Highlights From This Year's Women in Film Panel

Nova Frontier Film Festival presents excerpts and highlights from our 2018 panel, Women in Film: Promises are Easy, Change is Hard.


Moderated by Kashanna Evans, founder of Kissing Lions Public Relations, with many years of experience working in the media, and entertainment industry. The panelists consist of a diverse group of seasoned professionals with a wide range of talents and skills, and at the height of their game.

Kashanna took the liberty of sharing some statistics with the audience and panelists, for example, " According to the recent annual Celluloid Ceiling  Study, women comprised 11% of writers, 20% of executive producers, 26% of producers, 22% of editors, and 6% of cinematographers. These numbers for women's behind the scenes employment support Manohla Dargis's statement in the New York Times that the film business treats women as "a distraction, an afterthought, and a problem".

The aforementioned set the stage for an engaged and honest discussion amongst our panelists, sharing various stories and anecdotes working in the Film and Television industry today, followed by a lively Q and A. The panel ended on a positive note, with women taking the lead to carve unique career paths that doesn’t always fit the Hollywood model, creating job opportunities for themselves and other  filmmakers. 

Lauren Beck career started as a photographer, candidly documenting the hip-hop music scene in New York, and photo-reportage of intimate stories unobtrusively following generations of African Americans families living in housing projects in Harlem. She was an executive producer at the creative boutique agency, Moon Dog Edits, and is also known for producing the critically acclaimed film Manchester by the Sea that earned her Academy Award for Best Picture nomination with Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, and Kevin J. Walsh, and most recently, Luca Guadagnino new film, Suspira with Tilda Swinton.

Deirdra E. Govan is an accomplished costume designer for film and television.  Deirdra’s diverse feature film credits most recently include the highly anticipated 2018 Sundance birthed project Sorry To Bother You, directed by Boots Riley, Netflix’s 1980's hip-hop drama Roxanne Roxanne as assistant costume designer, the soon-to-be-released screen adaptation of the Walter Dean Myers novel, Monster, directed by Anthony Mandler.

Christiane Seidel is an international actress who stars as Martha, a mysterious free-spirited woman in the Netflix mini-series, Godless. She was also known as Sigrid Mueller, the murderous Norwegian nanny-turned-wife to Michael Shannon's rogue FBI Agent Nelson Van Alden on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. 

Nicole Franklin is an award-winning filmmaker, published writer, television director, editor, educator, public speaker, web event host and contributing writer to such publications as The Good Men Project and Toronto-based ByBlacks.com. Her company EPIPHANY Inc has produced independent films for numerous cable networks including Showtime, BET, IFC, Nickelodeon, Sundance Channel, and kweliTV. Nicole recently made her narrative feature directorial debut with TITLE VII, a film on the rarely discussed subject of same-race discrimination.