St. Francis College Women's Film Festival

Women's Film Festival

Women's Film Festival, April 4-6, 2019


We are committed to celebrating emerging and established female filmmakers. We strive to recognize new and original voices within the St. Francis College community and other university communities, as well as in the international emerging film community. Our goal is to create a bridge between female college filmmakers and professional female filmmakers which will encourage collaboration, cooperation, and coordination.



  1. To inspire discourse among women regarding the expression of women’s image in film, as well as to explore the role of women in the history and evolving art of filmmaking.

  2. Examine emerging film storytelling trends, and artistic viewpoints of female student and professional filmmakers.

augusta palmer

Augusta Palmer
Director / Co-Curator

Augusta Palmer, director of the SFC Women’s Film Festival is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. She is a filmmaker and scholar who holds a Ph. D. in Cinema Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a documentarian, she is best known for The Hand of Fatima (2009), a feature documentary about music, mysticism, and family history. Her award-winning documentary and experimental video work has screened in national and international festivals, as well as at venues like New York's Anthology Film Archives. Her first fiction short, A is for Aye-Aye: An Abecedarian Adventure has been screened at children’s film festivals from New York to New Zealand. She is currently at work on a new feature documentary, The Blues Society, which is about blues and bohemia in 1960s America.

2018 Film Festival

2018 Festival Supporters & Partners


  • Department of Communication Arts
  • Women’s and Gender Studies Minor
  • Honors Program
  • Office of the Academic Dean

2018 Panel Discussions

St. Francis College Women's Film Festival
From The Silent Era To Virtual Reality

March 19 - 23, 2018

Festival Winners
  • Best Narrative Short by a Female Non-Student - ur dead to me, Yonoko Li
  • Best Narrative Short by a Female Student - Tira Misu (SFC) Co-Directors Marina Esparza & Shala Franciosa
  • Best Documentary Short by a Female Non-Student - Voices From Kaw Thoo Lei, Martha Gorzycki
  • Best Documentary Short by a Female Student - LGBTQ Comes Out to SFC Concetta D’Angelo/Producer Michele Montecalvo
  • Best Animated Short by a Female Non-Student - Meeting Macguffin, Catya Plate
  • Best Animated Short by a Female Student - Laymun, Catherine Prowse
  • Best Virtual Reality Work - Fly, Ji-Young Kang
  • Best Experimental Film - Nothing A Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix, Jennifer Proctor

Audience Awards

  • Audience Award for Documentary - The Road Less Traveled, Marissa Plaia & Family Unwritten, Yasmin Mistry
  • Audience Award for Fiction - Tira Misu (SFC) Co-Directors Marina Esparza & Shala Franciosa
  • Audience Award for Animation - Laymun, Catherine Prowse

