Four laughing women clink their beer bottles for a toast at a reception following a film screening.

Member Events

Thoughtful conversations with experts in building entertainment careers and exclusive screenings with high-profile filmmakers.

In-person events are postponed until further notice. While adjusting to distanced programming during the current pandemic, we have been excited to offer virtual panels, workshops, and community-building events to connect WIF members with our staff and Board, as well as experts in career building and wellbeing.

In addition to skill-building offerings that have given members tools to advance their careers during this challenging time for creativity and production, we have nimbly responded to our members’ feedback to address their personal and emotional needs as well. COVID-19 support groups, sessions with a clinical psychologist, and a regularly-held Black member forum have offered support to those who have needed it. We are working to continue adapting these resources as the environment continues to evolve.

The Screening Series, which has been held at the AMC Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, is supported by AMC Theatres.

Upcoming Events

Black Member Forum: BESLA Legal Seminar

Black members of WIF are invited to join the Black Member Forum (BMF) for a BESLA Legal Seminar with executives from Amazon Studios, Frankfurt Kumin Klein & Selz PC, and Pryor Cashman LLP. Come join the discussion with these experts as they discuss the legal perspective and challenges of being a Black woman in the business. Moderated by Lawrence Hinkle, COO and General Counsel, UrbanflixTV, Inc.

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. PDT

This gathering is specifically for Black members and is open to all Black members of WIF at any membership level. For ideas on how to contribute as a white & non-black ally, subscribe to our newsletter.

Black Member Support Space

Join us for the Black Member Support Space, an 8-week, virtual peer support group starting this fall. This is an online support space for Black women and nonbinary folks in the industry to have a comfortable and safe place to explore and discuss challenges, concerns, and issues, including but not limited to: their experiences of racism, sexism, and other systemic biases in the screen industries. Participants will also be given space to explore how they have internalized and been impacted by these biases, as well as strategies to manage emotional and/or physical symptoms of stress. This space will be co-facilitated by Ashley Merriman, MSW, WIF Help Line Advocate & anti-racist social worker, and Dr. Mary Jayne Sims, PhD, psychologist and consultant. To register and find out more information, email Ashley at amerriman@wif.org.

If you are a Black woman or person of a marginalized gender who works in the screen industries, but is not yet a member of WIF, you may still participate in the Support Space. Please contact Manager of Public Programs Ebony Adams at eadams@wif.org to find out about joining the waitlist.

Past Event Highlights

"Owning Your Power; Taking Charge of Your Career"

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

"Owning Your Power; Taking Charge of Your Career"

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

September 17, 2020

Looking to have a lot more say in the way things are handled in your entertainment career? Tired of handing decisions over to your agent, manager, producer, or collaborator? Feeling intimidated about money and talking a deal? This interactive workshop will give you the agent’s/career coach’s take on how to reclaim the decisions in your career. Learn the most effective ways to build your confidence, communicate with conviction, and ask for what you want. Gain the skills to negotiate in a way that minimizes the fears and maximizes the results. Hear the insider’s tips on how to network in a way that sets you apart and creates the most memorable connections. You will hear the best ways to collaborate with ease, claim your authentic voice and honor your creativity. This workshop is all about claiming your power, leveraging your strengths, and being fully expressed.

Black Member Forum

Get It! Write—A Conversation with Jess Carson

Black Member Forum

Get It! Write—A Conversation with Jess Carson

September 14, 2020

Black members of WIF are invited to join the Black Member Forum (BMF) and the BMF Writers Group for a fascinating conversation with writer/director Jess Carson. Come join the discussion as Carson talks about her work, shares her perspective on the challenges of being a Black woman in the business, and offers insights for success. Please note that this gathering is specifically for Black members of WIF.

Black Member Forum

Get It! Write—A Conversation with Thembi Banks

Black Member Forum

Get It! Write—A Conversation with Thembi Banks

August 17, 2020

Black members of WIF are invited to join the Black Member Forum (BMF) and the BMF Writers Group for a fascinating conversation with screenwriter Thembi Banks. Come join the discussion as Banks talks about her work, shares her perspective on the challenges of being a Black woman in the business, and offers insights for success.

Black Member Forum

Mind, Body, Soul—Racism & Stress

Black Member Forum

Mind, Body, Soul—Racism & Stress

July 30, 2020

Join clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Jayne Sims in a workshop for Black women in entertainment that explores the impact of race-based traumatic stress. During this time, with a lot of visibility around violence against Black individuals and communities, many of us feel anxious, exhausted, sad, and angry. This can have severe impacts on our bodies, our mental health, our relationships, and our work. This workshop will provide culturally relevant strategies and resources to help black members heal in community with each other. Please note that this gathering is specifically for Black members.

Black Member Forum

Black Member Forum

July 21, 2020

WIF is convening the Black Member Forum to center our Black members and give them space to continue to build community with each other. This is an opportunity to share current projects and resources, voice concerns, offer feedback and community happenings, and help shape this organization moving forward. This gathering is open to all Black members of WIF at any membership level.

Creating the Ideal Entertainment Career

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

Creating the Ideal Entertainment Career

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

July 9, 2020

With everything changing around you, what better way to take control than to design your ideal career that speaks your true career purpose and the impact you want to have in this world. Join repeat facilitator and Career Coach/ Talent Agent Consultant Jim Arnoff in an interactive workshop where you will strategize together how you will make that dream entertainment career become your new reality.  Break through blocks that have been holding you back, maximize your options and clearly see the career that truly embraces your passions.

 

Jim Arnoff is a Certified Career/Life/Business Coach to the entertainment industry, small business owners, veterans in film and television, women in finance, and NYU alumni. Jim is certified by the International Coach Federation and founded the Gay Coaches Collective, which provides pro bono coaching to the LGBT community. Jim draws from his experience as a talent agent to provide consulting services to creatives in the entertainment industry in developing their television series/feature films as well as guiding producers in starting their own production companies. He practices entertainment law in television, film, and digital. Jim worked at the William Morris Agency as both an in-house lawyer and television packaging agent. He leads workshops for Veterans in Media and Entertainment/East and West, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Women In Film, the U.S. Military Academy, Writers Guild of America/East and West, the Actors Fund/East and West, New York Women in Film & Television, NYU Tisch School of the Arts/Arts & Entertainment Alumni Network, Hollywood Women’s Collective, The Filmshop/East and West, Hollywood Radio and Television Society, Ladies of Comedy Association, Children’s Media Association, Women’s Network at NBCUniversal, and the Motion Picture Institute. Jim is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts (“Pitching Your Television Series to the Industry Pros”) and guest speaks at NYU and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He is a member of the New York State, New York City, and LGBT Bar Associations.

Get Crewvie

Interactive Workshop

Get Crewvie

Interactive Workshop

June 26, 2020

WIF is announcing its partnership with Crewvie, an online solution for producers to find and promote local crew and production support world wide. We are so excited to invite members to this interactive workshop lead by the Crewvie team to introduce the platform and build your profile with you. Open your browser to follow along! Learn more about Crewvie before joining.

 

Colleagues and friends Marcei Brown and Jeanette Volturno devised a plan to create a much needed, robust database designed for entertainment industry professionals, to assemble and share their top-tier location crews for movies, television, commercials and digital programming.

Marcei has served as an Assistant Director, Line Producer and Unit Production Manager (DGA) on films ranging from “Get Out,” to “BlacKkKlansman,” to “Benji.” Jeanette’s expertise includes accounting, VFX and production (PGA). She is currently a co-founder of Catchlight Studios and formerly Head of Production for Blumhouse Productions where she has worked on more than 60 feature films including Academy Award-winning movies “Whiplash” and “Get Out.” They also collaborate together in their other company CatchLight Films.

Marcei and Jeanette turned to web engineering veterans, Camille Alcasid and Sandra Jimenez of Westside Websites, to bring their vision to full fruition. Camille and Sandra listened carefully to Marcei’s and Jeanette’s goals and studied the industry’s pain points in film production from the perspective of Line Producers. The solution is Crewvie.com, a proprietary technology powerhouse, custom-developed with the latest web and distributed search engine technologies.

