Saturday, July 10, 2010

Make Film Connections at These Great Free Panels at LIIFE!

Don't miss these great free panels at LIIFE - we bring the "connections" to you!

Saturday, July 10 - Noon - 1:30 pm Filmmakers Lounge - Free
Directors 'n' Actors (DnA) is a diverse group of directors working in film, television, and theater who meet weekly to explore the craft of directing actors. The directors focus on effective communication with actors, while using Judith Weston's "Directing Actors" as a guide.

On Saturday, July 10th at 12:00pm, members of DnA will present the group's round robin workshop model. Directors will trade off working with two actors on a scene from a produced movie. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

DnA workshops take place Monday nights in lower Manhattan. To learn more please visit

Sunday, July 11 - 12 noon - 1 pm - WOMEN IN CHARGE: Kicking Open The Doors To The Film Industry - free - Filmmakers Lounge
NYWIFT, CAVU Pictures & Long Island Film/ TV Foundation presents:

WOMEN IN CHARGE: Kicking Open The Doors To The Film Industry a panel discussion at The Long Island International Film Expo
Join us on Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 12 noon, at the 13th annual Long Island International Film Expo, as we hear leading women filmmakers, producers, executives and journalists discuss their experiences working in the business, the steps they took to get to where they are today, and offer their guidance and recommendations for emerging female filmmakers, and entertainment professionals. This panel will give insight on issues impacting women in film and television, and identify strategies on how to enter, take charge and excel in the business. THIS IS A FREE PANEL!
Sponsored by: New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), CAVU Pictures & Long Island Film/TV Foundation

Moderated by: Producer/ Distributor Isil Bagdadi, Co-Founder & President of Distribution at CAVU Pictures
About the Panelists:
GRACE BLAKE: renowned film producer of such ground breaking films as School Daze, and Associate Producer of Silence of the Lambs, and Production Supervisor of The Wiz. Ms. Blake is the past president and board member of New York Women In Film and Television and continues to serve in an advisory capacity at the organization and as a mentor to young people seeking careers in the film industry. She also served as the Executive Director of the Famed Apollo Theatre Foundation and produced several live performances (including A Harlem Tribute to Lionel Hampton), and hosted Tony Bennett when he gave his first solo concert performance on the Apollo stage. During her tenure she lead a restoration and revitalization campaign that raised more than $2 million to aid in the great work of the Apollo Theatre to promote the musical heritage of African-Americans. She has received a number of awards including the Leaders In Action Award for Business from the New Women In Leadership Symposium, Long Island’s 50 Top Women Award and most recently, the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from the Hollywood Baptist Cathedral, and the 2009 NAACP Freeport Roosevelt Award acknowledging her excellent service in the film industry and business during their 100 years celebration. She was also an honoree of the NYWIFT Muse Awards along with Lauren Bacall, Jane Pauley, Sally Field and Penny Marshall. Ms. Blake is the President Emeritus (2004-2008) of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Long Island Chapter Inc. She is currently managing the NCBW 100 LI scholarship program as Community Education Chair. Ms. Blake is also the President of Partners of the Americas, a government-to-government program launched by President Kennedy in 1962, partnering with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean building cultural awareness, respect and camaraderie.