2018 Festival Preview

2018 Film Schedule

Program 1: March 19, 6pm




ur dead to me

Yonoko Li

New Zealand


Tessa Hoffe


The Road Less Traveled

Marissa Plaia



Josephine Massarella


Family Rewritten

Yasmin Mistry


Nothing a Little Soap & Water Can’t Fix

Jennifer Proctor


LGBTQ Comes Out to SFC

Concetta D’Angelo

Michele MonteCalvo



Catherine Prowse


Program 2: March 20, 3:30pm





Lauren E. Johnson


Cultural Appropriation

Simran Sharma


The Story of a Motorbike

Junqing Duanmu



Clare Maceda


Celebrating 55 by Protesting 45

Mary Dalton


I Wait

Megan Gonzalez


#MeToo PSA

Alexandra Kenny & Alyssa Hernandez


Program 3 March 23, 1:20 pm




Ok, Mum

Eva Lanska


Meeting MacGuffin

Catya Plate


Voices from Kaw Thoo Lei

Marth Gorzycki


Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf

Dina Fiasconaro


Program 4: March 22, 12 noon




The Living Girdle

Judith Henry



Shannon Plumb



Amy Podmore


Theme & Variations

Yulia Lanina



Kathryn Ramey


Kicking Up Dust

Angela Ellsworth



Ana Dantas


Our Summer Made Her Light Escape

Sasha Waters-Freyer


Take the Wild

Krista Davis & Cari Tangendal


Program 5: March 22, 4:30pm




Ace and Anxious

Bri Castellini



Pamela Mathues


For Mom

Savannah Joeckel



Maribel Apuya


Ready for a Baby

Anastasia Dyakova


Tira Misu

Marina Esparza


2018 Festival Schedule

Monday, March 19 - FOUNDERS HALL

  • 2:00pm - Screening of Shoes (1916) by silent film director Lois Weber with live piano accompaniment by the amazing Ben Model
  • 4:00pm - Panel on the Past, Present, and Future of Women's Film Production with:
    • Academy Award nominee Immy Humes,
    • VR Innovator Theresa Loong, and
    • Kate Saccone of the Women Film Pioneer's Project at Columbia University
  • 5:15pm - Opening Reception
  • 6:00pm - Screening Program #1

Tuesday, March 20- FOUNDERS HALL

  • 11:10am - Social Media Charm School, a workshop on how to craft your personal brand in social media led by Seed & Spark crowdfunding guru Christina Raia
  • 1:20-3:20pm - Pitch Workshop led by Seed & Spark crowdfunding guru Christina Raia. Learn how to pitch your film or business from a pitch master
  • 3:30-4:30pm - Screening Program #2
  • 4:30-6:00pm - From #MeToo to #ActToo: Taking Action for Culture Change - Callahan Center
    • Join Mary Iannone (Breakthrough US) & Urvashi Gandhi (Breakthrough India) representatives from Breakthrough, a global human rights nonprofit, to discuss the future of #MeToo in both the United States and India. They'll discuss how to turn this powerful moment into a sustainable movement to create real culture change. Iannone and Gandhi will run through workshop ideas for daily actions anyone can take to change our environments, disrupt gender norms, and help to ensure no one else ever has to say #MeToo.

Thursday, March 22 FOUNDERS HALL

  • 12:00pm - Experimental Shorts Program curated by Roberta Bonisson
    • Program#4
  • 1:20pm - Breaking Boundaries: VR & Immersive Story Telling Panel with
    • Lisa Russell
    • Christian Delsol
    • Ellen Pearlman

  • 2:30pm - VR Viewing
  • 3:30pm - Panel - Filmmaking & entrepreneurship: Manage your Entertainment Business with
    • Thembisa Mshaka,
    • Lauren Magura of Cinematcher, and
    • Marie-Helene Carleton of
  • 4:30pm - Screening Program #5
  • 5:30pm - Awards Ceremony
  • 6:30pm - Reception



  • 11:30am-1:00pm - Rising Up: #GALSNGEAR presents Global Perspectives on the Celluloid Ceiling
    • Filmmaker and Celluloid Ceiling author Gabrielle Kelly and
    • Editor Meaghan Wilbur from 2 Dope Queens (HBO)
  • 1:20pm - Screening Program #3
  • 3:00pm - Making Media for Social Change: Screening & Panel with
    • documentary Filmmaker Lisa Russell, who will be screening Heroines of Health,
    • and Leslie Wright from the Zonta Club of New York, who will introduce an excerpt from Little Stones by Sophia Cruz.

