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2022 Sundance Film Festival Watchlist

WIF, ReFrame, and IMDbPro are committed to highlighting and uplifting the work of women and non-binary directors, including those featured at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Please use this guide to help you plan your screening schedule!

Survivors in Community

I joined WIF as a Help Line Advocate in 2019, a year after getting my Master of Social Work degree. At that point in my life, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a therapist, a community organizer, or leave social work altogether to go into human resources. But when I came across the job posting for the WIF Help Line, I was intrigued. As I was still recovering from my own experience of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, I felt called to use my advocacy and social work skills to support the film and television community. I come from an entertainment family and know the challenges of trying to make it in the industry. I felt that with my personal and professional experience, I could support the WIF community in a meaningful way.

As a Help Line Advocate, I answer calls from people in the industry who are seeking support and referrals after experiencing sexual harassment and/or assault. Through this work, I learned that I had to be there for our callers in a way that was respectful of their own individual processes, which are so much more complicated and nuanced than the discussions that were being had in our society as the “Me Too” movement took off. Access to legal support can be important for a survivor or victim of workplace sexual harassment or assault, but it doesn’t address all of the ramifications of working in abusive and toxic environments. Callers share the deep emotional impact that their experiences have had on their sense of identity and the difficulty of being excluded and overlooked in a male dominated industry. Nearly every caller expresses a desire to change the industry culture, and a hope that others will never have to endure a similar experience.

There is strength in numbers, but only if those numbers form a community. I realized that we needed a place for WIF members and Help Line callers to come together and share the knowledge that we are not alone in our experiences of discrimination and abuse. WIF had already sponsored support groups for industry survivors through our partner organization, Wright Institute of Los Angeles (WILA), but the pandemic made it impossible to conduct support groups like we had in the past. We realized that we could go virtual. As a social worker with past experience leading group therapy, and experience as an anti-racist and social justice organizer, I realized I was in the right place at the right time.

Over the past year and a half I have led three Black Member Support Spaces, which focused on healing from racial trauma, two Coping in Quarantine Support Spaces, which focused on coping with personal and professional stressors during the isolation of the pandemic, and the Survivors in Community Support Space, wrapping this month, with survivors of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry. So often in these groups, one member describes their feelings and everyone else emphatically jumps in with “me too.” In a way, this space is a deepened, more healing continuance of the “me too” dialogues that happened on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.

In these spaces, we often have discussions about loss of trust, including loss of trust in colleagues, friends and family, and the system at large. But as the groups go on, week by week, members begin to heal that loss by building trusting relationships with each other. Members also share and shape their self-care journeys. Just last week in our Survivors in Community Support Space, we discussed non-traditional self-care activities and we got onto the topic how healing dancing can be. I left the session inspired and spent 15 minutes dancing alone in my living room. Next week, we plan on dancing together with our cameras off. Each session looks different, but every discussion is about figuring out members’ needs and how to meet them.

If you want to challenge isolation, connect to your voice, and build community, join the next Survivors in Community Support Space, starting in February. It is an 8-week group for women and non-binary workers who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct in the screen industries. The group is limited to eight people so that we can give space to each member’s story. To find out more, please fill out the interest form. I look forward to hearing your story.

Ashley Merriman

Ashley Merriman
Help Line Advocate and Support Space Facilitator

2021–2022 Film Awards and Nominees

The following women have received awards or nominations for their work in cinema throughout the 2021–2022 awards season. List updated regularly.

April 2 & May 6, 2022: 33rd GLAAD Media Awards NOMINEES

  • Outstanding Film – Wide Release
    • Eternals – Chloé Zhao, director
    • tick, tick… BOOM! – Julie Oh, producer
    • West Side Story – Kristie Macosko Krieger
  • Outstanding Film – Limited Release
    • Breaking Fast – Sarah Bazzi, producer
    • Gossamer Folds – Lisa Donato, director; Yeardley Smith, producer
    • The Obituary of Tunde Johnson – Marni Bond, producer
    • Parallel Mothers – Esther García
    • Plan B – Natalie Morales, director; Dina Hillier, producer
    • Port Authority – Danielle Lessovitz, director; Virginie Lacombe, producer
    • Shiva Baby – Emma Seligman, director; Katie Schiller, Lizzie Shapiro, producers
    • Tu Me Manques – Elisa Lleras, producer
    • Twilight’s Kiss – Teresa Kwong, Chowee Leow, Sandy Yip, producers
  • Outstanding Documentary
    • Changing the Game – Clare Tucker, producer
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
    • The Legend of the Underground – Giselle Bailey, Nneka Onuorah, directors, producers
    • No Ordinary Man – Aisling Chin-Yee, director; Sarah Spring, producer
    • Pray Away – Kristine Stolakis, director, producer; Jessica Devaney, Anya Rous, producers

[Full list of nominees, including for television and other categories, available here.]

