV production and live theater, including 900 crew professionals in the New England region.

     

    7:00 PM, Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center at Emerson College

     

    This Seminar–as with all our MADE IN MASSACHUSETTS Seminars–is free and open to all WIFVNE MEMBERS ONLY!  Not a member yet? Join today at: http://www.womeninfilmvideo.org/join!

     

    RSVPs are a must!  Please email: rsvp@womeninfilmvideo.org ASAP to reserve your spot now!

  • 09 Sep 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Want to learn more about film tax incentives?  

    Thought about joining a union?  

    Need paid work but don’t know where to find it?  

    How about advice on getting producers to read your script?

    You asked and we listened!  This fall we’re launching a new series of events for members only to help answer your questions about film & television production in our region, with an emphasis on Massachusetts.

    Lisa Strout, Director of the Massachusetts Film Office (Photo credit: Boston Globe)

    The first speaker in our series, Lisa Strout, is Director of the Massachusetts Film Office, a former Hollywood location manager and a fellow woman in film!

    She’ll join us on Monday, 16th September, 2013 @ 7pm to demystify the state’s film tax incentive and answer your questions about working in the region’s film and television industry.

    This event will be hosted by Emerson College at The Cabaret, located at 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

    All events in the series are open to members of the Emerson community and WIFVNE members only!

    Not a member?  Join today and save 10% off a one-year membership (expires 9/30) with code D3KX9FER at checkout.

    Please RSVP by Friday 9/13 to RSVP@womeninfilmvideo.org.

  • 22 Aug 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Good with numbers?  Always have a balanced checkbook?  Want to help out a fantastic non-profit?  Then you are JUST the person we are looking for!

    Women in Film and Video: New England is looking for a Board Treasurer to help us usher in a new, productive era of the organization!  As the Queen of all things Money, you would be responsible for making sure all of our accounting stays on-point and up-to-date, while keeping us in compliance with grants and the IRS!

    The Board Treasurer is responsible for the fiscal well-being of the organization, keeping up to date with all financials and keeping budgets and expenditures on-track.

    Duties include:

    • Responsible for annual budget and flow of the funds of the organization in cooperation with president and board committee chairs.

    • Works with vice president and development committee in establishing goals for fundraising.

    • Formulates and supervises budgets for programs and special events.

    • Writes or approves checks for organizational expenses, including timely payment of administrative director.

    • Enters and maintains accurate bookkeeping records.

    • Prepares or coordinates preparation of organization’s tax returns.

    • Fulfills responsibilities of WIFV/NE’s 501(c)3 tax status.

    In return for all of your hard work, you will receive a FREE membership to Women in Film and Video: New England!  That means all of the discounts, promotions and affiliate memberships are yours for the taking–all we ask is some bookkeeping in return!

     

    If you’re looking for a great way to get involved, want to give back, and are excited to support a fantastic non-profit for women in the arts, send your resume and contact info to:  info@womeninfilmvideo.org

  • 21 Aug 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    By Shannon Mullen

    Boston-based producer and WIFVNE member Blythe Robertson is days away from production on her next feature film, the indie drama LOVE IS STRANGE, starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson.

    Producer Blythe Robertson on the set of ABOUT SUNNY.Producer Blythe Robertson on the set of ABOUT SUNNY.

    We are less than one week out from our first day of production and we are where we’d like to be, so that is a tremendous feeling,” she says.

    Blythe lives in Charlestown and she’s an inspiration for all of us as a producer who is working hard to raise money in challenging times to make truly independent films with stories she’s passionate about.

    We checked in with her to find out more about her role in the making of LOVE IS STRANGE:

    WIFVNE: How did you become involved with this project, and at what stage? 

    BR: I met Ira Sachs (writer/director/producer) a few years ago in New York at a small industry screening for my last film ABOUT SUNNY.  He sent me a script for another film he’d written (KEEP THE LIGHTS ON), but the timing wasn’t right for me.  

