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MFA in Film

MFA in Film Student Eugina Gelbelman Accepted for New York Women in Film & Television Intensive Workshop

eugina gelbelmanNovember 20, 2017 — Out of a highly qualified field of seriously motivated competition, Stony Brook's MFA in Film student Eugina Gelbelman has been selected for the intensive year-long New York Women in Film & Television workshop, "From Script to Pre-Production (FS2P).”

The goal of the FS2P workshop, running from January to June 2018, is to help women make their first narrative feature films. The FS2P workshop, which accepts a maximum of six to eight applicants, presents a curriculum that organizes the process of building presentations, provides mentorship and guest experts, and enables participants to work together as a group, helping one another through the challenging experience of getting a first feature film made.

"This is a very exciting endeavor," Eugina Gelbelman said upon  being notified of her acceptance into the NYWIFT workshop in November. "It's been my life-long dream to write and direct a feature film, and this is an incredible opportunity to realize this dream with a script I've been developing for many years."

"We're thrilled Eugina was accepted into this prestigious opportunity," MFA in Film Director Magdalene Brandeis said this week, "the NYWIFT workshop aligns perfectly with Stony Brook's new MFA in Film which we've built in partnership with Artistic Director and Killer Films' co-founder Christine Vachon. “Our dedication is to teaching students not only how to make films, but how to get films made. As an instructor, I'm especially proud, as Eugina had been carrying this beautiful script inside herself for some time, and then she wrote it last spring during my Writing the Coming of Age Story screenwriting class.”

The NYWIFT FS2P workshop is aimed at women who are ready to make features. Each filmmaker accepted has written and directed at least one narrative short that demonstrates her competence as a director. All have also written a feature length narrative script that's ready for production and can be made on a low budget, preferably in New York State.

The working title of the script Eugina is developing in the MFA in Film program and which she will be taking to the NYWIFT FS2P workshop is entitled DADDY’S GIRL. The writer and director describes DADDY’S GIRL as the story of one young woman's complicated and formative relationship with her immigrant Russian father. In a wider sense it's about how stories, memories and trauma are passed on from one generation to the next, how they shape who we become, and how they keep people alive long after they are gone. It's about identity, family, and memory and finding your place in the world.

“The project is a very personal one for me,” says Gelbelman. “It's for all the young women, all the ones who feel like outsiders, who oftentimes don't get to see honest depictions of girlhood, in all it's awkwardness and confusion portrayed on screen. It's also for women who almost never see father and daughter relationships in all their complexity reflected in cinema. I'm ready to dive into both the creative and producing aspects of bringing it to life and am very grateful for the guidance NYWIFT's program offers.”

According to NYWIFT, after completing the workshop, Gelbelman will be ready to meet producers and investors. And knowing that she's been through the rigors of FS2P, investors can be assured that her project is solid.

MFA in Film faculty member and NYWIFT Board President Simone Pero pointed out that, “4 percent of Hollywood films are directed by women, and approximately 11 percent are written by women. Opportunities like FS2P are an integral piece to establishing women in the pipeline.”