Congratulations to the 2018-2020 Board

Jean Joseph

Communications Chair

Shameka Gray

President/Co-WiFT International Rep/ Co-WiFT U.S. Rep

Shameka Gray was born in New Orleans, La. She is a trained actress, having studied theater at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La and later finished her studies in acting and producing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Ca. While in San Francisco she performed onstage in The Black Nativity at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. She is known for her role inThe Giant’s Fairy which has won Best Picture at the 48hr Film Festival and screened at the Southern Screen Film Festival. She was also a part of the films Stay Woke; Iris; Liar, Liar Pants On Fire and Sugar, Alienated, Murderous Affairs (TV Series), Ink Red Dead Redemption II  (Video Game) and Silence is Compliance.



Amy Le

Vice President/ Co-WiFT International Rep/ Co-WiFT U.S. Rep/ Membership Chair

Amy Le, a Louisiana native, has been an Southeast Regional Film and TV actress for the last 8 years.  She is also an aspiring writer striving to create Vietnamese-American stories and content.  She believes in the power of the human spirit and with positivity, persistent, and perseverance is up for creating amazing new realities in real life and on the screen. Amy has earned acting roles in the hit T.V. series Queen Sugar, American Horror Story, Star Crossed, The Originals, and NCIS: New Orleans.


Amy is looking forward to giving and receiving love and creativity to all those in our community looking to create. 


Keota D. Picou

Secretary/Education Chair/Webmaster/Newsletter

Keota D. Picou is an award winning actress, dancer, poet, singer, and pianist. She has worked in film since July 2010. Keota has earned a leading role in the short film Ripe Figs and Dr. Chevalier's Lie, an adaptation of Kate Chopin's work. October of 2017, Ripe Figs, made it's world premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival and earlier this year at the Greater New Orleans Film Fete. Dr. Chevalier's Lie premiered at the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival this June 2018. Film Girl Film Festival screened both Ripe Figs and Dr. Chevalier's Lie this year. Keota earned a supporting role in the webseries NOPD: Coven "Getting In", which premiered at the Dances With Films Festival. All three short films have been screening consistently at many film festivals across the US. She has made her U.K. debut at the Women Over 50 Film Festival for her lead role in Ripe FigsShe has also made an appearance on WWLTV News. Keota has won "The Award of Merit" from the Southern Shorts Awards for her "Achievement in Acting" in a drama. She is a children's rights supporter and volunteered for the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater New Orleans.



For website inquiries:

Ashley James

Treasurer/ Events Chair

Ashley James is a native of New Orleans, La. She followed the legacy of her mother and aunt by attending St. Mary's Academy Catholic high school. Once graduating from high school, Ashley earned her Associate's in Performance and Media Arts from Delgado Community College; Bachelor's in Film Arts from the University of New Orleans, and Master's of Science Degree in Business Entertainment from FullSail University. Ashley is currently a banker with Capitol One and spends her free time reading, watching movies, and completing her first novel. She truly enjoys meeting new people and exploring their personality. She believes everyone has a beautiful and positive heart. 



For event inquiries:


Lizeth Hutchings

Communications Chair

Lizeth Hutchings was born in Mexico and grew up in South Carolina. She moved to New Orleans in 2014 and fell in love with the culture and diversity that it offered. She became interested in the film industry and has been known for her work as Casting Associate on Brand Is Crisis as well as a Casting Assistant for various commercials. Lizeth is also an Actress and has earned a role in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Awakening and a lead role in a national commercial for Turbo Tax.



Bianca Siplin

Sponsorship Chair

Bianca Siplin is an actress, writer and kids acting coach who aspires to provide more local opportunities for women and children in Film and Television.  She has been performing over 15 years and teaching acting for stage and film for 12 years. Bianca is a proud alumnae of both Miami University and Dillard University. Her most recent television credit is “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” which will debut on Showtime. Bianca is currently writing new projects for tv and film in hopes of bringing new fresh talent to the screen. “I am excited to be a part of WIFT in this new position. I have seen great talent all around me with lack of opportunities and funding to support local filmmakers. My goal is to bridge that gap, so the artists within all of us can be free to create without the worry of funding.”


