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  • 13 Sep 2021 2:37 PM | Anonymous

         On Saturday, August 28th, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project announced the winners of their eleventh annual film festival at a “best-of” screening and awards night hosted by the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport, CT. WIFVNE congratulates the award winners of this year’s New Haven 48HFP for their superb work, including the winner and runners-up of the WIFVNE-sponsored ‘Woman of the 48’ Award. Furthermore, WIFVNE would also like to recognize the dedication and hard work of all this year’s participants that made this festival possible. To find out more about the New Haven 48 Hour Film Festival, access their website via this link. To find a 48 Hour Film Festival near you, or to learn about the international organization which runs the New Haven 48s, use this link to the 48 Hour Film Project homepage.

    Here is the list of award recipients, the films they made for this year’s festival, and their filmmaking teams:


    •  Tess Pellicano, Zap by Connecticut Filmworks


    • Annalisa Boerner, Billion Dollar Maybe by Jabroni Studios

    • Tayler MacMillan, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger  

    BEST FILM OF 2021:


    • 1ST PLACE - The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    As the first-place winner, Newbreed Films’ ‘The Right Call’ will be representing the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project at Filmapalooza 2022, the international 48 Hour Film Project festival which exhibits the winning films from every host city. Winners of Filmapalooza are invited to showcase their films at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

    • 2ND PLACE - 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger

    • 3RD PLACE - How They Met Themselves by West Haven Film Collective


    • GROUP A - The Right Call by Newbreed Films

    • GROUP B - Zap by Connecticut Filmworks

    • GROUP C - Spring Brake by Mother Brain


    • Nosedive by The Graduate(s)


    • The Bechdel Test by Film Gawds


    • Reid Engwall & Brien Slate, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger


    • Noah's Flood by Good, Bad and The Fugly


    • The Right Call by Newbreed Films


    • The Bechdel Test by Film Gawds


    • Billion Dollar Maybe by Jabroni Studios


    • Jeremy Sapadin, Again by 11 O'Clock Productions


    • Peyton Bristol, 'Beneath The Surface' with Jamie Hill by Cineslinger


    • How They Met Themselves by West Haven Film Collective


    • Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease


    • Lost, Unsound by Tired of People


    • BEST USE OF CHARACTER - Soleus by Falconeer Productions

    • BEST USE OF PROP - Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease

    • BEST USE OF LINE - Who's Gonna Stop Me? by Blackbird Entertainment

    • BEST USE OF GENRE - The Right Call by Newbreed Films


    • Nosedive by The Graduate(s)


    • Behind The 8-Ball by JAZ Ensemble


    • The Making of The Diaspora of a Rose by every one leaves new haven


    • Isabelle Gasser, Seek Aim Attain by Dutch Elm Disease

  • 13 Sep 2021 2:00 PM | JoAnn Cox (Administrator)

    The Womens Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) of New York Women in Film & Television is nominating two WFPF-preserved films for inclusion on this year’s National Film Registry. Both films explore a diverse range of issues and innovative approaches to filmmaking practiced by women makers, and one is by WIFVNE member Liane Brandon!

    The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. Public nominations play a key role when the Librarian and Film Board are considering their final selections. You can nominate up to 50 titles per year. The Womens Film Preservation Fund selects a number of films per year which it has preserved that are particularly relevant and timely for nomination.

    The nomination form link closes on September 15, 2021, so be sure to get your nominations in before the deadline.

    Among your other nominations, please consider including:

    Betty Tells Her Story (Liane Brandon, 1972)

     Betty Tells Her Story is the poignant tale of beauty, identity and a dress – and it is considered a classic of documentary filmmaking. It is the saga of Betty’s search for “the perfect dress” – how she found just the right one . . . and never got to wear it. Then Betty tells her story again. The contrast between the two stories is haunting. Made in 1972, it was the first independent film of the Women’s Movement to explore the issues of body image, self-worth and beauty in American culture – and it has become one of the most enduring.

    Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emeritus.  She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the Women’s Movement.  Her groundbreaking 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, Cinemax, and TLC and at MoMA, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican Centre in London and the Tribeca Film Festival and many other venues.  She is a co-founder of New Day Films. Currently working as a still photographer, her photography credits include stills for the PBS series American Experience, Nova, and American Masters Her photos have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and many other publications.  Before becoming a filmmaker, Brandon experimented with several short careers, working as a ski instructor, file clerk, high school teacher and professional stunt woman.

  • 10 Aug 2021 4:40 PM | Anonymous

    The 48 Hour Film Project kicked off its New Haven competition with a celebration on the evening of Friday, July 30th. The following images were taken at the Kick-Off party, which was hosted at the Beeracks, a brewery in East Haven, CT.

    (All photo credits in this article go to Sophie Clark)

    The Beeracks, the East Haven, CT brewery that hosted this year’s New Haven 48 Hour Film Project kickoff event. Not counting 2020, when the Kick-Off was completely virtual, the Beeracks has hosted the Kick-Off the last three years it has been in-person.

    After checking in, teams look over the 48HFP information packets given to them while they wait for the genre lotteries and for the required elements to be revealed.

    The Genre Plinko board is used to select this year’s team genres. Based on where the ball landed, a numbered envelope was drawn containing a colorful slip of paper with two film genres on it, which were announced to the waiting teams by Trish Clark, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project event producer.

