2017 showcase of shorts created by womxn*

Olive and Mocha: Playing House

Director: Suzi Yoonessi

Olive learns all about the birds and the bees when Mocha shows her how the middle school girls play with dolls. But their friendship is tested when Olive's moral code forces the dolls to do the right thing and get married.

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About the Director: Iranian American director Suzi Yoonessi loves exploring the many facets of heartbreak. Yoonessi is in post on Unlovable, starring John Hawkes, Melissa Leo and Charlene deGuzman, and is in pre-production for Blondie Girl and Blue Ribbon Content's Untitled Daphne & Velma of Scooby Doo origins film. A rough cut of Unlovable won the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival Film Lab. Yoonessi's award-winning first feature Dear Lemon Lima (2009) was released by Phase 4 Films, Showtime, HBO and The Sundance Channel. She directs commercial spots and viral videos for Funny or Die, Condé Nast and Super Deluxe, and recently directed 2 seasons of Relationship Status for go90, Foursome for YouTube Red and a Facebook original series.

Contact: suzi.yoonessi@gmail.com

Seventh Grade

Director: Stefani Saintonge

Everyone is growing up except Patrice. But when a raunchy rumor threatens her best friend's reputation, she's forced to join the party and embrace adolescence.

Stefani Saintonge

About the Director: A Haitian-American filmmaker and educator, Stefani Saintonge won the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award for her short film, Seventh Grade. Her documentary, La Tierra de los Adioses, won Best Latin American Short Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cine en el Desierto. Her work, which focuses on women, youth and immigration, has screened at several festivals in the US and abroad. A member of New Negress Film Society, she is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant, and works as an educator and adjunct professor in New York. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film Studies and Production.

Contact: stsaintonge@gmail.com

Queer Habits

Director: Drew Denny

Follows real life super heroes - the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a troupe of drag queen nuns who save a group of rural homophobes on the Russian River.

Drew Denny

About the Director: Drew Denny’s first narrative feature The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had with My Pants On won Best Film, Best First Feature and Best Cinematography in its 50-festival run, earning her a spot in The Advocate’s “40 Under 40” list, where she was named “an auteur to watch.” She went on to direct six episodes for the launch of Vice’s female-centered channel “Broadly” – the most successful launch in Vice history- followed by an interview with Hillary Clinton for Lifetime, and a documentary for CNN following the elite NASA scientists who map Earth's polar ice caps.

Be it through investigative documentary, narrative, or commercials, Drew is passionate about telling groundbreaking stories with a focus on women, people of color and LGBTQ communities.

Contact: drewdenny@gmail.com


Director: Beth De Araujo

When a college senior is reluctant to haze her freshman soccer teammates, she's bullied into becoming the worst culprit of them all.

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About the Director:  Beth de Araújo is an LA based Writer and Director from San Francisco recently featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her feature screenplay, Josephine, was accepted into the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Lab and is a recipient of the SFFILM Rainin Filmmaking Grant. This will be Araújo’s feature directorial debut film. In 2017, she has directed two episodes of television for Lifetime Movie Network and is currently in post on two short films, one that she shot through the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. Following this, she will be a shadowing director for American Crime Story: Katrina through the Ryan Murphy HALF Program early 2018. Araújo has a BA in Sociology from The University of California Berkeley, and an MFA from the American Film Institute. Her mother is Chinese-American and her father is from Brazil.

Contact: Beth De Araujo, bethdearaujo@gmail.com; Melissa Paulo (lead actress), miss.paulo@gmail.com; Moira Morel (DP), moira.morel@gmail.com

The Suitcase

Director: Abi Damaris Corbin

The ordinary life of a Boston bred baggage handler is turned upside down when he steals a suitcase that contains terrorist plans. Based on the declassified true story of one man's courage on 9/II.

About the Director: Raised in South Boston, Abi Damaris Corbin entered college at age fourteen.  Her desire to grow led her to USC. While she was in the MFA program, Universal Studios partnered with USC, Disney and Google to sponsor her short film. Abi is currently in the Sony Director's Program and writing her feature, SWATTED. Her other credit includes James Franco’s feature Actors Anonymous, in which she was one of the featured directors.

Contact: Abi Damaris Corbin (director), abi.corbin@gmail.com; Elena Bawiec (producer), elena.bawiec@gmail.com

Hot Seat

Director: Anna Kerrigan

To commemorate her eighteenth birthday, Daphne invites a handful of students, including shy Andrea, from her all-girls high school to watch a male stripper at her family home.

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About the Director: Anna Kerrigan is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker with a background in independent film, digital storytelling, theater and a BA in Drama from Stanford. Anna directed The Chances, a digital series written by and starring two deaf actors, which premiered at Sundance 2017 and won Best Narrative Audience Award at Outfest. The first seasons of her Gotham-nominated digital comedy series The Impossibilities (2015), has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Daily Dot, and Indiewire, is a Vimeo Staff Pick, and is licensed by Studio Plus (Canal) for international distribution. She was selected for the 2016 Fox Global Directors Initiative for episodic directing, is a Film Independent (Directing, Producing) and Sundance Fellow (New Voices 2016, Episodic 2017). Currently, she is developing a high concept pilot with producer Stephanie Langhoff at YouTube Red and writing a feature based on Hot Seat.

Contact: annakerrigan@gmail.com

Love Stinks!

Director: Quyen Nguyen-Le

Set in a world where people are romantically paired according to the fruit they're born with, Love Stinks! is a comedy about a young woman who struggles to find love despite being born with a durian.

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About the Director: Quyên Nguyen-Le (pronouns: they > she) is a Vietnamese American filmmaker from Los Angeles, California, whose work explores the intimate intersections between queerness and cultural identity.

After a brief time at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Quyên instead completed degrees in Comparative Literature and Philosophy/ Politics/Law at USC; then moved to Santiago de Chile to study Spanish with an emphasis in politics. Quyên is also a proud graduate of the Los Angeles Inner-City Filmmakers program, and the Emma L. Bowen Foundation fellowship at Focus Features/NBCUniversal. quyennl.com | @smellydurianface 

Contact: quyen.cat.nguyenle@gmail.com

Brought to you by

Allies in Arts is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. Our mission is to support artists who identify as women, people of color and LGBTQQIA2S by granting them access to funding, professional equipment and services to produce and distribute original works. Statistics prove that women, POC and queer-identified artists face barriers in the professional world as a direct result of their gender, race, and sexual orientation. We break down those barriers by pairing artists with service providers, gear owners, and grantors who have access to the very items that are often prohibitively expensive for these underrepresented artists. As long as there’s discrimination, we need Allies. Let’s Even the Odds. Together.

Film Fatales is a diverse community of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive environment in which to make their films. The group submitted a large list of films to be chosen from for Reel Her In.


Dedicated to furthering SPE's business goals and commitment to inclusion by fostering a sense of community and visibility for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) employees and allies. It helps raise awareness of important LGBT issues and culture; providing career growth, mentoring, and networking resources, in addition to finding opportunities to extend our support to the larger community. 

Women of Action, Vision, and Empowerment at SPE’s mission is to promote gender equality through the content SPE produces, and the culture it maintains.

A special thank you to Celebration of Arts & Culture for making this event possible. Celebration of Arts & Culture is a program of the Office of Global Corporate Social Responsibility and gives employees the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of events that celebrate the cultural diversity of our arts community throughout the year.