The History of Fusion Film Festival


The Fusion Film Festival was founded by Gina Abatemarco (NYU Tisch '03) and Emma Heald (NYU Tisch '04), Film and TV majors who were frustrated by the lack of opportunity for female students to fill roles in the film and television industry traditionally dominated by men, such as director or cinematographer. In the winter of 2003, they began to conceive of a film festival that would celebrate the work of female students and bring in examples of strong, successful women in the film industry.


Since its inaugural year, Fusion has provided the NYU and NYC Community with six years of outstanding programming focusing on female filmmakers. Our student competitions have evolved to include a film showcase, screenplay competition, a documentary pitch showcase, and, starting in 2010, a music video competition.


Additionally, Fusion has hosted a variety of industry screenings, master classes and panels, promoting discussion about the past, present and future of women working in the industry. Past events have included:


- Industry screenings including Me, You and Everyone We Know, Red Doors, Shut Up and Sing, Whip It and Sunshine Cleaning


- "Breaking In" – A Panel featuring Rachael Horovistz (About Schmidt), producer Sarah Green (Frida, Girlfight), producer Lisa Muskat (All the Real Girls), director Jessica Sharzer (Wormhole), and director Julie Taymor (Friday, Across the Universe)


- "Directing Actors: A Master Class" featuring Rebecca Miller (Personal Velocity, The Ballad of Jack & Rose)


- "An Evening with Karyn Kusama" featuring director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body)


- Women Behind the Camera” featuring Nancy Schreiber, ASC (American Gun), Valentina Caniglia (Pomegranates and Myrrh), Kate Phelan (The Women)


- "From Nickelodeon to the Oscars: Women Animating the World" panel featuring Jennifer Oxley (Little Bill, Wonder Pets), Candy Kugel (Nothing at All, Life), Debra Solomon (Mrs. Matisse, Everybody's Pregnant), and Peggy Stern (The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation)


The 2010 Fusion Festival marks seven years and our staff strives to continue to celebrate groundbreaking females working in all aspects of the film industry.