AFI Announces Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) Red Carpet Showcase on May 11

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on April 30, 2009




Hollywood, CA, April 30, 2009 – AFI announces its annual Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) Red Carpet Showcase at the DGA Theater featuring up-and-coming directors Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Meredith Berg, Joy Gohring, Joanna Jurewicz, Mary Ann Kellogg, Alexa-Sascha Lewin, and Dominika Waclawiak.

Hosting the event will be Martha Coolidge, the first and only female president of the DGA and director of notable films including RAMBLING ROSE, INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE and VALLEY GIRL.

These seven women were picked from a pool of over 200 applicants for the prestigious DWW program. Selected women receive donations and grants not to exceed $25,000, equipment, materials and facilities of the AFI campus and five days to shoot their narrative short films. AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) has been a major force in training women in narrative filmmaking since 1974. Over 200 women have been given the opportunity to participate in this innovative and unique training program for tomorrow’s directors. Some DWW alumnae include Lesli Linka Glatter (MAD MEN, THE WEST WING, GREY’S ANATOMY), Randa Haines (CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, DANCE WITH ME), Kellie Martin (ER, MYSTERY WOMAN) and Maya Angelou (DOWN IN THE DELTA).

“This is a great opportunity to discover new filmmaking talent. You will not only enjoy the films but have a chance to meet the participants and discuss how this incredible workshop has impacted their future projects and their careers,” said Joe Petricca, AFI’s Executive Vice Dean.

The one-night-only event will include guests from high level agencies such as CAA, Endeavor, and WMA as well as representatives from every studio. Celebrity guests and many other artists from in front of or behind the camera will also be in attendance. Prior to and at the culmination of the showcase, cocktails as well as hors d’oeuvres and desserts (courtesy of Contemporary Catering) will be served in the DGA Lobby.

This is a private event with seating limited to industry professionals. For more information, and to RSVP, please visit –

The 2009 DWW Red Carpet Showcase participants:

Meredith Berg

About the film:
VOID, a supernatural thriller, follows FBI agent ‘Liz Metera’ as she investigates a series of grisly murders in a small, desert town. She suspects the murders are the work of a serial killer but discovers that whatever is responsible is not human, and is, instead, something far more monstrous. While uncovering clues, she befriends a boy – terrified of his father – who is hiding a powerful and chilling secret. Uncovering his secret will ultimately cost the FBI agent everything she holds dear, changing her life, and the town, forever.

About the filmmaker:
While earning her directing and acting BFA from NYU Tisch, Meredith Berg garnered an Off-Broadway directing credit for her adaptation of Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR. Since then she moved to Los Angeles and delved further into writing, directing, producing and her other great love: editing comic books. Single issues and graphic novels of hers can be found on the shelves of comic book stores, productions on the Web and on television, and she
continues to direct theatrical productions in and around LA.

Joy Gohring

About the film:
18 is a dramatic short about a teenage girl who has to decide whether or not to remove her mother from life support when she is given power of attorney on her eighteenth birthday.

About the filmmaker:
An internationally touring comedienne, Gohring has written, directed and performed stand-up and live comedy theatre all over the US, Canada and the UK. In 2000, she was chosen to perform at HBO’S prestigious Comedy Arts Festival as the female comedy team ‘Gohring & Stein.’ She subsequently starred in two TV series for Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Productions & Oxygen based on her own unique brand of comedy, including their first sitcom, GOOD GIRLS DON’T…  Gohring also performs periodically in Wayne Brady’s show at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Experiencing an overdose of comedy, Joy shifted her focus to dramatic storytelling in 2007 and attended UCLA Extension where she wrote and directed her first short, GOOD GIRL, about a teenager who struggles to care for her bed-ridden mother. Her film, 18 explores death and letting go. Already being dubbed an actor’s director, Gohring has a natural ability to draw honest and subtle performances from her cast.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste

About the film:
INK is the tale of a talented tattoo artist and single mother dying of AIDS and determined to do so with grace.

