Speaker Series

The Women In Film Speaker Series features filmmakers and industry leaders across many areas of entertainment who share valuable professional insights into the art and craft of film, television, and media-making. Past events have included experts in production, entertainment law, pitching, digital funding and crowdsourcing, screenwriting, and many more. Speaker Series events also always provide Members and guests time to network and learn more about who’s in the room. The Speakers Series is generally held monthly on the last Monday of the month. It is co-sponsored by the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board. Please visit our calendar or sign up for our newsletter to find out about the next event!


Next Event: Insight To Navigating Your Projects For Success

As part of the Women In Film Speaker Series, the Women In Film International Committee presents “PR and Marketing: Insight To Navigating Your Projects For Success”

Join us in a panel discussion outlining tips and strategies for independent filmmakers to effectively work with publicists, international sales agents and distributors on gaining press, visibility and traction around the film festivals, markets (AFM, Berlin, Cannes) and social media. Tonight’s panelists will address how to work with your own PR, your sales agent PR; customary marketing materials needed for a film festival, sales agent/distributor and your own publicist; and an explanation of the different possible scenarios when a film is marketed to US vs International territories.


ANDREA CHUNG, Independent Film Producer and Film Executive

MICHELLE CZERNIN von CHUDENITZ MORIZN, Founding Partner, Popular Press Media Group (PPMG)

PAMELA RODI – Creative Director, Rodi Marketing & Strategic Marketing Consultant

LISE ROMANOFF, Managing Director / CEO of Vision Films, Inc


LEAH GORDON, International Sales & Marketing Consultant



ANDREA CHUNG, Independent Film Producer and Film Executive

Chung is an independent producer at Bowery Hills Entertainment. Her first picture was “Passion Play,” starring Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray which premiered at 2010 TIFF. Recently she produced alongside Wes Craven in his last picture “The Girl in the Photographs” starring Kal Penn which premiered at 2015 TIFF, IFC’s “The Damned,” “Crossing Bhutan” a documentary narrated by Imogen Heap and PBS TV special “Soar.” Releasing in the fall Fall is New York Times Critics Pick, LA Film Fest & Sundance hit: “Seoul Searching” worldwide on Netflix. Her bi-racial dance romance “Heartbeats” directed by Duane Adler (creator of the “Step Up” franchise) began its international summer rollout in July. Up next is Peter Webber’s “The Medusa” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Mlynowski’s rom-com adaptation “Me vs. Me.”

Thru Smilegate, a S. Korean gaming company, Chung is developing the film adaptation of the most played game in the world “Crossfire” with Original Film. Chung is also the co-founder of Carvel Rock Pictures in the BVI and talent management firm Lavin Entertainment. In 2014 she co-founded Al-Ghanim Entertainment, the first Kuwaiti production company in Los Angeles.


MICHELLE CZERNIN von CHUDENITZ MORIZN, Founding Partner, Popular Press Media Group (PPMG)
Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz is an award winning producer and the CEO/Founding Partner of Popular Press Media Group. PPMG represents companies, countries, and high profile celebrities. We craft strategic public relations and publicity campaigns, consistently visible in both leading and pop culture media, domestically and internationally. (CNN, BBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, CBC, AP, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Times, The Hill, Yomiuri Shimbun, The Guardian, Chinese Times, TMZ, Daily Mail). PPMG works to nurture innovative synergies that combine entertainment, media, and the diplomatic community.


PAMELA RODI, Creative Director, Rodi Marketing & Strategic Marketing Consultant
Pamela Rodi is an award-winning entertainment creative and branding professional. An 11-year veteran of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Rodi was Senior Creative Director and Vice-President Worldwide Theatrical Marketing for the Columbia and TriStar labels, where she helped launch the careers of Bryan Singer, Antoine Fuqua and Rob Minkoff. As Executive Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for producer Myriad Pictures, Rodi orchestrated world premieres at the Cannes, Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals, including JC Chandor’s debut film, Margin Call. Recently Rodi returned to Sony as International Strategic Marketing Consultant. Recent projects include Resident Evil 6, Arrival, Don’t Breathe, Brigsby Bear and Baby Driver. Rodi is an Entertainment Marketing instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and a former Board member for Women In Film. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


LISE ROMANOFF, Managing Director / CEO of Vision Films, Inc
Lise Romanoff, Managing Director / CEO of Vision Films, Inc. has been in the Television and Feature Film Production and Distribution business for more than 25 years. In 1997, she founded Vision Films, a Worldwide Distribution Company. Today, Vision Films has a library of over 800 independent Feature Films, TV Movies, Documentaries and Music Specials.

Lise currently holds the post of Vice Chairperson/ Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), is an active member of their Legal Committee. She plays an active role in combatting piracy, and is an advocate for filmmaker’s rights regarding copyright laws and international trade agreements. She is also a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In 2013, Vision Films announced their expansion into Domestic Distribution. Their DVD label is with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Vision is a direct Video On Demand Aggregator. Their domestic partners include iNDemand, Vubiquity, Dish, Direct TV, Amazon, iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Vudu, Vimeo, Google Play, Netflix, Hulu and more! In Canada, Vision is direct with Shaw, Rogers, Bell and Telus, and has expansion plans to become a global player in 2018, releasing films across all of the worldwide VOD platforms.