2017 Film Festival

2017 Festival Schedule

Tuesday, March 28 - 9:30am - 4:00pm

  • 9:30am Opening address
  • 9:45am Film Screenings
  • 11:00am - 12:30pm Panel discussion - Women's Filmmaking Past, Present, Future: Why Women's Media Making Matters
    • Ally Acker - Film Historian, Filmmaker, author Reel Women, a two volume work on Women in Cinema from the Silent Era to 2010
    • Debra Zimmerman - Executive Director, Women Make Movies
    • Isabel Sandoval - Director, Apparition
  • 12:30-2:00pm Film Screenings
  • 2:00pm - 3:30pm Crowdfunding Workshop - Financing your Film
    • WORKSHOP LEADER: Christina Raia of Seed and Spark - social media /audience building and maintenance
  • 4:00pm -5:30pm Filmmaker Roundtable Event
    • Building Bridges – The Art of Networking (Festival filmmakers only)
    • April Yvette Thompson (Producer: Blue Caprice, Mother of George, Gun Hill Road)

  • Wednesday March 29th 11:00-6:30pm

    • 11:00am - 3pm Film Screenings with Q & A
    • 3:00pm- 4:00pm Panel Discussion - Making it Happen: Filmmaking as Entrepreneurship
      • Stacey Holman
        • Producer, Tell Them We are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities and Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
        • Director, Dressed Like Kings
      • Lauren Magura - Cinematcher, a new app for finding crew members for film shoots
      • Lisa Russell - StoryShifter
    • 4:00pm-5:45pm Film Screenings
    • 5:45pm-6:30pm Awards ceremony and reception

    Awards & Prizes

    • Best Narrative Short by a Female Student
    • Best Documentary Short by a Female Student
    • Best Narrative Short by a Female Non-Student
    • Best Documentary Short by a Female Non-Student
    • Best Documentary by an SFC Student
    • Best Animated Film by a Female Student
    • Best Animated Film by a Female Non-Student

Schedule of Films

day one film schedule

day 2 film schedule

magaly colimon christopher

Magaly Colimon-Christopher


"It started with an impression I got that young female artists were more reticent to express themselves than I was when I was their age. This impression evolved into a desire to give them a platform to be seen and heard. The desire sparked a conversation with Augusta Palmer, during which I discovered I wasn't the only professor who was concerned about the muted voice of female film students. Augusta and I went back-and-forth analyzing the pros and cons of co-founding a film festival, until a rush of determination and optimism turned a series of conversations into hours of co-planning, team work and co-recruiting. Our collaboration resulted in the first ever St. Francis College Women's Film Festival in 2016."

In addition to co-directing the festival, Magaly is an Adjunct Professor in St. Francis College's Communications Art Department. Magaly is also a professional actress/writer/director. Her acting credits include national commercials, prime time television, and regional theater productions. Magaly's directing credits include "Yes Madame" (screening selection at the Pan African Film Festival, Martha's Vineyard Film Festival, Reel Sisters Film Festival, and BHERC Film Festival). Her director/writer credits also include BN4REAL (web series), short film HER TORY (short film), and 2Divas and a Camera (short film series). St. Francis College has recently produced staged readings of her plays THE HUNTING SEASON and BAMBOO UNDER RUBBLE. She is a true East Coaster. She earned her BA at Columbia College, her MBA from Binghamton University, and her MFA from Yale School of Drama.

2017 Festival Opening Remarks

Panel Discussion: Why Women's Media Making Matters


The Independent Filmmaker Project The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is proudly supporting the St. Francis College Women's Film Festival by awarding one-year memberships to IFP for all of our prize winners.
screening room
Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn


Ally Acker

Ally Acker is a filmmaker and poet. Her most recent film is Reel Herstory: The REAL Story of Reel Women, hosted by Jodie Foster, based on her two-book collection, Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema, The First Hundred Years. The original 1989 edition was hailed groundbreaking as the first book on the market to reveal the transformational role women played in film since 1896. Acker also directed the ten documentary collection, Filmmakers on Film. Acker’s last film, The Flowering of the Crone: Leonora Carrington, Another Reality, is the only film produced in the U.S. about the great Surrealist. Acker appears in The Women Who Run Hollywood, which premiered at Cannes last May.

