We serve mediamakers of all genres, genders, and experience levels.

aka WIFV   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.wifv.org


Women in Film & Video (WIFV) provides educational and networking opportunities for screen-based media makers, celebrates women’s creative and technical achievements in media, and advocates for parity both in front of and behind the camera to ensure that all voices can be heard. A 501(c)(3) non-profit community benefit organization founded in 1979, WIFV is the premier professional resource for people who want successful media careers in the DC-metro region. Our resources, connections and advocacy support a vibrant, creative media community.

Notes from the nonprofit

WIFV takes great pains to ensure we are not reinventing the wheel when it comes to programming. We take advantage of any opportunity to eliminate duplication and effort and instead multiply our impact through coalition-building. WIFV is highly regarded for its inclusiveness and openness to partnering in the interest of presenting the most relevant and compelling programming. WIFV is also recognized as an outstanding promotional partner for media and arts organizations across the region. Our most significant collaborations currently include:

The Actor's Center - We share casting notices and feature their members in table reads at Roundtables and ScriptDC. We are now developing a series of co-hosted programs to link actors and directors.

Docs in Progress - We share our Documentary Roundtable sessions with their Documingles program. WIFV provides content for at least six educational programs per year, and Docs in Progress provides networking opportunities and works-in-progress screenings.

DC Shorts - WIFV's Executive Director has served on the DC Shorts board of directors. WIFV is co-sponsoring DC Shorts Mentoring Workshops this spring and has provided many of the instructors.

DC Web Women - We host joint networking events and professional development programs.

Educational Institutions - We serve as a resource on gender in media and regularly speak in classrooms for career discovery programs. In addition, we provide speakers and the aforementioned internships to students at local universities.

Film Offices - We work regularly with the DC, Maryland, and Virginia film offices to expand opportunities for local crew to work on visiting productions. Through our testimony and conversations with film office executives, we increase opportunities for local producers to access incentive funds and obtain permitting assistance.

The National Council of Women's Organizations - Our Executive Director serves on NCWO's Media and Technology Task Force and acts as a resource to NCWO members on media and production issues.

TIVA (Television, Internet and Video Association) - Our Executive Director regularly provides the TIVA board with guidance on organizational best practices and meets regularly with their government liaison board member to coordinate testimony. We have co-hosted events that range from panels of film office staff to a joint holiday party.

WETA Community Council - Our Executive Director was asked to join this council in 2014. She attends quarterly meetings and serves as a resource on issues of community outreach for station programming.

New partnerships include the Woman's National Democratic Club (Dinner and a Movie Night featuring local filmmakers); DC Public Libraries (free screenings of women-made films); and the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (professional development and networking events). We have identified more than 100 other organizations where there is potential to partner.

Ruling year info



Ms. Cathie Saadeh Esq.

Immediate Past President

Robin Noonan-Price

Main address

1200 18th Street NW Ste. 300

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Wednesday Ones and other professional development seminars

Launched in 1979, our core professional development programming is delivered the first Wednesday of each month through this affordable, high-quality seminar series. The program brings a coalition of industry leaders together to present on a variety of practical and theoretical topics.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers

SCRIPT DC - (est. 2006, attracts 125+ attendees and speakers annually) To respond to the need for DC area writers, directors, and producers to build skills, get critical feedback, and make connections with producers, we developed this intensive, two and one-half-day conference, the only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In designing the programming, our goal is to present multiple tracks on narrative and documentary film to meet the varying needs of attendees. We also endeavor to provide an opportunity for writers to hear their scripts read by actors and receive critiques by highly qualified professionals. Finally, we strive to enable attendees to develop authentic connections between industry leaders and media makers based in the DC region.

The organizing committee is planning the 2015 edition of ScriptDC (November 13-15, 2015), which will continue to develop the local screenwriting and directing talent we have been mentoring for a number of years through ScriptDC, the Screenwriters Roundtable, and now the Spotlight on Screenwriters program and new Narrative Directors Roundtable.

Population(s) Served

This program epitomizes our "be the change you want to see" philosophy. It was founded and developed by WIFV VP Monica Lee Bellais, who has worked in development for Jon Landau at James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment, and in Jeffrey Katzenberg's executive offices at DreamWorks SKG. Bellais developed a cohort of almost 100 DC-based emerging screenwriters and worked with them in a series of workshops over six months to bring their scripts up to industry standards, enable them to present strong stories, develop marketing strategies, and build out their networks.