    Teams intently watch the 48HFP genre drawings, both from the patio tables and the parking lot, where an overflow of teams spilled out.

    The first genres of the night are drawn, for team Aligning of Screening Group C, led by Donnell Durden. This year, they had to make either a western film or a soap opera/telenovela. Group C’s films were screened at 9:00PM on Saturday, August 7th, at the Bijou Theater, Group B was screened at 7:00PM, and Group A was screened at 5:00PM on the same day.

    The Kick-Off is well underway on the Beeracks’ patio, with drinks, pizza, and a food cart to keep teams busy while they wait for the genre reveal to finish.

    Representatives from Weston, CT’s JAZ Ensemble, a first-time competitor that screened in Group A and was headed by Zaman Khan. They were assigned to make either a suspense-thriller or soap opera film this year, or some combination of the two.

    Competitors eat pizza, drink, and watch with their teams as the genre selections for each team are drawn.

    The team members attending the Kick-Off on behalf of Screening Group B’s Dutch Elm Disease, which was led by Benjamin Hacht. Shortly after this picture was taken, they were assigned by Genre Plinko to create either a period and/or comedy genre piece for this year’s film.

    Teammates confer as the genres are revealed. Every team is given two possible genres to work with, and must use one or both of them in their film.

    The team members from New Haven-based Jabroni Studios, now in its fourth year of taking part in the New Haven 48s. This year, when given the choice between making a social commentary film or a film de femme, they settled on film de femme, a genre they described as the 70% female-staffed company’s “wheelhouse”. This is because, by pure coincidence, they have remarkable personal experience in this genre: they’ve been randomly assigned to create film de femme pieces all four years they’ve been taking part in the New Haven 48s. This year, they screened in Group B, and were led by Nina Gumkowski.

    The taproom of the Beeracks, where the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project took place this year.

    The team representatives from Screening Group A’s Blackbird Entertainment, which was headed by Ronald Delucia. Dwayne Williamson (pictured at left) stated that this was their team’s first year competing in the New Haven 48s. This year, they were chosen to create either a fish-out-of-water or revenge film, or a blend of both genres.

    While contestants look on, Trish reveals another team’s genre choices. Many competitors were on their phones during Genre Plinko and the required element reveal in order to coordinate with teammates who couldn’t attend the event in-person. Only one member of every team was required to check in at the Kick-Off in-person. Whether they had health concerns over COVID-19 or wanted to get a jump on film work once the event ended by staying home, many teams had members who did not attend the Kick-Off.

    The Beeracks created an exclusive drink in honor of their hosting the New Haven 48HFP’s kickoff event this year. It was titled “Sleep is for the Week”, in honor of the inevitably sleepless weekends that go into competing in a 48 Hour Film event.

    Trish Clark announces a team’s genres while camera operator Eamon Lineham monitors the event live stream through his camera. For this year’s event, a Facebook Live stream was created so that those who couldn’t attend the Kick-Off in-person would still be able to watch the genre and required element reveals online.

    (L-R) Eamon Lineham and Kevin Ewing, who managed the New Haven 48HFPs Facebook Live stream for the evening; the livestream ensured accessibility for those who could not attend the Kick-Off in-person. Ewing, the CEO of local sponsor Baobab Tree Studios, has been involved with the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for 6-7 years now. He said he was initially inspired to get involved with the New Haven 48s by his love of making movies, as well as a desire to support local ventures in the film industry.

    Trish opens the envelope containing this year’s required elements. All teams had to include the three elements -- a line of dialogue, a character, and a prop -- in their films.

    Trish unveils this year’s required character, prop, and line of dialogue, while the teams listen eagerly.

    This year’s required elements, taped to the Genre Plinko board after they were announced. All of this year’s films had to noticeably include these three things: the character Victoria or Vincent Bolton (teams are allowed to choose the gender), who is an Olympic alternate, a prop microphone, and the line of dialogue “I’m/I am [again, teams are allowed to choose how they want this to be written] kind of a big deal”.

    Once the Kick-Off ended at 7:00PM, when the required elements were announced, teams began to disperse to their respective headquarters for the night. Some left as soon as the announcement was made, while others lingered to chat, or to question Trish about festival rules.

    New Haven 48HFP information packets in hand, teams hurried to their cars after the required elements were announced so they could start working on their films.

    A wine glass rests on a table next to the Genre Plinko board, which was used to assign this year’s team genres.

    The envelope that contained this year’s required elements, which were revealed at the end of the evening.

    Trish stays on after the kickoff event to answer filmmakers' questions.

    Several of the organizers of the New Haven 48HFP Kickoff event: (L-R) Trish Clark, who is the producer of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Festival, Mary Connata, and Elizabeth Clark. Trish has been involved in producing the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for eleven years, and often involves her sister Elizabeth (pictured at right) in the organizing. Connata, meanwhile, has been involved in the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project for the last three to four years.

    A curious door over the event space that opened onto thin air. The experience of working on the 48 Hour Film Project is not unlike stepping through such a door - you never quite know what’s going to happen once you do, but it’s certainly going to be unforgettable.

  • 10 Aug 2021 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven’s local filmmaking scene gathered Friday, July 30th at the Beeracks to celebrate the kick-off of the 2021 New Haven 48 Hour Film Project. 

