Earlier this year, the New York Women in Film & Television organization received the funding and green light to produce their newest screening series
for their Cultural Immigrant Initiative. Immigrant Women: Sharing Our Voice Thru Film is an
exclusive screening series created to highlight and promote NYC immigrant stories made by women filmmakers.
Beginning today, the 5-month screening series will showcase immigrant stories within the five boroughs of NY with an exhibition of short and
The first screening series will focus on the intersection between immigrant women and activism. The series is funded by the city’s Dept of Cultural Affairs
and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley as part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative of NYC Council.
Produced by New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), this new screening series was created to highlight stories by women immigrants and first-generation American filmmakers. The organization has announced the selected short films for its first series, which will take place today, February 27, in Maspeth, Queens from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Maspeth Town
The selected films are “Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor” directed by Zahida Pirani, “Claiming Our Voice” directed by Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel, and “Living Quechua” directed by Christine Mladic Janney.
The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew, followed by a reception to allow further engagement of the artists with the audience.
Receptions will feature food correlated with cultures of each screening, sourced from neighborhood businesses.
The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley as part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative of the New York City
Council, will continue to produce one screening per month through June 2015. NYWIFT is still accepting film submissions for
future programs at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigrant Women: Activism – February Program
“Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor“
Director and Producer: Zahida Pirani
“Judith: Portrait of a Street Vendor” is a documentary short that takes the audience on an intimate journey into the daily life of Judith, a street vendor from Guatemala who lives and works in
New York City. Judith exposes the routine obstacles and struggles she and her fellow immigrant vendors face on the city’s streets and reveals her own hopes
and aspirations as an immigrant worker, mother, activist and community organizer.
“Claiming Our Voice“
Director, Producer, and Cinematographer: Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel
“Claiming Our Voice“ is a short documentary film by Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel sharing the stories of Andolan, an organization founded and led by South Asian immigrant women
low-wage workers as a means to support each other and collectively organize against exploitative work conditions. The film follows the women as they
create, rehearse and refine acts for their first multi-lingual theater performance, directed by YaliniDream. Claiming Our Voice seeks to break
community silence by allowing women to (literally) set the stage for how their stories will be told.
Director, Producer and Editor: Christine Mladic Janney
Living Quechua is a short documentary film by Christine Miadic Janney that follows Elva Ambía Rebatta through the challenges and successes of trying to
keep the Quechua language alive.
Elva’s first language is Quechua, but when she left her town in Peru as a young woman to find work in the United States, speaking Spanish and English
became critical for her survival. While Quechua–a language indigenous to South America–continues to be spoken around the world as a result of such
migration stories, UNESCO and other initiatives recognize it as an endangered language. Now in her seventies, Elva decides to help cultivate a
Quechua-speaking community in New York City.
For more information or to register for February’s screening, please visit: http://nywift.org/article.aspx?id=5422
About New York Women in Film & Television:
New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in
entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equity.
The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the
line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. NYWIFT produces over 50 innovative
programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement, which honors women in front of and behind the camera, and
Designing Women, which recognizes costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists in the industry.
More information can be found online at: www.NYWIFT.org