NYU Tisch School of the Arts | Kanbar Institute of Film & Television


20th Anniversary

Celebrating women and non-binary creators
in film, TV, and new media

APRIL 7–9, 2022

location based on events




Writer & Director, Zola



GLOW UP GAMES: VIDEO GAME REVOLUTION Mitu Khandaker & Latoya Peterson

Tisch Theater 006, 721 Broadway

Making space for JOY in Black & Brown Stories

Creators of INSECURE: The Come Up Game
adapted from Issa Rae’s hit HBO show

Mia Bruno Headshot
Issa Rae Headshot



Tisch Theater 006, 721 Broadway

Exclusive preview ~ Writer/Director Jane Schoenbrun

“redefining trans horror. A nuanced exploration of how the web can both comfort and manipulate” - Bitch Media


ZOLA Screening

Tisch Theater 006, 721 Broadway

Electrifying comedy-thriller from Fusion’s Woman of the Year

Writer/Director Janicza Bravo

Iyabo Boyd Headshot
Fusion Award Statuettes



Tisch Theater 006, 721 Broadway

A Conversation with Fusion's Woman of the Year



Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street

The finalists in the Fusion Festival 2022 Competition,
the next generation of storytelling greats.

Emily Cohen Ibañez Headshot


Celebrating Women in Film, Television, & New Media

FUSION 2021-2022

event collage

The Fusion Film Festival is New York University’s premiere festival dedicated to celebrating women and gender underrepresented people in film, television, and new media from student to icon. Founded in 2003 at Tisch School of the Arts by two students Emma Heald and Gina Abatemarco, Fusion has been passionately guided by Kanbar Professor Susan Sandler. We are celebrating our 20th Year Anniversary this year!Fusion offers programming throughout the school year, culminating in a three day spring festival of screenings, industry panels, master classes, retrospectives, networking events, and competitions in fourteen categories all focused on women’s voices and work behind the camera. Fusion is proud to be an Allied Partner of the Sundance Institute’s Women’s Initiative. In the 20 years since its launch, Fusion has attracted scores of accomplished artists and visionaries from across the industry including Issa Rae, Melina Matsoukas, Nia Dacosta, Reed Morano, Christine Vachon, Misha Green, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Kasi Lemmons, Miranda July, Barbara Kopple, Jane Campion, Shirin Neshat to mentor and inspire the next generation of great storytellers.

Fusion 20th Anniversary Sizzle


Welcome to the 20th Anniversary Fusion Film Festival!We are so excited to be honoring these amazing storytellers making powerful strides in the entertainment industry today: from game designers and directors to NYU students, faculty, and alumni. We are all striving to harness the resourcefulness and imagination that these creatives have shown in the past few years.Fusion is dedicated to uplifting the voices of underrepresented creators by celebrating diversity and feminism through making connections and mentor relationships. We stand in solidarity and fight for those who tell diverse stories in order to make a more equitable future for the NYU generations. As the industry opens to more personal stories, we at Fusion love having the opportunity to reflect, grow, and engage those in that community.This past year we have had the wonderful opportunity to host our first in-person events since 2019 that showcase these inspiring women and underrepresented gender storytellers and their collaborators doing amazing work in the fields of film, TV, and new media. We also have the experience to work with a tremendous group of 76 individuals who every day bring their creativity and personal experiences to help empower marginalized voices as well as support one another and build a future where we share the stories that make us who we are. We continuously are in awe of our team’s dedication and adaptability to the challenges that come with hosting a festival in such uncertain times.We also thank all of our ever-giving sponsors, faculty, judges, and industry judges, who have given remarkable amounts of their time, energy, and resources to make this festival happen. We also offer our thanks and appreciation to our wonderful and hard-working faculty advisor, Susan Sandler. She has been guiding the festival every year for the past 20 years and every year she teaches and loves each and every fusion member that knocks on her door. Her wisdom and professional leadership has helped shape us in ways we would have never been without her.We hope that you enjoy every moment of this year’s festival, and we thank you for being part of Fusion’s legacy. There are no good or bad times to fight for equality, although there are moments that might seem harder than others. We as a community get stronger every day so these hard days get a little easier. Never lose hope because you have made a difference already, even if you can’t see that yet.With love and care,The Co-Directors
Sequoia Sherriff, Kitty Bailey, Juliet Adelman, Lucy Walkowiak