March 6, 2022: 37th Film Independent Spirit Awards NOMINEES

  • Best Feature
    • A Chiara – Julie Billy, Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors, Carole Scotta, producers
    • C’mon C’mon – Chelsea Barnard, Andrea Longacre-White, Lila Yacoub, producers
    • The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal, director, producer; Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, producers
    • The Novice – Lauren Hadaway, director; Kari Hollend, producer
    • Zola – Janicza Bravo, director; Kara Baker, Elizabeth Haggard, Christine Vachon, Gia Walsh, producers
  • Best Director
    • Janicza Bravo, Zola
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
    • Lauren Hadaway, The Novice
    • Ninja Thyberg, Pleasure
  • Best First Feature
    • 7 Days – Liz Cardenas, Mel Eslyn, producers
    • Holler – Nicole Riegel, director; Rachel Gould, Katie McNeill, Christy Spitzer Thornton, producers
    • Queen of Glory – Nana Mensah, director; Anya Migdal, Kelley Robins, producers
    • Test Pattern – Shatara Michelle Ford, director, producer; Pin-Chun Liu, producer
  • Best Female Lead
    • Isabelle Fuhrman, The Novice
    • Brittany S. Hall, Test Pattern
    • Patti Harrison, Together Together
    • Taylour Paige, Zola
    • Kali Reis, Catch the Fair One
  • Best Supporting Female
    • Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
    • Amy Forsyth, The Novice
    • Ruth Negga, Passing
    • Revika Anne Reustle, Pleasure
    • Suzanna Son, Red Rocket
  • Best Screenplay
    • The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal
    • Together Together, Nikole Beckwith
    • Zola, Janicza bravo
  • Best First Screenplay
    • Test Pattern, Shatara Michelle Ford
  • Best Cinematography
    • Zola, Ari Wegner
  • Best Editing
    • The Novice, Lauren Hadaway
    • The Nowhere Inn, Ali Greer
    • Zola, Joi McMillon
  • Best Documentary
    • Ascension – Jessica Kingdon, director, producer; Kira Simon-Kennedy, producer
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
    • In the Same Breath – Nanfu Wang, director, producer; Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, Jialing Zhang, producers
    • Procession, Susan Bedusa, producer
  • Best International Film
    • Compartment No. 6 – Emilia Haukka, producer
    • Parallel Mothers – Esther García, producer
    • Pebbles – Nayanthara, producer
    • Petite Maman – Céline Sciamma, director
    • Prayers for the Stolen – Tatiana Huezo, director
  • Someone to Watch Award
    • Gillian Wallace Horvat, I Blame Society
  • Truer Than Fiction Award
    • Faya Dayi – Jessica Beshir
    • Try Harder! – Debbie Lum
  • John Cassavetes Award
    • Cryptozoo – Jane Samborski, producer
    • Jockey – Nancy Schafer, producer
    • Shiva Baby – Emma Seligman, director, producer, writer; Katie Schiller, Lizzie Shapiro, producers
    • Sweet Thing – Haley Anderson, producer
    • This Is Not a War Story – Talia Lugacy, director, producer, writer
  • Producers Award
    • Pin-Chun Liu
    • Lizzie Shapiro
  • Robert Altman Award – The Director, Cast, and Casting Director of Mass, including casting by Allison Estrin and actors Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, Michelle N. Carter, and Breeda Wool

[Full list of nominees, including for television series, available here.]

February 27, 2022: 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards NOMINEES

  • Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
    • Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
    • Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
    • Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
    • Jennifer Hudson, Respect
    • Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
  • Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
    • Caitríona Balfe, Belfast
    • Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley
    • Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
    • Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
    • Ruth Negga, Passing
  • Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
    • Belfast: Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench
    • CODA: Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin
    • Don’t Look Up: Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lawrence, Melanie Lynskey, Meryl Streep
    • House of Gucci: Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek
    • King Richard: Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton
  • Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
    • Black Widow
    • Dune
    • The Matrix Resurrections
    • No Time to Die
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Helen Mirren

[Full list of nominees, including for television series, available here.]

