A letter from WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer
Dear WIF Family,
Today is my five-year anniversary with Women In Film! I am enormously grateful to be part of this community of women and men who are committed to equality, innovation, and change. Especially right now, in the midst of this pandemic, community is everything. Our first priority at WIF is to help ensure that our constituents are safe and have access to critical resources. Our next priority is to protect the progress we have made for women in our industry.
Over the past five years, in collaboration with the WIF staff and Board, as well as dozens of partner organizations, we have started to see change—a steady uptick in the number of women working in front of and behind the camera. However, crisis often leads to a compromise in values; studies have illuminated that women face more challenging financial and social consequences in difficult times like these, resulting in a backslide for equality and inclusion. Our job now is to stay focused on the core mission and to innovate new solutions for parity and the well-being of our community.
Though these are uncertain times, we are proud to share with you our first ever annual report, and take stock of the achievements we have made over the past five years—including, but not limited to:
- commissioning research to better understand structural gender imbalance in the entertainment industry;
- developing solutions to these problems by launching writing labs, expanding our production and mentoring programs, and building the INSIGHT cohort;
- starting the only entertainment industry-focused Help Line and resources for survivors of sexual harassment and misconduct;
- hosting dynamic public programs like our exclusive Screening Series for members and thought-provoking Speaker Series for a general audience; and
- launching ReFrame, a research-based systemic change initiative with measurable results, in partnership with Sundance Institute.
Sincere thanks to all of the sponsors and partners who have supported our programs, without whom we would not have been able to sustain our critical work during this challenging time. If you are in a position to make a contribution, please do so here.
At the heart of WIF are women working in all areas of the industry to tell stories that speak truth (even the fictional ones); women whose stories inform and entertain; whose stories capture history and imagine the future. During this time of physical distancing, stories are holding us together. And when we get back to work, we have the opportunity and responsibility to use our voices to transform the industry by placing value on what matters most: people, well-being, and equality.
Executive Director, Women In Film