Co-director headshot

Sequoia Sherriff

Co-director headshot

Kitty Bailey

Co-director headshot

Juliet Adelman

Co-director headshot

Lucy Walkowiak


Each year I’m filled with honor to celebrate the Fusion Film Festival and its momentous impact on diversity and intersectional feminism within the film and television industry. Now in its 20th year, the festival continues to shape the current and future arts landscapes by envisioning a more equitable and inclusive community. I’m deeply grateful to Susan Sandler, a member of the Kanbar Institute faculty, and former students Emma Heald and Gina Abatemarco who 20 years ago sought Susan’s support in cultivating year-round programming recognizing the work of women in film.One of the Fusion Festival’s hallmark moments is its Woman of the Year celebration, and I’m excited to honor the multitalented writer and director Janicza Bravo (BFA, Drama) as this year’s recipient. Janicza’s breakout film Zola (2021) was distributed internationally by A24 & Sony and led the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards with 7 nominations, including Best Feature. In 2017, her feature directorial debut, Lemon, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and her 2014 short film, Gregory Go Boom, won the Jury Prize for U.S. Fiction at Sundance. We’re thrilled to celebrate Janicza and her trailblazing vision during this weekend’s master class!I offer my thanks and appreciation to Fusion 2022 Co-Directors Juliet Adelman, Kitty Bailey, Sequoia Sherriff, and Lucy Walkowiak, as well as the entire team of volunteers who worked hard to organize this festival’s full slate of programming. Your contributions are crucial to the representation of women in the arts, and we’re incredibly proud of the work you’re doing here at Tisch and beyond. Happy 20th anniversary!Allyson Green

From Our Faculty Advisor
Professor Susan Sandler

Dear Fusionistas,20 years of Fusion have flown in a dazzling flash.Always the greatest joys for me have been in nurturing your talent and watching you grow.Especially sweet this year was bringing my own film to screen for my Fusion family and sharing my work with you in the deepest sense.I wish everyone a festival experience that brings us together with compassion and curiosity.much love,

Co-director headshot

Fusion's faculty advisor Susan Sandler


Faculty Advisor
Susan Sandler
Sequoia Sherriff
Kitty Bailey
Juliet Adelman
Lucy Walkowiak
Associate Directors
Juliette Ho
Jillian Roche
Alumni Relations
Juliet Adelman
Capri Coble
Juliette Ho
Shutong(Kiwi) Liu
Mackenzie Packer
Jess Bu
Alexander Zinn
Schuyler Barefoot

Kitty Bailey
Jillian Roche
Yasmin Madrigal
Alicia Qian
Production Management
Mia Karle
Tech Advisement
Lucy Kocharian
Ayesha Khan
Rose Knopper
Lynette Urbina
Kristen(Ten) Monteverde
Alice Ye
Lucy Walkowiak
Sequoia Sherriff
Kristen Palacio


Alumni Relations
Xingrui (Eric) Chen
Qing Zhao
Andrea Nguyen
Tenzing Kai Pixley
Illia Solano
Avery Hendrick
Kailynne Lee Chiu
Chandler Crump
Ella Park
Rose Knopper
Egesi Iheduru
Paola Toro
Helen Cao
Cheyenne Robinson
Rem Jie
Solange Sai
Tech Advisement
Amina Hamawy
Sydney Crawford

Anjun Jia
Ray Qian
Christine Kim
Eunice Kim
Production Management
Caroline Melchi
Chloe Roman
Olivia Oweyeung
Lexi Pang
Ella Friedman
Rebekah Strauss
Rachel Goodman
Angel Odukomaiya
Madison Bambino
Sneha Iyyapillai
Todd Lai
Nicole Gontaryk
Sofia Sierra Garcia
Jesmyn Ji
Lavender Liu
Shreeya Jayabharathi

Adriana Guevara
Andie Man
Jill Verity
Kaylee Smith
Margeaux McCaughey
Sophie Ostrove
Maya Gavant
Sam Whitley
Alora Lindsey
Riley Foster
Aysu Tziahanas
Sophie Amanda Leiton Toomey
Eleanor De Fer
Tong Zhao
Carly Lin
Tia Alexander-Greene


Sponsor Collage
Sponsor Collage

Adobe, Canon, Avid, Final Draft, AbelCine, New York Women in Film & Television, Rogue Amoeba, Gotham Sound, Anthology Film Archives, Luna, Leuchtturm1917, Xeno Lights



Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street


Undergraduate Film

Chico Virtual

by Olivia De Camps

Chico Virtual still img

A boy must come to terms with the harsh reality of his immigrant status when his brother alarmingly doesn't come home.


by Samina Saifee

AmeriGirl still img

While away at Camp AmeriGirl, shy 11-year-old Aaliyah Khan has one goal: make a friend.