February 26, 2022: NAACP Image Awards NOMINEES

  • Entertainer of the Year
    • Jennifer Hudson
    • Megan Thee Stallion
    • Regina King
    • Tiffany Haddish
  • Outstanding Motion Picture
    • Respect – Liesl Tommy, director; Stacey Sher, producer
    • The United States vs. Billie Holiday – Pamela Oas Williams, producer
  • Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
    • Janicza Bravo, Zola
    • Nia DaCosta, Candyman
  • Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
    • Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
    • Halle Berry, Bruised
    • Jennifer Hudson, Respect
    • Tessa Thompson, Passing
    • Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
    • Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
    • Audra McDonald, Respect
    • Danielle Deadwyler, The Harder They Fall
    • Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah
    • Regina King, The Harder They Fall
  • Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
    • Bruised – Halle Berry, director, producer; Linda Gottlieb, Gillian Hormel, Erica Lee, producers
    • CODA – Siân Heder, director
    • Test Pattern – Shatara Michelle Ford, director, producer; Pin-Chun Liu, producer
  • Outstanding International Motion Picture
    • African America – Phumi Mthembu, Avril Z. Speaks, producers
    • Eyimofe (This is My Desire) – Melissa O. Adeyemo, producer
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
  • Outstanding Documentary (Film)
    • Attica – Traci Curry, director, producer
    • Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power – Abby Ginzberg, director; Joslyn Rose Lyons, producer
    • My Name Is Pauli Murray – Julie Cohen, Betsy West, directors; Talleah Bridges McMahon, producer
    • Tina – Diane Baker, producer
  • Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
    • Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
    • Sheila Atim, Bruised
  • Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
    • Coming 2 America – Leslie Jones, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, Teyana Taylor
    • Judas and the Black Messiah – Dominique Fishback, Dominique Thorne
    • King Richard – Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton
    • Respect – Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige
    • The Harder They Fall – Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Danielle Deadwyler
  • Outstanding Animated Motion Picture
    • Encanto – Charise Castro-Smith, co-director; Yvett Merino, producer
    • Luca – Andrea Warren, producer
    • Raya and the Last Dragon – Osnat Shurer, producer
    • Sing 2 – Janet Healy, producer
    • Vivo – Lisa Stewart, Michelle Wong, producers
  • Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture
    • Awkwafina, Raya and the Last Dragon
    • Letitia Wright, Sing 2
  • Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action)
    • Aurinko in Adagio – Kristin J. Meyers, producer
    • When the Sun Sets – Phumi Morare, director; Christine H. Cho, producer
  • Outstanding Short-Form (Animated)
    • Blush – Heather Feng, producer
    • Robin Robin – Helen Argo, producer
    • Twenty Something – Aphton Corbin, director
  • Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
    • Jamila Wignot, Ailey
    • Liesl Tommy, Respect
    • Rebecca Hall, Passing

[Full list of nominees, including for television and other categories, available here.]

February 6, 2022: London Critics’ Circle Film Awards NOMINEES

  • Film of the Year
    • Belfast – Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas, producers
    • Dune – Mary Parent, producer
    • Licorice Pizza – Sara Murphy, producer
    • The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal, director, producer; Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, producers
    • Memoria – Diana Bustamante, producer
    • The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion, director, producer; Tanya Seghatchian, producer
    • The Souvenir: Part II – Joanna Hogg, director, producer; Emma Norton, producer
    • Titane – Julia Ducournau, director
    • West Side Story – Kristie Macosko Krieger, producer
  • Director of the Year
    • Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
    • Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir: Part II
    • Céline Sciamma, Petite Maman
  • Screenwriter of the Year
    • Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
  • Actress of the Year
    • Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
    • Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
    • Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World
    • Joanna Scanlan, After Love
    • Kristen Stewart, Spencer
  • Supporting Actress of the Year
    • Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
    • Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
    • Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
    • Rita Moreno, West Side Story
    • Ruth Negga, Passing
  • British/Irish Actress of the Year (for Body of Work)
    • Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
    • Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter, Mothering Sunday, Ron’s Gone Wrong, The Mitchells vs the Machines, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
    • Ruth Negga, Passing, Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché
    • Joanna Scanlan, After Love
    • Tilda Swinton, Memoria, The Souvenir: Part II, The French Dispatch
  • Foreign Language Film of the Year
    • Petite Maman – Céline Sciamma, director
    • Titane – Julia Ducournau, director
    • The Worst Person in the World – Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, producer
  • Documentary of the Year
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
    • Gunda – Anita Rehoff Larsen, producer
    • The Most Beautiful Boy in the World – Kristina Lindström, director; Stina Gardell, producer
    • The Velvet Underground – Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Christine Vachon
  • The Attenborough Award: British/Irish Film of the Year
    • Belfast – Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas, producers
    • The Green Knight – Theresa Steele Page, producer
    • Limbo – Irune Gurtubai, producer
    • The Souvenir: Part II – Joanna Hogg, director, producer; Emma Norton, producer
  • The Philip French Award: Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker
    • Prano Bailey-Bond, Censor
    • Rebecca Hall, Passing
    • Marley Morrison, Sweetheart
  • Young British/Irish Performer
    • Emilia Jones, CODA
  • British/Irish Short Film
    • Expensive Shit, dir. Adura Onashile
    • Know the Grass, dir. Sophie Littman
  • Technical Achievement Award
    • Cruella – Jenny Beavan, costumes
    • The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão – Hélène Louvart, cinematography
    • Martin Eden – Aline Hervé, film editing

