2021 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

'A Specific Resistance' (Alliance of Women Directors Panel Discussion)

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AoBFF is proud to partner with the Alliance of Women Directors to present this panel of female filmmakers from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, talking about how the changing media environment creates opportunities for women making movies. Watch for only $5!

About AWD:

AWD is an inclusive collective of professional women-identifying and gender non-binary directors working together to affect positive, lasting change in the entertainment industry.

-AWD has over 450 members. Our membership ranges from emerging directors to TV and film veterans (including Lesli Linka Glatter, Bethany Rooney, and Hanelle Culpepper).

-In 2020, AWD presented more than 50 speakers at our 35+ career advancement programs and actively developed programs and initiatives to address systemic inequalities for women and specifically women of color in the entertainment industry.

-We have program partnerships with NETFLIX, NBC, TCM, LIFETIME, WGA, and MORE.


MODERATOR: Kathi Carey

Kathi Carey is an award-winning Writer/Producer/Director. She currently works on features, short films and web series. Kathi’s seeks to create projects that focus on interpersonal relationships and deep character introspection. The characters confront life-altering decisions and circumstances, which encourages the audience to then ponder things they may not normally consider in their day-to-day life. One of the unique ‘signatures’ of Kathi’s filmmaking are the thought-provoking conversations and lively discussions of a film’s various themes and turning points as the audience leaves the theatre. 

Currently Kathi is developing the feature Chick, a biopic about Chick Webb, the greatest drummer you’ve likely never heard of. He beat Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa in a battle of the bands, he discovered Ella Fitzgerald and he was a hunchback. She has a web series currently on the festival circuit, Mom and Me, which just won the coveted Remi Award at Houston, WorldFest, just screened at Long Island International Film Expo and will next screen at Female Filmmakers FUSE and New Jersey Web Fest in 2021. She has screened 5 films on the festival circuit thus far, all of which received awards and accolades.

Kathi recently published her first book, a nonfiction work entitled CAST YOURSELF: The Actor’s Guide to Self-Producing, a soup-to-nuts guide for those seeking to create their own content. The book is available on Amazon and debuted to multiple five-star reviews. She has also recently published her second book, a memoir entitled The Last Few Years which recounts the time she stepped away from her career to care for her terminally-ill mother and the aftermath of that ordeal. Her third book will be published shortly after that: a novelization of one of her screenplays, Dark Night on Route 66, a psychological thriller.

Away from the camera Kathi gives back by mentoring and advocating for more inclusion through her work as Chair of the Festival Outreach Committee for the Alliance of Women Directors. She also serves on the Advisory Committee and as a Mentor and Judge for the Streets, Art, Safe program which seeks to create awareness of traffic safety and foster creativity by encouraging high school students to create PSAs about keeping the streets safe. Kathi is also a mentor for the Women Excel Project and a Judge for the Daytime Emmys


Spade Robinson is an award- winning film director and producer, with experience that spans feature film, documentary, television, commercial and theater. Robinson is a master's alumnus of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she emphasized writing and directing, completing her MFA in Film and Television Production. Since then, she's been commissioned to direct and produce commercial content for clients ranging from Time Warner and Sundance Institute to Peculiar People and Finding Charlie. Her original works include award-winning films such as Seen Also In MenThe Wedding and The Love Life of A Black Girl as well as a host of feature screenplays and television pilot. She's directed both contemporary and classical stage plays including Starting MondayA Mid Summer's Night Dream, and A Lesson Before Dying. Independent plays include Black Voices and Pocketbook. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is in development on several feature films.

Deirdre O’Connor is a film director, producer, screenwriter, and college professor.  After writing narrative screenplays for many years and making several short documentaries, Deirdre decided it was finally her moment to write, produce, and direct a narrative feature film, One Moment. The film stars Danny Aiello in his final onscreen performance and is currently doing the independent film festival circuit where it has already won three Audience Favorite Awards at three different festivals.  Deirdre holds a Master of Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication Arts from James Madison University.  Since 2004, she has taught film theory and video production classes as a full-time member of the Communications Department at SUNY Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY, currently holding the rank of Associate Professor. 