Bellais conceived of a catalogue that would feature a collection of one-sheets from the top screenplays in the DC area. Each one-sheet has a synopsis of the screenplay, a log line, a movie poster, and the screenwriter's bio. She developed a submission process and recruited 20+ established screenwriters and producers to read and evaluate submitted screenplays. The result is the Spotlight on Screenwriters spec-catalog, made possible in part with support from the DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. The catalog presents production-ready screenplays from outside the standard entry points of Los Angeles and New York to producers across the country.

The initial goals of the program included:

- Attract screenwriters to participate in the program.
- Help those writers improve skills through workshops on topics such as character arcs and screenplay formatting.
- Provide peer and producer critiques of screenplay drafts.
- Encourage writers to apply for the Spotlight on Screenwriters spec-catalog.
- Have qualified media professionals review the screenplays to determine which ones would be accepted into the catalog.
- Work with graphic artists to produce original posters.
- Distribute the catalog to selected top producers.
- Raise revenue through workshop fees, new WIFV memberships, submission fees, and a modest fee when screenplays are optioned (i.e., following the Sundance model).

Population(s) Served

The WIFV Media Job Fair is the only one of its kind in the Mid Atlantic.

Population(s) Served

In this two-part program, WIFV volunteers first deliver media literacy workshops to students in their classrooms. We then bring the children together and show them curated short films from around the globe that explore issues of tolerance, diversity, and conflict resolution. After the screenings, we have a moderated discussion where the students share their thoughts and ask questions.

Population(s) Served

This program provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by a filmmaker. The project must be non-commercial in nature, i.e., not produced solely for financial gain. WIFV accepts applications twice per year via a competitive application process. Submissions are reviewed by a selection committee whose members go on to serve as mentors to accepted filmmakers. When a project is accepted into this program, it opens a critically important door to foundation and other funding and provides mentoring vital to the filmmaker across the long process of making a film.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Finalist 2014

DC Mayor's Arts Award

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In March of 1979, a group of DC area women filmmakers met to address concerns they had about their lack of career advancement and to discuss why their work was largely being ignored by the establishment. They began to help each other make key connections and overcome obstacles that had hindered their success. Later that year, they founded WIFV to act as an advocate for all under-represented voices. Over the years, WIFV has nurtured many careers and has become a critical information hub for the region's media community. Starting with a dozen women, WIFV now serves thousands.

Access to a well-informed, central source of information is critical to successful media careers, especially for women, and WIFV provides consistent, high-quality information, connections, and programs. We are also able to develop strategic, long-term initiatives such as the Seed Fund for Documentary Filmmakers, Spotlight on Screenwriters, our fiscal sponsorship program, the Kids World Film Festival, and Media Job Fair because we have the stability and constancy that volunteer-managed organizations cannot provide.

As women media makers are stressed with shrinking full-time employment opportunities, constantly changing technology, and the never-ending search for funding, we increase our services, programs, and networking opportunities.There are some clear solutions that emerge from the research and from our own experience working with the area’s media community on the challenges women media makers face, and we provide them all:

Mentoring - When successful WIFV members mentor emerging professionals, they help them build confidence and make key connections in the media industry and funding community. Additionally, a number of our founders and long-time members mentor emerging professionals and act as advisors to the organization.

Raise awareness - Educating leaders currently in the media industry helps generate change. As a recent Sundance study put it, “Forging an environment open to gender parity may begin by providing industry leaders with concrete action steps that encourage a solution-oriented perspective.”

To apply that principle at a macro level, we created the high-profile Women of Vision Awards program in 1989 to celebrate the artistic and technical achievements of women in the industry. Honorees have included household names like Penny Marshall, Patty Duke, and Carrie Fisher as well as DC area stars like Maryanne Culpepper (former president, National Geographic TV), Margaret Parsons (head of media programming at the National Gallery of Art), and Patricia Aufderheide (director of the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University).

Increase funding - Through WIFV’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program, we help sponsees find funders, develop fundraising plans, submit proposals, and obtain grants. In addition, we have two modest scholarship programs and we have recently arranged for the Foundation Center to put on a series of free workshops orienting WIFV members to the center’s vast resources and databases.

Act as an employment catalyst - Our listserv and Media Job Fair (unique in the Mid Atlantic region) help media makers find permanent and freelance media positions in the DC region. By connecting people to jobs, we lift up an underserved population, acting as an employment catalyst for a major segment of DC’s creative economy. Our members are dynamic entrepreneurs who not only produce value-added media products for local, national, and international markets.

WIFV produces more than 70 program events a year, almost all of which are open to the public. They include workshops, panel discussions, technology demonstrations, a three-day screenwriters conference, a mentoring program for local high school students, and a film festival for middle school students. Since making industry contacts is key to advancing in a media career, we also host a number of networking events, including an open house, holiday party, 20-something happy hours, and monthly coffees with WIFV’s Executive Director and Board members.