ELIZABETH LUCAS: Filmmaker Elizabeth Lucas recently made her feature directing debut with three genre movies about New York City past, present and future: her indie rock musical drama, CLEAR BLUE TUESDAY (which is opening in theatres September 3rd), her slasher flick, RED HOOK (distributed by Phase Four Entertainment), and her sci-fi FADE TO WHITE. She’s also made three shorts, including the multi-award-winning ISABELLA RICO, which screened in 33 festivals worldwide, where she won Best Director and Special Achievement awards. Elizabeth is one of the founders of the New York Music Theatre Festival, for which she spearheaded the Movie Musical Screening Series. She has developed new musicals for the theatre at every stage, including several New York Musical Theatre Festival premieres: THE CURE, WILD ABOUT HARRY, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, THE VIEW FROM HERE and CAPTAIN GRAVY’S WAVY NAVY. Her Midwest premiere of HELLO AGAIN won two After Dark Awards and was recommended for a Jefferson Award. Her productions of FOOTLOOSE and JEKYLL & HYDE garnered rave reviews at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. She directs regionally and has directed countless readings and workshops. Favorite stage directing credits include NINE, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and RAPUNZEL. She has also assistant directed over 30 musicals, plays and operas with Tony-Winning director Walter Bobbie, international opera director Rhoda Levine, multi-award winning author, actor and director Simon Callow, Paper Mill Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Hoebee and many others. She has been a featured writer for SPUNK Magazine, GREAT LAKES STAGES and STAGE DIRECTIONS magazines. Elizabeth is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, NYWIFT, 2004 Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus, the 2004 Commercial Theatre Institute 14-Week Program, the League of American Theatres Producer Development Program and the 1998 Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.
ABBY PECK: Abby Peck is the Marketing Manager at WOMEN MAKE MOVIES (WMM), a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization, which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. WMM was founded more than 30 years ago to address the under-representation and misrepresentation of women in media, and has more than 500 films in its collection, representing more than 400 filmmakers from nearly 30 countries around the globe. Additionally, WMM's well-established Production Assistance (PA) Program helps American women directors get their stories to the screen. Projects that WMM has supported and distributed have won all of the most prestigious media awards including the Academy Award, Emmy Award and the Peabody Award, among others. WMM has also worked with dozens of local women's organizations in Asia, Latin America and in the Middle East to support new International Women's Film Festivals. Prior to joining WMM, Ms. Peck was the Events Manager for Jewish Funds for Justice, a progressive social justice organization. She also served as the Events, PR and Communications Manager for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the oldest and largest LGBTQ youth agency in the nation. She received her BA in English from Kenyon College, and an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of London, Birkbeck College.
MELISSA SILVERSTEIN: Melissa Silverstein is a writer, blogger and marketing consultant. She is an expert in the area of social media regarding women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women & Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. She has been featured on CNN as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and many other publications. In 2010, Melissa was named one of 10 film critics to follow on twitter by Flavorwire. In 2008, it was named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch,” and in 2009, it was named “Best Hollywood blog” Over the last several years, Melissa has created social media marketing campaigns and events for a variety of films including:Dancing Across Borders, Bright Star, The Boys are Back, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, Cheri, Sunshine Cleaning, Last Chance Harvey, Revolutionary Road, Hounddog, The Duchess, A Previous Engagement, Then She Found Me, The Business of Being Born, Becoming Jane, Bend it Like Beckham, and The Hours. She has also worked on several high profile public education campaigns including Take Our Daughters to Work Day and the Pro Choice Public Education Project. She was the founding project director for The White House Project and prior to that was the chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for Women. She is on the advisory boards of the Women’s Media Center and Women, Action & Media (WAM!) and is a member of NYWIFT. Melissa is currently producing and creating the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in NYC, which will celebrate women’s leadership and will launch in February 2011. She is also expanding the work of her blog into a full-length book on Women & Hollywood.

About the Moderator:
ISIL BAGDADI: Isil Bagdadi has worked in the film industry as a producer, publicist, marketing and distribution executive. In 2001, Isil and her business partner Michael Sergio started CAVU Pictures in order to finance, develop, produce, acquire and distribute cutting-edge, critically acclaimed and award-winning independent films. CAVU Pictures specializes in theatrical releases and service deals for filmmakers, and recently launched a PR & Consulting division, CAVU PR, to help DIY filmmakers with release publicity and assist them as they navigate thru the maze of self-distribution options. Some of the films CAVU has produced and/or released over the years include the indie gem TAKE OUT (which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award), the environmental documentary THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN (winner of over 40 film festivals, including the Reel Current Al Gore Award), the controversial Israeli coming-of-age love story THE HOLY LAND (Slamdance film festival winner, Independent Spirit award nominee), the doo-wop heist comedy THE DUKES (starring Chazz Palminteri, Peter Bogdanovich & Robert Davi), the Canadian cult comedy TRAILER PARK BOYS:THE MOVIE (produced by legendary Hollywood producer Ivan Reitman), and UNDER HELLGATE BRIDGE (Winner of the first Regal Cinemas Dreammaker Award, Prism Award nominee), which was Isil’s first film as a producer, and starred Sopranos regulars Frank Vincent, Dominic Chianese & Vincent Pastore. Ms. Bagdadi oversees all of CAVU’s acquisitions and theatrical releases. She also consults and does PR for the QUAD Cinema in NY, where she recently helped launch the QUAD Cinema Four-Wall Select program. She is currently doing publicity and consulting on the theatrical campaign for the indie rock musical drama CLEAR BLUE TUESDAY, which is set to open in theatres on September 3rd. Isil frequently serves as a panelist, moderator, mentor and juror at film festivals, and has taught film producing classes at the Digital Film Academy, and lectured at the CUNY Graduate Center. Isil has a graduate degree in Film from the New York Institute of Technology and her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from St. John's University. She is a long-standing member of NYWIFT, and IFP, and serves on the Committee for the Future at the New York Women’s Foundation. She is also an Honorary Board Member & Advisor at the Long Island Film/ TV Foundation.

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