Judy Chaikin, was born in Los Angeles, California, where she trained in music, theater and dance. After a brief career in front of the camera, Judy found that she was more interested in the exciting challenges behind the camera and set her sights on directing. Immediately she was offered the opportunity to direct “WOMANSPEAK”, a stage production starring Jane Fonda and Judy knew she had made the right decision.

Since then she has worked consistently in film, television and theater, winning many awards including two Cine Golden Eagles, a Billboard Best New Music Video Director nomination, nine Best Film Festival awards, and two Emmy Nominations; one for the PBS documentary “LEGACY OF THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST” and a second one for the Los Angeles Public Art documentary, “A New Beginning.”

Judy was selected as a member of the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, where she directed a short comedy, “GIMME A BREAK,” which brought her to the attention of Norman Lear. Judy was hired as a dialogue coach for Tandem Productions and worked on many Lear sitcoms. With a background in both comedy and drama, Judy moved between two worlds, producing and directing documentaries and educational films by day, and by night directing the improvisational comedy troupe “THE GROUNDLINGS,” where she worked with such notable talents as Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman and Julia Sweeney.

Judy’s work with the Groundlings led to her first comedy pilot, “ON THE TELEVISION,” which she directed for Nickelodeon and a second pilot for Fox Television, the Bunim/Murray reality show, “AMERICAN FAMILIES.”

Judy was hired as a producer/director on the ABC series “FBI: THE UNTOLD STORIES”, a position which she held for the two year run of the show. She went on to produce and direct segments for two NBCP Specials and co-produce the CBS Movie of the Week, “STOLEN INNOCENCE.”

For PBS Judy wrote and directed the bi-lingual documentary, “LOS PASTORES” and the following year she produced and directed “HOLLYWOOD REMEMBERS THE BLACKLIST” a multi-media stage presentation at the Motion Picture Academy’s Goldwyn Theater, starring Kevin Spacey, Billy Crystal, Alfre Woodard, John Lithgow, James Cromwell, David Hyde Pearce, Kathy Baker and Tim Daly.

Her short film “COTILLION ’65,” screened in twenty-four film festivals worldwide, winning Best Comedy, Best Short and Audience Choice awards. She then turned her talents to screenwriting including the feature length comedy, “AI! CHILITO,“ which won first place in the Broad Comedy Screenplay Competition and is currently in development.  

Her current film, the feature length documentary, “THE GIRLS IN THE BAND,” is about the unknown history of women jazz instrumentalists from the early 1900’s to the present day. The film took top prizes at five film festivals including the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival and is currently in theatrical and streaming release worldwide. In addition, Judy’s short comedy screenplay “THE AUDITION” was picked up for production and has just completed filming. It will be released in the Fall of 2021. 

In addition to her film work, Judy is also a ghostwriter of personal memoirs for well-known public figures and has just completed her fourth book. Judy is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Board Member Emeritus of the Alliance of Women Directors, former Board member of the International Documentary Association and current Board Member of GreenLight Women.

Tomeka M. Winborne is a writer/director that passionately loves to create stories that will invoke conversations. “My mission as an African American female filmmaker is to bring stories to the screen that embody the experiences and voices of people of color that are devoid in television and film,” says Tomeka. In 2005, Tomeka published her first novel, "Where My Strength Comes From." She later desired to see that novel on the screen. Initially, she planned to go to film school but it was too expensive. So she started volunteering on other people's film projects. In 2009, she wrote, directed her first short film, "PASS ME BY." A few years, later she wrote, directed and produced her second short, “TOO LATE." From there she continued to write, produce and direct other short films. 

Currently, Tomeka is in pre-production for WISE LOVE, a short drama about a mother taking care of her schizophrenic 19-year-old-son makes a desparate attempt to save her son from himself, a decision that could change their lives forever.

