The AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) announced that it has selected the eight participants for its 2009 workshop. The participants are Angie Comer, Deborah Correa, Lisa Gold, Emmy Grinwis, Maggie Kiley, Kaz Phillips, Sylvia Sether and Kinga Suto.
"We are excited to accept such a promising group of filmmakers who bring an eclectic mix of backgrounds, experience and film subjects, to this year's workshop," said Joe Petricca, AFI's Executive Vice Dean, in a statement. "We hope that the DWW will be the final key to these women making the leap to a professional directing career."
Through three weeks of classroom training and then a five-day production on their own short film, these eight women (chosen from a pool of 115 applicants) will learn narrative filmmaking at AFI's campus in Hollywood. This tuition-free program has trained over 200 women directors since its start in 1974. Some notable alumnae include Lesli Linka Glatter, Randa Haines and Maya Angelou.
The 2009 Directing Workshop for Women participants:
(with bios provided by DWW)
Angie Comer In 1996, Angie Comer wrote and directed her first short film, a comedy/drama entitled FAIR WEATHER BETWEEN FRIENDS. In 2005, Angie's film CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT BRA BUYER won the comedy script category and best actress at Duke City Shootout Film Festival and went on to screen at the Broad Humor Film Fest, Rebel Planet Short Film Fest, Mania TV Internet, Reel Women International Film Fest after making its premiere at the Palm Beach Film Fest. That same year she won 1st place at the Scriptapalooza TV Pilot competition with her supernatural comedy/drama MYSTIC VALLEY. Currently, she is diligently writing her ninth feature script, a frightful comedy/thriller entitled, GREAT PRETENDERS.
Deborah Correa Deborah Correa graduated with a BFA in Writing and Visual Media Arts from Emerson College in 2005, where she produced a 10-minute narrative film homage to cinema verite. She used her final year to produce a short documentary about what the UN called the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere--Colombia. Deborah traveled to the heart of guerilla territory to document the return of 1500 displaced villagers to their homes. THIS LITTLE OLD TOWN premiered on PBS's FRONTLINE/ WORLD and won an EVVY for Best Produced Television News. Since graduating, Deborah has worked on documentaries for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and NOVA, as well as her own films. These include A COMMUNITY ON THE FRINGE a look at the Zapatista movement in central Mexico and PAINTING PEACE, an exploration of the historic and incendiary public murals of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Lisa Gold Writer/filmmaker Lisa Gold has written award-winning screenplays; she has also written and/or directed and produced five award-winning short films. Lisa's passion for improv comedy can be seen in her short films, most of which were made for various 48 Hour film competitions. She directed the short AN INCONVENIENT AFFAIR; wrote, directed and produced REALITIES OF LOVE and THE BOARDWALK SPY; and wrote and produced THE POWER and I HATE ALINA. Although written, shot and edited in only two days, these films have played in various mainstream film festivals in the US and internationally. As an improvisational actress, Lisa has performed in various venues around Los Angeles; she is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory. Lisa's feature screenplay THE POKER WARS was a finalist in the 2007 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition, reaching the top 10 out of over 5,000 submissions. THE POKER WARS, a drama, also won the CineStory Screenwriting Awards. Lisa has written four feature length screenplays, and is developing her latest family action/adventure script THE SECRET OF SHANGRI-LA into a children's novel.
Emmy Grinwis Integrating her passion for theater with a love of traveling, Emmy joined the Peace Corps in 1999 and lived for two years in Guinea, West Africa, where she created and produced a musical called Un Grain D'espoire. It was funded by the US Embassy in Conakry and toured for two months throughout Guinea. In 2004 she received an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama. The year before she graduated, she was selected by the board of trustees of the Ensemble Company of the Performing Arts to be the Artistic Director of the Summer Cabaret at Yale for the 29th Season and the 30th Anniversary Season. At the Cabaret she directed Shakespeare's The Tempest, a new play by Marcus Gardley called And Jesus Moonwalks On The Mississippi, and The Ten Thousand Things, by Melissa James Gibson. A staunch believer in new work, Emmy also produced an evening of world-premiere plays by prominent American playwrights including Wendy Wasserstein, Sunil Kuruvulla, David Henry Hwang, Edwin Sanchez, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Tim Acito, and Marcus Gardley. Since October 2007, Emmy has been working for a production company in Hollywood and in September she co-directed her first 35 mm commercial, a pro-Proposition 5 spot that aired for a few weeks before the election. She also has directed three short films, a music video (for the band Hospitality), and continues to write as much as possible.
