New Waves Update

New Waves is WIFT-AT’s workshop-based initiative for young women aged 18-30. It is a series of five workshops for a group of 9 participants with an interest in the film and television industries with a mentorship component that connects them with established industry workers. The program kicked off at the Women Making Waves conference where these aspiring filmmakers/industry workers were invited as WIFT-AT's special guests. They took in as much of the weekend as possible and many of them had the chance to meet their mentors for the first time.

A journalism student from the University of King's College, Chelsea Rozansky caught wind of the program and met with a few of us at Women Making Waves to learn more. Afterwards, she produced an article for Signal HFX about New Waves and Rina Fraticelli's address at the WMW Networking Lunch.

New Waves participants Michelle, Brianna, Maddie and organizer Katie at WMW Networking Lunch. Photo by Chelsea Rozansky.

Since the conference, the New Waves participants have been attending weekly workshops at daVinci College in Halifax. daVinci offers a film program of their own, and with a great facility for a program such as this, generously offered to sponsor the series. The New Waves workshops span a whole range of skills: Producing, Directing, Documentary, Writing, and Technical/On-Set. We are now on week 4 of 5 with only two more workshops to go. So far it has been really fantastic!

Following Women Making Waves, we kicked off the first of five workshops by learning about the thorough, organized and efficient job of a producer. Karen Wentzell lead this workshop in which she not only taught these necessary skills, but demonstrated them. Each participant was sent home with an entire days worth of producing knowledge and tips, as well as all of the necessary documents to go along with it.

In week two, Andrea Dorfman lead a Directing workshop. This was another fantastic introduction into the world of filmmaking. Andrea inspired an understanding of what it means to be the director on set, as well as she provided a sense of accessibility in the telling of the trajectory of her own career. Andrea referenced many of the works that she has made through self-teaching and experimentation, giving these young women the inspiration necessary to go out and do it themselves.

Week three (last week), Marcia Connolly taught us about Documentary Filmmaking. Again, the New Wavers left the workshop buzzing with energy and feeling inspired to create. Marcia's workshop was really interesting in that she demonstrated both the final product and the behind-the-scenes work of a documentary filmmaker liker herself. Marcia often works alone, though her films' production value will look to have employed an entire crew. Marcia gave a sense of the narrative implicit in shooting a documentary from start to finish -- this was especially inspiring for these young women, many of whom take a keen interest in journalism.

In the weeks to come, we are left looking forward to two more New Waves workshops. This weekend, we will be joined by Brittany Amos who will teach us about Screenwriting, and the following week, Dominique Gusset will gives us a hands-on approach with Technical and On-Set training.

The New Waves participants are really looking forward to these final two pieces to this series. Expect to hear some more updates as we finish up the program -- in fact, we're hoping we might even be able to put some of these journalists to work to provide their own take on their New Waves experience. Stay tuned!

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