January 9, 2022: 27th Critics Choice Awards NOMINEES

  • Best Picture
    • Belfast – Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas, producers
    • CODA – Siân Heder, director
    • Dune – Mary Parent, producer
    • Licorice Pizza – Sara Murphy, producer
    • The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion, director, producer; Tanya Seghatchian, producer
    • tick, tick… BOOM! – Julie Oh, producer
    • West Side Story – Kristie Macosko Krieger, producer
  • Best Director
    • Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
  • Best Original Screenplay – No Women Nominated
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
    • Siân Heder, CODA
  • Best Actress
    • Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
    • Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
    • Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
    • Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
    • Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
    • Kristen Stewart, Spencer
  • Best Supporting Actress
    • Caitríona Balfe, Belfast
    • Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
    • Ann Dowd, Mass
    • Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
    • Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
    • Rita Moreno, West Side Story
  • Best Young Actor/Actress
    • Emilia Jones, CODA
    • Saniyya Sidney, King Richard
    • Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
  • Best Acting Ensemble
    • Belfast – Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench
    • Don’t Look Up – Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Melanie Lynskey, Meryl Streep
    • The Harder They Fall – Zazie Beetz, Danielle Deadwyler, Regina King
    • Licorice Pizza – Alana Haim
    • The Power of the Dog – Kirsten Dunst
    • West Side Story – Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, Rachel Zegner
  • Best Cinematography
    • Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
  • Best Production Design
    • Belfast, Claire Nia Richards
    • Dune, Zsuzsanna Sipos
    • The French Dispatch, Rena DeAngelo
    • Nightmare Alley, Tamara Deverell
    • West Side Story, Rena DeAngelo
  • Best Editing
    • Belfast, Úna Ní Dhonghaíle
    • West Side Story, Sarah Broshar
  • Best Costume Design
    • Cruella, Jenny Beavan
    • Dune, Jacqueline West
    • House of Gucci, Janty Yates
  • Best Hair and Makeup
    • Cruella – Carolyn Cousins, Nadia Stacey
    • Dune – Eva von Bahr
    • The Eyes of Tammy Faye – Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram
    • House of Gucci – Jana Carboni, Sarah Nicole Tanno
    • Nightmare Alley – Cliona Furey, Jo-Ann MacNeil
  • Best Visual Effects – No Women Nominated
  • Best Comedy
    • Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar – Jessica Elbaum, Margot Hand, Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig, producers
    • Free Guy – Sarah Schechter, producer
    • Licorice Pizza – Sara Murphy, producer
  • Best Animated Feature
    • Encanto – Yvett Merino, producer
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
    • Luca – Andrea Warren, producer
    • Raya and the Last Dragon – Osnat Shurer, producer
  • Best Foreign Language Film
    • Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
    • The Worst Person in the World – Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, producer
  • Best Song
    • “Be Alive,” King Richard – Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
    • “Just Look Up,” Don’t Look Up – Ariana Grande
    • “No Time to Die,” No Time to Die – Billie Eilish
  • Best Score – No Women Nominated

[Full list of nominees, including for television series, available here.]

January 9, 2022: 79th Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Motion Picture, Drama: The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion, director, producer; Tanya Seghatchian, producer
  • Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: West Side Story – Kristie Macosko Krieger, producer
  • Best Director, Motion Picture: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
  • Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
  • Best Motion Picture, Animated: Encanto – Yvett Merino, producer
  • Best Original Song, Motion Picture: “No Time to Die,” No Time to Die, Billie Eilish

[Full list of winners, including for television series, available here.]

January 8, 2022: National Society of Film Critics Awards

  • Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
  • Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Negga, Passing
  • Best Nonfiction Film: Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers

January 7, 2022: 22nd AFI Awards

  • AFI Movies of the Year
    • CODA – Siân Heder, director
    • Dune – Mary Parent, producer
    • Licorice Pizza – Sara Murphy, producer
    • The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion, director, producer; Tanya Seghatchian, producer
    • tick, tick… BOOM! – Julie Oh, producer
    • The Tragedy of Macbeth – Frances McDormand, producer
    • West Side Story – Kristie Macosko Krieger, producer
  • AFI Special Award
    • Belfast – Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas, producers

[Full list of winners, including for television series, available here.]

December 15, 2021: Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Picture: The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion, director, producer; Tanya Seghatchian, producer
  • Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
  • Best Actress: Kristen Stewart, Spencer
  • Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Negga, Passing
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion
  • Best Animated Film: Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, producers
  • Best Art Direction/Production Design: The French Dispatch – Rena DeAngelo, set decorator
  • Best Cinematography: The Power of the Dog, Ari Wegner
  • Best Costume Design: Spencer, Jacqueline Durran
  • Most Promising Performer: Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

November 29, 2021: 31st Gotham Awards

  • Best Feature: The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal, director; Osnat Handelsman Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, producers
  • Best Documentary Feature: Flee – Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Charlotte De La Gournerie, producers
  • Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award: Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
  • Best Screenplay: The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Outstanding Lead Performance: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (tie)
  • Breakthrough Performer: Emilia Jones, CODA
  • Director’s Tribute: Jane Campion
  • Performer Tribute: Kristen Stewart
  • Ensemble Tribute: the cast of The Harder They Fall, including Zazie Beetz, Danielle Deadwyler, and Regina King
  • Icon Tribute: Kathleen Collins

[Full list of winners, including for television series, available here.]

