This panel is centered around issues facing women in the independent film industry. Katrina Medoff will moderate.
Naomi McDougall Jones
Katrina Medoff (Actor/Writer/Producer)
Katrina is the founder and co-director of the Women's Weekend Film Challenge, a women-in-film initiative that creates teams of all-female casts and crews to write, shoot, and edit short films in one weekend. She is an actor, writer and producer in New York City. Her recent projects include the festival-bound feature “Ask for Jane” (actor) and the short films “That Very Evening” (actor/producer), “Lovestuck” (actor/writer/producer), “Home Invasion for the Holidays” (actor) and “Ms. Connections” (actor/writer). She is also the editor-in-chief of BORO, a monthly magazine about Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside, Queens.
Danielle Earle (Director/Writer/Producer)
Danielle Earle from LA Web Series Award Winning Series "Brooklyn Is In Love," presents her seventh production from PL Entertainment LLC, "Haunted Mind of An Insomniac," starring Ebeneezer Nii Sowah, Leigh Poulos, KIm Akia, Emily Bennett, and Irma Cadiz.
Danielle has been working in the film industry for 8 years. She is a member of the Writer's Guild of America East, and has been recognized in the media for the critically acclaimed LGBT feature film "Lover's Game,"starring Crawford M. Collins, Miranda McCauley, and Blaine Pennington. The film has been featured in many publications such as Curve Magazine, BronxNet, AfterEllen, SheWired, Women of Upstate New York, and News 12 New Jersey.
This Summer, Danielle directed, "In the Attic," a play written by Award Winning Playwright, Liz Amadio of "The Voire Dire Project," and owner of Cosmic Orchid Project that was a part of the Dream Up Festival at Theater for The New City.
Her latest Award Winning Film, "Lea," Produced by Danielle's company, PL Entertainment LLC, and directed by Award Winning Filmmaker Jay Palmieri just won 3 Awards this fall, including the Award of Recognition for the Best In Shorts Competition,and Best Audience Choice of the Month Award at Direct Monthly Online Festival, and LA Independent Film Festival Awards. The film is currently screening at Los Angeles Cinefemme.
She has also signed as Executive Producer for two projects, for the feature film "PLAY," written and directed by Jay Palmieri and LGBT Web Series, "Jaded - The New York Effect."
Lauren Atkins (Founder, NYC Web Fest)
Born in Cape Town and raised in Toronto, Lauren Atkins always had a natural curiosity about the world and what makes people tick. She spent much of her childhood and adolescence singing in the choir, acting in plays and modeling. But it was the invention of social media platforms and advances in digital entertainment that really sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, Lauren began hosting a popular online music show Black Cat Baby Presents, on MySpace long before people knew what a podcast was. She wrote and produced every episode. After screening the award winning web series My Friends Think I’m Funny, (which she wrote, produced and directed) at a festival in Los Angeles, she had an idea: why not create a festival celebrating the best of the web in New York City? Launched in 2014, NYC Web Fest began as a one-day event and has grown into one of the most respected New Media festivals in the world. Filmmakers have flown in from across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. The Festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.
Naomi McDougall Jones (Writer, Actress, Producer)
Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning writer, actress, and producer based in New York City. She is currently in post-production on her second feature film, BITE ME, with producers Jack Lechner (The Fog of War, Blue Valentine) and Sarah Wharton (That’s Not Us), which she wrote and also starred in opposite Christian Coulson (Harry Potter, Love is Strange, The Hours), Annie Golden (Orange is the New Black), and Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story). Naomi’s first feature film, which she also wrote, produced, and starred in, was the 12-time award-winning Imagine I’m Beautiful. The film received a theatrical release and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay (www.imagineimbeautiful.com). A pilot she wrote, The Dark Pieces, is now in development for television in Canada after having been named on The 2016 WriteHer List as one of the top 16 unproduced pilots by a female screenwriter. Naomi is an advocate and speaker for bringing gender parity to cinema. She gave a virally sensational TEDTalk, What it’s Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood, which has now been viewed over 1 million times and can be seen on TED.com. She is the Founder and Chief Impact Officer of The 51 Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to financing films by female filmmakers. Naomi is currently writing a book, The Wrong Kind of Woman: Dismantling the Gods of Hollywood, which will be published by Beacon Press in 2019. More at www.naomimcdougalljones.com.
Joanna Pickering (Actor/Writer/Producer)
Joanna Pickering is a British actress, writer, producer and activist. She trained in the dramatic arts at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City. She works in television, film, stage and radio. She has made over 20 independent films worldwide—experimental, political, artistic and commercial. She is screening in a film called Pellea[s] co-starring alongside Alice Eve and Benn Northover, directed by artist Josephine Meckseper—at The Whitney Museum as part of “The Incomplete History Of Protest” in May. She is currently filming an independent movie co-starring with Emmy award wining cast with theatrical release at end of 2018.
Joanna is known for choosing projects that support political and social activism over mainstream avenues, and is regarded as a strong voice for gender equality, diversity and inclusivity. She has spoken on the panel at HB Studio in New York, writes as an expert for Backstage magazine, and moderates the panel for The Imagine This International Female Film Festival with focus on female content and agenda.
She has published articles on the patriarchy, sexism in the entertainment industry, is a feature writer for Louder Than War magazine, as well as political magazine Bellacaledonia. She was interviewed in a new web series for News Voice alongside leading activists and esteemed writers on social reform—speaking on sexism, inequality and action needed in the film industry.