Saltwater Interlude

by Kaia Santos

Breastmilk still img

On the eve of her high school graduation, Linda wakes up to news that her sickly grandmother will not make it through the day.

Graduate Film

Twice as Good

by Kristian King

Twice as Good still img

Ann Pearson, a Black high school senior, faces high expectations as she prepares to reveal her college decision.


by Ria Tobaccowala

Little Sky still img

During the fragile chapter when a girl faces womanhood, Naya explores her independence on homecoming night away from her watchful family.

Nights and Days in America

by Louise Zhang

Nights and Days in America still img

It is a regular day for Jennifer, a 17-year-old Chinese girl attending a boarding school in New York, until she receives the news of her grandfather’s death.


Mind Control

by Lauren Kim

Mind Control still img

Hazel deprecates herself through sticky note messages on the mirror when one day, the notes stick to her body and she can’t remove them.


by Shira Seri Levi

Leftovers still img

A woman undergoes three rites of adolescence, and in each of them, loses a body part. Through mourning, she comes to terms with her body.


by Johanna Xue

Dumplings still img

A father shows his love by cooking delicious meals, but can magic in the kitchen be the glue that makes his daughter stick around?

Sight & Sound

Be a Better Lady

by Jessery Darlington

Be a Better Lady still img

After tirelessly being beaten down by social standards, a woman rebels against expectations in this two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world.

Fresh Meat

by Manami Forward

Fresh Meat still img

From their point of view, a pet fish witnesses their owner bring home and slaughter another fish.

Mano de Flor

by Isabelle Perez

Mano de Flor still img

A girl with an incurable hand flower struggles to accept herself, until she finds she is not as alone as she once believed.

Music Video

The One - Plant Skull

by Olivia De Camps

The One - Planet Skull still img

A Baroque fairy-princess spends her time confined within the mundanity of her home alongside her fairy minions — until she decides to create a cyborg lover.

Let Me

by Rhea Li

Let Me still img

Retelling the fateful tale of Orpheus and Eurydice...

Come Through

by Maya Peters

Come Through still img

Stuck in a loop, a girl waits for a call back from her lover in multiple lifetimes as she's reminded of others' intimate relationships.


Leave Slowly

by Aiyue Li

Leave Slowly still img

An old man makes a final promise to his deceased lover.

Hello, My Name is Chronic Pain

by Miranda Manganaro

Hello, My Name is Chronic Pain still img

An experimental documentary that aims to de-stigmatize chronic illness through my story, visualizations of my experience with pain, and an investigation of different medical treatments.

White Lie

by Flora Nolan

White Lie still img

Two friends remember their last summer before college, spent in quarantine, and discuss truth in memory, video, and emotion.

Freshman Rising Star

About Grandpa

by Carly Lin

About Grandpa still img

A documentary following my effort to uncover my grandpa’s mysteries five years after his passing.

Undergraduate Feature Screenplay

The Ponderosa Pine Society

by Amelia Annen

After a bad breakup, Darcy creates The Ponderosa Pine Society, but soon her past actions threaten the new world she and her friends have created.

The Later Years

by Lauryn Darden

A coming of age film following an elderly Black woman
after she leaves her husband of forty years and takes on life
with her estranged sister.

The Prettiest Black Girl in School

by Rebekah Strauss

On the day of her high school graduation, a black valedictorian reckons with her identity
while preparing to address her predominantly white peers one last time.

Graduate Feature Screenplay


by Inés Camiña

A 70-year-old housewife who has never had a life of her own starts a self-discovery journey when her husband’s stroke confronts her with death.

Summer on Washington Street

by Aisha Ford and Josette Roberts

When her mother disappears, a small-town teenager preparing for the biggest
school trip of her entire life, New York City, must fight to stay a kid while dealing with adult

La Reina Del Bronx

by Iraisa Ann Reilly

In 1961, a sheltered Cuban refugee forms an unlikely friendship with a drag queen in the
Bronx, until her sins threaten to tear them apart.

Undergraduate Half-Hour Pilot

Feign and Glory

by Carley DeFoe

When Kacie stumbles into a different dimension, she’s mistaken as a long-awaited messiah and must now fake her way through fulfilling a prophecy.

