Acclaimed Script Consultant Kathie Fong Yoneda talks about how she made the leap from Secretary to Studio Reader in Hollywood

In this podcast episode, Kathie Fong Yoneda talks about the power of networking and how building relationships with key influencers helped her rise from secretary to studio reader. She has over thirty years of experience working in film and television. She was the first Asian female hired on a full-time basis at Universal back in 1969. She has worked for such prestigious studios as Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and Disney, focusing on analysis and development of live action/animated film, television, novels and web series projects. She is the author of The Script-Selling Game: A Hollywood Insider’s Look At Getting Your Script Sold and Produced.

Kathie will be at ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest held from June 23 – 25, 2017 in Los Angeles.  You can meet her and sign up for a private, half hour consultation at ScriptFest. She will help you fine-tune your pitch, script, and offer career advice. Private consultations will be scheduled on a first come/first served basis so book early to secure your spot.  Click here to purchase your session.

Opportunities are often found in the form of screenwriting competitions, where budding writers compete to win cash prizes, as well as making a name for themselves. Which screenplay contests should you enter in 2017? Kathie shares her personal list of screenwriting contests and fellowship programs worth entering. OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS IN TV

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s

Derek Freese Documentary Fund provides up to $35,000 in finishing funds

Derek Freese Documentary Fund (DFDF) provides production support for feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and compelling story, across a broad spectrum of subject matters. This award is given biennially (every other year) to an independent filmmaker and provides up to $35,000 in finishing funds. Deadline: June 12, 2017. More info:


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

Project Involve 2018 (Non-Member Deadline: June 12, 2017)

Project Involve is a free, intensive, nine-month annual program that offers 30 up-and-coming film professionals from under-represented communities the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, utilize free or low-cost production resources and ultimately gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.

Running from October through June, the Lab is comprised of:

  • Mentoring: Each Fellow is paired with a notable professional in the same field, e.g. screenwriters with screenwriters. Mentors share knowledge, contacts and experience, giving young filmmakers invaluable guidance.
  • Masters Workshops: Ten Masters Workshops with top professionals offer insights and information on the art and business of filmmaking.
  • Short Film Production: Fellows are given the resources and opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience. Fellows team up to produce at least six 10-minute shorts during the program, which are screened at the LA Film Festival.
  • Educational and Networking Events: Opportunities to learn from and connect with working artists and key professionals include the LA Film Festival and the Film Independent Forum, an annual event that brings together roughly 80 filmmakers and executives for a series of enlightening panel discussions.

Past Industry Mentors include Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station, Dope); Ava DuVernay (Selma); Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight); Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines); Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12); Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy); Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four); Reed Morano, ASC (Meadowland, Vinyl); Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants); Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street); Justin Simien (Dear White People); Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry) and Bradford Young, ASC (A Most Violent Year, Selma).  For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

Podcast: Susan Silver, Author, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets and Sitcoms

In this podcast episode, Scarlett Shepard (Founder of the Women’s Film Institute) speaks with trailblazer Susan Silver and comedy writer for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Susan talks about her latest memoir, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets, and Sitcoms. Susan  has written for some of the most iconic sitcoms of all time, creating laugh lines for Mary Tyler Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Beatrice Arthur, Bob Newhart, and The Partridge Family. A female comedy writer in an industry overwhelmingly dominated by men, she is perhaps the first and only television writer to be featured in TV Guide wearing hot pants. Now, Susan dishes about the highs and lows of both her comedy career and love life in her new memoir, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets and Sitcoms. Sign up for FREE chapter here.

ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest (June 23 – 25, 2017)

ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest return for the 14th exciting year, June 23 – 25, 2017 at the Marriott Burbank Hotel & Convention Center in LA, with more options than ever:

FULL DAY WORKSHOPS & MASTER CLASSES: Screenwriting Consultants, Pilar Alessandra and Carole Kirschner offer a team-teaching intensive to help whip your TV series into shape.  You can also attend a full day with the SUPER STORIES guys, Houston Howard and Steve Mitchell, where you will learn the same lessons they usually only teach at the studios about developing your concepts to successfully create story empires.

