About Women Texas Film Festival

On August 17-20, Dallas is again going to see what women are really made of. In Women Texas Film Festival’s four-day event, we will showcase the range and depth of female driven visual stories. Established and emerging female filmmakers will show that girls aren’t just made of sugar and spice. They’ve got some grit and gasoline, too. We are excited to announce our new venue partner, Studio Movie Grill, will be the exclusive location for all 2017 screenings.

WTxFF screens qualified films that have women in at least one key creative role: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer.

The festival also hosts virtual reality demos, game room, Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, a master class, exclusive parties, and a gala night with filmmaker red carpet.

Women Texas Film Festival

Who’s who at WOMEN TEXAS FILM FESTIVAL

Justina Walford

Founding and Artistic Director

Justina Walford

Justina Walford is a critically acclaimed writer, producer, director, and performer of various types of storytelling on screen, stage, and print. Currently, the Founder and Director of the inaugural edition of the Women Texas Film Festival, Walford was formerly the Artistic Director of Split Id Staged Performances in Hollywood. During that time, she produced a dozen full-length productions and countless one-night shows, many of which were her original work. Her popular storytelling event “Memoirs of an Almost Geisha” was noted for showcasing Asian-American women and their stories of identity. Walford was praised by both the LA Weekly and Backstage West for her works and a proud recipient of the Women in Theater Red Carpet Award.

In 2010, Justina left Los Angeles for New York and began creating movies with husband John Wildman, including co-writing and producing the horror thriller, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE, shot in Dallas and available on VOD. The film received descriptions of “an instant classic” (Dread Central), “potential cult classic” (Awards Circuit), and “a 21st Century cult classic” (Lucky Girl Media) among other critical praise. A current board member for Sunday, Assembly NYC and Women in Film Dallas, Walford has built a reputation for bringing people together in three major cities (Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas), and is dedicated to utilize that talent to promote and show the range of stories women tell across all media.

Vanessa Cook

Executive Director

Vanessa Cook

WTxFF is thrilled to welcome Vanessa Cook as its Executive Director for 2017! Vanessa served as the WTxFF executive theater manager for our inaugural year last year, ensuring the volunteers, staff, moviegoers and filmmakers alike had a smooth, logistically organized and awesome experience. She nailed it, and we are so grateful!

Vanessa has a wealth of experience in filmmaking production and film festival management. Her filmmaking credits include writer, director, producer, assistant director, production coordinator and production assistant. She has served as production assistant on several well-known TV shows, including The Amazing Race, Queen of the South, and Undercover Boss. Her experience carries over to management roles in several notable film festivals: Dallas International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Lone Star Film Festival, and Earth X Film Festival. She also served as the print traffic coordinator for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Independent film holds a special place in Vanessa’s heart. Having written, directed, and produced her own short film/sitcom hybrid called Breadwinner, she understands the level of passion, commitment, and determination it takes to see a film through from start to finish. She joined WTxFF because she believes in giving the female filmmaker a platform to shine and is dedicated to helping the festival grow within the national film festival scene.

John Wildman

Publicist & Festival Consultant

John Wildman

John Wildman is a multi-faceted presence in the film and film festival world, known for his work as a film and film festival publicist, consultant, filmmaker, journalist, and critic. Wildman was the Senior Publicist for The Film Society of Lincoln Center, FSLC’s New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, and the Chaplin Award Gala, among many film festivals, series and events at Lincoln Center, the Director of Press and Public Relations for the American Film Institute, as well as the three film festivals under their umbrella at that time (AFI FEST/AFI DALLAS/Silverdocs), and the AFI Life Achievement Award, as well as a host of other film festivals and events across the country.

Currently, Wildman is the Head of PR for the DALLAS International Film Festival, Tallgrass International Film Festival, Oxford FF, Oak Cliff FF, and Sidewalk FF. He is a host on The Daily Buzz NPR broadcast reporting from Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes, and writes a column for Festworks.com entitled “Films Gone Wild.” Wildman was formerly a contributor to Film Comment.com and Film Threat, as well as several publications prior to that, including Movie City News and Moving Pictures Magazine.com. His feature film directorial debut, the grindhouse art-horror thriller THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE was released to critical acclaim in 2015.

Daphne Street

Development Consultant

Daphne Street

Daphne Taylor Street is a freelance writer, nonprofit development consultant, communications consultant, public speaker and internet radio personality. She has been a professional writer and development executive for more than 20 years. This was a rather unnatural progression from her first career in the performing arts as a classically trained vocalist.

In the summer of 2011, Daphne left her full-time staff writing job to pursue her freelance writing and consulting business in full-force, and she has now written many published articles, ghost written several books for clients and has two co-authored books soon to be released. Her past successes include securing tens of millions of dollars in contracts and venture capital over the course of her career; she now uses similar strategies to tell compelling stories, amplifying the value of brands and causes while moving audiences to take action.

Lisa Normand

Board Secretary

Lisa Normand

Lisa Normand is an intellectual property attorney with experience handling all aspects of trademark and copyright law for Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging businesses. Lisa began her legal career as a paralegal at Human Rights Initiative, where she provided pro bono legal services to asylum seekers and immigrant victims of domestic violence. She has carried that commitment to public service forward and continues to volunteer for projects that support both the immigrant and arts communities.

Audrey Palmer

Board Treasurer

Audrey Palmer

Audrey is currently pursuing her MBA at SMU Cox School of Business, collaborating with colleagues on multiple projects in the DFW area. She works as a Retirement Plan Consultant at Milliman, Inc., enjoying the major aspects of consulting and client delivery including relationship management and the craft of explaining technical concepts in an approachable manner.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Professional Leadership Program Alumni Network. Her favorite filmmakers include Kathryn Bigelow, Errol Morris, and Michel Gondry.