Accidents Happen

by Ila Finn

When college student Abigail and her friend-slash-nemesis Ben commit an accidental murder, she must exonerate herself before the law catches up.

Untitled Rabbi Pilot

by Gabie Yacobi

A young Rabbi must face off against her mentor and a newcomer for the chance to be Head Rabbi at a Jewish day school.

Graduate Half-Hour Pilot

The Space Race Experiments

by Grace Dennin

Three animal Space Race experiments get sidetracked from massacring humankind only
to ruin JFK’s assassination and must kill him before the timeline goes bad.

Soccer Moms

by Danielle Koenig

Hair is pulled, nails are broken, and goals are scored in this thrilling mockumentary-style exposé of the cutthroat world of suburban soccer moms.

Bia from Brazil

by Naná Xavier

A washed-up Brazilian TV host decides to run for president to stay at the only place
she knows how to live, under the spotlight.


Undergraduate Film


by Paige Dillon

The weird girl in class invites the hottest guy in school to her dinner party.

Rowing the Oars

by Yihua Evelyn Chen

A mockumentary via an exploitative friend’s lens about a girl who suffers from extreme social anxiety with only one way to help relieve her symptoms - singing a childhood ballad.

Graduate Film

Double Happiness

by Scarlett Li

In a Chinese wedding that can cause all parents to collapse into their most childish selves, can the couple survive the madness, with their love intact?


by Alessia Mandanici

Mila travels to Sicily for the first time since childhood to attend a funeral. Trying to reconnect with her grandmother, she is railroaded by her vibrant Italian family.

Big Crush

by Sophia Bennett Holmes

Grace is an odd girl with an odd fetish. She goes out one night in search of a boy, any boy, to bring home and prove that she’s normal.



by Yaania Bell

When confronted with the unbearably overwhelming tragedies of 2020, Ania chooses to escape the only way she can: by looking inward towards a higher power.

Above the Fold

by Áine Gleeson

Two paperboys vie to outperform each other.

Sink or Swim

by Anna Grace Xie

Lost in the ocean of her own mind, a young woman struggles to take a shower.

Sight & Sound

Time Keeper

by Amira Brown

Not quite a God, Apollo was sent down to Earth to manage time in the tri-state area. Pizza delivery man by day, and egotistical, manipulative man-whore for centuries, Apollo uses his ability to control time for his own selfish benefit. He’s forced to confront his ways when he finds the child he abandoned: the literal reflection of himself, except packed into a tiny, unassuming 8 year old girl.

Strong As Water

by Jingheng Lin

On a trip to the town grocer’s, a single mother helps her teenage daughter Lydia get over a recent breakup.

Under Control

by Leila Bustami

When a teenage girl wakes up in the middle of the night to find that she had been sleepwalking, it sends her into a spiral to protect herself.

Scary Story Puppet Show

by Riley Foster

When Amanda goes to bed, her puppets decide to do what they know how to do best: put on a scary story puppet show!


Farewell, My Grandpa

by Ruihan Zhang

A love letter to my grandpa who passes away when I was just one, weaving my reminiscences of what kind of a person he is.


by Claire Yezbak

A short documentary about a girl with toes for fingers.

Undergraduate Feature Screenplay

On My Mother's Side

by Alexia Towle

A teenage ballerina confronts how her eating disorder affects her Chinese immigrant family, who show their love through food.

Baby Weight

by Isabella Pipitone

After an overweight 14 year old girl is forced to have Lap-band surgery, she decides she’s ready for love and begins an online relationship.

A Hero Rises

by Sebrina Dement Semer

An extremely powerful immortal being hindered only by depression and self-hatred is dragged out of retirement to join a war decades after she stopped the last one.

Graduate Half-Hour Pilot

The Fox Spirit

by Kansas Ballesteros

Reality blurs for a grieving woman when she experiences intense dreams of a dangerous spirit.

Freshman Rising Star


by Katie McLean

A lonely creature tries to find comfort in a post-apocalyptic world.

Thank you to our judges!


