Savidge, Kim Moses

Women in Film and Television International Summit


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Registration opens, 2nd floor rotunda of the Westin, on Thursday, May 15th at noon.

3 Days * * 40 Speakers * * 30 Panel Discussions * * 2 Screenings * * Opal Awards Reception

Our speakers will include:

  • Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight and Thirteen
  • Kim Moses, executive producer of Ghost Whisperer
  • Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect
  • Rosemary M. Tarquinio, vice president of current programming, CBS
  • Steve Hoover & Danny Yourd, producers of Blood Brother, winner of both the Sundance 2013 Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award
  • Maryann McBride & Marco Cordova, from Entertainment Partners
  • Martin Savidge, award-winning CNN anchor & correspondent
  • Tom Savini, actor/SFX wizard/stuntman/director
  • Kimberly Skyrme, casting director
  • Christy Uffelman, leadership development coach
  • Ayana Ledford, executive director - Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equality at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Peter Hamilton, from
  • Steve Cuden, asst. professor of screenwriting at Point Park University, creator and co-writer of Jekyll & Hyde

Panel topics will include:

    Gideon's Army
  • Plenary Breakfast: Creating Magic at the Intersection of Television and Digital Media
  • Keynote Lunch: Leadership - Forget the Glass Ceiling: Now We Have to Navigate the Labyrinth?
  • Women in the Director's Chair
  • Understanding Profit Participation in the Motion Picture Industry
  • Creative Disruption/Traditional Distribution
  • Documentary and Unscripted Networks
  • War Reporting
  • Observing a Casting Session in Action
  • Gideon's Army Screening

Check out our Vimeo teasers!

Women in Film and Television International Summit 2014 - PITTSBURGH from Alex Knell on Vimeo.

Welcome To Pittsburgh WIFT Summit Promotional Ad from Ashley Clementson on Vimeo.

WIFTI Summit Promotional Video from Michelle Padavano on Vimeo.

Women In Film and Media Pittsburgh will host the 2014 International Summit bringing together women and men from over 40 chapters worldwide for a film summit to educate, engage and inform the attendees through events and panel discussions. Additionally, WIFM Pittsburgh's Opal Awards Reception will take place during the Saturday evening of the Summit.

Registration opens, 2nd floor rotunda of the Westin, on Thursday, May 15th at noon.

The Pittsburgh chapter of Women in Film & Media presents its Opal Awards to women who have contributed to the artistic and economic development of Pittsburgh’s motion picture industry and the community through their work and service, or have succeeded in bringing film productions to Pittsburgh. Women in television are honored with the Patti Burns Award for Excellence.

Past honorees include actress Barbara Feldman; actress/singer Shirley Jones; producer/director Suzanne DeLaurentis; producer Kim Moses and CEO of HubTV Margeret Loesch.

The Opal Awards will be awarded Saturday evening to Catherine Hardwicke, Deborah L. Acklin, Eleanor Schano and Dawn Keezer. A dessert reception kicks off the evening at 7pm, and the awards ceremony begins at 8pm. There is a separate fee to attend the Opal Awards Reception. Buy a ticket to the Opal Awards.

Register for the Summit

Summit Registration Rates

  • Women in Film Chapter Members: $275.00 Three-Day Pass, $99.00 One-Day Pass
  • Non-Members: $325.00 Three-Day Pass, $125.00 One-Day Pass
  • Students: $275.00 Three-Day Pass, $99.00 One-Day Pass (current student ID required)
  • Opal Awards Reception with Summit pass - $40.00 Opal Awards Reception without Summit pass - $55.00

These rates include all panels and some meals (breakfast on Friday and lunch on Sunday).

Members of the public can buy admissions to the entire summit or to any of the following items at the door:

  • Gideon's Army Screening, Friday, 5:30, Point Park University, 414 Wood St., GRW Theater. $10 for reception, screening and Q&A. Speakers include Kalpana Biswas, Anna Ahronheim, Bret Grote, Jasmine Gonzales Rose
  • War Reporting, Saturday, 1:30, Westin, Westmoreland Ballroom (2nd floor). $25 for this panel: Documentary filmmaking and broadcasting in war zones is an extremely dangerous mission and requires special skills, information and education. The expansion of women filming women who are disadvantaged, suffering in war zones or who are victims in war-torn countries is on the increase. Speakers include Martin Savidge, Kalpana Biswas, JulieHera DeStefano, Lynn Johnson.
  • Opal Awards Dessert Reception, Saturday, 7:00pm, Westin, Westmoreland Ballroom (2nd floor). $55 for this event (or $40 if you've bought any kind of Summit admission): The Opal Awards will be held to honor local women for their work in the film and television industry. The evening will also present three scholarships to local women enrolled in colleges and universities with over $4,000 in funds for their education in a film or television curriculum. The Women In Film and Television International Board of Directors will present an award to a deserving woman in the film or television industry. Along with the dessert reception, there will be a cash bar. Honorees include Deborah L. Acklin, Catherine Hardwicke, Dawn Keezer, Eleanor Schano. The event will be MCed by Carol Lee Espy. Desserts, cheese, fruit and a cash bar.

You can buy admissions for War Reporting, the Opal Awards Reception or for the entire summit in the 2nd floor Rotunda of the Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh beginning at noon today. You can buy admissions for the Gideon's Army screening at the GRW Theater at Point Park University beginning at 5pm on Friday.


View of
							Point State
							Park from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh is a vital city at the junction of the East and the Midwest. On the fence about coming to Pittsburgh? Read our Why Visit Pittsburgh for many reasons come here beyond attending the summit. And the Huffington Post gives you even more reasons to visit the 'burgh.

