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WALTER DAVIS invites all WGAW members to Santa Barbara for monthly “First Fridays” networking lunches. Email Walter directly to check whether a gathering is scheduled in the upcoming month, time, location (usually Wine Bistro in Montecito), and to be added to the email reminder list.
Co-founders ANTON DIETHER and JON WILLIAMS of the new Austin WGAW Members Group invite WGAW guild members in active status, living in or visiting the Austin, TX area, to join their mailing list for notification of regular and special local events. To join the community (aka “rally” on this site), visit WritersGuildinAustin.
Writer/director MANDY FABIAN had all three of her short films selected for nationwide theatrical release by SHORTS HD, known for its annual theatrical release of the Oscar® nominated short films across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America. The compilation is called Stars In Shorts: No Ordinary Love, and stars Julia Louis Dreyfus (Veep), Dick Van Dyke, Ed Asner, Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Missi Pyle (Bordertown), Sharon Lawrence (Shameless), and Kevin Nealon (Weeds) among others. In addition, Fabian recently sold Lifetime its very first original digital series, "The Young Hillary Diaries", which can be seen at MyLifetime.com/younghillary.
KUANG LEE's independent feature film Buddy Solitaire has received distribution with Gravitas Ventures and is available on iTunes. Buddy Solitaire stars Sally Kirkland (Oscar nominee for Anna and Golden Globe Award Winner) and Brandon J. Sornberger in title role of a struggling comedian on the late night circuit. The only job he can get is teaching comedy to the mentally ill. Buddy discovers, however, that by helping these patients, he can get closer and closer to healing himself. Critics call it “an amazing film, brilliantly made and full of incredible performances". Catch it on VOD (Direct TV, Dish, COX, Charter, Verizon). Buddy Solitaire is also available internationally at these links: Canada, Ireland, and UK. For more on the writer/director, visit KuangLee.net.
DEVRA MĀZA's feature story "Art of Resistance: Charlie Hebdo's Antonio Fischetti and Judea Pearl on the War on Journalists" won 2nd Place for Best Commentary/Analysis/Trend, Online at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. The Huffington Post article, which received eight local and national journalism award nominations, features a discussion with Antonio Fischetti (a survivor of the Charlie Hebdo massacre) and Judea Pearl (father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl) about the targeting of journalists by terrorists, and ways in which artists, authors, filmmakers, and musicians can utilize their craft to fight for free expression. For more on Māza's articles, visitDevraMaza.com and follow her on Twitter @DevraMaza.
DEBORAH PEARL's short film Getting Ed Laid starring Ed Asner and Jean Smart screened at the Washington West Film Festival in Reston, VA. Her third short as writer, and Pearl’s debut as director and producer, the film goes on to the Santa Fe Film Festival in December. She also thanks WGA members who voted for her 34-second video “Why Vote?” which won the 60 Seconds to Impact Contest co-sponsored by the Palm Springs Film Festival.
On Jan. 2, 2017, DARRYL PONICSAN (School Ties, Nuts, Cinderella Liberty, Taps) was awarded the first star of the new year on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. He has a film in post-production, based on his novel and co-written script, Last Flag Flying, with writer/director RICHARD LINKLATER (Boyhood, Before Sunset), starring Steve Carrell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne.
In the spirit of fostering creativity, building friendships, and maybe lowering BP by venting industry frustrations, FRED SHAFFERMAN invites all writers to join a weekly indoor full-court WGA basketball game. Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. in Hollywood and Sundays 9:30 a.m. in North Hollywood. Email Fred for details.
Diversity Attribute Directory
It is now possible to search for a WGA member according to self-identified diversity attributes. The information is available through the WGAW website using this link: https://apps.wga.org/agency/Findwriter.aspx. This online directory of writers from diverse backgrounds can be used as a resource for producers, executives, directors and other industry professionals. To be included, members must grant permission for publication of their diversity attributes. Sign in or create your MyWGAW Account via: https://my.wga.org/home/login.aspx. Go to the "change attributes" link on the left side of your myWGAW homepage, and click Yes under each “OK to publish”. For technical support with your My WGAW Account, call (323) 782-4885, M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
WGF: Share Your Expertise with the Community!
The Writers Guild Foundation offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year for all WGAW members who want to connect with the writing community, particularly with youth and military veterans who aspire to tell their stories. Opportunities range from one-time guest lectures to longer term mentorships--we work with members' levels of time commitment and availability. For more information, visit wgfoundation.org or call the Foundation at (323) 782-4692.