LEAH GORDON, International Sales & Marketing Consultant
Leah Gordon has been active in the television and film industries for 25 years, working with major studios, distributors, networks, production and technology companies around the world.

Currently, Leah is a sales, strategy and business development consultant for industry media, markets & festivals, including the International Television Academy of Arts & Sciences/ International Emmy® Magazine, ContentAsia Publications, the ContentAsia Summit and the AFM.

Previously, Leah worked on-staff for TV and film publications including Multichannel News International, Television International, Television Europe, Television Latin America, Television Europe and Television Asia, as well as the Asia TV Awards. She managed regional operations for the Asia TV Forum/Asia Film Market, and she consulted for China Media Management and the Shanghai TV Festival.

Her earlier background includes strategic research development and management, ad agency account management, broadcast sales, and film production – working on the Peabody Award-winning Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream and American Playhouse’s The Revolt of Mother.

Leah received her BA in Communications from the University of Massachusetts. She regularly attends key markets, festivals and conferences around the world, is an active member of WIF and is proud to serve as Advisory Chair of the Women in Film International Committee (WIFI).


Monday, July 24, 2017
7:00 doors open for networking
7:30 panel begins
City Council Chambers
(located on ground level)
West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente
West Hollywood, CA 90069

WIF Members – FREE
(WIF Members, Be sure to log in for your free ticket)
Non Members – $10
Validated parking available in the five story parking structure (left side of driveway) at 625 N. San Vicente.

Click Here For Tickets

This event is co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood, WeHo Arts, and
the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board



2017 Speaker Series

January – Women In Film Shorts Night: SECRETS & DISCOVERIES

COME AWAY WITH ME (Ellen Gerstein)
CRUSH (Rosie Westhoff)
EVERYBODY DOES IT (Megan Brotherton)
NODAL (Linda Dahlem)
TATTOO YOU (Lisa Kenner Grissom)
THE GIRLS I KNOW… GET THEIR HANDS DIRTY (Lauren Ciaravalli & Victoria Vaughn)
WASTE (Justine Raczkiewicz)

February – Navigating the Landscape in the New Golden Age of Television
Stephanie Allain, Executive Producer, “Dear White People,” “Crushed”; Women In Film BOD
Davah Avena, Writer/Producer “East Los Angeles,” “Devious Maids,” and “Daytime Divas”
Amy Israel, SVP Original Programming, Showtime Networks
Nancy Schreiber, Prolific, award-winning cinematographer
Moderated by Kirsten Schaffer, Women In Film Executive Director

March – Tales from the Trenches
Joan Harrison, Head of Scripted Development, Asylum
Iris Grossman, Talent Manager, Echo Park Entertainment
Ilene Kahn Power, Former Vice President of HBO Films
Moderated by Lucy Webb, Producer, Writer, Actress & Comedian

April – Special “I Love Dick” Screening and Panel
Jill Soloway, Creator of “I Love Dick”
Sarah Gubbins, Creator of “I Love Dick”
Kevin Bacon, Star of “I Love Dick”
Moderated by Kirsten Schaffer, Women In Film Executive Director

May – Building a Truly Inclusive Media Culture
Tchaiko Omawale (Writer/Director/Producer, SOLACE)
Gina Reyes (Story House Entertainment)
Negin Salmasi (Writer/Director/Producer)
Roya Rastegar (LA Film Festival, Director of Programming)

June – 2017 Mini Upfronts Recap Screening

Pecado Original – Jean Lee
No Light and No Land Anywhere – Amber Sealey
Crowns – Halee Bernard
Pathways – Florencia Krochik
5th Passenger – Morgan Lariah
#iAmThatBoy – Lagueria Davis
Or Die Trying – Chelsea London Lloyd
Kimi Hanna Fashionista Ninja – Ren Hanami
California’s Forgotten Children – Melody C. Miller
Mixed – Aris Mendoza
On the Market – Cameran Surles
Dark Arts – Bao Xiong
Shiner – Gabriela Gonzalez
Surviving Me: The Nine Circles of Sophie – Leah Yananton
The Do-Over – Jennifer Mangan
Somebody’s Mother – Mandy Fabian
Battery Park – Annunziata Gianzero
2 Self Help Books Away From Being Perfect – Kimberly Young
A Whole New Irving – Alexandra Komisaruk
Proud of Me – Adrianne Richards and Mandy Fabien
Everything but a Man – Nnegest Likké
Stretched – Zoe Quist


2016 Speaker Series

January – Navigating the Landscape in the New Golden Age of Television


“The Haircut,” directed by Alexis Korycinski
“Kimi Kabuki,” directed by Yoko Okumura
“Muted,” directed by Rachel Goldberg
“Stealth,” written by Melissa Hoppe and directed by Bennett Lasseter
“Wayward,” directed by Kira Richards Hansen and produced by Pelle Folmer