Crewvie.com is a much-needed resource that not only ensures a successful and efficient on-location working environment, but one that adheres to Marcei’s and Jeanette’s commitment to “Pay it Forward.”

Power Pitching & Networking

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

Power Pitching & Networking

Career Coach Jim Arnoff

May 29, 2020

This interactive workshop will give you the career coach/talent agent’s secrets to networking and pitching with results. Learn the tools to make the strongest connection quickly, create the most memorable interaction, and how to follow up effectively. Gain insights on how to lose your shyness, insecurities, and uncertainty around networking. Build your own brand of networking that will set you apart, embrace  your personality, and make networking effortless. You’ll learn what it really takes to make a powerful pitch of your services and film/television projects. What are the pitfalls to avoid at all costs? How can you master the art of pitching with your own style and personality? Hear tips on how to prepare, how to read the person you’re pitching to, how to pitch as a team, how to engage, and how to anticipate every question. If you’ve ever wondered what it really takes to network for powerful connections and gain the confidence to pitch with results, this workshop is for you.

 

Jim Arnoff is a Certified Career/Life/Business Coach to the entertainment industry, small business owners, veterans in film and television, women in finance, and NYU alumni. Jim is certified by the International Coach Federation and founded the Gay Coaches Collective, which provides pro bono coaching to the LGBT community. Jim draws from his experience as a talent agent to provide consulting services to creatives in the entertainment industry in developing their television series/feature films as well as guiding producers in starting their own production companies. He practices entertainment law in television, film, and digital. Jim worked at the William Morris Agency as both an in-house lawyer and television packaging agent. He leads workshops for Veterans in Media and Entertainment/East and West, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Women In Film, the U.S. Military Academy, Writers Guild of America/East and West, the Actors Fund/East and West, New York Women in Film & Television, NYU Tisch School of the Arts/Arts & Entertainment Alumni Network, Hollywood Women’s Collective, The Filmshop/East and West, Hollywood Radio and Television Society, Ladies of Comedy Association, Children’s Media Association, Women’s Network at NBCUniversal, and the Motion Picture Institute. Jim is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts (“Pitching Your Television Series to the Industry Pros”) and guest speaks at NYU and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He is a member of the New York State, New York City, and LGBT Bar Associations.

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

CAA's Talitha Watkins

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

CAA's Talitha Watkins

May 15, 2020

Our special guest is Talitha Watkins, WIF Board member and an executive and motion picture agent at Creative Artists Agency focused on expanding opportunities for diverse talent.

 

Talitha Watkins is an executive and motion picture agent at Creative Artists Agency focused on expanding opportunities for diverse talent. She served as VP of Multicultural Marketing at Universal Pictures with a concentration on the African-American marketplace. With 75 films under her belt, she played an integral part in developing BEST MAN HOLIDAY and launching multicultural blockbusters FAST & FURIOUS 6, FURIOUS 7, and the record-breaking musical biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

Formerly the Assistant General Manager for the digital suite of women’s brands at Telepictures Productions, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Television. She served in a multicultural development role creating strategies for the online presence of the premiere African-American women’s magazine – Essence.com. She also managed operations, sales, and audience development for Ellentv.com, Tyrashow.com, Extratv.com, and Momlogic.com.

Talitha was born in Jamaica; she grew up on the East Coast and spent the last decade-plus in Southern California. She began her career in cable television working in Affiliate Sales at A&E Television Networks in New York. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she spent time working for an agency representing well-known composers James Horner, Hans Zimmer, Terrence Blanchard, and many more.

Following that she worked in marketing and digital media capacities at notable cable networks. This cross-section of experiences has provided her valuable insight into the nuances of culture, content, and audiences.

Watkins holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her daughter Selah.

