Meet Houston Film Social Media Influencers
Learn to use Twitter for the Television/Film Industry
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We are excited to have Alfred Cervantes the Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commision join our panel of social media experts. Alfred leads the Houston filmmaking community in his innovative use of social media. Also joining the panel is Michelle Mower, a Houston based motion picture, writer producer director who has been using social media to promote her outstanding career. Nancy Wozny, Editor in Chief of Arts + Culture Texas - was an early advocate of social media. She shares advice on how to reach out to media vendors and what best practices a film industry professional should employ. Rounding out this seasoned panel isMandy Greassle a social media expert with years of experience promoting the Houston Arts scene.
The program will be moderated by @K_A_Productions, EMMY nominated Producer/Director Karen Aptekar. Karen is President and Founder of Aptekar Productions and VP New Media Women in Film and Television Houston.
Special thanks to our sponsor SZABO Sound & Music.
About the Speakers
Alfred Cervantes, @FilmHouston Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commission and a native Houstonian, has worked in various capacities in film for the past 20 years. As a freelancer he worked on Reality Bites, The Chase, Jason's Lyric, Apollo 13, and Powder. His duty with the film commission is to promote the greater Houston & Harris County area to film producers, production executives and independent filmmakers, to scout locations and facilitate any production's local filming experience. Some of the recent feature films he has assisted or scouted for are Puncture, The Tree Of Life, Houston, and The Preacher's Mistress.
Michelle Mower, @MLMower is a Houston-based motion picture writer, director and producer. She has produced and/or directed a number of short films, music videos and feature films since her graduation from the University of Houston in 2000. Her debut feature film “The Preacher’s Daughter,” starring Andrea Bowen (“Desperate Housewives”), premiered on Lifetime Movie Network on August 31, 2012 and garnered the highest ratings to date of any movie on the network in 2012. In February of 2012, Michelle co-produced the independent feature “Dreamer,” which is garnering critical praise in the film festival circuit. After the success of her first film on Lifetime, Michelle wrote, co-produced and directed a second tv movie for the network titled "The Preacher's Mistress." The film, which stars Sarah Lancaster and Natalia Cigliuti, premiered on The Lifetime Channel in November 2013. Michelle is heavily involved in the film community in Texas. She has served on the boards of Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) and Women In Film and Television (WiFT) and currently sits on the advisory board for Houston Community College’s Department of Film and Audio Production.
Nancy Wozny, @DanceHunter is editor in chief at Arts + Culture Texas, the state's only arts only statewide publication. She is also reviews editor for Dance Source Houston and a contributing editor for Dance Magazine. As a frequent contributor to Dance Magazine's Your Body column, Wozny is widely recognized as a leading voice in performing arts health. Her byline also appears in Culturemap, Pointe Magazine,Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher and Dance USA's The Green Room. Wozny was a 2005 NEA Fellow of the Institute for Dance Criticism. She has served as a scholar in residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival since 2010. She was also a 2004 recipient of the Gary Parks Memorial Award for Emerging Dance Critics, a two-time recipient of Artists Project Grants from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, a 2001 finalist for the Sommerville Award in Somatic Writing, and a 1994 research fellow at the Leonard Bernstein Center for the Arts and Education.
Mandy Graessle, @FavouriteThings began her arts marketing career creating successful audience development programs for companies including Theater Under the Stars in Houston, Texas and subsequently Washington National Opera Company in Washington, D.C. before returning to Houston to serve as Executive Director of Fresh Arts Coalition. While at Fresh Arts, she increased funding, expanded programming and partnerships, and attracted new membership to truly reflect the breadth and diversity of Houston's art scene. Mandy implemented Fresh Arts' first social media strategic plan and was one of the first non-profits and arts organizations in Houston to venture into the Twittersphere. Her time at Fresh Arts paved the way to Lemonade Day, a National non-profit founded by successful entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Holthouse, teaching students how to start their own businesses using the model of a lemonade stand. Teaching others how to become entrepreneurs inspired Mandy to launch her own business in 2012, with an eye toward her unique skill set and experiences in the arts and with nonprofits. She consulted for a variety of local businesses and non-profits including high end furnishings, health and fitness, specialty retail, city government, and of course the arts. After almost two years, Mandy joined Stacey E Burke, PC, where she enjoys applying her creative background and marketing expertise towards law firms and professional services companies.
About the Moderator:
Karen Aptekar, @K_A_Productions President and Founder of Aptekar Productions, is an innovative EMMY Nominated Director/Producer specializing in New Media. Aptekar graduated from NYU film school and worked for the Wells Rich Greene Advertising Agency in New York, producing nationally broadcast radio and TV commercials, as well as independently directing and producing documentary films. Her documentary short, “Saving Evan White,” premiered at South by Southwest, was nominated for a 2009 EMMY in the category of Public/Current/Community Affairs, received four Telly awards, and a Remi from the 2009 Worldfest – Houston Independent International Film Festival. In 2011 Aptekar’s company created Who’sHOU - a digitally driven multi-platform marketing effort offcially promoting Houston film, music and interactive at South by Southwest. Utilizing WordPress, embedded still photography, original video content, blogging and social media, this multidimensional approach typifies Karen’s dynamic resourcefulness in bringing outstanding creative forces together. In 2011 and 2012 Aptekar produced the multi cam live stream for TEDxHouston and in 2011 Karen co-directed the TEDxHouston Welcome Video. Karen is VP New Media at Women in FIlm and Television Houston and manages multiple social media accounts on Twitter, Google Plus. Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and Linkedin. In 2013 Karen began attending the MBA Program at The Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas and launched the eBay store e-discountperfumes.She is currently developing a transmedia documentary project.
When & Where
Women in Film & Television Houston
Women in FIlm and Television Houston brings together professionals who work in all areas of the entertainment industry, from producers and directors to accountants and lawyers, above the line and below, in front of the camera or behind it. WIFT Houston is part of this network of some 39 chapters internationally, your WIFT Houston membership additionally provides membership into the global network of more than 10,000 members in WIFT International.
Women In Film & Television Houston (WIFTH) is a non-profit membership organization chartered in 1995 dedicated to helping women reach their highest level of achievement in television, film, and other moving-image media. Even though WIFTH is dedicated to promoting equity for women in these industries, members and contributors are comprised of both men and women. College students from across the state, individuals with an interest in learning about the industry, and our corporate members all make up part of the WFTH team. It is our mission to build community across the industry while collaborating with numerous film and media arts organizations.