    For those who haven’t had the pleasure of discovering it yet, the 48 Hour Film Project (or 48HFP, for short) is an annual, international filmmaking challenge run through locally-hosted film festivals. In every host city, teams are assigned the same, weekend-long challenge:  to create a 4-7 minute-long short film in the span of less than two days. From these, the best films in every city are selected to compete at the national and international level. The ground rules of the 48 Hour Film Project are simple enough: 

    1. Every team is required to send at least one representative to their respective kickoff event by 7:00PM Friday night in order to check their team in with the organizers and receive their genre assignment.

    2. Each filmmaking team is randomly assigned two film genres from a list by the local 48HFP staff. Their films must be made in the style of one or both of the assigned film genres - for example, drama and comedy or horror and romance.

    3. Each teams’ film has to noticeably contain three pre-selected required elements: a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue.

    4. The films must be created solely during the filmmaking weekend. No creative work can be done on the films until the festival officially begins at 7:00PM Friday night, and work stops when the films are submitted at 7:00PM Sunday night.

    The Friday night check-in of every 48 Hour Film Project Weekend holds special significance for participants. Not only are the teams’ film genres and required elements not revealed until Friday night, but the teams must wait for those reveals to occur before they can begin their work at 7:00PM Friday evening. As a result, it’s become customary for local 48HFP staff to host a kickoff party at the check-in.
    1. The Kick-Off

    This year, the New Haven Kick-Off took place at the Beeracks, an East Haven brewery that has hosted the Kick-Off party the last three years it’s been held in-person. Only a few minutes’ drive across the bridge from downtown New Haven, the Beeracks feels like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by thick vegetation and only accessible via a winding, mostly deserted side street. The building itself is squat and gray, its roof strung with party lights and a cheery graffiti mural scrawled on the side of the building. Coincidentally, the mural had once been used as a backdrop in a 48 Hour film. The oversized parking lot was stuffed to the gills with dozens of cars from the New Haven 48HFP’s cast, crew, and staff. Not only were they an indication of the scale of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, the cars were also a reminder of just how different last year’s celebrations had been.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 New Haven 48 Hour Film Project had gone completely virtual, the first time in the festival’s history this had ever occurred. To ensure the safety of participants, all events were held remotely. This year’s kickoff was the first step in the festival’s gradual return to in-person events, a hybrid of live and remote designed to accommodate the comfort levels of all the participants. A Facebook Live stream of the Kick-Off (another first for the New Haven 48s) was set up so that people who couldn’t attend in-person could still follow along with the event in real time while the genres and elements were selected, soaking up the atmosphere as if they were there themselves.

    This year’s party was held outdoors, sprawling across the Beeracks’ patio and tables and overflowing into the parking lot. Upon arrival, the teams trooped over to the staff table to check in, but once that was done they were free to mingle. In honor of hosting the kickoff, the Beeracks created a custom drink for the event, playfully entitled “Sleep is for the Week '' in a nod to the many lost hours of weekend sleep sacrificed by 48 Hour Film Project contestants in search of the perfect film. Teams were only required to have one member show up for check-in, but most came in a group, and the party was a tangle of masks and bare, vaccinated faces as people chatted, ate, and drank. Some clustered around the patio tables for a better look at the plinko board that had been set up for the genre drawings, while others spread out into the parking lot, forming little rings with their teams as they took a break from the crowd. The next day they would be heading off to locked-down sets, with in-person contact limited almost exclusively to their teammates in an effort to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus. And because the dropoff is virtual this year, many teams would not see each other in person again for weeks, until either the premiere screening on August 7th or awards night on August 28th. But Kick-Off night was a chance to safely relax for an hour, for friendly in-person contact without worrying about the pressure of the weekend to come. It also proved to be a great opportunity for networking with people from other teams, swapping business cards or social media handles and parting on friendly terms with people who hours ago were strangers.

    With such an intentionally created, close-knit community, it’s ironic to realize just how accidental the creation of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project itself was. Looking at the festival today, one would never know that, had its creation gone to plan, the New Haven 48s would never have existed. In 2010, the 48 Hour Film Project team was looking for producers to establish a Connecticut-based 48HFP in nearby Hartford. But the Hartford festival never took root, and was instead replaced with the New Haven festival. So, what convinced the organizers to change their minds and relocate the festival to New Haven? 

    At about the same time, producer Trish Clark moved to the New Haven area. She had already developed an extensive film career living in New York City, having worked (among other things) as part of the production team of the Rosie O’Donnell Show. After so long away from New York, she missed producing work. When a friend mentioned the local 48 Hour Film Project opportunity to her, Trish jumped at the chance. Impressed by her work, the 48HFP hired Trish as their event producer, a position she has held since the festival’s foundation. But the city of choice for the newly-created festival bothered her. Trish was baffled as to why Hartford had been chosen as the host city. Why not a city like New Haven, a place she considered the “arts capital” of Connecticut? She went to bat for New Haven, and persuaded the 48 Hour Film Project to change the location. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Now in its eleventh year, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project is the only 48HFP event in the state of Connecticut. And as it attracts more notice from local talent, its ranks continue to grow. This year, thirty-four teams of filmmakers -- industry professionals and novices alike --  competed in the festival; of those 34 teams, nearly half were first-time entries. In fact, there were so many teams that the August 7th premiere of this year’s finished films at the Bijou Theater had to divide them into three screening groups - A, B, and C, each with a different start time.