September 18, 2021: 46th Toronto International Film Festival Awards

  • People’s Choice Documentary Award: The Rescue, E. Chai Vasarhelyi
  • People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Titane, Julia Ducournau
  • TIFF Tribute Actor Awards: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Special Tribute Award: Dionne Warwick, Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over
  • TIFF Emerging Talent Award: Danis Goulet, Night Raiders
  • Platform Prize: Yuni, Kamila Andini
  • Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media: Alanis Obomsawin
  • Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award: Scarborough, Shasha Nakhai
  • Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: Ste. Anne, Rhayne Vermette
  • Amplify Voices Award: A Night of Knowing Nothing, Payal Kapadia
  • TIFF Variety Artisan Award: Cinematographer Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
  • IMDbPro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award: Astel, Ramata-Toulaye Sy

September 11, 2021: 78th Venice International Film Festival Awards

  • Golden Lion: Happening, Audrey Diwan
  • Silver Lion for Best Director: The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion
  • Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
  • Best Screenplay: The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal

WIF Stands in Solidarity with IATSE

September 27, 2021

We, the undersigned, support the protection of workers and their rights to safe workplaces, reasonable work hours and rest, and living wages. As advocates of people underrepresented and under-protected in the entertainment industry, it is imperative that we uphold safe and regenerative working conditions, especially as we all continue to weather the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage anyone who considers themselves a champion for representation and justice to stand with us in support of Hollywood crew members. Read and sign on to IATSE’s petition for a fair deal, and continue to support organizations fighting to make our industry safer for all people.

The Blackhouse Foundation
Brown Girls Doc Mafia
Film Fatales
Muslim Public Affairs Council – Hollywood Bureau (MPAC)

New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT)
Pop Culture Collaborative
Sundance Institute
Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity (TTIE)

Visual Communications
WIF (Women In Film)

2021 Emmy Winners

WIF congratulates the women who have taken home the Television Academy’s top honors at this year’s Emmy Awards!

Governors Award

Debbie Allen

Outstanding Comedy Series

“Ted Lasso”: Liza Katzer, Co-Executive Producer; Jane Becker, Supervising Producer; Jamie Lee, Supervising Producer; Tina Pawlik, Produced by

Outstanding Competition Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race”: Mandy Salangsang, Executive Producer; Michele Mills, Executive Producer; Zoe Jackson, Co-Executive Producer; Lisa Steele, Co-Executive Producer; Michelle Visage, Producer; Alicia Gargaro-Magaña, Producer; Jen Passovoy, Supervising Producer

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

“Hacks” (There Is No Line [Pilot]): Lucia Aniello, Directed by

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

“The Crown” (War): Jessica Hobbs, Directed by

Outstanding Drama Series

“The Crown”: Suzanne Mackie, Executive Producer; Oona O’Beirn, Producer

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Jean Smart as Deborah Vance, “Hacks”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, “Mare of Easttown”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, “The Crown”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

Julianne Nicholson as Lori Ross, “Mare of Easttown”

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

“Saturday Night Live”: Lindsay Shookus, Producer; Erin Doyle, Producer; Caroline Maroney, Producer

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

“Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020”: Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Co-Executive Producer; Denise Rehrig, Co-Executive Producer; Emily Gertler, Supervising Producer; Sara Vilkomerson, Supervising Producer; Paige Kendig, Producer

Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

“Hamilton”: Jill Furman, Executive Producer; Maggie Brohn, Executive Producer

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”: Liz Stanton, Executive Producer; Laura L. Griffin, Producer; Kate Mullaney, Producer; Catherine Owens, Producer; Marian Wang, Producer

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

“Hacks” (There Is No Line [Pilot]): Lucia Aniello, Written by; Jen Statsky

Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

“I May Destroy You”: Michaela Coel, Written by

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”: Ali Barthwell, Liz Hynes, Joanna Rothkopf, Chrissy Shackelford, Seena Vali, Writers

Creative Arts Emmys

Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series

“Keke Palmer’s Turnt Up with the Taylors”: Keke Palmer as Barbie / Gammy Tay / Lil Thad / Miranda / Rick

Casting for a Comedy Series

“Ted Lasso”: Theo Park, Casting by

Casting for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

“The Queen’s Gambit”: Ellen Lewis, Casting by; Kate Sprance, Casting by; Olivia Scott-Webb, Casting by; Tina Gerussi, Location Casting; Anna-Lena Slater, Location Casting; Tatjana Moutchnik, Location Casting; Stephanie Maile, Location Casting

Casting for a Reality Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race”: Goloka Bolte, Casting by

Character Voice-Over Performance

“Big Mouth” (A Very Special 9/11 Episode): Maya Rudolph as Connie the Hormone Monstress

