We love celebrating Women’s History Month by saluting our members who contribute so much to this community. Every day in March we will feature a WIFV Member who has created compelling work and mentored others. Learn more about our honorees by reading their bios below. We encourage members to honor their colleagues with a $31 donation during Women’s History Month. Tax-deductible donations help WIFV provide programs that encourage media-makers to make history. Make a contribution today!
Wednesday, March 22: Rachel Rasby
RACHEL RASBY discovered the creative power of editing and animation early in her career. She got her start at GWU’s Documentary Center editing a short documentary on dumpster diving. Working her way up the ladder (with help from the WIFV listserv and networking events), she has edited and created motion graphics for Discovery Channel, Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic, and the U.S. Census Bureau. For the past two and half years, Rachel has worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts — editing incredible underwater footage of remote, highly-protected marine reserves and creating stop motion animations asking Congress to fund our National Parks. View Rachel’s work at http://bit.ly/2n4vrx2 and http://bit.ly/2mo0wZu
Tuesday, March 21: Penelope Poole
PENELOPE POOLE has worked in 16 countries, five of which she called home, as a print reporter, researcher, editor, bureau chief, foreign correspondent, speechwriter, public affairs counselor, communication director, non-profit executive director, and consulting firm VP. She turned to screenwriting a couple of years ago because of her love of the medium as an educational and change-making tool. She likes to joke that she got her start in fiction writing government reports. As writer/director/producer, Penelope’s credits include environmental documentaries, training/educational and investment videos. Under the auspices of a non-profit she founded to support for social entrepreneurs, she published STOP! DON’T EAT ME, a children’s book about Fair Trade chocolate, and spearheaded multiple projects for women, including cultivating organic edible flowers in Peru and prison visitation in Manila. In 2016, her first feature, the dramedy A BRAND NEW YEAR, was a semi-finalist in Screencraft’s mentorship competition, Second-Rounder at the Austin Film Festival, was featured in Spotlight on Screenwriters, and is now making the rounds in LA. She is currently mired in two other solo projects, a quirky mini-series drama and a coming-of-age feature inspired by true events, both of which she hopes will be ready for scrutiny this season’s competitions, including Spotlight. Learn more about Penelope at: www.penelopepoole.com
Monday, March 20: Wynette Yao
WYNETTE YAO is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced, directed and written films on subjects as wide-ranging as Egypt, bees and bog mummies. She relishes image-making and storytelling that brings alive the human experience behind history, science, or modern life and takes pride in conceiving and directing powerful or intriguing images. She has a special interest in creating media in support of saving our climate and human rights. In recent years, Yao has added digital skills, and made impactful videos for organizations that want to dramatize their message or add a human touch to their websites. She’s currently developing an Instagram campaign against single plastic use and is raising funds for an independent feature documentary on the legislative triumph of the Violence Against Women Act. She’s President of Singing Cat Productions.
Sunday, March 19: Kim Holcomb
KIM HOLCOMB, Director of Production Services at Maryland Public Television, explores a wide range of topics as she helps craft video messages for dozens of state, county, and federal agencies and non-profits. While grateful for the professional recognition that awards have provided through the years, she gains more satisfaction from the teamwork necessary to effectively collaborate on a project. She’s currently working with MD Dept. of the Environment on TV & Radio spots to get the word out about eCycling in MD. Also in the works are videos for the MD Dept of Labor, highlighting the state’s apprenticeship programs, and opioid prescriber training for the state Dept of Health. Kim is continually seeing her profession through new eyes, as she mentors a college intern each semester. She’s thrilled to see more young women comfortable with the technical side of production. The tools have changed over the course of her career, but she feels the need to disseminate clear information is more important now more than ever before. Contact Kim Holcomb at email@example.com and visit mpt.org/rentals.
Saturday, March 18: Nutan Chada
NUTAN CHADA describes herself as a storyteller. Her career has spanned more than 20 years starting as a PA, then as an editor, and now as a producer. Her current position is as Executive Producer with the Defense Logistics Agency where she leads a team to produce documentaries, PSAs, and corporate videos. She is also on special assignment to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Project Manager of Strategic Outreach and Emerging Media where she is developing a social media program to connect and inform communities affected by Department of Defense decisions. Nutan has served with Image Makers and the Executive Breakfast committee and volunteered with the Women of Vision committee of WIFV. Professionally, she has received two CINE Golden Eagles and numerous Telly awards. She wholeheartedly believes in collaboration, learning and giving back to community.