Debra Zimmerman

Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies since 1983. For 10 of the last 11 years films from WMM have won or been nominated for Oscars. She is in great demand around the world as a speaker on independent film distribution, marketing and financing. She is a member of numerous Advisory Boards for many media organizations, a jury member for many international film festivals, and regularly sits on foundation and government funding panels. She is the recipient of New York Women in Film and Television's Loreen Arbus Award and the Hot Doc's Doc Mogul Award, given to those who "over the course of their career has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both in his or her country or abroad."

Isabel Sandoval

Isabel Sandoval is a New York-based Filipino filmmaker. Her second feature film, "Apparition", won the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NetPAC) Award at the recently-concluded 2012 Hawaii International Film Festival after having its international premiere in competition at the 2012 Busan International Film Festival (New Currents category). U.S. trade magazine Variety gave "Apparition" a rave review: an "outstanding" sophomore feature that is "intelligently scripted" and "deeply moving". In July 2013, The Museum of Modern Art screened "Apparition" for a week as part of their ContemporAsian series.

Christina Raia

Christina Raia is a New York City based Writer/Director, the Founder of CongestedCat Productions and a Crowdfunding Specialist at Seed&Spark. Her work, a collection of short films, a web series, and a feature film, has gained a large online following through multiple crowdfunding campaigns. She has been covered by press outlets such as Indiewire, AfterEllen, and BuzzFeed. She also turned her desire to foster collaboration and engagement in the local film community into IndieWorks, a monthly film screening series showcasing and supporting the work of other independent filmmakers in New York.

Seed & Spark

Seed&Spark is the world’s only streaming and crowdfunding destination, supporting inclusive films and film-related projects with funding, audience building, and distribution. At the heart of our popular “Crowdfunding to Build Independence” workshop is our dedication to connecting filmmakers with their audiences. Identifying, and then enthusiastically engaging, your supporters is essential to a career of successfully funding and distributing your films. That's why in our class, we teach you how to find and engage your fans, run an effective crowdfunding campaign, and then distribute your film—all while preparing you to make your next film. Because after all, this class isn’t about crowdfunding: it’s about career building. Your film career starts here!

April Yvette Thompson

SimonSays Entertainment's Director of Development, April Yvette Thompson is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor working across media. Producer: Blue Caprice, Mother of George, Gun Hill Road, Porgy & Bess, Jitney. Actor: Blue Caprice, Gotham, Blue Bloods, The Exonerated Accidental Husband, Law & Order. Broadway/Off Broadway: Clybourne Park, Medea, King Lear, Macbeth, Liberty City, Fit for a Queen. Playwright: Good Bread Alley & Liberty City (Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Lucille Lortel noms). Education: Vassar College & Rutgers University.

Stacey Holman

Stacey L. Holman is a Harlem based independent producer/director whose work has screened Nationally and Internationally. She recently wrapped on the PBS documentary Tell Them We Are Rising the Story of Black Colleges and Universities as Producer which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. In addition, she produced and directed the award-winning shorts Mirar Mirror and Girl Talk and has produced content for Centric TV. Stacey’s work also expands to South Africa where she’s finishing a documentary, Dressed Like Kings, on a group of fashionable Zulu men. She’s a graduate of Dillard University and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Lauren Magura

Lauren is the founder and CEO of the entertainment job matching app Cinematcher. She came up with the idea of Cinematcher through her passion for connecting people within the entertainment industry. The true dedication of everyone in the industry, and the need for a simpler hiring process influenced Lauren to put Cinematcher into motion. Lauren has a background from Universal Pictures in marketing and film and oversees all aspects of Cinematcher.

Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell is an Emmy-winning filmmaker with a Masters in Public Health who has been producing films and creative advocacy campaigns on pressing global development topics for UN/NGO agencies for the past 10+ years. With a passion for arts and storytelling to help change narratives of humanitarian type content, Lisa has released "StoryShifter", a new online platform for the social good, driven by machine learning and data analytics. Lisa currently lives in Brooklyn and is a teaching artist for young spoken word artists and also leads digital storytelling workshops. For more info visit Twitter: @lisarussellfilm