Recently launched programming includes:

Spotlight on Screenwriters – VP Monica Lee Bellais worked with almost 100 DC-based screenwriters in a series of workshops to bring their work to industry standards, develop marketing strategies, and expand their networks. We distributed the inaugural Spotlight on Screenwriters Catalogue, which features 39 production-ready screenplays from this cohort, to producers across the country. This ground-breaking source of screenplays from outside the standard entry points has been praised by Academy Award-winning producers and is opening doors for local talent. Volume 2 is in process.

Fiscal Sponsorship – WIFV serves as a mentor and provides financial oversight for documentary filmmakers. In three years, sponsored projects have screened in festivals and leveraged tens of thousands of dollars of additional funding.

Seed Fund for Documentary Filmmakers – WIFV is fundraising to provide four $2,500 grants for each of three years to support critical start-up expenses. A competitive application process will begin when $10,000 is raised.

Gallery of Member Work - To mark our 35th anniversary, WIFV offered our members the opportunity to feature their work in an online gallery accessible via a playlist on the WIFV-DC YouTube channel. We called on all members --directors, producers, makeup artists, musicians, documentary filmmakers, costume designers, voiceover artists, writers, and more -- to submit three-minute clips or compilations of their best work. The submissions were reviewed by the WIFV board. They were provided a button to feature on their websites to showcase their inclusion in the Member Gallery. We are adding to the gallery, which gives viewers an idea of just how diverse the work of WIFV members is, every quarter.

All of WIFV’s efforts are aimed at helping our members build the skills and make the connections they need to overcome barriers and advance in a highly competitive environment. Our work has helped women create narrative films and documentaries, training and industrial films for commercial and government clients, television programming, advertising and marketing, animation and special effects, and innovative new media products. Their work is among the best in the industry and has been recognized with Oscar nominations and dozens of Emmys, Peabodys, CINE Golden Eagles, and Tellys.

Starting with fewer than 20 women in 1979, WIFV now serves thousands. Since our founding we estimate that we have served more than 250,000 media professionals and film aficionados. Many of our founders remain involved with the organization through our Advisory Committee and Legacy Circle, and most continue to produce media. Testimonials (please see attachment) reveal that WIFV is the critical hub for the area's media community. We are pleased to report that WIFV has been recognized as a "Top Rated" organization by Great Nonprofits for three years in a row, one of only a handful of media organizations across the country so honored.

WIFV provides the professional development, mentoring, access, and encouragement for independent filmmakers to tell their stories. Something as simple as our "Power of the Purse" announcements about buying tickets to women-made films showing at area theaters is a powerful statement to the community that there is an audience for these stories and that we will rally an audience to see these films. Without our direct service to artists, diverse voices would be silent.

As more media makers are pushed into the freelance economy, the consistent support system provided by WIFV can be a lifeline. WIFV is a key employment catalyst in DC's creative economy, and our members constitute a major economic force in the region. We empower dynamic entrepreneurs who:

1) Start businesses, make investments, and hire employees.
2) Produce value-added news, entertainment, and innovative media products for local, national, and international markets.
3) Give back to WIFV, other organizations, and the community at large through their own contributions of expertise and funding.

Carlyn Davis, Owner, Carlyn Davis Casting and WIFV Corporate Member, says it all:
"I have been a member of WIFV since the early 90's, and this strong organization has helped me network and build my company name into what it is today. I believe WIFV is a worthwhile organization to sponsor."

We will continue to expand WIFV's role as an advocate for independent media makers to respond to changing business practices and technology and push for better gender representation on both sides of a camera. In addition to the plans outlined for each program above, we are strengthening existing collaborations and broadening our coalition.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cathie Saadeh

Saadeh, PC

Term: 2020 - 2021

Sara Barger


Dylan Comstock

Graves Comstock

Monda Webb

Little Known Stories

Robin Noonan-Price

Fairfax County Public Schools

John Benedetto


Ericka Boston


Sonya Dunn

JEMH Enterprises

Dana Flor


Tara Jabbari


Anna Reid Jhirad

Marigold Productions

Steve Lack

Steve Lack Audio

Giuseppe Lucarelli

Mountain Wind Productions

Emma Mankey-Hidem

Sunnyside VR

Lauren Menkes

Boyarski Fritz LLP

Fran Murphy


Malikkah Rollins


Sharon Sobel

Picture This Video

Sheri Ratick Stroud

Wonder Pictures

Connie St. John

No Weapon Productions

Ann Zamudio

Clever Gretel Productions

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data