Friday, March 17: Irem Dogancali
IREM DOGANCALI is a director, editor and a sound recordist. She graduated from Film and Video Studies program at George Mason University. She currently works part time at an equipment house and freelances. Her first short, TIDES was screened at DC Shorts Film Festival, Washington West Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival and some others. Irem fell in love with directing while shooting her second short, PINEAPPLE, which screened at the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in September and won “Best Comedy” and “Best Cinematography” when it premiered at George Mason University. Irem is currently developing another short comedy fiction film and a documentary about queer spaces with the help of other fellow female filmmakers Darcelle Larkin and Ashley Blue.
Thursday, March 16: Terra Allgaier
TERRA ALLGAIER has a multifaceted background in journalism, blogging, poetry, and speech writing. She has supported communications for several DC organizations, including the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Terra also managed a successful film campaign for an award-winning documentary produced by the Alliance for Justice. She is also a portrait, event and travel photographer who has had her work featured in exhibits and publications. Terra was one of the youngest selected to participate in grant-funded expeditions to Los Angeles, CA and San Miguel, Mexico. She is also one of the youngest and rare few to have her first script be featured in the third edition of the Spotlight on Screenwriters catalogue. In addition to her day job and working on her new scripts, Terra enjoys doing freelance web design for individuals and small businesses. Learn more about Terra at www.terrajoya.com.
Wednesday, March 15: Bonnie Erbé
BONNIE ERBÉ is a nonpartisan, award-winning American journalist and television host based in the Washington, D.C. area who has covered national politics. She was a columnist for Scripps Howard Newspapers, has written columns for PoliticsDaily.com and was a contributing editor at USNews.com. Bonnie has won more than 20 awards for her journalistic accomplishments. Most recently, she has won numerous honors for the TTC documentary GENDER PARITY IN ISLAM. She is the creator and host of PBS’ popular show TO THE CONTRARY.
Tuesday, March 14: Yolanda Arrington
YOLANDA R. ARRINGTON is an experienced writer, producer, and social media strategist who has dreams of grandeur somewhere on the level between Oprah and Beyonce. But, for now, she’s an award-winning television producer, blogger and social media pro whose career path includes ABC News, DC’s News Channel 8, Retirement Living TV, the Department of Defense, Rare, HealthGreatness, and too many freelance gigs to count. She served on the WIFV board for six years and ran the Image Makers program for several years. She’s currently a DoD contractor where she writes about science and is a member of the department’s social media team. Learn more about Yolanda and her work by visiting: http://www.yolandaarrington.com/
Monday, March 13: Dianela Urdaneta
DIANELA URDANETA is a bilingual producer, director, writer and narrator with more than 25 years of experience. She has produced videos both in English and Spanish for Reuters TV, Voice of America TV, CNN Spanish, CBS Telenoticias, the Inter-American Development Bank, AARP and TMN, among others. She is the owner of the multimedia production company, Arthavision. In her native Venezuela, Dianela was the correspondent for three television stations. While working as a freelancer for Reuters in Washington, DC, she reported from the US Congress, the White House, and the State Department. In 2009 Dianela produced and wrote the script for AARP’s award-winning documentary, CONDICION CRITICA, that exposed the health care disparities among the Hispanic population in the U.S. She also wrote and produced award-winning short stories and features in English and Spanish for AARP’s website, and the PBS show, MY GENERATION. Currently Dianela is producing the documentary SCOUTS FOREVER. View Dianela’s most recent project at: https://vimeo.com/143534011
Sunday, March 12: Bridget Bell McMahon
BRIDGET BELL McMAHON is a novelist and screenwriter based in Annapolis, MD. A graduate of Georgetown University with a business degree and course concentration in theology, Bridget proceeded to work for an international tax and accounting firm in the U.S. and abroad for nearly a decade before settling in the Eastport section of Annapolis with her husband and two sons. Passionate about the art and craft of writing screenplays, she is a founding member of the Maryland Writers’ Association monthly screenplay critique group where collaboration in art thrives. Bridget practices yoga and draws inspiration for her work from family, friends, nature, food and music. Current screenwriting projects include an adaptation of her novel McLEARY’S MULLIGAN, REARRANGING ROXY, MISS GUIDED, and JIHAD EXTRA. Learn more about Bridget at: http://bridgetbell.com/
Saturday, March 11: Anna Reid Jhirad
ANNA REID JHIRAD of Marigold Productions, LLC, is an award-winning writer and producer of documentary films for prime time national television, theatrical release, museums, and educational markets. She has worked with PBS, National Geographic, NBC, IMAX Films, and major American and international film producers such as Guggenheim Productions. Her films include IMPRESSIONISTS ON THE SEINE, KATE CHOPIN: A RE-AWAKENING, THE FOREST WHERE WE LIVE, WILLIAM KENNEDY’S ALBANY, JEROME ROBBINS: SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT, a two-hour documentary for AMERICAN MASTERS, and DOLLEY MADISON for Twin Cities and Middlemarch Films. She collaborated as a writer on THE ART OF NORTON SIMON, TRUMAN, and A PLACE IN THE LAND with Charles, Davis, and Grace Guggenheim. Anna has also been a development producer on giant screen films including FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES, which appeared in over 245 theaters and science museums worldwide and received numerous awards (Best Film). Current projects include: THE POWER TO HEAL, REDISCOVERING KATE CAREW, and in collaboration with Director Ziad Foty and Foty Fusion, RETURN TO RAMALLAH: A PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN STORY. Anna is a member of the WGAE and her projects have won major awards, among them an Academy Award Nomination, Emmys, Cine Golden Eagle, the DuPont Columbia Award, a Jade Award for Excellence in Writing, and Best Environmental Film.