Contemporary Costumes

“Pose” (Series Finale): Analucia McGorty, Costume Designer; Michelle Roy, Assistant Costume Designer; Linda Giammarese, Costume Supervisor

Contemporary Hairstyling

“Pose” (Series Finale): Tene Wilder, Hairstylist; Lisa Thomas, Hairstylist

Contemporary Hairstyling for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program

“Saturday Night Live” (Host: Maya Rudolph): Jodi Mancuso, Department Head Hairstylist; Cara Hannah, Key Hairstylist; Inga Thrasher, Hairstylist; Amanda Duffy Evans, Hairstylist; Gina Ferrucci, Hairstylist

Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic)

“Pose” (Series Finale): Sherri Berman Laurence, Department Head Makeup Artist; Nicky Pattison Illum, Key Makeup Artist; Jessica Padilla, Additional Makeup Artist; Jennifer Suarez, Additional Makeup Artist

Choreography for Scripted Programming

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square: Debbie Allen, Choreographer

Contemporary Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic)

“Saturday Night Live” (Host: Elon Musk): Amy Tagliamonti, Key Makeup Artist; Kim Weber, Makeup Artist; Joanna Pisani, Key Makeup Artist; Young Beck, Key Makeup Artist

Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program

  • Black Is King: Zerina Akers, Costume Designer
  • “The Masked Singer” (Super 8 – The Plot Chickens! Part 2): Marina Toybina, Costume Designer; Grainne O’Sullivan, Costume Supervisor; Gabrielle Letamendi, Assistant Costume Designer; Lucia Maldonado, Assistant Costume Designer
  • Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular: Ariyela Wald-Cohain, Costume Designer; Patty Malkin, Costume Supervisor; Erica Schwartz, Assistant Costume Supervisor

Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program

Dick Johnson Is Dead: Kirsten Johnson, Directed by

Documentary or Nonfiction Special

Boys State: Laurene Powell Jobs, Executive Producer; Nicole Stott, Executive Producer; Shannon Dill, Co-Executive Producer; Amanda McBaine, Producer

Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking

76 Days: Pluto: Jean Tsien, Produced by

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes

“WandaVision” (Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience): Virginia Burton, Costume Supervisor

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

“Saturday Night Live”: Maya Rudolph as Host

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

“The Crown” (48:1): Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II

Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special

“Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”: Eve Kay, Executive Producer; Amy Entelis, Executive Producer; Molly Harrington, Supervising Producer

Main Title Design

“The Good Lord Bird”: Abigail Fairfax, Illustrator/Animator

Music Supervision

“I May Destroy You” (Ego Death): Ciara Elwis, Music Supervisor

Original Music and Lyrics

“WandaVision”: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Music & Lyrics

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked”: San Heng, Executive Producer; Mandy Salangsang, Executive Producer; Jen Passovoy, Supervising Producer

Period and/or Character Hairstyling

“Bridgerton” (Art of the Swoon): Lynda J. Pearce, Assistant Department Head Hairstylist; Claire Matthews, Hairstylist; Tania Couper, Hairstylist

Period Costumes

“The Queen’s Gambit” (End Game): Gabriele Binder, Costume Designer; Gina Krauss, Assistant Costume Designer; Katrin Hoffmann, Assistant Costume Designer; Nanrose Buchmann, Assistant Costume Designer; Sparka Lee Hall, Costume Supervisor

Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Condragulations): Jamie Martin, Lead Editor

Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program

“Life Below Zero” (The Other Side): Jennifer Nelson, Additional Editor

Picture Editing for Variety Programming

“A Black Lady Sketch Show” (Sister, May I Call You Oshun?): Daysha Broadway, Supervising Editor; Stephanie Filo, Editor; Jessica Hernández, Editor

Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)

“The Queen’s Gambit”: Kai Karla Koch, Art Director; Sabine Schaaf, Set Decorator

Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour)

“WandaVision”: Sharon Davis, Art Director; Kathy Orlando, Set Decorator

Production Design for a Variety, Reality, or Competition Series

“Saturday Night Live” (Host: Kristen Wiig): Melissa Shakun, Art Director

Production Design for a Variety Special

“The Oscars”: Alana Billingsley, Art Director

Prosthetic Makeup

“The Mandalorian” (Chapter 13: The Jedi): Samantha Ward, Makeup Artist

Short Form Comedy, Drama, or Variety Series

“Carpool Karaoke: The Series”: Sheila Rogers, Supervising Producer; Diana Miller, Producer

Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series

“Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”: Morolake Akinosun, Producer

Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

“The Queen’s Gambit” (Exchanges): Michelle Tesoro, ACE, Editor

Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation

“Love, Death + Robots” (Snow in the Desert): Dawn Lunsford, Foley Editor; Alicia Stevens, Foley Artist

Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)