Curated by Morgan Green and Ashley Chrisman

February – The Directors’ Panel 
Lake Bell (In a World, Children’s Hospital)
Nisha Ganatra (Transparent, Chutney Popcorn)
Jennifer Phang (Advantageous) 
Moderated by Effie T. Brown (Dear White People, Real Women Have Curves) 

March – Music in Television 
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Music at Nickelodeon, Kids & Family
Frankie Pine, Music Supervisor (Army Wives, Magic Mike, The Newsroom)
Alicen Schneider, SVP NBCUniversal Television Music Division
Moderated by Thomas Golubić, Music Supervisor (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under)

April – Good Rep 
Tara Kole (Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown)
Jennifer Levine (Untitled Entertainment)
Chelsea Radler (CAA)
Dana Sims (ICM)
Jonathan Howard ( Thor, The Dark World)
Moderated by renowned entertainment attorney, Nina Shaw (Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano)

May – Diversity In Practice  
Grace Borrero Moss (Manager of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives, NBC Entertainment)
Brett King (Vice President, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion for Sony Pictures)
Gina Reyes (Director, Creative, Fox Audience Strategy)
Heather Washington (Manager, Emerging Writers Program, NBCUniversal).
Moderated by Ellen Huang, Director, EEO & Diversity at SAG AFTRA

June- No Speaker Series 

July – New Trends in Distribution
Sumyi Antonson (VP of Marketing & Distribution, Drafthouse Films)
Danielle DiGiacomo (VP of Acquisitions,The Orchard)
Sean Flanagan (Marketing and Sales Manager, Quiver)
Grace Royer (Independent Film Group, UTA)
Laura Lewis (Film Finance Agent, CAA)

August – Perfect Pitch
STEPHANIE ALLAIN – Producer, Homegrown Pictures; Director, LA Film Festival
NAKETHA MATTOCKS – VP Original Movies, Disney Channels Worldwide
TANYA LOPEZ – Senior Vice President, Original Movies, Lifetime

September – VR Pioneers
ALETHEA AVRAMIS, Producer – Specular Theory
NANCY BENNETT, Chief Creative Officer and General Manager of Virtual Reality – Two Bit Circus
KIMBERLY COOPER, Founder & CEO – Prologue Immersive
CATHERINE DAY, Head of Unscripted – Jaunt
EVETTE VARGAS, CEO, Writer, Director, Multiplatform Storyteller – Digital Reign Productions
LOUISA APRING, VR Consultant and Head of Industry Relations / Interim COO Innerspace VR

OCTOBER — Clearing the Hurdle
LAKE BELL (director, IN A WORLD)
MICHELLE SATTER, Founding Director of Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program

NOVEMBER– Producing 101
Deniese Davis (“The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”)
Kelly Thomas (SPA NIGHT)
Giulia Caruso (SPA NIGHT)
Ashley Chrisman, Independent Producer/Women In Film Staff


2015 Speaker Series

June – What Film Festival Programmers Want
Jacqueline Lyanga of AFI
Roya Rastegar of Los Angeles Film Festival
Kim Yutani of Sundance
Lucy Mukerjee Brown of Outfest

July – Perfect Pitch
Deborah Liebling, President of Ben Stiller’s company Red Hour Films
Amy Baer, CEO of Gidden Media
Stephanie Allain, Director of the LA Film Festival and producer of Beyond the Lights and Boyz n the Hood
Naketha Mattocks, VP of Original Movies at Disney Channels Worldwide

August – The TV Market

Shelby Stone, producer of HBO’s Bessie
Sasha Alexander, actor on hit TV show Rizzoli and Isles
Sandra Stern, COO of Lionsgate TV
Donna Pennestri, Associate Publisher of Variety
Moderated by Sharon Lawrence

September – The Business of Digital
Ronit Cohn, Fullscreen Director of Talent Relations & Marketing
Laura Fischer, Yahoo Originals Head of Production
Tamara Krinsky, Pemberley Digital Co-Producer, Writer & Story Editor
Robyn Marshall, Awesomeness Films Executive
Brittany Turner, Adaptive Studios VP, Digital Video

October –  Facts & Figures: Exploring the Data on Inequality in Film
Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D., Director of the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative – USC Annenberg
Adriana Alberghetti, Partner – WME
Maria Bello, Actor, Activist Author and Producer
Michael De Luca, Producer

November – Inclusion On Screen: Casting for Today’s Audiences
Sharon Bialy, (The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad)
Sarah Halley Finn (Crash, Iron Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Vickie Thomas, (Straight Outta Compton, The Hateful Eight, D’Jango Unchained)
Gary M. Zuckerbrod (Pulp Fiction, Cold Case, Rizzoli & Isles)


Highlights from 2014 include:

Emily Best: Crowdfunding to Build Independence, Seed&Spark
Joanna Colbert: Producer & Casting Director
Dara Marks: Script Consultant, How To Write Your Best Story
Gita Pullapilly: Case Study on Financing for the Indie Film, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY
Elsa Ramo of RLaw, PC: How To Legally Protect Yourself When You Create, Produce, & Exploit


Thank you

WeHo Arts aqua_closed