President's Letter

December 2017

Dear Members, Friends & Supporters,

Well nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a sexual harassment survey. Unfortunately, this very definitely is the new normal in which we live. You know, I say “unfortunately” because the coming to light of the prevalent culture of disrespect for women, and pervasive sexual harassment in our industry, can be very triggering and awaken a myriad of emotions from rage to despair for many. Still, I believe this is the silver lining from the nightmare that was set into motion with the election of man who bragged about sexually assaulting women in the Access Hollywood tape and this may well be the thin edge of the lever that will be used to topple an insidiously unjust system. NMWIF has been asked to join a study of harassment in the industry that’s being organized by USA Today and New York Women in Film and Television. We are an enthusiastic “Yes!” to having our voices heard and giving our members the chance to honestly report their experiences working as a woman in film and media in New Mexico. The survey is expected to be sent to us sometime in the coming weeks and we will forward it on to all of our members. USA Today has limited involvement to Women in Film members from chapters all around the country so if you want to participate be sure to sign up as a member today.

As 2017 comes to a close I want to look back on some of the great events and accomplishments that NMWIF had this last year and give you a preview of what’s to come in 2018.

NMWIF took a big stand on educating our members and creating a conversation around gender equity in the industry with a panel of accomplished industry professionals during Film and Media week and then again with Swedish Women In Film President, Helene Granqvist speaking about her countries great success in creating 50/50 by 20/20.

Had a wonderful meet and greet with Board Members and members both new and old early in the year that enthusiastically outlined what we do and offered a forum for how we can better serve our membership. We will revisit this event in 2018.

Implemented Brown Bag Lunch and Learns, a casual opportunity for scholarship recipients to report on how their grant money helped them to learn, grow and succeed. Expect to see more of these in the coming year including a forum dedicated to actors as a way to share their strategies for success.

Both the Albuquerque and Santa Fe screenwriter’s group took off with the implementation of new structures that offer substantial stage readings (with our actor members) as well as learning opportunities for our screenwriter members. These groups will continue to grow and innovate to support screenwriters in NM.

Profoundly beneficial offerings for actors this year included a workshop with award winning NYC Casting Director, Julie Tucker and our Mentor Mania with NM Talent Agents and Casting Directors. Our intention is to continue to expand events for our actor members.

NMWIF gave away over $6000 in scholarship money this year to a diverse body of recipients and types of projects. We established a fund for Post Production assistance and announced a $1000 annual scholarship, starting in 2018, for women making a mid-life career transition into film.

Trish Lopez was the 2018 Sage Award honoree with last year’s recipient, Julia Cameron bestowing the award upon her. It was a great celebration of women who make a significant contribution to film, creativity and the arts in our state. Stay tuned to find out who our 2018 honoree will be!

And mark your calendar now for Film and Television week, February 3-12 in Santa Fe to coincide with Film and TV Day at the legislature and the Santa Fe Film Festival. We are in talks right now to bring a prominent woman filmmaker in for a conversation about changing a culture of harassment at the CCA on Monday, February 12 at 3:00 and we hope to screen her films during the festival.  We will let you know as soon as details are hammered out what exciting speaker you’ll have the chance to meet.

In wrapping up the year and this letter I have to shout out a huge thanks to our NMWIF Board, Vice-President, Anne Stirling, Treasurer, Joanne Tucker, Secretary, Joan Golden, Valerie Moore, Alaina Warren Zachary, Lisanne Cole, Leslie Fleming Mitchell, Saneh Boothe, Belle Allen and or WIFTI rep. Linda McDill as well as our former VP and organizer of two NMWIF Film Fiestas, Shelene Bridge. This group of wonderfully dedicated women volunteer their time towards making NMWIF successful as a group dedicated to raising the profile of our members in the industry through education, networking and scholarships. Thanks to them and all of you who’ve contributed to the rising tide that is lifting all of our boats.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season with peace and cheer in the New Year!

Keep Making Media,
Christine

Christine McHugh,
NMWIF President
findyourlightcoach@gmail.com