PITCHING: Pitch to more than 120 companies, such as the Paradigm Talent Agency, Cross Creek Pictures (BLACK SWAN, PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES), Echo Lake Entertainment (AWAY FROM HER, NEBRASKA), Radar Pictures (MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, COCKTAIL, THREE MEN AND A BABY), Ramo Law (BONE TOMAHAWK), End Game Entertainment (LOOPER), Garlin Pictures (DRUNK HISTORY for HBO), Longitude Entertainment (YOUTH IN REVOLT), Rat Pac Entertainment (THE REVENANT), Circle Of Confusion (THE WALKING DEAD, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, THE GREAT WALL, JOHN WICK 2), and dozens more.  Scroll down to check out the latest list of companies and agencies at  Only 500 tickets are sold and the event sells out every year.

AGENT, MANAGER & INDUSTRY LUNCHEON: At this three course luncheon, writers are seated directly with agents, managers, staff writers, produced screenwriters, distributors, and other industry professionals to offer advice, and to network with new writing talent.

CLASSES & PANELS: Produced screenwriters, gurus, and other experts give you all the knowledge you need to kickstart your writing and screenwriting career.  Previous special guests have included Oscar and Emmy award winning screenwriters such as Diablo Cody (JUNO), David Seidler (THE KING’S SPEECH), David Gould (BREAKING BAD) and the writing staff from BETTER CALL SAUL, as well as writers such as Nia Vardalos (MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Shane Black (NICE GUYS, LETHAL WEAPON), Simon Kinberg (MR & MRS SMITH, SHERLOCK HOLMES), Carl Gottlieb (JAWS), Gary Goldstein (Producer, PRETTY WOMAN), and dozens of other A-list screenwriters, agents, managers and industry professionals.

For 10% Discount, use Discount Code: WRITERJUDY10

Visit for details.

IFP Opens Submissions for IFP Film Week

Spotlight on Documentaries is an extremely successful and viable forum for U.S. and International buyers, sales agents, and financiers to meet with filmmakers with new documentary feature and serialized projects. Presenting 60+ documentary projects ranging from those at an early financing stage (i.e. early development or in production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in post-production or at a rough cut stage), this section includes emerging and established filmmakers working in non-fiction.

Accepted filmmakers take part in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with potential financing and distribution partners, speed dating meetings with festival programmers, invitations to private documentary events, and exclusive access to the Filmmaker Conference. Applications are now open. (Early Deadline: May 2nd. Late Deadline: May 23rd). Apply here!

Women’s Film Institute: An Interview with Founder Scarlett Shepard

Scarlett Shepard, Founder of the Women’s Film Institute, talks with Sterling James of KBLX Cares about how she started the Institute, San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, and digital media mentorship program for girls. Women’s Film Institute has transformed from a three-day festival into a growing global network of individuals, professionals, and organizations dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls while working toward bringing greater diversity to the film and entertainment industry.

The Humane Society’s Ace Documentary Film Grant

A grant for films in production or post that highlight the welfare of animals. From the Humane Society: $20,000 prize is awarded to the filmmaker who best succeeds in merging animal issues with a compelling narrative. Film projects must contain an animal welfare or animal protection issue.

Sign up today: Art of Securing Grants for your Film or Media Project

Join us for the Art of Securing Grants for your Film or Media project on 3/23 or 3/30 at 1:00 PM PST. This introductory session will help you confidently navigate the request for proposals process, build successful relationships with funders, and get you closer to finishing your film.

Professional development sessions are donation-based. We want to make sure that they are accessible and affordable. This session will be about an hour with room for Q&A. Led by Scarlett Shepard – Founder of the Women’s Film Institute. Please select a session that you’d like to attend.

Applications for the Cannes Producer’s Network – Deadline: 3/8/17

IFP is the sole U.S. Partner Organization for the Cannes Producer’s Network, annually selecting and sponsoring attendance for up to seven independent producers to participate in the Producer’s Network & Workshop’ prestigious week-long immersion programs.

Running concurrently with Cannes International Film Festival, the 2017 Producer’s Network will be held May 18-26, 2017 and is specifically designed for established producers to build up their international networks and share expertise on the international production, financing, legal and packaging. The Producer’s Workshop, for emerging producers, will be held May 17 – 19th, 2017, and provides additional opportunities to producers to understand how to navigate Cannes and its international marketplace. Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 8th.  Apply today:


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.