    2. The Genres

    A process usually conducted by randomly picking two genres off a list, the organizers had decided to make a game of genre selection in an effort to make the process more fun for the contestants: Genre Plinko. A massive plinko board was propped up on the staff table, with pockets numbered from one to six that each held a bundle of tiny, numbered envelopes. When it came time for a team to pick a genre, Trish would place the plinko ball and let it roll down the pegs of the board, then draw a numbered envelope from whichever pocket the ball landed in. The envelopes contained a set of two genres, which were announced to the waiting crowd. And no sooner had their genres been announced than a team would go huddle up in a corner to assess their options.

    Picking genres was perhaps one of the most important choices the filmmakers would make the whole weekend, because it would be difficult to reverse course down the line if they changed their minds. Most 48s groups only work with one genre or the other -- it’s simpler, and often more easily understood by the judges -- so it just came down to choosing which genre they liked and understood best. Sometimes, this choice was an easy one. One team, after drawing the choice of either western or soap opera/telenovela, immediately ruled out telenovelas because they didn’t have experience with them. For other teams, the choice was more difficult, about picking the lesser of two tricky options. Some parts of the list dove into more obscure categories that filmmakers had less experience in, such as multi-generational films, mockumentaries, or film de femme, and if filmmakers got stuck with two tricky categories they could find themselves in a bit of a pickle. For most teams, though, it was simply about choosing which of two great categories they were most eager about. Once they had a genre picked out, they could set about drumming up possible story ideas and filming locations.

    Through this whole process, teams were determined to ensure that those who couldn’t attend the kickoff in-person were included. Absent teammates may have been able to watch the livestream, but representatives took it upon themselves to broadcast the events for everyone at home in real-time as well. Nearly everyone had a phone in their hand during the assignment process, sending teammates notes, videos, and photographs of the genre selection. One man even walked around with a FaceTime call going as he and his teammate debated the particulars of their movie.

    On and on the drawing went. Comedy or period piece. Horror or time travel. Superhero or holiday and vacation film. The only sounds were the babble of happy voices, the rattle of the plinko ball, and the calls of team names, genres, and group letters as Trish fought to make herself heard as far back as the parking lot over the din. Teams shuffled too and fro, moving from the lot to the patio and back again as each screening group was called up to crowd around the plinko board. As every team received their two genres, the crowd reacted to the drawing as if it had been their own, tittering with enthusiasm if it was a great pairing, or letting out a sympathetic groan if it wasn’t. When one team was unfortunate enough to have landed the tricky double combo of social commentary and film de femme, another team’s representative came over to express their condolences.

    “You guys got social commentary?” he winced. “Good luck.”

    To pass the time, the filmmakers toyed with the genre categories amongst themselves, wondering what they would have done had they been given the same pairing as another team.

    With fifteen minutes left to go, the crowd became restless. Genre assignments could only take them so far in their planning without knowing what the required elements were. Throw themselves too deeply into one idea and they could find their plans upended by an element that didn’t easily fit into the story. At this point, all they could do was sit, wait, and enjoy the rest of the party.

    3. The Required Elements

    Finally, the magic hour arrived. Seven o’clock. Everyone settled into their positions, suddenly the picture of concentration as Trish pulled out a big tan envelope with “TOP SECRET” emblazoned on the front. Video chats and phone calls to absent teammates were reopened, phone cameras were prepped, and info pamphlets were propped against the wall, pencils in hand. Even though the required elements would be posted online later, no one wanted to miss them. As soon as the elements were announced, the weekend’s filming could begin. The quicker the whole team was on the same page about what the required elements were, the more time they had left to plan their films. Conversation faded to a murmur as Trish pulled out the sheets of paper with this year’s elements and read them aloud.

    In honor of the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this year teams were required to use the character of either Victoria or Vincent Bolton (teams are allowed to decide the character’s gender), an Olympic alternate, in their films. In order to fulfill the requirement, the character’s name and career must be clearly understood by viewers.

    A sigh of relief went through the crowd when this year’s prop was announced: a microphone. At the news that the prop would be one of the most common items on a film set, one audience member shouted sarcastically, “Where are we gonna get one of those?”, to which Trish replied with an equal amount of sarcasm: “I don’t know where you could ever find one of those on such short notice”. A ripple of laughter went through the crowd.

    Finally, Trish revealed the line of dialogue: a variation on the phrase “I’m kind of a big deal”, which also elicited a few chuckles and whistles.

    4. Filmmaking Begins

    With that, the required elements were finally out in the world for everyone to see, and teams could finally get to work. But even though the clock had started ticking on their project time, the filmmakers didn’t let the pressure get to them, or allow it to dissolve the night into chaos. Instead, the filmmakers reacted to the start of what was potentially one of the most stressful weekends of their lives with unexpected grace and poise. A few teams made a beeline for their cars, but they walked slowly, like they had all the time in the world, and sent up scattered cheers as they left. Some teams even hung around at the brewery long after 7:00PM had passed to keep chatting with one another, simply content to be in one another’s company after so long apart.