“Lovecraft Country” (Sundown): Paula Fairfield, Sound Designer

Sound Editing for a Limited or Anthology Series, Movie, or Special

“The Queen’s Gambit” (End Game): Mary-Ellen Porto, Sound Editor; Rachel Chancey, Foley Artist

Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)

“The Mandalorian” (Chapter 13: The Jedi): Bonnie Wild, Re-Recording Mixer; Shawn Holden, CAS, Production Mixer

Special Visual Effects in a Season or Movie

“The Mandalorian”: Abbigail Keller, Visual Effects Producer

Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode

“Star Trek: Discovery” (Su’kal): Aleksandra Kochoska, VFX Producer; Kristen Prahl, VFX Producer Ghost VFX; Leslie Chung, VFX Supervisor Crafty Apes

Structured Reality Program

“Queer Eye”: Jennifer Lane, Executive Producer; Jordana Hochman, Executive Producer; Rachelle Mendez, Executive Producer

Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special

Hamilton: Abby Levine, Video Control

Writing for a Nonfiction Program

The Social Dilemma: Vickie Curtis, Written by

Shorts Lab Details

The WIF Shorts Lab supported by Google will provide three filmmaking teams with grants of $30,000 and the support needed to produce a short film. Emerging writers, directors, creative producers, and line producers selected for the program will create a highly produced content piece to showcase their talent and advance their career opportunities.

Fellows in the program will be provided with practical support, mentorship, and guidance throughout the prep, production, and post phases of their project. Grants provided are also meant to cover resources needed to meet COVID-19 safety standards. Eligible scripts to be considered for the program should be set in the modern era and have occasion for characters to utilize the Google Assistant.

Eligibility & Requirements

  • Grant for projects will be $30,000.
  • Projects must be a short narrative film (15 minutes or less).
  • Submitted project must be in script form. Projects must not have entered the pre-production phase at the time of acceptance into the program.
  • Projects must be shot within Los Angeles County (certain exceptions may apply).
  • All dates, locations, etc., will be determined within the program and are subject to WIF and Google availability.
  • Key team members (writer, director, producer, line producer) must identify as women or gender non-binary.
  • At least one applicant must be the rights holder for the project.
  • The director must be signed on to the project at the time of submission.
  • All projects must be produced under SAG’s Short Project Agreement.
  • All projects must pay all crew (at least) California minimum wage and must follow California labor laws.
  • Filmmakers must be able to provide insurance and payroll for the productions.
  • A $30,000 budget for the project must be submitted with application with all program requirements addressed.

Short Film Requirements

  • Script must be set in present day.
  • Short film to include one (1) product placement showcasing Google Assistant on a Pixel device. This requirement assumes a character will verbally invoke a Google Assistant query and show the device responding, audibly and visually. WIF to share additional considerations after application is submitted.
  • Characters may not use technology in extreme or unrealistic settings, and technology may not be portrayed as fantastical, dangerous, or scary.
  • Google Assistant cannot be shown in children’s bedrooms or being used by children (ages 16 and under).
  • Google Assistant should not be shown, referenced, or associated with:
    • drugs and alcohol
    • crime and/or violence
    • adult content, including sexual connotations
  • No competitive products can be shown in short film.
  • Filmmaker(s) to retain ownership over completed shorts.
  • Google will supply any necessary products applicable to the Google Assistant integration scene.
  • Google to have approval of the integration prior to and after filming. A Google representative to be on set during filming.

Program Timeline

* Selected filmmakers must be available to meet all program dates and deadlines.

  • Applications open: December 1, 2021
  • Applications close: January 4, 2022
  • Participants notified: March 10, 2022
  • Participant orientation meeting: March 23, 2022
  • Key team formation, development/notes, final script approval: April 2022
  • Pre-production and filming: April/May 2022
  • Post-production: May/June 2022
  • Finished films: July 15, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who owns the rights to the finished film?
    The filmmakers will retain all rights to both the film and the underlying IP, but will agree to license the film to WIF on a non-exclusive basis. The filmmakers will also have the right to distribute the film as they wish (submit to festivals, collaborate with distributors, etc.).
  • Do I have to have a full key team (writer, director, producer, line producer) assembled when I apply?
    Because the timeline for the program moves extremely fast, we highly recommend that you have your key team in place, or ideas for who you would like to bring onboard, by the time of notifications (February 24, 2022). If you are selected for the program and do not have a producer and/or line producer in place, WIF will supply applications for interested parties; however, it is ultimately the responsibility of the selected participants to solidify the key team. The director must be in place and included in the application itself.
  • Can I book my own crew?
    It is the responsibility of the key team to hire their own crew. In alignment with WIF’s mission, we ask that the final crew is at least 50% women/gender non-binary.
  • Does WIF supply production insurance, payroll, etc.?
    Unfortunately WIF is unable to provide production insurance, payroll, or other HR support, but we may be able to advise on such resources.
  • How do I create a budget if I don’t have a producer in place?
    If you do not have a producer in place and are struggling to create your budget, we recommend seeking assistance from those within your filmmaking community. If you are a WIF program alumna, your fellow participants may be of great help. If you have not yet participated in a WIF career program, there are ample resources online to help craft a simple budget. We will also help fine-tune the budget if you are accepted into the program.
  • What type of mentors will I get?
    Each key team member will receive support from a mentor within their own career discipline.
  • Do I need to update my script with any creative requirements not listed on the website?
    No. If selected, any additional creative requirements will be incorporated into the script once the program begins.