Our convention hotel, the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh is in downtown, near the Cultural District, in an area with many interesting restaurants.

While most events are at the Westin, a Friday evening screening and a Saturday morning Steeltown event will be a few blocks away at Point Park University. It's about a 12 minute walk between the two sites. One of the options for lunch on Saturday is a hot dog truck that will be in a parking lot at 11th and Waterfront, about a 5 minute walk from the Westin.

Walking map of downtown
						  including Point Park
						  University, Westin
						  and 11th and Waterfront

The Westin is within two blocks of the Amtrak train station, the Greyhound bus station and the Megabus drop off (at the Convention Center). You can get to town from the airport by taxi, SuperShuttle, or the 28X bus.

Our Hotel, the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh

1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. 15219

The Westin is a large, comfortable hotel with many rooms offering views of the Allegheny River. Conveniently located across from the David Lawence Convention Center, you'll find dozens of interesting restaurants and galleries nearby.

Our room block is now closed; call the hotel directly at (412) 281-3700 to see if rooms may be available.

Hotel Parking: $24 per night (valet in/out) or $20 per night (self-park).

There's 24-hour parking at nearby garages, including the 9th St. Garage. You can check ParkingPgh for more information about Pittsburgh parking garages.

Our functions will take place on the second floor, mostly in the Westmoreland, Cambria and Butler rooms.

Westin Function Space


The final schedule:

Schedule: Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday   

Schedule Grid in HTML * Schedule Grid in PDF

This section links to available speaker and Opal Honoree biographies.

Anna Ahronheim - Attorney
Kristen Bell - Film Festival Director
Kalpana Biswas - Documentary Filmmaker
Gabrielle Carteris - Vice President SAG-AFTRA
Marco Cordova – CPA, MBT
Steve Cuden – Writer/Director/Producer
Elise D’Haene - Writer
Stephanie Dangel – Attorney
Chelsea Danley - Contract Administrator, SAG-AFTRA Ohio-Pittsburgh
JulieHera DeStefano - Director/Producer
Faith Dickinson - WIFM Pittsburgh
Meenakshi "Gigi" Durham - Author/Professor
Kathy Dziubek - Producer
Lauren Elmer - Executive
Carol Lee Espy - Voice-Over Artist, Radio & TV Host
Rich Fitzgerald - Allegheny County Executive
Michele Gentille - CPA
Jerry Gergely - Technical Director
Vanessa German - Poet
Paula Gregg - Producer
Teresa A. Gregory - Educator/Fundraiser
Bret Grote - Lawyer/Activist
Peter Hamilton - TV Consultant
Catherine Hardwicke - Director/Production Designer
Steve Hoover - Director/Editor/Writer
Melissa Houghton - Washington DC WIFV Chapter
Daniel Hoyos - Film Festival Director
Sheila Hyland - Journalist
Lynn Johnson - Photojournalist
Dawn Keezer - Pittsburgh Film Office
Susan Koeppen - Journalist
Terry Lawler - New York WIF Chapter

Susan Lazarus - Post Production Supervisor/Producer
Ayana Ledford - Executive Director of PROGRESS
Diana Little – Production Manager
Brian Lysell - Executive Director, SAG-AFTRA Ohio-Pittsburgh
Amy Marcinkiewicz - Journalist
Melissa Martin – Director/Producer
Sarah Mayer - UpTo Consultant
Mary Ann McBride - Account Specialist
Kevin McQuillan - CPA
Kim Moses - Producer
Gayle Nachlis - Los Angeles WIF Chapter
Bill Peduto - Pittsburgh Mayor
Molly Rice - Playwright/Songwriter
Jasmine Gonzales Rose - Professor
Krista M. Salera
Martin Savidge - Correspondent
Tom Savini - Makeup Effects
Eleanor Schano - Journalist
Kimberly Skyrme - Casting Director, WIFT Board Chair
Eric Sloss - UpTo Consultant
Loren Smith – Producer
Lisa Smith-Reed – Producer
Julie Sokolow - Documentary Filmmaker
Russ Streiner - Producer
Rosemary M. Tarquinio - Vice President of Current Programming, CBS
Christy Uffelman - MHCS, BCC – Executive Coach
Kara Van Malssen – Senior Consultant
Chelsa Wagner - Allegheny County Controller
Sally Wiggin - Journalist
Bufta Yiman - Journalist
Danny Yourd – Producer

Speaker Biographies in PDF.

Three of our panelists, Kim Moses, Rosemary M. Tarquinio and Catherine Hardwicke, are collaborating on an upcoming TV series, Reckless.


Many thanks to our sponsors!

Our Sponsors:  Steeltown
						  Project,  UPMC
						  Health Plan, EP
						  Financial Solutions,
						  Allied Insurance
						  Brokers, Douglas
						  Education Center,
						  Allegheny Conference
						  on Community
						  Docherty Model and
						  Talent Agency,
						  Shoutside Media, The
						  Talent Group, Donna
						  Belajac Casting,
						  Nancy Mosser
						  Casting, Pittsburgh
						  Flicks, A Party
						  Place Rentals/></p>

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Other companies/groups that have helped this summit include:

Grenadine Event Planning Software provided our conference scheduling software.

Chipotle, Starbucks and All India Authentic Cuisine donationed food to the Friday Night Screening.

Modcloth and Penn Brewery made raffle donations.

The stylesheet for the Summit Mobile Guide is a mash-up of the Konopas style sheet and a HTML5 UP style sheet.


Have any Summit or Pittsburgh questions? Drop us a line!

Send Message


Or you can E-mail us directly at or call 412-973-9799.