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

Film Independent’s Fast Track Submission Deadline

Film_Independent-340x51What is Film Independent’s Fast Track? Fast Track is a three day film financing market, held during the Los Angeles Film Festival and designed to help producer-director teams “fast track” their projects forward through sixty meetings with top executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizations, and production companies. During three days of intensive meetings, participants gain valuable exposure and build vital relationships as they propel their films towards completion. Applications for Fast Track 2016 are OPEN. Application deadline: February 22, 2016.

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MVFF38 is launching a festival-wide focus on inspiring women in film

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s 38th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival (October 8-18). Taking its longstanding commitment to female filmmakers one step further, MVFF38 is launching a festival-wide focus on inspiring women in film. MIND THE GAP: WOMEN | WORK | FILM—both a celebration and a call to action, the initiative aims to elevate the conversation on women at work in film by raising awareness about those who make films and those whose stories are being told.

A CONVERSATION WITH CATHERINE HARDWICKE – What do Twilight, hardwickepanel_tktThirteen, and Tank Girl have in common? MVFF38 Tributee Catherine Hardwicke. The director with production designer roots has proven over and over that it is possible to sustain a viable creative life in the film industry: inspiring!  More than that, her work spans from insightful, independent, original works like Thirteen to the blockbuster adaptation Twilight—the latter making her the most commercially successful woman director. Hear more about her remarkable career in what promises to be a highlight of MVFF38’s MIND THE GAP program. Date/Location: Sunday, October 11, 12:30–2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center. GET TICKETS HERE


Debugging the gender and diversity gaps in the tech industry is upfront and center in what promises to be a dynamic panel aimed towards an intergenerational audience, following the October 17 screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap (Note: all other screenings will include director Q&A only). Teens and their friends and families are encouraged to come and join in the discussion! Date/Location:Saturday, October 17, 2:00–4:00pm | Throckmorton Theatre. GET TICKETS

BaddDDD_tktBaddDDD Sonia Sanchez is, in her own words, a “woman with razor blades between her teeth.” A comprehensive portrait of the poet, playwright, scholar, teacher, and social activist, this performance-rich film explodes with life and the words that love Sonia while she loves them back. An architect of the ’60s Black Arts Movement, Sanchez has stood as a persistent voice for equality when, as the film reveals, many preferred to stand down. Hers is a mighty, loud, sassy, and strong Black female voice. The performances of Sanchez’ poems light up the screen. This is especially true when she performs as a paramount jazz player of her own words. Sanchez is a revelation when backed by her band, as she “plays” the words in intricate rhythmic phrases and virtuosic solos that resonate long after the film ends. With appearances by Ruby Dee, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Questlove, and more. Date/Location:  Friday, October 16, 7:30 pm | Throckmorton Theatre. GET TICKETS


Ava DuVernay’s Advice: Ask for what you want!

Ava DuVernay is best known as the director of Selma, her film account of the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As #BlogHer15 drew to a close, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood Melissa Silverstein sat down with Ava in a fireside chat. On the agenda: the intersection of race, gender, art and history.

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Angelina Jolie Will Direct A Netflix Film About The Khmer Rouge

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15:  Actress-director Angelina Jolie attends the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 15: Actress-director Angelina Jolie attends the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


Angelina Jolie is joining Brad Pitt to reinvent Netflix for the big screen.

The streaming service, which is delving into original feature film development, announced their partnership with Jolie on Thursday night. The actress-filmmaker will direct an adaptation of the 2000 memoir First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. Written by Loung Ung, a human rights activist and Cambodian author, the memoir tells her story of surviving the Khmer Rouge regime after she was separated from her family and trained as a child soldier in 1975 during the Cambodian Genocide.

Jolie and Ung met in Cambodia in 2001 and the actress said the memoir changed her understanding of children’s experience of war. “Films like this are hard to watch but important to see,” Jolie said in a press release. “They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people.” Jolie’s 13-year-old Cambodian-born son, Maddox, will also be involved in the film. The adpatation, which will be available to stream in late 2016, will begin production ahead of Jolie’s upcoming film with husband Pitt, “Africa,” which has been postponed to finalize the script. (Written by Erin Whitney -Associate Entertainment Editor for The Huffington Post):


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Penelope Spheeris Reveals the Backstory Behind Cult Documentary ‘The Decline of Western Civilizaton’

75For a movie about the underground punk scene, the film’s nearly impossible-to-find status contributed to its cult appeal. The director explains why it hasn’t been legally available until now.

For decades, there were only two ways to watch “The Decline of Western Civilization”: buy a bootleg or download it online. Both are illegal. For a movie about the underground punk scene, the film’s nearly impossible-to-find status contributed to its cult appeal. Like hunting down a rare vinyl record or an out-of-print fanzine, scoring a copy of the 1981 documentary required a rabid degree of dedication in exchange for street cred.

Penelope Spheeris, the film’s director, has a less romantic way of explaining the movie’s thriving underground market: theft. “You know that feeling you get in your stomach that’s like this fluttery kind of fear?” she told Indiewire recently, describing the sensation that would wash over her when she’d stumble across a bootleg copy of “The Decline of Western Civilization,” including the 1988 and 1998 sequels of the same name. “The worst part about it was that they were making really bad copies, that my work looked like shit. And that’s the part also that really upset me.”

After years of what she describes as paralyzing anxiety surrounding the films she considers her life’s most important work, Spheeris finally did something about that queasy feeling in her gut. At the insistence of her daughter, Anna Fox, who has stayed in touch with many of the subjects in her mother’s films, Spheeris undertook an intensive two-year process of digging up and editing archival footage, restoring the movies and shopping for a distributor. Beginning on June 30, all three DVDs will be available in a box set from Shout! Factory. (By Jennifer Swann | Indiewire)

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