Support the careers of the promising filmmakers selected for the 2015 American Film Institute Directing Workshop For Women and contribute to their crowdfunding campaigns.
Established in 1974 by the American Film institute to support emerging female filmmakers, the successful AFI Directing Workshop for Women run by Patty West celebrated its 40th year by innovating and offering an episodic program in addition to its flagship short film workshop.
6 short film and 4 episodic participants were received this year: Claire Fowler, Erica Liu, Bella Monticelli-McTiernan, Rebecca Murga, Philiane Phang and Chelsea Woods will have to shoot a short film while Amy Barrett, Christine Boylan, Dime Davis and Mia Lidofsky will be directing the first episodes of their webseries.
Shot during the summer, their creations will be enriched by the guidance received from the 2015 mentors Jill Soloway, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Daisy Mayer & the studio execs from the new Executive Circle during the intensive 3-week workshop which debuted on April 30.
Properly introduced during the annual AFI DWW showcase on May 14, the new participants are already raising funds for their films.
Discover the 6 projects currently active on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and support the films of Rebecca Murga, Claire Fowler, Chelsea Woods, Philiane Phang, Amy Barrett and Mia Lidofsky.
Note that you can also contribute to the other 2015 AFI DWW projects by Christine Boylan, Dime Davis, Erica Liu, Bella Monticelli without crowdfunding campaigns directly on the AFI website, and enlist your company to match your donation.Find our coverage and interviews with the previous participants, Discover the directors & films of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women 2013 and find the workshop on our List of Fellowships & Mentorships for Women Filmmakers
American Girl by Rebecca Murga
What makes an American — where you are born or what you are willing to sacrifice for freedom?
Serving as a Captain and Broadcast Chief in the U.S. Army Reserve, Rebecca Murga covered combat stories and followed U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A producer, writer and director of news and documentary films, she worked for channels such as ABC & CBS and was recently featured by NPR for her documentary War Ink.
Inspired by her Army experience, she connects it her personal history for her new short film American Girl, which follows the journey of a young Guatemalan girl driven by her late father’s dream to become an American who, once adult and enlisted in the Army, will have to use the same survival skills she learned as an immigrant child to protect her soldiers and herself from the Taliban.
Written & directed by Rebecca Murga
Produced by Karen Kraft & Dara Weintraub
Edited by Jeff Castellucio
Campaign goal & duration: $17,500 – June 13
Noodles by Claire Fowler
A short film about love. Told backwards.
A former student of Oxford University and the Royal College of Arts, Claire Flower was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2008 which allowed her to study film at Columbia University and graduate with honors in 2011 with a MFA in Screenwriting.
Focusing on human rights-themed documentary films from 2005 to 2009 and counting Current TV UK, Universal Music UK, and Shatterbox USA as her clients, Flower is now working on narrative projects when she is not working as a script supervisor.
Her new film Noodles tells a tragic love story with a happy ending… because it’s told backwards.
Written & directed by Claire Fowler
Produced by Christina Dow
Script Supervisor: Hallie Overman
Campaign goal & duration: $15,000 – June 12
Fog by Chelsea Woods
Valerie, a successful Black female attorney, must navigate a major career move and the return of her college-aged daughter while hiding her deteriorating mental health.
Graduating with honors from the University of Chicago in 2011 with her thesis film Elevated, Chelsea Woods became a production assistant on Middle of Nowhere -the second feature film of Ava DuVernay– and worked on the production staff of Touch, Criminal Minds and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
With Fog, Woods uses comedy and the means of a hallucinatory 90’s sitcom to address mental illness and depression, often taboo in the African-American community.
Read Middle of Nowhere and 26 Screenplays of Award-Nominated Films by Female Writers & Directors – 2015-2012
Blood Is Upon Them by Philiane Phang
A narrative short film hoping to increase awareness about corrective rape.
Not one to shy away from difficult themes, Philiane Phang decided to cover the sensitive subject of “corrective rape” in her new short film, Blood Is Upon Them.
Blood Is Upon Them will be her second short film after her directorial debut Serena Strong, screened at the 2014 BET/HBO Urbanworld Film Festival. Her feature screenplay “The Space Between” allowed her to participate to the 2014 Sundance Screenwriters Intensive and Film Independent Screenwriters Lab. Following that encouraging streak, she became the recipient of the first inaugural Ammon Foundation Fellowship for a Female Filmmaker at the 2015 Spirit Awards.
Written & Directed by Philiane Phang
Campaign goal & duration: $15,000 – May 29
Carry Me by Amy Barrett
A wealthy couple hires a woman to carry their second child, complicating everyone’s lives.
A former journalist for The New York Times Magazine and other national publications, Amy Barrett directed her first short film in 2003: The Third Date, starring Sarah Clarke and Xander Berkeley, known for their portrayals of Nina Myers and George Mason in the Fox series 24.
Resuming her film career ten years later, she directed Amy Landecker (Louie, Transparent) in the short What Shoud We Watch? and her new comedy/mystery Lars & Jonathan: A Berlin Friendship with novelist Jonathan Lethem & actor Lars Eidinger is being submitted to festivals.
Resuming her creative collaboration with Sarah Clarke for her first web series Carry Me, Amy Barrett is one of the 4 participants of the inaugural episodic program of the AFI Directing Workshop For Women.
Directed by Amy Barrett
Starring Sarah Clarke
Produced by Meggan M. Lennon
Campaign goal & duration: $17,500 – May 23
Strangers by Mia Lidofsky
Strangers is a dramatic comedy series about one young woman’s experience renting out the spare room in her house.
After learning the trades with director Jesse Peretz on the sets of Girls & New Girl, directing music videos and working with Beachside Films as an executive producer on the documentary TIG with Tig Notaro, Mia Lidofsky is now moving forward on her directorial career.
Currently developing her first feature for Beachside, she was selected by the AFI to direct the pilot episode of her web series Strangers.
Created and directed by Mia Lidofsky
Written by Mia Lidofsky, Zoe Chao & Chad Hartigan
Produced by Jesse Peretz
Campaign goal & duration: $15,000 – June 11