Hear me speak about VR with some fantastic female creators @ REEL MAGIC HOUR Oct. 15th

I will be speaking at this year's Chelsea Film Festival's REEL MAGIC HOUR on Oct 15th from 3:30pm - 4:30pm at FIT. See detail information below. The panel "Women in Tech” is moderated by the fantastic Illya Szilak.

Reel Magic Hour® is a day long program that provides one hour panels designed for our Chelsea Film Festival filmmakers to meet and network. This is the second edition of the Reel Magic Hour. This program is supported by the Sundance Institute and listed in the Women at Sundance and Women in Film LA Resource Map. 

This event has been made possible by the generous support of the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Access to this event requires a Festival Pass or VIP Pass. Click here to purchase.

WHEN: Saturday, October 15th from 10.30am – 6pm

WHERE:  Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
                The David Dubinsky Student Center (Building A)
                227 W 27th St. (Between 7th & 8th Aves.)
                New York, NY 10001


Panel One: Women Centric

Panel Two: Students in Film

Panel Three: StoryForward

Panel Four: Diversity

Panel Five:  Virtual Reality


10.30am – 11.30am
Registration and Networking Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by Teremok


11.30am – 12.30pm
Panel One: Women Centric

Title: "Want to Advance your Business or Career? Work with a Woman!”

Description: Women have been challenged for years in all areas of life and have climbed mountains to achieve the impossible. They have been forming teams, companies, agencies, and changing laws to fight for gender equality. Today, we’re discussing how working with a woman in the film industry can actually benefit your business long-term.  

Moderator: Laurie Kirby (FestForums)

Speakers: Diana Vargas (HFFNY), Jill Michelle Williams (Engel Entertainment),  Rebekah Louisa Smith (The Festival Doctor), Jennifer S. Wilkov (Entertainment Consultant), Erica Booth (A.B.L.E)


12.30pm – 1.30pm
Panel Two:  Student Film

Title: “Filmmakers of Tomorrow and What They Want to See in Film Today”  

Description: We sit down with young filmmakers and discuss with them what they see as the most important facets of media making today and in the future- as well as what traditions they find are pertinent to hold onto. The students will also talk about what topics interest them the most and what sparks them to write the films that they create.  

Moderator: Brian Emery (FIT Faculty)

Speakers: Sophia Huebschman (NYU), Kevin Shepard (FIT), Piotr Lewczuk (FIT), Beverly Ohle (FIT), Mary Cann (FIT), Monet Michael (FIT)

1.30pm – 2.30pm
Panel Three:  StoryForward

Title: “Creating Connections” 

Description:  StoryForward is dedicated to promoting the future of storytelling and entertainment. Comprised of a podcast and series of meet-up events, StoryForward brings you the opportunity to hear amazing speakers from around the world, and connect with like-minded creative people in a city near you.

Moderator: Michael Schein (StoryForward)

Speakers: Ali Robinson (StoryForward), Amy Bennet (StoryForward), Jen Begeal (StoryForward)


2.30pm – 3.30pm
Panel Four: Cinema, diversity and minorities: The Distribution’s perspective

Title: “Race and Filmmaking: Understanding the Hurdles of Hollywood” 

Description:  With Hollywood blatantly giving more money to ‘white’ film, race can affect filmmakers at the base of their endeavors before they even start their projects. This discussion will bring to light the relationship between race and distribution- and what decisions are made based on prejudice and assumption from both sides. Surprisingly, these assumptions are almost always intertwined.

Moderator: Jenn Mello (Film Interchange)

Speakers:  Heidi Marshall (Director), Muriel Wiltord (Martinique Promotion Bureau), Janete Scobie (ZingPicks), Ben Snyder (Filmmaker)


3.30pm – 4.30pm
Panel Five: Virtual Reality

Title: “The Minds Behind Virtual Reality Becoming the Filmmaker’s Reality” 

Description: We will be giving a closer look at Virtual Reality and 360 headsets and their role in shaping creators experiences. What exactly does the option of VR mean for filmmakers? This panel of women represent the innovators of this this new medium and how it is becoming incorporated into the film industry. We will be discussing how VR’s scope may or may not be influencing filmmakers perspectives on a creative plane.

Moderator: Illya Szilak (Interactive Designer)

Speakers:  Amelia Winger-Bearskin (DBRS Innovation Lab), LaJuné McMillan (New Media Artist & Creative Technologist), Skye Von (Filmmaker), Kinga Sarah Smith (Executive Producer)

4.30pm – 6.00pm
Networking Cocktail

Sponsored by the Martinique Promotion Bureau/ CMT USA

The San Francisco Film Society's FilmHouse Residency program is now OPEN

For all my San Francisco filmmakers! The SFFS FilmHouse Residency is amazing. Apply today!

Applications Open: August 3
Early Deadline: August 31
Late Deadline: September 7


The San Francisco Film Society's FilmHouse Residency program–which supports narrative and documentary feature films by making office space available free of charge for residencies to independent filmmakers actively engaged in various stages of film production–is located at a beautifully renovated location at 644 Broadway Street on the border of San Francisco's Chinatown and Italian North Beach districts. Made possible by the generous support of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and San Francisco Film Commission, FilmHouse provides critical support to local and visiting filmmakers by fostering a thriving creative community that encourages collaboration, resource sharing, peer-to-peer feedback and networking opportunities. A major component of the Film Society's Filmmaker360 program, FilmHouse functions as a vibrant workshop and creative hub for filmmakers of all kinds.

FilmHouse currently holds ten filmmakers engaged in 12-month residencies, all working in early project stages of screenwriting and preproduction. These full-time residents are joined more than 30 part-time residents who utilize the innovative flexible-use space. In addition to 12-month residencies, throughout the year there are roughly 10-20 additional visiting filmmakers from other Filmmaker360 programs that utilize flexible-use space.

All residents benefit from a robust guest speaker series, featuring lectures and presentations by leading industry professionals; resident-led workshops and work-in-progress screenings; access to SFFS networking events; and numerous other community-building programs.


Amanda Todd
FilmHouse Manager