    Even after three or four years of experience putting together the New Haven 48s, the New Haven 48s alums and their work have never ceased to amaze organizer Mary Cannata. How they are able to create such incredible work in such a short period of time, under all that pressure, all the while keeping a cool head, was beyond her. Most of the people leaving looked like they were going home to bed rather than staying up all night planning the one-day shooting of a short film.

    “Do they have all these things in their closets, so that they can just pull them out [when they need them]?” quipped Mary. 

    It takes a special kind of filmmaker to thrive at a challenge like the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project: one with exceptional creativity, who can plan and adapt on the fly. But it also takes a real, genuine love for the art of filmmaking to make a challenge like the 48s just as rewarding as the films it produces, a passion that was evident among the filmmakers of the New Haven 48s. The experience of sharing a day with these filmmakers was an immeasurably enriching one. With such a talented group of filmmakers, and the promise of more on the way in the coming years, things are looking bright for the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, both this year and heading into the next.

    Curious about how this year’s films turned out? The best films made at this year’s New Haven 48 Hour Film Project will be screened on Awards Night, Saturday, August 28th at 7:00PM at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport, CT. There’s still time to book yourself a seat! Tickets to Awards Night are $12, and can be purchased on the Bijou Theater’s website using this link.

    Want to learn more about the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project, or interested in entering the festival with a team of your own? Use this link to access the New Haven 48s website for event details, rules, and requirements. You can also find the names of the teams who participated in this year’s festival, if you’d like to learn more about them and their work. If you aren’t from the New Haven area and the 48 Hour Film Project still interests you, use this link to search for 48 HFP events closer to you on the global 48 Hour Film Project’s website.
  • 29 Jul 2021 3:20 PM | Anonymous

       Once again, the New Haven area is preparing for the commencement of the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project. Now in its eleventh year, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project will be taking place over the weekend of July 30th-August 1st. Hosted all over the world, the 48 Hour Film Project (or 48HFP, for short) are locally-run, weekend-long film challenges open to all skill levels. But while local hosts and host cities may change, the challenge itself is constant:  to create a 4-7 minute short film in the span of less than two days. Each team’s film must also contain certain required elements -- a preselected prop, character, and line of dialogue -- which are not revealed to contestants until the Friday evening the competition begins.

       The same rules hold true for the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project’s participants. Their  two-day filmmaking window will kick off on Friday, July 30th, once the required elements are revealed and teams have chosen, at random, a film genre. From the kickoff onward, teams will work around the clock, immersed in the filmmaking process for the rest of the weekend until the Sunday night deadline to submit their films. All films submitted within the 48-hour time limit will be screened the following week at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport*, as well as put forward for judging to for the chance to win one of the New Haven 48HFP’s awards. The film that wins New Haven’s “Best Film of the Year” award will get the chance to be submitted to Filmapalooza, the festival which showcases the best 48 Hour Project film from every host city and potentially offers a shot at the Cannes Film Festival to a lucky few. However, there are many other awards competitors can earn at the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project. Some are based on areas of production, while other special awards are given by local sponsors.

       As a proud local sponsor of the New Haven 48HFP for several years now, WIFVNE will again sponsor the “Women in the 48” award. Given each year to three competitors -- an overall winner, a runner-up, and a student winner -- for outstanding work on a New Haven 48 Hour film, the “Women in the 48” award is decided based on nominations submitted to WIFVNE by the filmmaking teams for review. Regardless of how contestants fare on awards night, however, the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project is above all else a wonderful way for filmmakers at any level to gain some experience and get to know others in the industry, and WIFVNE wishes the best of luck to all the filmmakers and event organizers who are taking part in this year’s event.


       Registration of teams and team members for the New Haven 48HFP ends on July 30th, so anyone who hasn’t signed up yet but still wishes to take part can find registration info on the official New Haven 48 Hour Film Project’s webpage:

       Want to learn more about the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project? Looking to stay up to date on what’s happening at the festival’s events? Use the hashtag #NHV48HFP to keep up to date with the New Haven 48 Hour Film Project’s goings-on via social media.

    * - For the premiere, the teams’ films will be divided into three screening groups. All of the submitted films will be screened at the Bijou Theater on Saturday, August 7th, but each group’s screening will start at a different time - Group A at 5:00PM, Group B at 7:00PM, and Group C at 9:00PM.

  • 30 Jun 2021 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    These three members created Screenplays that not only showed a deep sense of professionalism in the writing community, but created a ten page screenplay that followed along the lines of survival in today’s society.  The Winner of this competition was Erin M. Underwood with her script called The Funeral, along with First Runner Up, Sally Thitu Muiruri with 15 Years Later and Second Runner Up, Alessandra Bautze with The Impediment. 


    Erin is an editor, writing and reviewer who specializes in science fiction and fantasy.  She is the editor of Greek Theater: 15 Plays by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, The Grimm Future, Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction and Futuredaze 2: Reprise. Erin is also a two-time nominee for the Fanzine Hugo Award for her editing work on Journey Planet. In addition, she is also an event content producer for emerging technology conferences and events. 

    To learn more about her future aspirations and the ideas behind writing the winning script, read below: 

    What are your current aspirations for the future with screenwriting?