    Late last year, he sent me LOVE IS STRANGE and I knew I wanted to be involved.  At that point, Parts & Labor Productions  (Jay Van Hoy & Lars Knudsen) were on board and I was a big fan of their work, as well as Ira’s.  

    I had also worked with producer Lucas Joachin before (he was post-production super on ABOUT SUNNY) and had always wanted to work with him again.

    WIFVNE:  Your formal credit is Executive Producer.  Tell us about your role on the project?  

    BR: I have been a part of the production team since early January 2013 – at which point we were just starting to go out for funding.  My primary role on this project has been raising equity, but I have been a part of the entire process since January.

    WIFVNE: Besides you, are there women in other prominent roles?  

    BR: Yes!  Producer Jayne Sherman, production designer Amy Williams and line producer Allison Carter.

    WIFVNE: How long did it take to finance the film, and what are the predominant sources of funding (if you’re at liberty to say)?  

    BR: It took less than a year to be fully funded.  Private equity is the primary source of our funding.

    WIFVNE: You’re a member of Slated.com.  How are you using the site?   

    BR: I have been a member of the Slated.com community for a while now and have met lots of interesting folks because of it.  For me, it’s a great way to network with other producers, as well as meeting potential investors.  

    We did not end up getting any funding [for LOVE IS STRANGE] through Slated connections, but it did play a role in spreading the word about the film, which will continue through much of the life of the film.  I am certain it will lead to relationships in the future, not only for the film, but for me as a producer on other projects.

    WIFVNE: Would you recommend Slated for other filmmakers, and if so, what types of projects?  

    BR:  I would recommend Slated.com to others.  It’s a smart and professional way to connect filmmakers and investors.  It’s great for both feature and doc filmmakers who are looking for funders, sales agents, co-producers and other roles for their overall package. What makes the site work well is that there are strict guidelines and requirements for those in the Slated community, therefore it’s all very professional.

    For more information about Blythe and her work you can follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on IMDb. 

  • 31 May 2013 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    king-sanchez

    Since winning last year’s WIFVNE Screenwriting Competition, I have been contacted by Pixar, Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams. Three of my screenplays have been put into production with A-list actors attached. My TV Pilot has been considered by Shonda Rhimes, and Oprah has called about a possible original series for her network. Yeah, right! Not that I expected these things to happen, but if I had to dream, well, here’s my list. Last year’s win gave me a much-needed boost to keep moving forward, while showing me there are people who believe in the stories I’m passionate about telling. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like winning something? But after the congratulations, feedback and notes are put aside, you are left with the fact that a writer writes, and folks, it ain’t an easy gig.

    I write because I have stories and characters that won’t stop nagging to be set free, to be given a voice. For the past year, I’ve been submitting to literary journals and screenwriting contest, and have received rejection after rejection. Before winning last year’s WIFVNE Screenwriting Competition, the winning script had gone through years of rejections and revisions. For every win, it feels like there are hundreds of losses. While the wins validate, it’s the losses that strengthen my resolve. This past year, I’ve learned to accept rejection and allowed it to fuel my writing. I wish I could report back about a major writing assignment or agent signing, but I can’t (not yet). I did, however, have my essay Shameless Shame accepted for publication in The Southampton Review (Summer 2013). So, baby steps.

    In the meantime, I continue to write. I’m currently working on a collection of short stories influenced by my month-long, self-created, writing retreat to Paris. I’ve started a novel that spans three decades, and completed an outline for my 14th screenplay. All this while piling up the rejection letters and contest losses. I’m a writer, and I will continue plugging away at it, no matter how many wins and losses I tick off. There is no road map to a “successful” writing career, other than writing like your life depends on it. Sure, we look to others for inspiration, but the true inspiration has to come from within. Let every win fuel you, and every loss drive the passion within.

    Thank you for hearing my voice,

    Tracy

     


  


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