The Test Podcast

The Test Podcast


The Test is derived from The Bechdel Test and is essentially what The Bechdel Test is all about: 2+ women sitting in a room together, NOT talking about a man within the context of the movies. Inspired by The Bechdel Test and Mark Maron's WTF long form interviews, The Test is intimate, personal and will explore one female in entertainment for each episode (producers, casting directors, show runners, actresses, editors, directors, etc), from their upbringing to early inspirations to what they're up to right now to where they're headed next, with a focus on their career in film & tv. It's a digging in that's equally light, funny, and feminist. 



Play » Victoria Negri

Victoria Negri

Director / Writer / Producer / Actress Victoria Negri is a quadruple threat force of nature. We caught up with her surrounding the debut of her first time directorial feature release, 'Gold Star' with Oscar nominee Robert Vaughn, to discuss marathon running, transforming one's pain into art, and her unique upbringing as the child of a father 60 years her senior. Join us for this open, vulnerable, and deep-well discussion on dying, living, and & all the messy in between.

Play » Olivia Newman

Olivia Newman

Writer / Director Olivia Newman's longstanding passion for writing and acting paved the way for her successful launch into filmmaking. Raised in Hoboken, NJ by openminded, politically active, musically minded parents that met in the PeaceCorp, her childhood was shaped by performing in the school plays of the school her mother founded and spearheaded & by a year abroad in France her junior year in H.S. A crisis of identity in college led to a discovery of French Cinema & an eventual launch into directing when she enrolled at Columbia for grad school. A Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab alum, her films have received support from the Sundance Institute, HBO and The Caucus Foundation, and have been broadcast on PBS. She is in postproduction on her first feature, First Match, soon to be released on Netflix. Join us for this inspiring talk that touches on everything from outsiders, to racy too-young screenings of The Accidental Tourist, to Ed Harris giving film notes on a pregnancy ball.

Play » Yessica Curiel Montoya

Yessica Curiel Montoya

Cinematographer & Gaffer Yessica Curiel Montoya has been bucking the norm all her life. Born in a small town in Mexico to working professionals that always encouraged her independent spirit, she set off for a film career in college and never looked back. She continued her studies in New York City and stayed on an artist's Visa that quickly led to regular gigs in the city. Often the only woman in her department & sometimes the only one on set, she was very candid with us about her experiences with everyday sexism & what it's like to be an immigrant in America today. Don't miss this very open & heartfelt conversation that covers everything from the role of artists as activists to carrying all the heavy equipment on set.


Play » Elizabeth Nichols

Elizabeth Nichols

Director Elizabeth Nichols splits her time between quicksilver NYC and the slow savannah of Arusha, Tanzania in Africa. She collaborates on films with her Maasai students that are part narrative / part documentary & she also makes movies in New York City. Raised in Princeton, NJ in an artist / architect household where projects were king, she quickly developed a questioning & independent spirit. A child photographer, she tried her hand at theater post undergrad before finally settling into her current nomadic life of pedagogy & filmmaking.

Play » Annie Lukowski

Annie Lukowski

New England born Virtual Reality Director Annie Lukowski might have been a banker or a professor of Theology if she hadn't made the impractical-in-her-parent's-eyes-leap to Hollywood & start hitting it out of the park from the very beginning. Her first gig was as an intern on the five time Oscar nominated Todd Field film In The Bedroom. From there she landed an Art Department position on a George Miller developed production of Wonder Woman that never came to be. No matter, because she soon branched seamlessly out on her own into the cutting edge world of Virtual Reality, developing her own passion projects alongside content for studios & big commercial clients through her company Vanishing Point Media. Join us for this enlightening & exciting chat about how VR gets made & where its headed.



Play » Elissa Down

Elissa Down

Aussie Writer / Director Elissa Down won the Crystal Bear Award at The Berlin Film Festival for her autobiographically inspired feature film debut "The Black Balloon" with Toni Collette. Growing up the daughter of a nurse and a soldier and the oldest sister to three brothers, two of which are autistic, she quickly learned the art of a good & amusing story. Ever charming, her projects tend to explore embarrassment in all of its messiness & humor. Join us for a winding chat on the fascinating life of this absolute delight.

Play » Tema Staig

Tema Staig

Art Director and Executive Director of Women In Media, Tema Staig is a powerhouse do-er creative on a mission. Tema's company, Women In Media, is a growing contact list of women in all areas of film production. Bechdel approved, her organization provides thousands of options for creating greater gender parity on any film set. From DJing in New York City when virtually no women were spinning in clubs, to set designing in LORT theaters across the country to Art Directing and running product placement for indie hit 'Kissing Jessica Stein,' Tema has lived and worked in so many creative worlds. Tune in for this exciting and open chat that delves into everything from how Tema's grandparents escaped the Holocaust via Cuba to her assistant production designing on 'American Splendor' to how she retired from chemical laden set painting when she became pregnant with her daughter.

Play » Kristen Murtha

Kristen Murtha

Producer Kristen Murtha is who you get when you want it done and with excellence. Raised outside Boston in a pragmatic, Irish American family, Kristen's producer star was born while watching a behind the scenes special on Finding Nemo while still in elementary school. Post college, she landed in sunny LA and soon started working for DreamWorks on giant studio animation projects like Rise of the Guardians and How to Train Your Dragon II. A consummate go-getter, she continuously took on smaller indie projects in her limited off hours from Studio Production Coordinating, steadily building up an impressive body of work that includes Associate Producing on The LEGO Ninjago Movie & Co-Producing Sundance indie favorite Band Aid, recently released through IFP & Sony Worldwide. Michal recently brought her on as Producer on her narrative feature, Born That Way. Join us for this must-listen talk that covers everything from all female crews to strolling the streets of Sydney with Jackie Chan.

Play » Grace Nkenge Edwards

Grace Nkenge Edwards

TV Writer & Actress Grace Nkenge Edwards knows funny. Born in Guyana, South America to a linguistics professor & an accountant that immigrated to Michigan when she was a toddler, she started acting & creating stories from a young age. After pursuing an acting career in NYC post college, she found her way into writing, eventually becoming a writer assistant on INSIDE AMY SCHUMER (as well as being a contributing writer and actress in some sketches), a writer assistant for BROAD CITY, a writer for NICOLE BUYER's show and a writer for the newest season of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT. Join us for this wonderful chat with this fierce and funny force & learn all the inside secrets to finding your own way into the Writer's Room.

Play » Gina Atwater

Gina Atwater

Gina Atwater is a wonder. As an over-achieving independent spirit raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, her desire to tell character driven period piece stories led her to Columbia University where she created an award winning short that later caught the attention of her boss at CAA. Soon recommended for a job with JJ Abrams, she eventually found her way to Bad Robot & then The Writer's Room of HBO's Westworld. Join us for this insider look at how hard work, good character, whip smarts, & moxie pays off in droves.

Play » Bette Gordon

Bette Gordon

Bette Gordon is a legend. A critically acclaimed Director & a contemporary of Jim Jarmusch, she's been making films in NYC since the late 70's. Join us for this musically inspired talk about art house cinema in New York & Germany, French New Wave inspirations, how she got her complex & nuanced indie films Variety & Handsome Harry with Steve Buscemi made, & the haunting inspiration behind her glorious new feature, The Drowning.

Play » Hilary Bolger

Hilary Bolger

TV & Film Editor Hilary Bolger's candid openness & refreshing sense of humor about her life & work is a big bold breath of clean air. Born in La Canada, in the suburbs of Pasadena, just shy of the biz, her wild ride of a childhood may have had some influence in her decision to pursue a career where she gets to cut out the messy parts of the story. Join us for this intimate discussion as we wax poetic on everything from mental illness to ghost editing to how Spielberg takes his tea.

Play » Tamara Federici

Tamara Federici

Writer / Producer / Director Tamara Federici is one funny lady. Join us for a delightful conversation that weaves us through her North Carolina performance based childhood, her Chicago training with improv gurus Del Close at iO & Mick Napier at the Annoyance, how she infiltrated the comedy boys clubs of Comedy Central, writing and / or producing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Chappelle's Show, & Demetri Martin in New York City, and how all that work for others has expanded into directing & writing her own screenplays & films, most recently her short film Layla featuring Dan Mintz (Tina from Bob’s Burgers on FOX).

Play » Lagueria Davis

Lagueria Davis

Director & Line Producer Lagueria Davis discusses carving out a creative life in Texas while being raised by strict religious working class parents, being a person of color in a very white Oklahoma, how volunteering in a domestic abuse shelter led her back to filmmaking, & where she's now headed as a Line Producer & Narrative Director. Join us for this intimate discussion that explores activism, working class expectations, religion, race, and gender in America.

Play » Grainne Godfree

Grainne Godfree

All around nice gal & TV writer Grainne Godfree who's currently a writer for DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and THE FLASH shares her thoughts on breaking into TV writing and being a working female writer. Learn about how a dreamy California childhood of books, athletics, & Westerns with her father led to a DC Comics dream job. Tune in for this informative chat & learn how YOU can land in the Writer's Room too.

Play » Sarah E. Mason

Sarah E. Mason

Producer Sarah E. Mason is a woman of the world. Born in South Africa, raised in Northern Ireland, educated in Canada and England, and with stints in Colombia & Russia before living in Abu Dhabi and now Los Angeles, she is committed to bringing strong & truthful stories about the Middle East to Hollywood. Join us for this valuable & insightful discussion on her experience of being a non-Muslim white woman working in the Middle East, her desire for a more truthful portrayal of the Muslim community on film, & how a life reared amidst an Apartheid transitioning South Africa & a tumultuous Northern Ireland shaped her advocacy for the underdog in marketing, television, film.

Play » Jazz Smollett

Jazz Smollett

Jazz Smollett started acting & modeling in NYC alongside her 5 other siblings as a child. By the time she was a teenager, her entire family had its own sitcom that ran on the TGIF Block of ABC. Listen in as we discuss feminism, intersectionality, & what it was like for her growing up bi-racial in both NYC & Los Angeles in the 80's & 90's, as well as her current life as a Producer, Mother, Film Fest Curator & Life Style Host.

Play » Michelle Kantor

Michelle Kantor

In our inaugural episode, Michelle Kantor, founder of Cinefemme, discusses her storied upbringing in Colorado raised by Communist defector parents from Czechoslovakia, motherhood, epilepsy, what it takes to run a successful non-profit, and filmmaking with an activist heart.