Maggie Kiley As an actress, Maggie Kiley has appeared in film, television and on stage. She has worked most extensively at Atlantic Theater Company in New York where she is the youngest member. Maggie received her BFA in Theater from New York University and was invited to join the critically acclaimed ensemble upon graduation. Founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, Atlantic provided an exciting and nurturing place to begin her career as a professional artist. While there, Maggie helped to create New Works, a program that gave emerging writers an opportunity to have their work produced in an intimate theatrical setting. Maggie has acted in several world premiere productions, most notably Tina Howe's translation of Ionesco's The Lesson and Lucy Thurber's play Scarcity opposite Jesse Eisenberg. She has taught film acting at NYU and currently serves on the faculty of the ATC Los Angeles Conservatory. She studied film in London at BFI and has assisted on productions that played at The Donmar Warehouse, South Coast Repertory and several off-Broadway and way off Broadway theaters. Maggie continues to work as an actress and has been fortunate to work with such great film directors as James Gray, Daisy von Scherler Mayer and documentarian Nathaniel Kahn. She will appear alongside Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella in Andrew Jarecki's upcoming feature ALL GOOD THINGS. In the fall of 2008, she directed her first project: the short film DOWN THE SHORE, based on the play by Tom Donaghy.
Kaz Phillips Kaz Phillips has been straddling two very different professional worlds--writer/producer of non-scripted TV at a boutique Soho production house, and resident video designer for a critically acclaimed avant-garde theater company. Stumbling into TV production after meeting her then future boss at a bar on the Lower East Side, she started out in 2005 at his company Superfine Films as an associate producer for the hit CourtTV show PSYCHIC DETECTIVES, before moving up the ranks to co-producer of the same show and eventually taking on the role of director of development for the company. In July 2007, however, Kaz seriously needed a break from the TV world so she accepted an offer to travel to Copenhagen and design video installation for a Danish/American theater production, sparking a relationship there with the NYC dance-theater company, Witness Relocation. Upon her return to NYC, Kaz decided to get serious about her filmmaking career and wrote, produced, directed and edited the original HD short FUGUE, an ambitious film shot by Reed Morano (FROZEN RIVER), which is currently out for consideration at fests. Now Kaz splits her time between designing video for Witness Relocation, being the head series and development writer for Superfine Films, chilling with her boyfriend and their three cats and plotting her next creative coup.
Sylvia Sether In 2005 Sylvia wrote and directed her first short film SWAY, an experience that solidified her love of filmmaking. Since that time, she has worked in all aspects of production; everything from assisting on high profile music videos and television, to editing various projects. In addition, she directed the play The Indian Wants the Bronx that had a multi week run at the Complex Theater in Hollywood. Within the past year, she's focused on honing her craft through directing edgy, highly stylized music videos for Indie rock bands such as Quarry Hill, Angie Mattson, Sabrosa Purr, and Matty Brown.
Kinga Suto Kinga Suto began performing as a child at the nationally-acclaimed McArter Theater in New Jersey. Attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in Drama, Kinga studied at the Atlantic Theater under David Mamet and Felicity Huffman. Following that, Kinga was Director of Development for Penny Marshall's company, Parkway Productions. Some of the projects Kinga developed while there are BEWITCHED, CINDERELLA MAN, and HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS STORY. In 2002 Kinga left feature film development to pursue writing and was given a first look deal by director Martin Campbell (CASINO ROYALE) where she co-created an episodic entitled GUARDIAN ANGELS. From there, Kinga co-wrote a feature spec, THE DONOR, which garnered attention from production companies such as Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. Kinga also co-created a quirky teen movie, MR. PERFECT 6.0. During this time she was also auditioning for on-screen roles. In 2003 Kinga landed a recurring role on 10-8: OFFICERS ON DUTY. She has appeared in several national commercials (Zantac, Best Buy, Home Depot) including her most famous, the first girl geek in the hugely successful, Geek Squad Best Buy Ads. Kinga is also a regular presence on the Los Angeles comedy scene. She has performed at: The Groundlings, Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB), iO West and The Improv. In 2006, she co-wrote and performed a two person sketch show, I'm Just Not That Into Me. The infamous sketches, addressing a myriad of taboo social issues, earned Kinga an invitation to perform the show in NYC at The UCB Sketch Fest. Kinga is currently performing a new solo show, The D-Monster, at iO West, based on her experiences as a Hollywood development executive, which is also the inspiration for her AFI DWW short film. A book and feature-length screenplay version are also currently in the works.