UCF student Shelby Thomas attended a meeting of Women in Film and Television (WIFT) on March 22 and felt that the event exceeded her expectations.
“I think that experience was very beneficial," Thomas said. “I spoke with two professionals during that who offered me freelance and intern positions with them.”
WIFT is an organization that began in Los Angeles in the 1930s when women were left with difficulty to find work in the film and television industry.
While WIFT was initially established for women to compete with men and help bridge the gap between genders in the work force, the organization now brings men and women together to network and educate together.
This organization also mentors and offers scholarships for future filmmakers, in the hopes to encourage the community to come together as a whole.
Through WIFT, women can find out opportunities for work competitively with men, who once dominated the film industry.
The organization blossomed nationwide in the 1980s and has several branches in Florida. The branches reside in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Daytona.
Networking meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month solely for networking purposes. WIFT Wednesdays give people from all aspects of the industry the opportunity to converse with one another and expand their contacts.
Nancy McBride, President of WIFT in Florida, emphasizes that it is important to network with as many people as possible in this career field. Members of this group include directors, producers, actors, photographers and more.
“The more you network, the more people you meet,” McBride said. “Networking is the power to your next job.”
“For WIFT, it seemed after the awkward brief period, everyone was very welcoming and tried to bring the students out of their comfort zone and into the social the best they could," Thomas said.
The next WIFT Wednesday on April 26 at 6 pm is open to everyone.
To learn more about Women in Film and Television, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/womeninfilmfl/.