Ali Brown
President Prettybird
Elizabeth Cuthrell
Co-Founder Evenstar Films
Susan Margolin
Founder St. Marks Productions, LLC
Katy McCaffrey
Gersh Agency TV Lit Agent
Leah Holzer
Producer Defiant By Nature
Darian Lanzetta
CAA, Motion Picture Agent
Denise Rottina
Produce Ice Age 5: Collision Course


Gabriela Alcalde
Vanessa Benton
Leticia Bianco
Natalia Bougadellis
Ryan Carrión
Natalie Cordero
Shaye Davis
Grace Gao
Samantha Godfrey
Emily Harrold
Priya Khanolkar
Audrey Leach
Megan Mathieson
Emory Parker
Adrianna Rios
Alee Ruggieri
Erin Sanger
Brittany H. Santiago
Katie Schiller
Dircelene Torres
Annalee Walton
Piera Van de Wiel
Denise Zhou


Mark Arywitz
Zoya Baker
Michael Burke
Ronnie Kay
D.B. Gilles
Phil McNagny
Dean Lennert
Susan Sandler



Mitu Khandaker & Latoya Peterson

Creators of INSECURE: The Come Up Game
adapted from Issa Rae’s hit HBO show

Mitu Khandaker Headshot

Mitu Khandaker

Mitu Khandaker is CEO & co-founder of Glow Up Games, a new mobile free-to-play games & creative tech studio building systems-driven games for diverse audiences. She is also Assistant Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center, where she teaches game design and development. She holds a PhD on designing games for immersive interfaces such as VR, and has a background in computer engineering. She also worked in the indie game space on titles such as the social simulation game Redshirt. She has received a number of international accolades, including winning the Breakthrough Brit BAFTA in 2013 and the Creative English Trailblazer Award in 2014. Mitu was previously on the founding team at Spirit AI, a games AI middleware company, and also launched a location-based games startup in 2009. A serial entrepreneur, she was a Kauffman Global Scholar in 2008. Mitu has a particular interest in encouraging diversity in game development and STEM-related fields, and has served on the advisory committee for the Advocacy Track at Game Developers' Conference since 2014. She is also on the board of directors at Feminist Frequency, and is a AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, appearing on shows such as Project Runway to promote more girls into game development.

Latoya Peterson Headshot

Latoya Peterson

A television veteran specializing in emerging technology, Latoya Peterson was an award winning race and culture writer for major outlets like the New York Times, NPR, Jezebel and Kotaku as well as a three-time judge for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Currently, she is the Chief Experience Officer and Co-Founder of Glow Up Games.

Lovie Gyarkye Headshot

This event is moderated by

Shirley Ngozi Nwangwa

Shirley Ngozi Nwangwa is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work appears in New York Times/T Magazine, New York Magazine, The Nation , and ARTnews.



Exclusive preview ~ Writer/Director Jane SchoenbrunIn-person Q&A

Iyabo Boyd Headshot

Jane Schoenbrun

Jane Schoenbrun (Writer, Director, Editor) is a non-binary filmmaker currently in post-production on We're All Going to the World's Fair, their first narrative feature as writer/director. Jane is the co-creator of the ongoing touring variety series The Eyeslicer, a collaboration with hundreds of filmmakers including David Lowery, Ari Aster, Shaka King, Jennifer Reeder, Bridey Elliott, and many more. The Eyeslicer is executive produced by arts collective Meow Wolf and has screened in hundreds of venues across the world including MoMA, the Tribeca Film Festival, and Kansas City’s oldest porn theater. In 2018, Jane created the Radical Film Fair, a film flea market and mentorship event that drew thousands of attendees. Jane is the director of the feature documentary A Self-Induced Hallucination (Rotterdam 2019), a producer on Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life (Kino Lorber 2019), an EP on season one of Terence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness (HBO 2018), and the creator of the omnibus ‘dream film’ collective:unconscious (SXSW 2016). Jane sometimes publishes the column “Continue Watching” for FILMMAKER Magazine, and has previously worked as the Senior Film Lead at Kickstarter and as the Associate Director of Programming at IFP.
Girls Doc Mafia, a collective for women filmmakers of color, which has 4,500 members globally. Iyabo was a Ford Foundation JustFilms Fellow, and is a recipient of DocNYC’s New Leader award. Iyabo was a founding team member and later a Co-Director of NYU's Fusion Film Festival. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for film, and currently resides in the Bronx, NY.

Iyabo Boyd Headshot

This event is moderated by

Michael Koresky

In addition to teaching the class Queerness in American Cinema in the Tisch Undergrad Film and Television Department, Michael Koresky is the Editorial Director at Museum of the Moving Image and the former Editorial and Creative Director at Film at Lincoln Center. He's also the co-founder and -editor of the online film magazine Reverse Shot; the author of the HarperCollins/Hanover Square Press book Films of Endearment and the University of Illinois Press book Terence Davies; and a frequent contributor and freelance programmer for The Criterion Collection, where he programs the series Queersighted.