Tomeka was recently commissioned, October 2020 to direct a short historical documentary, THE ABERDEEN GARDENS 158: BUILD BY US FOR US, produced by Unity Corner Stone Foundation and The Aberdeen Gardens Foundation. As a filmmaker, Tomeka centers many of her stories around social issues. Tomeka’s short film “AGED OUT” was screened at the “CineOdyssey Film Festival” and the “BronzeLens Film Festival.” She has also screened “AGED OUT” as a fundraiser for Becoming Families, a foster care nonprofit. In October of 2019, the Newport News Department of Social Services screened AGED OUT at their “AGED OUT: Who’s Got Your Back?” foster care awareness event. She enjoys using various mediums to tell stories. In addition to making movies and podcasts, she’s also produced television segments, commercials, wrote a couple of novels, worked as a field reporter and has been commissioned to produce documentaries.


COLOR UNITE and GLASS ELEVATOR. Previously, Tomeka served as board member on the Hampton Roads Chapter of the VIRGINIA PRODUCTION ALLIANCE board in 2015.

In 2014, Winborne developed LAVENDER REEL MEDIA GROUP, a production and media services company producing commercials, documentaries and other film projects. Tomeka was commissioned to co-produce a documentary entitled, “IN PLAIN SIGHT: HUMAN

TRAFFICKING,” for Cox Creative which aired on Cox Channel 11 and its affiliate stations. She has also served as a field reporter for Cox Communications. In 2016, Tomeka received the African American Cinematic Series Norfolk Public Library Award. Tomeka is thankful for the ability to combine her creative passion with her entrepreneurial spirit and believes wholeheartedly that her gifts make room for her.

Tomeka has been featured in Shadow and Act Black Women Filmmakers Speak Series by Tambay A. Obenson and the Virginia Pilot Newspaper by Pamela Nichols. She's also been interviewed on Cox 11 - Cox Connections television show - Human Trafficking Connections Episode and several podcasts.


Peruvian-American Donna Bonilla Wheeler is a US-based writer + director. Her original screenplays are Nicholl Fellowship semi/quarter Finalists, Austin 2nd Rounders, Slamdance Lab selects, Sundance Lab finalists, IFP No Borders Selects, STOWE Story Labs finalists, and DTLA Film Fest screenplay award winners. She co-created and is developing the MIPTV Finalist drama series, CLASH. 

Her feature and short films sold at Cannes, Berlinale, and screened at numerous festivals in North America, South America and EU, as well as appear on SVOD streaming platforms domestically and internationally. Donna is a Cannes MIPTV2020 Producer to Watch, an Alliance of Women Directors Industry Support fellow, AWD Directing Shadow, #Startwith8Hollywood initiative Mentee, #ReadLatinxWriters initiative member, Women in Film mentee, and Outfest Directing Shadow. 

She also writes and directs branded and commercial content, and has a background in post production with studios and networks.

Christie Conochalla is a writer/director/producer in Los Angeles, Ca who is passionate about creating complex stories about queer women for a mainstream audience and her body of work has only heightened her love for telling these widely relatable stories about lesbian characters.

Most known for her lesbian rom-com "Once Upon a Zipper" and her multi award-winning short "August in the City," Christie's first feature film "Forever Not Maybe" has most recently gifted her the Best Director award at the North Hollywood Cinefest Film Festival and has been rated the most-watched film on the LesFlicks streaming platform next to her most recent short entitled "Marry Christmas," which released Christmas Day 2020. 

Additionally, Christie produced the award-winning short "House of La Reine" which is currently on the festival circuit and her magical realism dramatic feature "Finding Yesterday" has placed in various competitions including the Black List Writer's Residency, Script Pipeline, and the Golden Script Competition. 

Christie also works as an entertainment professional in the television and live event industry and is heavily involved with the Alliance of Women Directors organization.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    75 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States