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A 'Flip' Chat With...Terry Lawler, Executive Director, New York Women in Film & Television

August 13, 2010

(This is the fifth in our series of "Flip" chats with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can find others here, including the previous one with Ben Esner of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.)

Last week a sold-out audience filled the Foundation Center's training annex to hear Terry Lawler, executive director of New York Women in Film & Television, lead a panel discussion on the subject of raising money for independent films. Lawler was joined on the panel by Randall Dottin, film director and faculty at New York Film Academy; Matthew Seig, media specialist with the New York Foundation for the Arts; and Angela Tucker, director of production at Arts Engine. (For more information about the event, check out my colleague Susan Shiroma's post at the Philanthropy Front and Center – New York blog.)

Before the event, I had a chance to chat with Lawler about the state of independent filmmaking in the U.S. Because my knowledge of independent film is limited to old home movies shot by my grandfather, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how independent filmmakers today are working to link their messages with the programs and interests of various foundations. Lawler also pointed out that social media increasingly is both a proving ground and fundraising tool for independent filmmakers. And she ended our chat by reminding PND readers that independent film, as a career, is no picnic. As Lawler puts it, you've got to be someone who can take "no" for an answer and yet not take "no" for an answer!


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(Total running time: 5 minutes, 9 seconds)

-- Emily Robbins

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