Friday, March 10: Crisger Santley
CRISGER SANTLEY is a makeup artist, licensed esthetician, and owner of Star Makeup Studio. For the last eight years, she has provided makeup artistry, skincare, and hair styling services to TV, film, print, and fashion clients in the greater Washington, DC area. Crisger discovered her passion for makeup and beauty in her hometown of Caracas, Venezuela at Stravaganza Style, a family beauty salon business, where she took her first makeup training and started working at the family salon on weekends to improve her skills. During this time, Crisger also studied for her bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduating from college, she moved to the USA and completed a Media Makeup Artistry course at Award Studios in Burbank, California, and later received her certificate in Esthetics from The Esthetic Institute in Vienna, Virginia where she also served a the makeup instructor for a couple of years. Learn more about Crisger and her work on her website: http://www.starmakeupstudio.com/
Thursday, March 9: Betsy Walters
BETSY WALTERS is the Executive Director of CINE, an organization focused on honoring and championing the best in professional, independent and student media. Betsy began her career at CINE while still a student at The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, graduating with honors in 2004 with a degree in Electronic Media. She succeeded Bruce Bucklin as CINE Director of Competitions in 2007 managing CINE’s signature Golden Eagle Awards program. She assumed the role of Executive Director in 2016, overseeing CINE’s staff and operations, programming and events. Betsy has participated in several programs on industry awards and festivals and represented CINE and its award-winning filmmakers at industry events such as the Tribeca Film Festival, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, AFI DOCS, New Hampshire Film Festival, DC Shorts and the University Film and Video Association Conference. She has served on the jury of the HollyShorts Film Festival, Santa Fe International Film Festival and as a grant panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Wednesday, March 8: Emily Morrison
EMILY MORRISON is an actor in theater and film and also serves as the Board President of the Actors’ Center. She is currently set to appear in Mike Kravinsky’s next film, NOTHING TO DO, her third project with the filmmaker. She is also understudying at Studio Theatre in the upcoming repertory of Chekhov’s THE THREE SISTERS and Aaron Posner’s premiere NO SISTERS. In her role with the Actors’ Center, she is always looking for new projects and new ways to partner with local organizations. Click here to learn more about Emily!
Tuesday, March 7: Maura Ugarte
MAURA UGARTE is a documentary producer, director and editor whose work has appeared at True/False, Cleveland International, Cucalorus, and Palm Springs International film festivals, among others. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in Catholic University’s Media and Communication Studies Department. During her time there, she has revamped and grown the production program, and designed a video production certificate open to all CUA undergraduates. Previously, Maura was Associate Research Director at the Center for Media and Social Impact where she worked on their fair use project, and on their ethics in documentary project. Recently she co-produced and edited UNCENSORED, which appeared at the Bogota Human Rights International Film festival among others. Her other films include DIVIDE and THROUGH FIRE AND WATER.
Monday, March 6: Sharon Burtner
SHARON PATRICIA BURTNER is an author, a screenwriter, and an actress. She has written a collection of poems entitled AFTERIMAGE, which won the first place prize in the 2015 Writer’s Digest self-published e-book awards. Sharon has written multiple screenplays including FOAM (2016 Short Screenplay Finalist, Filmmatic Screenplay Awards Competition), FROM MOUSE TO MAN (2016 Short Story Finalist, Moondance International Film Festival), THE DONOR (2016 Screenplay Semi-Finalist, Richmond International Film Festival), and SKIPPING BACKWARDS (2014 Official Selection, Spotlight on Screenwriters). In recent years, Sharon has enjoyed playing background roles in HOUSE OF CARDS, VEEP, MERCY STREET and TURN, as well as the voice of Priscilla in REPLENISHMENT. Learn more about Sharon and her work at www.sharonburtner.com.
