Speaker Series

–Next Event–

When: Wednesday, March 27th
Doors: 7:00PM
Panel Begins: 7:30PM 

Where: West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, 90069
(located on ground level)
Validated parking available in the five story parking structure (left side of driveway) at
625 N. San Vicente.

Tickets – $10
WIF Members – Free

(WIF Members, be sure to log in for your free ticket)

This program is presented with support from the City of West Hollywood, Economic Development Department/Arts Division and the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.


2019 Speaker Series

January – Women In Film Shorts Night: NICE TO MEET ME

LEXICAL GAP directed by Yoko Okumura
YO TAMBIEN (ME TOO) directed by Sonia Sebastian
19 directed by Brit Wigintton
HERMIT directed by Courtney Pape
OUR WAY HOME directed by Alexandra Hsu
THE DRESS YOU HAVE ON directed by Courtney Hope Therond
KINDRED SPIRIT directed by Caroline Lindy

February – Clearing and Assessing Factual Information in a Fictionalized World
Aimee Wolfson, Executive Vice President of Intellectual Property and Deputy General Counsel at Sony Pictures Entertainment

2018 Speaker Series

February – Breaking the Oscars Mold

Lili Zanuck, “Driving Miss Daisy” 1990
Nicole Rocklin, “Spotlight” 2016
Blye Faust, “Spotlight” 2016

March – Social Impact Documentary Filmmaking: Making Films That Matter
Sonya Childress, Community Engagement Specialist, Firelight Media
Moderated by Katie Doering, Producer, Sundance Catalyst & Women at Sundance Initiative

April – The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Premiere
Madeline Brewer, Actress, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Amanda Brugel, Actress, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Ane Crabtree, Costume Designer, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Kira Snyder, Executive Producer, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Moderated by Nicole Sperling, Writer, Vanity Fair

May – How Digital Short Form Content is Changing the Media Lanscape 
Mel Jones, Director & Creator, Leimert Park, Sundance Film Festival ’17, Indie Episodic Program
Natasha Kermani, Indie Film & Branded Content Director
Sarah Springer, Creative Director, RYOT
Ally Polly, Executive Producer, Original and Branded Content at PepsiCo
Ali Brown, Executive Producer, Pretty Bird
Moderated by Senain KheshgiManaging Director & Partner, MAJORITY

C. Fitz, Director, JEWEL’S CATCH ONE
Jewel Thais-Williams, Subject, JEWEL’S CATCH ONE
Moderated by Kirsten Schaffer, Women In Film

July – Navigating Film Festivals
Dilicia Barrera, Associate Curator of Film Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Film Programmer for Sundance Film Festival
Christine Davila, Programming Associate, Sundance Film Festival; Head Programmer, Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam
Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Director of Programming, Outfest Film Festival
Moderated by Roya Rastegar

August – Perfect Pitch
Amy Baer, President/Owner, Gidden Media
Naketha Mattocks, Director of Kids and Family – Live Action Movies, Netflix
Jane Fleming,  Partner, Court Five
Miri Yoon, President of Production, Vertigo Entertainment
Moderated by Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film

October – How We Engage: Hollywood Power and Politics
Sarah Ullman – Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director of One Vote at a Time
Kat Calvin – Founder of Spread the Vote
Dinah Stevens – Senior Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
Krista Suh – Feminist, Artist, Hollywood Screenwriter, Craftivist, and creator of The Pussyhat Project
Moderated by Maikiko James – Director of Programs, Women In Film

October – Inclusion In Film
Michele Spitz – Woman of Her Word; Moderator
Jo-Ann Dean – SIGNmation; Moderator
Jamie Brewer – Actor, “American Horror Story” “Turnover”
Antoinette Abbamonte – Actor, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; SAG-AFTRA National Committee of Performers With Disabilities and ASL Director “Turnover”
Linda Palmer – Writer/Director/Producer, “Turnover”
Russell Boast – President, Casting Society of America (CSA)
Leslie McCleave – Director/Producer, (HOW SWEET THE SOUND – THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA)

November – Changing the Equation: A Candid Conversation About a Woman’s Place Onscreen
Grace Wu – EVP Casting, NBC
Dawn Steinberg – EVP Worldwide Talent and Casting, Sony Pictures Television
Dr. Katherine Pieper, Ph.D – USC/Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism
Elizabeth Kilpatrick – VP Development & Operations, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Ayo Davis – Head of Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment
Liz Craft & Sarah Fain – Showrunners/Screenwriters, “The Fix” “Women’s Murder Club” “Dollhouse”
Brett King – VP, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion at Sony Pictures Entertainment
Summera Howell – Moderator; Actress, Filmmaker “#MeToo PSA”
Meredith Riley Stewart – Moderator; Actor “Scandal” “Criminal Minds”, Producer, “Flip The Script”

2017 Speaker Series

January – Women In Film Shorts Night: SECRETS & DISCOVERIES
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)
MODERATOR, Roya Rastegar

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

July – PR and Marketing: Insight to Navigating your Project for Success

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
MODERATOR, Leah Gordon. International Marketing & Media Consultant

August – Perfect Pitch 3
AMY BAER – President/Owner, Gidden Media
NAKETHA MATTOCKS – VP Original Movies, Disney Channels Worldwide

September – Being a Multi-Hyphenate
SHIRI APPLEBY – Actress/Director
WENDY CALHOUN – Writer/Executive Producer, Edgewood Place Entertainment
JENNIFER KIM – VP of Original Programming ,TBS
AMY ANDELSON & EMILY MEYER – Writers/Novelists

October – Women In Hollywood Reinventing Themselves
DEB NEWMYER – Moderator – Film & TV Producer, Author
TANYA LOPEZ – Senior Vice President, Original Movies and Miniseries, Lifetime
NANCY TELLE – Executive Chairwoman EKO
CAROL FISHMAN COHEN – CEO & Co Founder iRelaunch
CHRISTINE SWANSON – Director/Screenwriter

November – Sexual & Gender Abuse in the Workplace
CATHY SCHULMAN – MODERATOR -President, WIF, President/CEO Welle Entertainment
HEATHER GRAHAM – Actress/Writer/Director
TRACY TWINKIE BYRD – Casting Director
ROSETTE LAURSEN – Actress/Writer
CINDY BAMFORTH – Partner at Bowles Law
Specializing in employment law issues including sexual harassment prevention training
KATHLEEN TARR – Lecturer, Former Practicing Attorney, Author, Bias and the Business of Show: Employment Discrimination in the “Entertainment” Industry

2016 Speaker Series
January – Member Shorts Night : Truer Words
“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

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
MODERATOR, LOUISA APRING, VR Consultant and Head of Industry Relations / Interim COO Innerspace VR

OCTOBER — Clearing the Hurdle
LAKE BELL (director, IN A WORLD)
MODERATOR, 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)
MODERATOR, Ashley Chrisman, Independent Producer/Women In Film Staff

2015 Speaker Series
June – What Film Festival Programmers Want
Jacqueline Lyanga of AFI
Roya Rastegar
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


This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts program. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.