The Creative Process in Times of Chaos

Dr. Megan Auster-Rosen, PsyD

The Creative Process in Times of Chaos

Dr. Megan Auster-Rosen, PsyD

May 14, 2020

Join clinical psychologist, writer, and performer Dr. Megan Auster-Rosen for her workshop, “The Creative Process in Times of Chaos.” In this workshop, Megan will expand on her discussion of grief, trauma, and self care, leaving you with specific tools that you can use to engage with your creative practice during this difficult time.

 

Megan Auster-Rosen, PsyD, is a writer, performer and clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and grief. Her predoctoral training was at Bellevue Hospital Center where she worked at the Program for Survivors of Torture as well as in the psychiatric emergency room, and her postdoctoral training was with trauma and psychosis at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. In addition to being a psychologist she holds a Masters degree in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has written, directed and co-produced multiple theater projects with international refugee populations. She performs as a storyteller in both Los Angeles and New York and uses storytelling as a fundamental element to her work as a psychotherapist. She currently co-runs the mental health program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and she has a private practice in downtown, Los Angeles.

Feeling Overwhelmed and Underwhelmed

A Workshop on Grief

Feeling Overwhelmed and Underwhelmed

A Workshop on Grief

May 13, 2020

Are you having difficulty focusing, feeling a lack of motivation, and/or guilt around not accomplishing “enough”? You’re not alone. Many of us are experiencing despair and anxiety over COVID-19 including being furloughed, laid off or just feeling stress about the future. Although it may sound surprising, what you’re experiencing is grief and these genuine feelings of loss are completely normal. A deeper understanding of non-death related grief may help you navigate the challenges you’re facing or at least relieve some of the anxiety. In this intimate 90 minute workshop we will take a look at any sadness and anxiety that you may be currently experiencing and learn some new processing tools. All to help give ourselves access and permission to feel joy! Due to the experiential nature of the workshop, enrollment is capped at 20 people. Please bring a journal or have writing tools available — there will be a short writing exercise.

Laverne is a film and television producer with more than 20 years of successful programming experience in premium cable, broadcast and digital platforms. She is the Executive Producer of the Netflix series GIRLBOSS, and co-founder of K&L Productions, a film & television company created with Kay Cannon (writer of the PITCH PERFECT franchise and director of BLOCKERS).

 

For a significant part of her career, Laverne was a successful programming executive with stints as Senior Vice-President of Drama Development at CBS, and as Executive Vice-President of Original Programming & Development at EPIX. She was also Head of Television at Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver and Delilah. Her work has encompassed scripted comedy and drama series, documentaries, web series, animation, music events, comedy specials, and children’s programs. K&L Productions has a first look production deal at Sony Television with multiple projects sold including Amazon, Quibi, NBC, ABC, CBS, FBC and TBS. Laverne and Kay are passionate about championing underdog and underserved stories. Additionally, Laverne is a leadership and personal coach, certified grief counselor, and an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s MS Leadership for Creative Enterprises program and Cal State Fullerton’s MFA Screenwriting program. She has coached a wide variety of clients including tech and entertainment executives as well as writers, producers, directors, actors, people from the military, non-profit and small business.

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Fiduciary Stasia Washington

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Fiduciary Stasia Washington

May 8, 2020

Our special guest is Stasia Washington, WIF Board member and long-time fiduciary who will be answering members’ top questions about all things finance.

 

Stasia Washington is a financial advisor and fiduciary assisting individuals and families to achieve their goals and objectives. She also helps family foundations and public charities to realize their long-term financial objectives through strategic planning, cash, and investment management. Ms. Washington has extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of investment management, trust services, loans, deposits, and philanthropic services.

Keeping Your Story Alive

Financial Support for COVID-19 Setbacks

Keeping Your Story Alive

Financial Support for COVID-19 Setbacks

April 30, 2020

Join WIF and executives from speciality entertainment financing company The Forest Road Company for an incisive and and empowering conversation about the options available for filmmakers whose productions have been halted due to COVID-19 related setbacks. Our experts will be taking your questions and providing practical advice for navigating the current uncertainty in our media landscape. This will be a vital discussion you can’t afford to miss!