About the filmmaker:
Marianne Jean-Baptiste received Academy Award,Golden Globe and British Academy Award nominations for her feature-film debut role in Mike Leigh’s  SECRETS AND LIES. Other film credits include THE CELL, opposite Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Lopez, 28 DAYS opposite Sandra Bullock and SPY GAMES  opposite Robert Redford. TV credits include THE MURDER OF STEPHEN LAWRENCE, written and directed by Paul Greengrass. As a composer, Jean-Baptiste wrote the score for Mike Leigh’s feature film CAREER GIRLS. As a writer she has sold a script to Working Title. She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is currently starring in the CBS hit drama, WITHOUT A TRACE, portraying FBI agent ‘Vivian Johnson’.

Joanna Jurewicz

About the film:
An immigrant maid at an airport hotel goes through the routine of erasing traces that guests have left behind.

About the filmmaker:
Joanna Jurewicz is from Poland and resides in New York. She is a graduate of NYU- Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. Her thesis film, GOYTA was screened at the Cinefondation competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The film went on to win a variety of awards and eventually was sold to and aired on ARTE TV. Jurewicz is currently writing her first feature film while working for a theatre company in NYC.

Mary Ann Kellogg

About the film:
ABUELO traces the special relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

About the filmmaker:
Mary Ann Kellogg is making her directing debut with the short film ABUELO. Kellogg began her career as a professional dancer with Twyla Tharp Dance Company, performing with the company for eight years. She is an award-winning choreographer in film, television and video with substantial industry recognition, an Emmy nomination and a Choreography Media Honors Award for her work on Showtime’s REEFER MADNESS THE MOVIE MUSICAL and two American Choreography Award nominations for her work on SUPERSTAR and THE GURU. She received a fellowship from AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women for the film ABUELO.  is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, holds a BFA from Cal Arts and is an alum of both the AFI Conservatory and AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women.

Alexa-Sascha Lewin

About the film:
THE HONEYSTING is a riveting ride down the dark alleys of Chinatown’s underworld, where the slightest misstep can trigger the deadliest of consequences.

About the filmmaker:
Alexa-Sascha Lewin spent eight years working as a natural history ¬filmmaker. Her work found her trekking mountain gorillas through rebel-infested Rwandan jungles and hanging
out of a helicopter to capture stampeding white rhinos in the South African bush. Lewin began her career in narrative features, interning for Robert Redford’s South Fork Pictures and Propaganda Films. After working in television and documentaries for PBS, ABC/Kane, Discovery Channel, A&E, and the BBC, Lewin wanted to transition back to narrative features. She collaborated on the development of several independent films with the Mount Film Company, and worked in Lithuania on Ed Zwick’s latest film, DEFIANCE, as the assistant to the producer. Lewin was awarded the Panavision New Filmmaker grant and ACE grant for her first narrative film, THE HONEYSTING. Lewin holds a BA from Wheaton College, and studied at the University of Television and Film Munich, and Brown University.

Dominika Waclawiak

About the film:
A young polish immigrant, ‘Gosia’, delves deep into her imagination to overthrow the punishment she receives at the hands of a cruel headmistress at her Catholic school.

About the filmmaker:
Dominika Waclawiak, originally from Lodz, Poland, graduated from Cornell University with a degree in architecture, and worked as a production designer and art director on many shorts as well as in the art department of such features as FLAWLESS under the art direction of two-time Oscar nominee Jan Roelfs (GATTACA) and Emmy award winning Production Designer Sarah Knowles (THE NOTEBOOK). Waclawiak transitioned into CG visual effects due to her previous work in stop motion animation. She has worked as an visual effects artist on such films as LAND OF THE LOST, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the Oscar-winning films THE GOLDEN COMPASS and HAPPY FEET, SUPERMAN RETURNS and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, to name just a few. As a director, her stop-motion short PIEKNI played at many international festivals and is currently distributed by Ouat Media.


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