Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 and current events on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more.
NYWIFT Talks are free for all to attend.
On this week’s NYWIFT Talks, we’re headed to the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, highlighting filmmakers including our very own NYWIFT Members at this year’s festival.
This week, we are covering some short films in this year’s film festival including Valentine, and more. In conversation with Directors Chris McNabb and Beck Kitsis, A.K. Sandhu, and more to be announced. Moderated by NYWIFT Program Manager Barbara G Vasconez.
Date: Friday, May 27th, 2022
Chris McNabb (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, two-time Emmy Award-winning editor, and Sundance Documentary Edit & Story Lab Fellow. They edited the documentary Whose Streets? (Magnolia Pictures), which opened the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and was later nominated for two Gotham Awards, a Critics’ Choice Award, and a Peabody Award. Their latest documentary Look At Me: XXXTENTACION (Hulu) premiered at SXSW in 2022. Chris’ past nonfiction work also includes the documentary Narrowsburg, the interactive documentary, and the accompanying short film Marcela &Rock. In addition, Chris edited two short fiction films,The Rat and The Three Men You Met at Night. They are also editing Walk by Me, a follow-up to the 1990 Sundance Filmmaker Trophy Award-winning documentary Metamorphosis. In addition, together with Beck Kitsis, Chris is developing an episodic series called House of Thorns. The short film Valentine, their directorial debut, will screen at the Tribeca Festival in 2022.
Beck Kitsis (she/her) is a filmmaker and musician based in New York City. In 2019, she was selected for Film at Lincoln Center’s Artist Academy at the 57th New York Film Festival, the Sundance Screenwriting Intensive, and the Women at Sundance Financing Intensive. Beck’s first short film The Three Men You Met at Night. Her second short Red is the Color of Beauty (2021). Her latest short Valentine will screen at the Tribeca Festival in 2022. Beck produced the documentary Narrowsburg (Camden International Film Festival, DOC NYC 2019), the short horror film The Rat(Sundance 2019), and the experimental short The Inconceivable Mountain (NoBudge – Best Films of 2019). Currently, Beck is co-writing/producing the Sundance and Cinereach supported horror film Strawberry Summer and writing/directing the queer home invasion film Deer in the Wood. In addition, together with Chris McNabb, Beck is developing an episodic series called House of Thorns.
A.K. is a Director, Producer, Cinematographer, and internationally published Photographer. She is the founder of Re–Present Partners, a womxn- and BIPOC-owned, Oakland-based production company that embraces the expansion of how underrepresented communities are depicted in media. A.K. employs documentary filmmaking and photography to revive absent narratives that have been buried or suppressed. Her work crosses into experimental docu-hybrid modes of storytelling, probing themes such as race, gender, spirituality, and cross-cultural solidarity. She was awarded the 2021 Emerging Artist Award in the State of California. A.K. is a DocNYC/VC Storytelling Incubator fellow and was part of the inaugural cohort for Represent Media’s Re-Take Oakland fellowship (2019–2021) for emerging BIPOC filmmakers. A.K. directed, produced, and filmed her short documentary, For Love And Legacy, about the making of the first monument to honor the Black Panther Party. The film premiered on the 2022 film festival circuit during Womxn’s History Month. She is also the Co-Director, Producer, and Co-DOP of her first feature documentary, Sign My Name To Freedom, and in development for her first episodic documentary. Inspired by her father’s photographs of their family, she exited a career in finance to pursue her love for visual storytelling. A.K. has earned degrees from Columbia University and U.C. Berkeley, and is a member of A-Doc, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, CineFemme, and Collective of Documentary Womxn Cinematographers. She speaks Punjabi, Hindi/Urdu, and English.
Barbara Vásconez (moderator) is the Program Manager at New York Women in Film & Television. Before joining NYWIFT, she held the position of General Manager at the Quad Cinema for three years. She has worked for a variety of film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Hamptons Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, DOC NYC, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her spare time is spent programming panels and creating unique community engagement opportunities for the New York Latino Film Festival. In 2019, she launched and founded the Ville Film Festival in Somerville, New Jersey. In 2020, she joined the Ecuadorian Film Festival as Co-Director. Her educational goals include working to develop film programs in New Jersey that improve film education for low income students. She works on amplifying the Latinx community and speaking on important issues like immigration and minimum wage. She is committed to the importance of film as a means of community engagement. Barbara has a degree in Film and Video Production from the School of Visual arts in NYC and holds a Business certificate from W.O.R.C in Philadelphia.
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