Women in entertainment initiative
January - may 2019
From January to May of 2019, Bruin Film Society, UCLA’s premiere undergraduate film organization, will be holding a Women in Entertainment screening and speaker series. This program has three different aspects: speakers at our club meetings, film screenings and panels, and a multi-day summit, all concentrating on women (cis and trans) and non-binary people from various parts of the entertainment industry.
March 6th — writer’s panel
MINHAL BAIG is a writer/director. Her feature-length film, HALA, about a Muslim teenager coping with the unraveling of her family as she comes into her own, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Apple. Currently, she is a story editor on Bojack Horseman. She was previously a staff writer on the Untitled Ramy Youssef Project, a half-hour comedy about a first-generation Egyptian American Muslim’s life in New Jersey, produced by A24 for Hulu. In 2017, she was chosen as a directing mentee for Ryan Murphy's Half Foundation Directing Mentorship. She has written and directed several shorts including PRETEXT, AFTER SOPHIE and HALA, and music videos. They’ve been featured by the Los Angeles Times, Nowness, Dazed, Nylon, Spin, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Short of the Week, Director’s Notes, Booooooom!, Vimeo Staff Pick and the Hammer Museum in LA.
KARA BROWN is a TV writer, podcast co-host, and journalist. She is a cohost on Crooked Media’s pop culture podcast, “KEEP IT” and has written for IN THE DARK (airing on the CW in spring 2019) and Freeform’s GROWN-ISH. Previously, she was a senior writer at Jezebel and has also contributed to Glamour, Time Magazine, Nylon, Billboard, and The Fader. In 2014, she delivered a lecture about Beyoncé at Northwestern University, and in 2018, she was featured as one of Forbes Magazine’ 30 Under 30 in Hollywood and Entertainment, class of 2018.
KATHERINE (KAY) OYEGUN is a writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by way of Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently a Co-producer on the NBC series THIS IS US and writing features for Warner Brothers and Lionsgate, including the upcoming untitled Angela Davis biopic. She previously wrote on the OWN series QUEEN SUGAR, from writer/director, Ava DuVernay. Prior to working in the entertainment industry, Kay was an Associate Producer for NBC's The Today Show and Nightly News with Brian Williams. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree at the University of Southern California's Peter Stark Producing Program.
KATIE SILBERMAN grew up in Nebraska and Washington, DC. She wrote and co-produced the Netflix romantic comedy “SET IT UP;” co-wrote Warner Brothers’ “ISN'T IT ROMANTIC,” starring Rebel Wilson; and wrote and produced Olivia Wilde’s upcoming directing debut “BOOKSMART.” Silberman previously served as a co-producer on Christian Ditter’s ensemble rom com “HOW TO BE SINGLE” and the Reese Witherspoon action comedy “HOT PURSUIT.” She is currently attached to adapt the popular children’s book “THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS” for Elizabeth Banks and Margot Robbie.
MARY KATE WILES is most well known for playing Lydia Bennet in the Emmy-Award winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. She has made her mark on digital series by starring in such acclaimed projects as Squaresville, Kissing in the Rain, and most recently, The Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye. She's also been a part of numerous independent films, such as The Sound & The Shadow and Hello, My Name is Frank. As a member of Shipwrecked Comedy, Mary Kate has helped raise over $150,000 through crowdfunding and brought the award-winning series Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party and the acclaimed short film The Case of the Gilded Lily to life. Mary Kate has her own YouTube channel where she discusses the ins-and-outs of an acting career, sometimes with her fellow co-stars over a table of crafts. She runs a very active and successful Patreon, and she recently opened an Etsy shop where she sells homemade candles inspired by her various projects.
SINÉAD PERSAUD is an actor, writer, and proud Ouija Board owner from Boston, Massachusetts. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Sinéad moved to Los Angeles to participate in the NBC Page Program and soon after co-founded the popular literary/historical comedy YouTube channel “Shipwrecked Comedy.” Sinéad co-wrote and starred in the series Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party, which received praise from AV Club, Nerdist, and Tor.com. It also made a splash at numerous festivals around the world. Last year she participated in the Sundance New Voices Lab while continuing to write sketches and shows for Shipwrecked. She enjoys reading tarot cards, eating Indian food (she's half Indian) and of course, ghost-hunting.
VERONICA BROWN began her Hollywood career in film marketing, designing transmedia campaigns for director Stephen Gyllenhaal. Fresh out of college, she secured theatrical and ancillary distribution for Jason Biggs’ film, Grassroots. She leveraged that experience as an entry into representation, where she continued to forge her own road. At ICM, Veronica serviced top-level clients like Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock, while shepherding new voices into the fold in the Literary Department. Desiring a deeper understanding of the buyer, Veronica honed a discerning eye for premium material while working for the co-head of Drama at HBO, and later as a coordinator for Blumhouse. Her astute sense for superior material led Veronica to Hyperion Talent where she currently works as a talent agent specializing in development and packaging for Shailene Woodley and Ashton Sanders.
ALEX HANNIBAL is the associate director of content development for CNN Films. She joined CNN in 2016 and is responsible for supporting the development and acquisitions of CNN Films titles, taking the lead on vetting incoming submissions, and identifying the next generation of documentary directors. She previously worked as the manager of documentary programming for the Tribeca Film Institute.
Hannibal has served as coordinating producer at CNN Films for films such as: LOVE, GILDA , RBG, and THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. RBG and THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and have since been honored with 2018 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and nominations for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures by the Producers Guild of America. Hannibal also worked with director Todd Douglas Miller on the film APOLLO 11 and on the documentary short film THE LAST STEPS. APOLLO 11 will premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Please direct all media inquiries to Kevin Yang and Priyanka Kapoor at email@example.com.
FEMALE ENTERTAINMENT WRITERS CHAMPION DIVERSITY ON AND OFF THE SCREEN
by Shanahan Europa for FEM Magazine
by Umber Bhatti for Daily Bruin
by Aletta Cooke for Her Campus
by Hoodline for ABC7