    Movies, film, and cinema have always been a creative draw for me. I think very visually in my storytelling and have found that screenwriting is particularly well suited to how I think about and tell stories. I am currently working on the final draft of a feature length film and will then turn to developing a new idea. Writing screenplays is deeply satisfying from a creative perspective, and I plan to continue writing with the intention of selling my work to production companies that would like to bring my stories to life.

    How did you relate to the theme of survival?

    The theme of survival has been on my mind a lot recently. The number of people who have lost their loved ones in the pandemic and who have had to find ways to continue living in the wake of their pain and trauma has become a constant reminder of the pain I still feel at having lost my mother to cancer several years ago. Survival is a constant. It’s the continuing need to figure out how to navigate pain, death, love, and living while also searching for our own path forward. In many ways, The Funeral was an expression of the pain and joy that I struggle with even now as I remember my mother and feel her loss. Survival is also about letting ourselves experience moments of unexpected joy.

    How did the theme of survival manifest in your screenplay?

    Survival isn’t just about living, it’s also about being left behind and how to manage the devastating loss of a loved one, especially a parent. The Funeral tells the story of Máiréad’s path to survival after having lost her mother and how she confronts her grief. Her survival comes in steps and stages, some of which she must take alone while others require those who love her to join her on the path. 


    Sally Thitu Muiruri has written and directed her first solo film, BLACK RED N GREEN - a feature-length documentary analyzing togetherness among Kenyans living in Massachusetts. Sally is an enthusiastic filmmaker and continues to tell African stories that seek to contribute or initiate conversations about various social, and socio economic issues in the black community.

    In the past, Sally has directed and produced three short student films: First Day in College, Pitching and Kare in America. 


    Our second runner up is a native Arlington, Massachusetts citizen.  Alessandra Bautze is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Screenwriting at The University of Iowa.  She holds an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Texas Austin and a B.A. in The Writing Seminars & Film Media Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

    Alessandra’s feature screenplays, short scripts, and television pilots have garnered numerous awards. Her work often tackles diverse issues of social import and features characters that reflect the diversity of the American experience.

    Her screenplay SAVING SHENANDOAH, a drama about a teenage girl in foster care who goes to great lengths to protect her late foster mother’s young biological daughter, was among the top three winning screenplays in the New Hampshire Film Festival Screenplay Competition. A live reading of the script took place in Seattle in April 2017 in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival. 

    She has also taught screenwriting at The University of Texas at Austin, at The University of New Hampshire at Manchester, and through Baltimore Youth Film Arts. She believes in the power of language to connect communities.

  • 30 Jun 2021 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    WIFVNE is proud to announce the Winner and Runners Up to its 2021 Screenwriting Contest! The contest took place over this past spring, with scripts judged by three esteemed panelists - Jennifer Rapaport, Wendy Ewan and Denise Widman. 

    Screenplays were a response to the theme of "Survival" and all genders were encouraged to submit original work.

    Our First Prize Winner is THE FUNERAL by Erin Underwood, an editor, writer, and reviewer who specializes in science fiction and fantasy. Underwood will receive $150 and a one year WIFVNE individual membership. Additionally, she will receive a 20-minute consultation with Cheryl Eaan-Donovan. Eagan-Donovan is a former WIFVNE President, producer and screenwriting consultant, who will assess the project and provide strategies for discovering and developing unique, authentic voices for Underwood’s narrative script.


    Logline: After the loss of her mother, a young girl finds her way back from grief.


    Our First Runner Up is 15 YEARS LATER by Sally Muiruri, who will receive $50 and a one year WIFVNE Individual Membership!


    Logline: A young Kenyan girl moves to America and struggles to reconnect with her mother who left her behind in Kenya for 15 years ago.


    Our Second Runner Up is IMPEDIMENT by Alessandra Bautze, who will receive a one year WIFVNE Individual Membership.


    Logline: An eighteen-year-old homeless girl living in a community of squatters on the edge of society must make a decision about her future.  


    All three artists will participate in a Table Read of their Screenplays on July 26, 2021. Find out more about our winners via our WIFVNE BLOG and  stay tuned for upcoming details for the exciting event. CONGRATULATIONS to all!

  • 09 Jun 2021 10:23 AM | Anonymous


    DEADLINE July 30, 2021

    APPLY at

    The CinemaStreet Women’s Short Screenplay Competition invites women screenwriters to submit short dramatic scripts of any genre (20 minutes and under) to CinemaStreet Pictures for production consideration.

    The winning screen writer will receive a $1,000 prize for the option to produce the film. The first year’s winning screenplay, 6:18 to Omaha by Leah Curney, was produced in 2019/2020. Screenplays may be from anywhere in the world, but must be in English.

    The application fee is $30; $20 for Members of Women in Film Chapters, The Writers Lab current and former applicants, The Black List Members, International Screenwriters Association Members, Women Make Movies Filmmakers, IFP Members and The Rehearsal Club Members. Sponsored by CinemaStreet, Dana Offenbach, owner, and managed by Terry Lawler, former Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television.

    Apply at!

  • 26 May 2021 1:20 PM | Anonymous

    Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) Offers Online Workshops Led by Hollywood Producer and Agent Marilyn R. Atlas!

