NYWIFT Partnership

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) is deeply committed to supporting women at all levels of their film, television and digital media careers. For over two decades, the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) has proudly partnered with NYWIFT at the annual festival each fall.

NYWIFT Board Member and BAFTA New York Chair Joyce Pierpoline, writer/director Jennifer Esposito, NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez at the HIFF 2023 NYWIFT Brunch

Since 2003, HIFF and NYWIFT have presented a short film program. Women Calling the Shots is a perennially popular showcase of new work that gives voice to the creative visions of women and nonbinary people through film and video, including scripted, documentary, animation and experimental works. The chosen short films, from an international group of female and nonbinary filmmakers, offer a point of view into and about the lives of women that is unique, exciting, and moving.

One of the social highlights of HIFF each year is the annual NYWIFT Brunch hosted on the first Sunday of the film festival, where festival filmmakers and attending industry and press gather to celebrate female and nonbinary voices in storytelling.

Cheryl Hines, HIFF 2009

Over the years, HIFF and NYWIFT have championed female feature filmmakers with various filmmaking awards. Cheryl Hines and Elissa Down both received the Gold Standard in Filmmaking Award, Hines for her directorial feature debut SERIOUS MOONLIGHT (HIFF 2009), starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton, and Down for her feature debut THE BLACK BALLOON (HIFF 2008), a family drama starring Toni Collette.

Selma Blair and Rachel Fleit, HIFF 2021


Most recently, NYWIFT has presented two Awards for Excellence—one for Narrative Filmmaking and one for Documentary Filmmaking; each award is given to a female or nonbinary filmmaker with a feature film in the HIFF lineup, accompanied by a cash prize.

These awards were created to honor outstanding female filmmakers who have demonstrated exceptional artistic vision and dedication to their craft, in service to NYWIFT’s aim to energize women in the industry, illuminate their achievements, and support their professional development.

Ellie Foumbi with actor Souleymane Sy Savane, HIFF 2022

Narrative Winners
2023: FRESH KILLS, directed byJennifer Esposito
, directed by Ellie Foumbi (Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee)
2021: QUEEN OF GLORY, directed by Nana Mensah (Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee)
2020: FAREWELL AMOR, directed by Ekwa Msangi (Film Independent Spirit Award winner, Someone to Watch)

Documentary Winners
2023: FANCY DANCE, directed by Erica Tremblay
, directed by Laura Checkoway
2021: INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR, directed by Rachel Fleit (Winner, Critics’ Choice Documentary Award)
2020: CODED BIAS, directed by Shalini Kantayya (Nominee, Critics’ Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards)