The time has come for Hollywood to hibernate over the holidays, but we don't want to bid the year farewell without acknowledging 19 of our top moments from 2019 at Women In Film!
So much wonderful content was created by our members, like Nisha Ganatra‘s LATE NIGHT, Nzingha Stewart‘s TALL GIRL, Andrea Berloff‘s THE KITCHEN, Autumn McAlpin‘s MISS ARIZONA, and Deborah Liebling-produced “Pen15.”
It was a Marvel-ous year as the Marvel Cinematic Universe concluded its “Infinity Saga.” WIF member and mentor in our Mentoring Program, Sarah Finn, served as the casting director on all but one of the Saga’s 23 movies. ReFrame Ambassador Victoria Alonso has produced the MCU films since 2008, and WIF member Pinar Toprak composed the score for CAPTAIN MARVEL. [more]
At our Annual Gala, we introduced new awards: the Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award, Amy Poehler; the Emerging Entrepreneur Award, Issa Rae; and the Members’ Choice Award, which went to directors Anne Fletcher, Debra Granik, Marielle Heller, Mimi Leder, and Chloé Zhao. Elizabeth Debicki was the Max Mara Face of the Future, and WIF Board President Emerita Cathy Schulman received the Crystal Award for Advocacy. [more]
ReFrame announced the inaugural class of ReFrame Rise directors: Desiree Akhavan, Haifaa al-Mansour, Patricia Cardoso, Hanelle Culpepper, Sydney Freeland, Zetna Fuentes, Tina Mabry, and Meera Menon. [more]
Haifaa al-Mansour‘s THE PERFECT CANDIDATE premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and is Saudi Arabia’s official submission for the International Feature Film Oscar. [more]
The WIF x Black List feature writing residency kicked off with a three-day intensive. Mentors and advisors included Haifaa al-Mansour (WADJDA, ReFrame Rise Fellow), Jessica Bendinger (BRING IT ON), Andrea Berloff (THE KITCHEN), Aline Brosh McKenna (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Liz Hannah (LONG SHOT), Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (LEGALLY BLONDE). The fellows in attendance were Sylvia Batey Alcalá, Devi Gowni, Alyssa Lerner, Anya Meksin, Erin Rodman, and Bo Shim.
Just this month, Erin Rodman‘s script made the Black List.
San Diego Comic-Con brought a lot of exciting announcements and panels, and ReFrame Director Alision Emilio spoke on the “Women Rocking Hollywood” panel. She was joined by Liesl Tommy (RESPECT, “The Walking Dead”), Gloria Calderón Kellett (“One Day at a Time”), Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT, MISS BALA), Cheryl Dunye (“Queen Sugar”), Jen McGowan (RUST CREEK, Glass Elevator), Angela Robinson (“True Blood,” PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN), and C Fitz (JEWEL’S CATCH ONE, “Queen Sugar”). Moderated by Leslie Combemale (WomenRockingHollywood, Cinema Siren).
This summer, the Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity (TTIE) launched, and Women In Film is proud to sponsor this important initiative. TTIE published a publicly-available report that speaks to the experiences of a broad spectrum of diverse TV writers through quantitative and qualitative self-reported data.
We hosted our first showcase of Film Finishing Fund recipients as part of our Stella Artois grant program. Centered on the theme “On Community and Impact,” the short film SANTUARIO and the feature documentary UNITED SKATES were screened before a panel discussion and reception. Moderated by WIF Director of Programs Maikiko James, the panelists included SANTUARIO Director/Producer Pilar Timpane and cast member Lesvi Molina; UNITED SKATES Director/Producer Dyana Winkler, Composer Jongnic “JB” Bontemps, and cast member Phelicia Wright; and Rev. Deborah Lee, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. [more]
The Production Program held its first-ever Short Film Showcase, where JUST A DRILL and SIGNAL screened for an exclusive group of industry leaders. Filmmakers Chloé Hung, Bo Shim, Jes Anderson, Julianne Donelle, Sabrina Stoll, and Megan Jordan were able to address the crowd at the panel discussion. [more]
Later this year, JUST A DRILL was selected for the LA Shorts Fest, and Chloé Hung was announced as a participant in the Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room residency.
This year saw the establishment of the WIF Latina Leadership Cohort—led by Jeanette Guaman and Yasmine Campbell—a group of dedicated industry professionals committed to improving Latinx representation both on screen and behind the scenes.
Lina Wertmüller received an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards, and Women In Film was privileged to host a luncheon in celebration of her and her career. Directors like Nancy Meyers, Lisa Cholodenko, WIF Board Member Nisha Ganatra, and Martha Coolidge attended to toast the first woman ever to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination. As WIF Board President Amy Baer said, “the honor is long overdue—42 years in the making. [more]
Film Finishing Fund grantee THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN and its filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn had an exciting year! The film screened at a dozen international festivals, was acquired by Ava DuVernay‘s ARRAY Releasing, and it is now available to stream on Netflix. [more]
The WIF Help Line for Sexual Harassment and Misconduct expanded thanks to our partnerships with New York Women in Film & TV (NYWIFT) and Women in Film & Television Atlanta (WIFTA). Pro bono attorneys are available for callers in California, New York, and Georgia, and local mental health and emotional support services currently serve the cities of Los Angeles, New York City, and Atlanta. [more]
Thousands of people attended our Screening and Speaker Series events in 2019. Speaker Series offerings included panels on intimacy coordination, unscripted content, VFX, queer cinema, crowdfunding, and music composition. Screening Series guests included directors Marielle Heller, Kasi Lemmons, Mimi Leder, Jill Culton, Jill Soloway, and Olivia Wilde.
At last month’s annual ReFrame Convening, two ReFrame Rise director fellows, Hanelle Culpepper and Meera Menon, met with some of the WIF INSIGHT fellows: Jessica Shields, Winnie Kemp, Kase Peña, Meenakshi Ramamurthy, and Shandrea Evans.
Earlier this year, Kase Peña was announced as a recipient of Sundance’s Launch Grant.
The Production Program had a history-making year! The short BFF was created and crewed by the first fully Latinx filmmaker team in the program’s history: director Elia Urquiza, producer Elisa Lleras, and line producer Nuria Anson. The program’s first team wherein all of the fellows are queer women of color, created the short SLICE, written and directed by Alexi Gonzalez, produced by Nicole Scott, and line produced by Natalie Baldini.