    Marilyn Atlas is a Hollywood talent agent, literary manager, and producer with a longstanding commitment to diversity and the portrayal of strong female protagonists. She’s the producer of the HBO Sundance winning film Real Women Have Curves (now in development as a Broadway show) and The Choking Game on Lifetime, among other films. Atlas has also produced several plays, and she’s currently developing multiple film and television projects.  Atlas is a sought-after speaker at writers’ conferences; she’s co-author of the  relationship-based, screenwriting guide, Dating Your Character (Stairway Press).

    Diane Pearlman, Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative executive director and WIFVNE Member, says she’s pleased to bring Marilyn back to lead these workshops:

    “Marilyn provides the inside-Hollywood perspective that gives writers, directors and producers a clear advantage in getting their projects onto the page and into production. We had tremendously positive feedback from her January classes, and we’re thrilled we can leverage her expertise to take members of our community to the next level.” 

    Check out three workshops coming up in June: 


    Course #1 

    What’s Hot in Hollywood: The Current State of the Film and Television Marketplace

    Thursday, June 3, 6:00–8:00 pm EDT

    Get familiar with what studios and producers are buying right now. In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn what type of projects are being "green lit" by film and television studios and how to get your project "seen." You’ll discover the most effective ways to reach out to managers and assistants at production companies, and you'll learn best practices to keep your script from sinking to the bottom of the pile.

    In this class you’ll explore crucial topics such as

    • The pros and cons of talent attachments 

    • Gaining access through IMDB Pro

    • What to do if you're not in LA or New York

    • The ins and outs of NDAs

    • The growing role of YouTube

    • How streaming companies have altered the landscape

    • The best ways to get representation

    • The importance of film contests

    Advance preparation:  To make the most of this workshop, write up questions on these topics ahead of time; they'll be forwarded to Marilyn in advance so she can address your questions during the course.

    Cost: $45; student price $30 (limited)



    Course #2

    Perfect Pitch: Creating a Powerful Treatment and Pitch Deck/Look Book

    Thursday, June 10, 6:00 – 8:00 pm EDT

    A treatment and a pitch deck (aka look book) are two critical tools you need to get potential buyers and talent interested in your project. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, you’ll learn what goes into a successful pitch deck and what elements should be included in your treatment. You’ll review and discuss examples of treatments provided by Marilyn, and you’ll learn the optimal way to present yourself as the best person for your project. This workshop includes the rare opportunity to sharpen your tools and presentation skills by actually pitching to a Hollywood pro. 

    Advance preparation:  Come to class with a logline (a two-sentence summary of your project) that you’ll use to pitch to Marilyn in the workshop.

    Class size is limited to 20 participants to ensure participants get a quality learning experience, including plenty of time for interaction and Q&A with Marilyn.

    Cost: $65; student price $45 (limited)



    Course #3

    Navigating Character Arcs: Hone Your Script by Deepening Your Character 

    Thursday, June 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (EDT)

    Knowing your character inside and out will give your script an authenticity that draws people in; it allows you to tailor plot points to your character’s emotional and spiritual progress. By delving into why your characters go about things the way they do, why they sometimes feel alone, why they don't have more support, and what’s stopping them, you’ll be, in effect, refining your theme. Focusing on your narrative POV (which includes your character’s POV) as you navigate the various emotions your character experiences is a powerful way to strengthen your script and make your mark as a storyteller.

    In this workshop you’ll gain insight on how to

    • Deepen your character’s arc.

    • Ensure you don’t just have conflict, but that you have meaningful conflict stemming from diverse POVs

    • Get into your character’s head and feel the pulse of a scene. 

    • Make a scene unfold and expand so it feels like a real-time, but still interesting, development.

    Advance preparation:  To participate fully in this workshop, please watch or rewatch the films Moonlight and Get Out, the pilot episodes of Breaking Bad and Fleabag, and the second season premiere of Fleabag. Be prepared to discuss how the characters develop and change.

    Class size is limited to 20 participants to ensure you get a quality learning experience, including plenty of time for interaction and Q&A with Marilyn.

    Cost: $65; student price $45 (limited)



     More INFO: Berkshire Film 

    The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) is a creative economic engine that supports production and workforce development in Western Massachusetts. BFMC develops educational and workforce enrichment courses, offers networking events for industry professionals, acts as a resource for visiting productions, creates jobs within our communities in the film industry and provides an online production guide and locations database as a resource for filmmakers. BFMC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For details:

  • 14 May 2021 2:34 PM | Anonymous

    A member of WIFVNE and Harvard Square Script Writers since 2015, Missy Cohen-Fyffe earned a Master Screenwriting Certification from ScreenwritingU in 2016. She is represented by Stephanie Rogers & Associates in Las Vegas, NV. Cohen-Fyffe also sits on the board of the ESSCO-MGH Breast Cancer Research Fund, a cancer charity her family established in 1993 shortly after her sister was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. To date, the fund has raised over $8 million; 100% of which has gone directly to MGH to fund novel and innovative breast cancer research at MGH in Boston. Cohen-Fyffe resides in New Hampshire with her husband.

    Meet WIFVNE Member Missy Cohen-Fyffe! 