 

Zachary Tarica, CEO
Zach manages the company’s loan book, builds our project pipeline, and invests in various ancillary services and tax credits/rebates. Prior to founding Forest Road, Zach was an Energy Sector Head in the Private Equity Group at Brookfield Asset Management, and spent the last 8 years analyzing public and private market distressed credit securities.

John Bails, Director
John is responsible for analyzing Forest Road’s tax credit activities and projects across film, real estate and renewable energy. John has been an executive at an affiliated group of incentive consulting and finance companies, overseeing the acquisition or financing of more than $300M in tax credits for the entertainment and real estate development industries.

The Forest Road Company
Forest Road is an investor in the independent film space, and an ally for members of the entertainment industry. As a specialty lender and services company, we provide economical solutions through soft-money financing, putting cost-effective capital in the hands of innovators. With over $300M in capital ready to deploy against tax credits and various forms of senior debt – including presales, gap, minimum guarantees, backstops, and studio/streamer license agreements – we are constantly finding creative solutions to support projects in need, and bring unique stories to life. To date, FRC has used its capital to provide financing for over 60 films. For more information, please visit: www.forestroadco.com.

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Showtime's Helen Huang

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Showtime's Helen Huang

April 24, 2020

Our special guest is Helen Huang, WIF Board member and Senior Director of Content Acquisitions at Showtime Networks.

 

Helen Huang has negotiated and/or managed in business deals to procure thousands of hours of cutting-edge stand-up comedy specials, award-winning documentaries, and feature films for Showtime Networks. In 2011, Huang was recognized by the State of California for her volunteer leadership, and in 2016, she was a Nominated Changemaker at the United State of Women—the inaugural women’s summit convened by The White House during President Barack Obama’s tenure—and a participant of the U.S. Department of Labor’s second Worker Voice Summit. Huang has served as an Advisor to the LA Film Festival, on the Nominating Committee of the NAACP Image Awards, on the Board of Advisors of the Middleburg Film Festival, and on the Seattle International Film Festival Official Competition Jury. She is the first film acquisitions executive of Asian descent in U.S. television network history.

Finding (and Keeping) Your Financial Footing

Executive Member Workshop

Finding (and Keeping) Your Financial Footing

Executive Member Workshop

April 21, 2020

WIF executive members and above are invited to a workshop with financial experts Heather Quinn & Barbara Bernstein (Northwestern Mutual) for an illuminating discussion about the current market, the CARES Act, and more.

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Echo Lake's Lauren Williams

Happy Hour Hang with WIF Board Member

Echo Lake's Lauren Williams

April 17, 2020

Our special guest is Lauren Williams, WIF Board member and talent manager/producer at Echo Lake Entertainment.

 

Lauren Williams is a talent manager and producer at Echo Lake Entertainment who represents clients such as Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Deadly Class), Italia Ricci (Designated Survivor, Chasing Life), Samantha Isler (Captain Fantastic, Molly’s Game), Daisy Betts (Last Resort), Annika Noelle (The Bold and the Beautiful), and Dan Liu (The Walking Dead). She began her entertainment career in 2008 working for Sean Friedin in the TV Literary department at ICM Partners. In 2010, she was promoted to agent in their Talent department. She transitioned from ICM Partners to Echo Lake Entertainment in 2018, and now collaborates with her clients on their producorial pursuits as well as their talent careers. Lauren graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara with B.A. in Directing for the Theatre and a minor in Women’s Studies. Lauren is also an avid animal lover and a board member of Much Love Animal Rescue.

'Should I Be Worried?'

Navigating California's AB 5 Law as an Entertainment Industry Independent Contractor

'Should I Be Worried?'

Navigating California's AB 5 Law as an Entertainment Industry Independent Contractor

March 31, 2020

Join WIF and expert Julia Damasco for a vital discussion about California’s new AB 5 law. Wondering how your future prospects and earnings will be affected by your status as an independent contractor? Curious about how production companies will manage the shift in classification for their cast and crew?

Come join the conversation and learn what AB 5 says; whom it affects; and what steps you should take to manage your career in the wake of its implementation across the industry.