Filmmaker Files Episode 6 - Featuring Lina Pliopyte by Casey Kohlberg

Lina Plioplyte is a storyteller - a director and a camera person with an Emmy, a Silver Lion and a Clio in tow. She started her journey studying journalism in my native Lithuania then in Colorado. She then began  working as a fashion video journalist for NYLON magazine in New York. For the last decade she has been shooting and directing commercials, short films, investigative journalism pieces and digital series content for The New Yorker, Viceland, A+E as well as brands and non profits, like Garnier and the ACLU. Her first feature length documentary, Advanced Style, played in theaters worldwide and was reviewed in the  New York Times and The Guardian. She loves telling stories that inspire others to live better lives, and uplift women.

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Filmmaker Files: Episode 5 - Featuring Shahrzad Davani by Casey Kohlberg

Shahrzad Davani has been an assistant director and producer for over fifteen years, working with celebrated directors such as Ana Lily Amirpour on A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night,  James Gunn (Super) , Lee Toland Krieger (Celeste and Jesse Forever & The Vicious Kind),  Shira Piven (Welcome to Me), Liza Johnson (Hateship Loveship), Jeff Baena (Little Hours) and most recently with Janicza Bravo on Zola. Movies that Sheri has worked on have premiered at Sundance, TIFF, and so on.

She is now embarking  on the next phase of her career as a director and one of her upcoming films includes Bad Status, a comedy that she co-wrote.

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Filmmaker Files: Episode 4 - Featuring Anu Valia by Casey Kohlberg

Anu Valia is an Indiana-born, New York-schooled filmmaker whose award-winning short films have screened across the country and abroad. Her short film, LUCIA, BEFORE AND AFTER, won the Jury Prize for US Fiction at Sundance Film Festival and has screened at over 30 festivals around the world.

Anu is developing her debut feature, WE STRANGERS, which is supported by Cinereach, Sundance Institute, Women in Film, Tribeca Institute, IFP, and the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab. She's currently finishing up a series of short films tentatively titled MATTERS OF CHANCE, produced by BRIC TV, Warner Media's ONEFIFTY program, and Irony Point.

Anu has directed episodes for Comedy Central's THE OTHER TWO, created by former SNL head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly and BET's FIRST WIVES CLUB, created by GIRLS TRIP writer, Tracy Oliver. She is the Director and Executive Producer of Adult Swim's, SOFT FOCUS WITH JENA FRIEDMAN.

Anu is a Big Vision Empty Wallet 2018 fellow, a New York Film Festival 2017 Artist Academy Fellow, and an artist resident of SPACE at Ryder Farm in New York. She is also an ambassador for the American Film Showcase, a U.S film diplomacy program promoting arts involvement and education abroad.

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10 Female Directors That Should have been nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards by Casey Kohlberg

While putting together our roundup of amazing, incredible, talented female academy award winners this morning - it was hard not to notice how small the list was. How on point was presenter, Natalie Portman, announcing, “here are the all-male nominees” at the 2018 awards? So as a fun game we played, we imagined that in another world, hopefully some day not too far off, announcing ourselves, “Here are the all female nominees!” 

Take a look a 10 incredibly talented female directors who produced excellent work that was also eligible for the Awards show last night. 

Alice Rohrwacher, Director of Happy as Lazzaro


Chloe Zao, Director, of The Rider.


Christina Choe, Director of Nancy.


Debra Granik, Director of Leave No Trace.


Karyn Kusama, Director of The Destroyer


Lynne Ramsay, Director of You Were Never Really Here


Marie Heller, Director of Can You Ever Forgive Me?


Nadine Labaki, Director of Caepernaum


Nia Dacosta, Director of Little Woods


Sara Colangelo, Director of The Kindergarten Teacher


Congrats to our Female Filmmaker Academy Award Winners! by Casey Kohlberg

Congratulations to all the amazing women who won last night! Congratulations on work well done! As fellow filmmakers and collaborators, we can’t wait to see what you do next.


Olivia Colman

Best Actress


Regina King

Best Supporting Actress


Lady Gaga

Best Original Song


Melissa Berton & Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Documentary Short, “Period.End of Sentence“


Domee Shi & Becky Neiman-Cobb

Best Animated Short, “Bao“


Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Best Documentary Feature


Ruth E. Carter

Best Costume Design


Hannah Beachler

Best Production Design

Thoughts on 2019 by honto88

Dear friends,


What a year this has been!! Below are just a few of the world-changing events, including unsettling incidents, that happened in 2018. (Don’t worry this list is not all doom and gloom! ):

What this year showcases is that people are standing up for what and who they believe in. Climate change is real. Great journalism isn't dead but journalists have been targeted. We need to protect women. We need to spend wisely (as there's a recession a-brewing in 2019). Essentially, we have a lot of work to do.


We at honto88 wish you and yours a healthy, restful, and gratitude-filled holiday season. Together, let's kickstart things this year with unapologetic enthusiasm, tireless striving, and infinite love and kindness.


Here's a song for some encouragement featuring Jim James and our Resistance Revival Chorus sisters.


We are ready for you, 2019!


Team honto88