    How did you get started in the industry and explain what you do currently? 
    I got started in the industry in a silly way. I had been running my own business, making and manufacturing baby products that I patented, but after a while what I really wanted to do was write movies. So, I wrote a script and said to myself, ‘Okay, if I place in a contest, I’ll get rid of my business and I’ll write movies.’ Definitely not the smartest business plan, but as luck would have it, I placed. It gave me the feeling (however fleeting) that I could write movies.

    Once I realized how little I knew about screenwriting, I decided to take some classes on the subject. I lucked out when I found ScreenwritingU. My coursework culminated in an 18-month Master Screenwriter Class. In order to finish the course and receive my Certification, I was required to pitch managers. It was unnerving, to say the least, but I was fortunate to be signed by a manager as a result.

    During the masterclass, I also took on two writing assignments. Even though they paid little, I earned writing credits. The writing credits gave me credibility and helped earn me representation.

    From there, I just kept writing scripts. I’ve since optioned four of them.

    What do you love about your job? 
    I love being in the zone. When the dialogue is flowing and the action is working, the hours fly by. I love that I can work anywhere at any time. And it’s a nice bonus that watching movies and TV is all part of the job. I also love reading scripts, specifically well-written scripts like those from the Black List. They’re such enjoyable reads; fast-paced and artfully crafted. Reading a good script is like watching a movie play out in my mind, and I love movies.

    You worked on BABYBULLDOG...
     This was one of my writing assignments. I came across a  posting by a producer on a screenwriting website. The  producer wasn’t planning to pay much, but also offered  an IMDB credit for the work. He wanted a writer for a  dog story, and I had previously written a talking-dog  story so I sent him the script. Soon after, he reached out  asking me to write his script for him. The turn-around  was three weeks, which would be a really tough  turnaround if you were starting from scratch, but he had  already provided a 3-page outline of what he wanted. He  liked what I wrote and asked if I would do another for  him. I did. I don’t think I ever got the final payment from him, but by the time those projects were going into production, I had signed with my manager and was in an entirely new ballgame. And, I did get the IMDB credits.

    Can you share any advice about how you got your work into competitions*? What does a solid first ten pages look like? 
    Getting into competitions is not difficult. Winning them is where it gets tough. You can go to Coverfly and search the competitions that match your genre. The earlier you submit, the cheaper the cost. If you’re new to screenwriting, select competitions that provide notes. Even if you aren’t new, getting notes is always a plus. As far as your first ten pages go, you have to create characters and a story that someone (producer, director, actor) can feel so passionate about that they’re willing to spend millions of dollars to produce it. The first ten pages are key because they set the tone for your story and showcase your writing capabilities. If by page ten no one knows what they are reading (who’s the protagonist, what’s their goal, etc.) then there’s going to be a problem with the rest of the script.

    What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like? 
    I’ve been fortunate to have a female manager, and a lot of female mentors that I look up to and follow. Meg LaFauve and Lorien McKenna are fabulous women and they also happen to be incredible screenwriters. I love their podcast, The Screenwriting Life. I also enjoy Pilar Alessandra’s podcast, On The Page. She interviews all sorts of feature and TV writers. For me, being a female writer has been a positive experience. When I first started, there weren’t a lot of female writers winning awards, but now I feel the industry sees what we bring to the table. As a female writer you are able to open doors that weren’t available to you before. You have a voice that is fresh and new, and now the industry is interested in hearing it. 

    Do you have a mentor? 
    I have to credit Hal Croasman, who is the head of ScreenwritingU. He has revolutionized the teaching of screenwriting. And when I look at a project now, I not only look at it from a creative perspective, but also from the perspective of what a producer needs; it’s a business decision I weigh with my creativity. I credit Hal for pushing me to continually move projects forward, and honing my craft.


    Photo:  Missy and other Feature Screenwriting Finalists on stage at the 2018 Broad Humor Film Festival

    Can you share what you are working on right now, and what your next steps are? 
    I just finished my latest rom-com which went to my manager last week. I’m also working on new projects to pitch to her. As far as next steps go, I’ll likely begin my next screenwriting project over the course of the month. I’m always hopeful that one of my script options will be greenlit. Until then, I keep working on concepts and writing. I am also in the early stages of producing an award-winning short script, Café Amor, written by my friend and fellow writer, Judi Mackenzie. We’re aiming for an October production. But writing is what I love. And I’m lucky to be able to do what I love.

    Why are you a member of WIFVNE? 
    WIFVNE has so much programming, and that’s what I love about them. I came across the organization because my acting friend, Amy Evans, thought I needed to get out of my tiny office-cave and network with fellow writers. She told me about an upcoming WIFVNE meeting, and I went. Someone was kind enough there to introduce me to Genine [Tillotson] from Harvard Square Script Writers, and we hit it off. I became a member of HSSW, too.

    *Given our 2021 screenwriting competition, can you tell us what writers should keep in mind when writing a ten page script? Any advice for writing powerful short form content? 
    Short form is a challenge because you don’t have ten pages to establish your story, you have to grab your reader before they hit the half-page mark. You need to establish your character, tone, and what the story is right off the bat! But the good thing about shorts is that, unlike features, your second act is literally four pages.

    This interview was conducted by WIFVNE member and volunteer Sophia Ciampaglia.  Sophia is an impending college graduate who is passionate about development, and pre-production. Currently she is interning with Circle of Confusion, and is eager to keep learning more about the script to screen process of filmmaking.






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