Sunday, March 5: Jacquie Greff
JACQUIE GREFF is the President and CEO of Tonal Vision, a Baltimore video production house that focuses on smaller commercial productions. Recent larger projects include MEMORIES OF THE WARSAW GHETTO, a documentary produced for a deaf survivor of the Holocaust, which was done mostly in gratis, and the HISTORY AT RISK web series. After retiring from a career at Procter & Gamble in Regulatory Affairs, Jacquie joined her husband Kraig at Tonal Vision, expanding it from music and audio into video production. To learn this new field, Jacquie earned her MA in Producing Film & Video from American University and volunteered for 6 years as Board President and Treasurer of TIVA. At Tonal Vision, Jacquie happily exercises her artistic side by creating films, animations and web productions and applies her strong sense of fairness and fierce independence in the company’s platform of making professional video simple and affordable for clients and in the documentaries she produces. A relentless perfectionist by nature, she believes that art, music, relationships and a great story are actually superior values and works hard to foster them. Click here to view Jacquie’s work!
Saturday, March 4: Marcey Lynn Frutchey
MARCEY LYNN FRUTCHEY has been an independent filmmaker for over 15 years. With a MFA in Film Producing from the University of Southern California, Marcey has been collecting and creating visual stories from around the world, highlighting the many perspectives she has encountered throughout her travels. A nomad for life, she has experience in all aspects of filmmaking from screenwriting to producing to directing and editing. Her short films and screenplays have been screened and placed in a variety of film festivals nationwide and she has worked at Warner Bros., Warner Independent, Polymorphic Pictures, and the National Park Service, National Capital Region. She is currently the videographer at the Architect of the Capitol, U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Some of her local DC film projects can be viewed online at a variety of National Park websites including nps.gov/frdo, nps.gov/anac, and nps.gov/pohe.
Friday, March 3: Natasha Klauss
NATASHA LILI KLAUSS SOLEIMAN was inspired to become a media maker by spending her teenage years in Africa. After receiving her BS in Broadcasting & Film from Boston University, she returned to Washington, DC working on a popular music television show. She then moved on to become the Assistant Director at Women in Film & Video, where she helped to propel the membership over the 1000 member mark. Through her work with WIFV, Natasha was inspired to form Worldview Productions, a freelance video production company, which she still runs today. She has worked in multiple aspects of the media industry from photo researcher for National Geographic Books to videographer and director of The Kennedy Center’s Milliennium Stage’s live web broadcast. Learn more about Natasha and her work on her website http://www.worldviewtv.com/.
Thursday, March 2: Flo Dwek
FLO DWEK has enjoyed a lengthy communications and speechwriting career in the Washington area, but her voice has been her true calling card. Flo’s voice over work is what led her to join WIFV back in the late 1990s. For several years after joining, she edited WIFV’s monthly newsletter and assisted with event planning. Flo also claims the distinct privilege of being the long-time editor of WIFV’s Members in the News, where she has profiled hundreds of talented members over the past 15 years. She recently retired from a 40-year career in communications, speechwriting and public health with the federal government and the private sector. Now, with a little more time on her hands, Flo also serves as a film critic for WIFV’s Reel Corner blog, posting reviews of the latest features and docs, and unique, one-on-one interviews with directors, filmmakers and authors.
Wednesday, March 1: Gillian Willman
GILLIAN WILLMAN has fifteen years of filmmaking experience. As a former Senior Producer at Cortina Productions and The Newseum, and now as a freelance producer, she specializes in helping clients realize their vision through creative storytelling. She has directed and produced a diverse set of projects, ranging from multi-screen presentations in Presidential Libraries to interactive tables, and from National Geographic digital short series to whiteboard animations. Her work can be seen in over a dozen institutions around the country. One of Gillian’s most recent freelance projects, ARTISTS UNITE, can be seen at The Newseum as part of the Louder than Words: Rock, Power, and Politics exhibit. As an independent filmmaker, Gillian made her debut with THE NEW WOMAN: ANNIE “LONDONDERRY” KOPCHOVSKY, an award winning short documentary about the first woman to cycle around the world in 1895. Learn more about Gillian and her work on her website https://www.gillianwillman.com/.