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 www.scriptfest.com

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!

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. http://www.humanesociety.org/about/events/ace/

Coming soon to 39th Mill Valley Film Festival (October 6 – 16)

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner of the 39th Mill Valley Film FestivalOctober 6 – 16, 2016, presented by the California Film Institute. Check out the following films:


Baden Baden 

Writer-director Rachel Lang’s impressive feature film debut, 26-year-old Ana returns home to Strasbourg in a purloined Porsche to hang out with her grandmother, inefficiently reconstruct a shower, possibly find some work, attempt to weave together the loose strings of her love life, and, eventually, find her particular path towards adulthood. For more information CLICK HERE

BADEN BADEN – Trailer from Mill Valley Film Festival on Vimeo.

Zhaleika 
Lora feels constrained by the tedious monotony of life in her small village, and her small acts of defiance are already causing gossip. But when a sudden tragedy provides Lora more personal freedom, her hesitant rebelliousness begins to take a more definite form in this compelling coming-of-age drama. For more information CLICK HERE

Zhaleika Trailer from cinemanda on Vimeo.

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What a kind of projects is Catapult interested in funding?

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Catapult Film Fund looks for powerful stories with central characters that weave a strong narrative. The project should be motivated first by story. If your film is a survey film, it’s likely not right for this fund. Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes. Our mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their film projects to the next level at a stage where funding is hard to find. Catapult gives early support to propel projects forward that hold the promise of a unique story that should be told in film. We don’t require that films fit within specific issue categories. We support powerful stories and moving storytelling across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives. As a result, we support of a range of films, from individual portraits to stories with global implications.

CATAPULT grants are up to $20,000 each. They allow filmmakers to take crucial next steps in the development of their films, such as enabling a first shoot and editing pieces for production fundraising. In addition to the initial development grant, recipients have access to an informal mentorship program with Catapult’s co-founders, Bonni Cohen and Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, in areas including story development, production process, fundraising and distribution strategy. APPLY HERE

Sense and Sensuality: Bay Area Feminist Filmmaking of the 1980s // NYC

Ricky-and-Rocky-1-300x171Don’t miss the second installment of Eye on a Director, MAD highlights the collection of the legendary film distributor and archive Canyon Cinema. In the late 1950s, Canyon Cinema brought together independent film artists whose work reflected a remarkable diversity in style and content. Variously called avant-garde, underground and experimental, these artists shared a vision of filmmaking as a form of personal expression, free from the demands and constraints of commercial conventions.

Canyon Cinema began in Bay Area experimental filmmaker Bruce Baillie’s Canyon, California home. Initially an informal gathering for filmmakers to share their work with a 16mm projector and a bed sheet hung in the backyard, Canyon Cinema, Inc. was officially founded in 1967 by Bruce Baillie, Bruce Conner, Robert Nelson, Chick Strand and others as a collective-run distribution company dedicated to educating the public about independent artist-made moving images and providing access to its collection of more than 2500 works to universities and cultural organizations worldwide. In 2012, the group voted to become a nonprofit, and today it is one of the few remaining organizations providing access to works in one of the essential forms of twentieth century art: celluloid film. Canyon Cinema is home to a unique collection of Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film prints from 260 artists, a collection that represents the most comprehensive history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movement from 1921 to today.

Working directly with MAD, Canyon’s staff and board of directors served as co-curators for this series, selecting films that reveal the history of an artistic community and its lineage today and focusing on experimental documentaries from Canyon Cinema’s archive that parallel American cinematic movements.

SENSE AND SENSUALITY: BAY AREA FEMINIST FILMMAKING OF THE 1980s
July 21, 2016, 7 pm
$10 general / $5 members and students
Theater at MAD

83 min, 16mm Projection
“Valley Fever” (Stephanie Beroes, 1979, 20 min)
“Maternal Filigree” (Sandra Davis, 1980, 18 min)
“Sincerely” (Lynn Marie Kirby, 1980, 14 min)
“Department of the Interior” (Nina Fonoroff, 1986, 9 min)
“Futility” (Greta Snider, 1989, 9 min)
“Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron)” (Cauleen Smith, 1990, 13 min)

Much critical attention to women’s avant-garde filmmaking of the 1970s and ’80s focused on East Coast and European feminist filmmakers, the critique of visual pleasure, and the notion of the male gaze in cinema. In San Francisco, a new generation of feminist avant-garde filmmakers was emerging with a very different approach to questions of gender and pleasure in cinema. Influenced as much by the work of Gunvor Nelson and Chick Strand as by Laura Mulvey and Yvonne Rainer, these artists emphasized visual pleasure, finding in cinema sensual and lyrical ways to explore the personal and political experience of coming to consciousness as young radicals. Their focus on color, texture, montage, sounds, and text created a deeply sensuous and searching cinema. This largely unheralded body of work housed at Canyon has influenced subsequent feminist filmmaking on the West Coast and beyond.
More info: http://madmuseum.org/events/sense-and-sensuality-bay-area-feminist-filmmaking-1980s

SECESSION: THE DECAY OF PATRIARCHY
August 11, 2016, 7 pm
$10 general / $5 members and students
Theater at MAD

71 min, 16mm Projection
“Take Off” (Gunvor Nelson, 1972, 8 min)
“Lie Back and Enjoy It” (JoAnn Elam, 1982, 8 min)
“Mutiny” (Abigail Child, 1983, 11 min)
“The Colorof Love” (Peggy Ahwesh, 1994, 10 min)
“Menses” (Barbara Hammer, 1974, 4 min)
“Generations” (Gina Carducci & Barbara Hammer, 2011, 30 min)

Highlighting multiple generations of feminist filmmakers across the country, Canyon’s archive is an encompassing survey of radical cinema. With “Take Off,” Gunvor Nelson introduces the viewer to Burlesque legend Ellion Ness, using the camera and editing effects to make a statement about what it means to strip as a woman. JoAnn Elam’s “Lie Back and Enjoy It” is an eight-minute dialogue about rape culture and the representation of women living under patriarchy. It consists of optically printed images set to a structural conversation on the very film the viewer is watching. Abigail Child’s “Mutiny” interprets and interpolates the voices and music of a diverse cast of women. In “The Color of Love,” Peggy Ahwesh uses a variety of chemical reactions to alter and recompose images taken from a pornographic film. In “Menses,” Barbara Hammer elevates the imagery and politics of menstruation with high drama and wry wit. The program closes with “Generations,” a collaborative film by Hammer and Gina Carducci, who uses a Bolex camera to shoot the final days of Astroland amusement park in a downtrodden Coney Island at the turn of the century. Hammer and Carducci edited their own halves of the film and joined the two in the middle. More info: http://www.madmuseum.org/events/secession-decay-patriarchy

Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab for Documentary & Narrative

labsfullweb-400x167IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most:  through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their films.  Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.

Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production. 2016 Program Dates:

Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab
Documentary: May 9 -13, 2016
Narrative: May 23 – 27, 2016

More info: http://www.ifp.org/programs/labs

Filmmakers From Underrepresented Communities Invited to Apply for Tribeca All Access Program

Tribeca All Access supports working filmmakers in the United States and Puerto Rico from communities statistically underrepresented in the film industry with grants, year-round resources, and great access to industry contacts. The program seeks feature-length scripted and documentary submissions from established and emerging filmmakers whose team includes a U.S. – based director or screenwriter from a community that is statistically underrepresented in the film industry.  More information