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April 2018

Dear Members, Friends & Supporters,

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the controversy and trauma that the film industry in America and the subsequent reverberations that the exposure of sexual harassment and abuse of power in all corners of the world would finally reach our state. This last month has seen allegations against a local leader that signals a huge paradigm shift in how our industry functions. A positive indicator of change is that IATSE Local 480 has appointed a woman as interim president of the union. We at NMWIF stand in solidarity with all those who have been victimized by this kind of abusive behavior in pursuit of their careers in the film industry. In response, we have created a resources page on our website with information about reporting abuse and legal defense fund sites, and we’re also creating a podcast sharing link where our members can anonymously record their stories of harassment and post them for other to listen to and learn that they are not alone. There is strength in our numbers and we want all of our sisters and brothers to be able to come forth in a protected environment to speak truth to power.

NMWIF has the opportunity to step up and be a leader in helping people deal with all aspects of this issue and we’re struggling with the financial resources necessary to provide the kind of help that the most visible women’s film organization in New Mexico should provide. And while we’re not exactly set up for this, I feel like we’d be falling down on our mission if we can’t provide the support that our members need at this time. No one can really prepare themselves for something like this by doing advance fundraising because you can’t predict crisis so as a result we are currently looking for funds from all quarters to help build these programs as well as expand our scholarship opportunities for women to deepen their skills and take the New Mexico film workplace by storm. If you can help with tax-deductible donations towards this effort in any way, a grateful NMWIF membership thanks you.

In our continuing effort to bring educational, mentoring and networking opportunities to our community we have combined forces with the New Mexico Film Foundation, UNM Taos and New Mexico Girls Make Movies to bring some amazing Native American women filmmakers together for a panel on April 28th at Bataan Hall on the UNM Taos campus. As a part of the full day Taos film day we will also be screening NMWIF’s recently produced PSA for Tewa Women United.

Many of you may have read and signed the letter that I created on Facebook and was later published in the Santa Fe New Mexican to show our support for those who have been the victims of sexual harassment and career bullying. I want to sign off here with the same sentiment that with all of us standing in solidarity we say, “Silence no more.”

Keep Making Media,
Christine

Christine McHugh,
NMWIF President
findyourlightcoach@gmail.com