Angel Omoike

Volunteer Chair

We have welcomed our newest board member, Angel Omoike, as our elected Volunteer Chair. 



Portia L. Washington

Baton Rouge Branch Chair

We have welcomed one of our newest board members, Portia L. Washington, as our elected Baton Rouge Chair. 


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A SPECIAL THANKS to our  Honorary & Advisory Board: 

Carol Bidault de l'Isle

Immediate Past President

Carol Bidault de l’Isle is an award-winning producer, specializing in motion picture and television financing, production and distribution. She brings with her over 30 years of industry experience in the United States, Europe, and Latin America and is fluent in 4 languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish) and basic conversation in Japanese. In 2010, Ms. Bidault moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to open the new headquarters of MediaFusion Entertainment, LLC. She recently completed Cut Off with Brad Dourif, William Baldwin and is currently in Post-Production with: Peter Greenaway’s Walking to Paris; in Post Production and in development with The Chronicles of Young Washington (William Hurt, Gary Oldman). Ms. Bidault is a film advisor to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Warner Theatre in Washington, DC and on the has been on Executive Committee of Women In Film & Television International (2014 - 2018), President of Women In Film & Television Louisiana (2016 - 2018), Advisory Board of the New Orleans Film Society (2011 - 2017). For more



Zecar Zadegan

Honorary Member

Necar Zadegan is a recent transplant to the Big Easy and stars as Special Agent Hannah Khoury in the CBS global franchise series, NCIS: New Orleans. A versatile actress known for a career on stage and screen, she made her Broadway debut when she originated the role of the Leper in Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize nominated and multi Tony award accoladed “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” opposite Robin Williams. 

Ms. Zadegan garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of First Lady turned president Dalia Hassan on Fox’s hit series “24” and most recently for her delicate portrayal of Layla Shokrani alongside Tim Robbins and a Holly Hunter in the HBO drama “Here and Now” from Oscar winning screenwriter, creator Alan Ball. In the Bravo comedy on Netflix, “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”, Ms. Zadegan plays the much beloved character written for her by show creator Marti Noxon, of fashionable and high powered attorney, Delia Banai. The show aired its fifth and final season last June. The year also saw Ms. Zadegan join the cast of the ABC hit “The Good Doctor”.  Other series regular roles include her portrayal of Dr. Gina Bandari on “Emily Owens MD” and in the lead opposite Greg Kinnear in the FOX comedy “Rake”. Some highlights from her many other credits include roles for Steven Spielberg company produced series “Extant”,  opposite Sean Bean in spy series “Legends” and a very memorable turn as the Queen of Iran in Showtime”s critical success “Masters of Sex” opposite Michael Sheen, with whom she also starred opposite in the Columbia Tri Star film, psychological thriller “Unthinkable” alongside Samuel L. Jackson.  She appeared with Adam Sandler in Judd Apatow’s “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” and played the title role in “Elena Undone” which enjoyed success at independent festivals worldwide. 

Ms. Zadegan has worked at some of the worlds most prestigious theaters including The Mark Taper Forum, the Royal Dramatic Theater of Stockholm, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many more, and toured internationally in the Persian language production of “Satellite with Love”. 

Ms. Zadegan was born in Heidelberg, Germany and raised in Northern California. She studied theater and dance on a performance scholarship at the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with honors and a BA degree in English Literature. She also studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris. She speaks Persian, French and German and has learned Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew while working in those languages. 

Ms. Zadegan is an ambassador for and travels with them around the world building schools for children.


Patricia Clarkson

Honorary Member

Patricia Davies Clarkson, born in New Orleans, is an American actress. She has starred in many leading and supporting roles in films such as The Station AgentThe PledgeThe Green MileFar from HeavenHigh ArtDogvilleGood Night, and Good LuckEasy A, and Cairo Time. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe for her performance in Pieces of April (2003). She twice won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her recurring role in Six Feet Under. In 2015, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The Elephant Man.


Susan Brennan

Founder, Second Line Stages

Susan Brennan is a graduate of Trinity Episcopal School, Isidore Newman School and Vanderbilt University. She is a life long resident of New Orleans. Brennan is the owner and developer of Second Line Stages, the first LEED Gold certified, state of the art, sustainable sound stages in the United States. She serves on several boards, including the New Orleans Arts Council, and is an emeritus board member of the New Orleans Film Society.


Jaye Calhoun


Jaye is a member in Kean Miller Law Film New Orleans office. Jaye’s practice is focused on state and local taxation including the Louisiana film tax credit and digital media credit programs. Jaye regularly assists film and entertainment industry clients in the compliance and formation of tax credits and incentive transactions involving a variety of state, local and federal tax incentive programs including Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Credits. She also advises and assists clients throughout the certification process for Louisiana film tax credits and with resolving issues arising after certification. Additionally, Jaye is actively involved in the enactment of legislation creating a tax credit registry. Jaye Calhoun was a Founding Member of WIFT Louisiana.


Mari Kornhauser

Writer, Director, Professor

New Orleans resident independent filmmaker Mari Kornhauser is a UCLA Film School graduate who has gone on to write on assignment for various studios and producers, including writing and co-producing two independent features, ZANDALEE, starring Nicolas Cage, and THE LAST RIDE (aka F.T.W.), starring Mickey Rourke. Kornhauser’s directorial debut was the award winning independent feature HOUSEBOUND (aka KITCHEN PRIVILEGES), starring Peter Sarsgaard, which she also wrote; FINDING HOME AGAIN was her first non fiction videography focusing on post-Katrina life and reconstruction in New Orleans. In 2011, she moved into television with WRECKERS; from 2011-2013, she wrote for the HBO Peabody award winning show, TREME, created by Eric Overmyer and David Simon and currently, she is in development on a television series and work-shopping her first full-length play. Kornhauser is a Professor of screenwriting at Louisiana State University. 


Carroll Morton

Entertainment Industry Development, New Orleans

Carroll Morton has served as the City of New Orleans Manager of Entertainment Industry Development and has worked in the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy since 2009.  In that capacity Carroll advises the city on public policy for the film and entertainment industry, provided support for the city’s legislative efforts, developed workforce training programming and worked with non-profits to implement those programs.  She has produced events to market the film industry both locally and at the Sundance Film Festival.  Beginning in 2015 Carroll expanded her role to include managing the work of the 2018 Tricentennial Commission producing events and programming to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the City of New Orleans.  She currently serves on the advisory board for The New Orleans Film Society and Women in Film and Television.


Suzette Toledano


Suzette Toledano of Toledano Entertainment and Arts Law maintains a transactional intellectual property law practice located above the House of Blues in New Orleans with emphasis on copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, brands, visual art, music, film, and licensing. She and her family developed the real estate where the prototype House of Blues is located resulting in the creation of a Vieux Carre Entertainment District, changing the landscape of the French Quarter. Most recently she has been working with a branding client in the States of Colorado and Washington (where recreational cannabis use is legal) on licensing issues related to the Willie’s Reserve trademarks. She works with The National World War II Museum on entertainment related matters. Suzette's clients include record labels, music publishers, concert promoters, recording artists, songwriters, producers, visual artists, photographers, authors, screenwriters and filmmakers, with Oscar and Grammy nominees/winners among them. Suzette is proud to have served as a Founding Board Member of WIFT-LA and as a current Board Member of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.


Tichi Wilkerson Kassel


Tichi Wilkerson Kassell (1926­-2004) Tichi Wilkerson Kassel founded Women In Film in 1973 while she was a publisher and editor-­in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter. She knew first­hand how limited opportunities were for women in the entertainment industry and was determined to change that:


"As most of you already know, I have a very strong commitment to this organization. Those veterans of this group are aware that we are no longer alone, no longer isolated in our endeavors. We have created a point of reference, an embryo resource, which has great potential for growth. As a group, we can focus a new spotlight on individuals among us and on women in general. As an organization, we can strengthen each other. We can provide opportunities for profiling individual successes. Our combined voices can assure greater recognition of individual efforts. I am proud to be one of you."


—Tichi Wilkerson Kassel, 1985 Crystal Awards

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New Orleans, Louisiana 70157

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