For additional questions not covered on this page, please contact programs@wif.org.

October Premieres

October 1, 2021

Mark your calendar for this month’s television premieres and film debuts, featuring women behind the scenes of the top creative roles.

Friday, October 1

  • “Blue Bloods” season 12 – Executive Produced by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor
  • DIANA: THE MUSICAL – Produced by Beth Williams; Edited by Kate Sanford
  • “Magnum P.I.” season 4 – Executive Produced by Barbie Kligman
  • “Maid” – Executive Produced by Erin Jontow, Stephanie Land, Molly Smith Metzler, Margot Robbie
  • MAYDAY – Directed, Written, Produced by Karen Cinorre
  • MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY – Directed, Written by Julie Cohen, Betsy West; Written, Produced by Talleah Bridges McMahon; Cinematography by Claudia Raschke
  • “S.W.A.T.” season 5 – Executive Produced by Alison Cross
  • THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 – Produced by Gail Berman, Alison O’Brien, Danielle Sterling
  • THE GUILTY – Produced by Lina Flint, Riva Marker, Svetlana Metkina, Kat Samick
  • THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK – Produced by Nicole Lambert
  • TITANE – Directed, Written by Julia Ducournau
  • VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE – Written, Produced by Kelly Marcel; Produced by Amy Pascal; Edited by Maryann Brandon
  • VINCE CARTER: LEGACY – Produced by Laurie Berger, Katie Zakula

Sunday, October 3

  • “America’s Funniest Home Videos” season 32 – Executive Produced by Michele Nasraway
  • “Call the Midwife” season 10 – Created, Executive Produced by Heidi Thomas; Executive Produced by Pippa Harris, Ann Tricklebank, Mona Qureshi
  • “On My Block” season 4 – Created, Executive Produced by Lauren Iungerich
  • “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” season 2 – Executive Produced by Gale Ann hurd

Wednesday, October 6

  • “CSI: Vegas” – Executive Produced by Ann Donahue, Carol Mendolsohn
  • “Meet, Marry, Murder” – Executive Produced by Gillian Carter, Michelle Trachtenberg
  • “The Bradshaw Bunch” season 2 – Executive Produced by Lisa Shannon, Leola Westbrook
  • “Tough As Nails” season 3 – Executive Produced by Louise Keoghan
  • V/H/S/94 – Directed, Written by Chloe Okuno, Jennifer Reeder

Thursday, October 7

  • “15 Minutes of Shame” – Executive Produced by Jessica Conway, Allyson Luchak, Monica Lewinsky, Kristy Sabat
  • “Baker’s Dozen” – Executive Produced by Suzanne Rauscher, Tara Siener, Sandy Varo Jarrell
  • “Bull” season 6 – Executive Produced by Kati Johnston
  • “Ghosts” – Executive Produced by Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, Martha Howe-Douglas, Alison Owen, Angie Stephenson
  • “One Of Us Is Lying” – Executive Produced by Erica Saleh
  • “One Lane Bridge” season 2 – Created by Pip Hall; Executive Produced by Kathleen Anderson
  • “United States of Al” season 2 – Created, Executive Produced by Maria Ferrari

Friday, October 8

  • JACINTA – Directed, Produced, Cinematography by Jessica Earnshaw; Produced by Holly Meehl, Nimisha Mukerji
  • JUSTIN BIEBER: OUR WORLD – Edited by Vicky Lim
  • LAMB – Produced by Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, Sara Nassim, Klaudia Smieja; Edited by Agnieszka Glinska
  • “Leverage: Redemption” – Executive Produced by Kate Rorick, Rachel Olschan
  • MUPPETS HAUNTED MANSION – Produced by Chelsea DeVincent; Edited by Alexandra Amick
  • “Nancy Drew” season 3 – Developed, Executive Produced by Noga Landau; Executive Produced by Melinda Hsu Taylor, Stephanie Savage, Lis Rowinski
  • NO TIME TO DIE – Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Produced by Barbara Broccoli
  • “Pretty Smart” – Executive Produced by Pamela Fryman, Kourtney Kang
  • “Shark Tank” season 13 – Executive Produced by Yun Linger
  • SOUTH OF HEAVEN – Produced by Amanda Presmyk
  • THE RESCUE – Directed, Produced by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Sunday, October 10

  • “Buried” – Executive Produced by Mika Timor
  • “SEAL Team” season 5 – Executive produced by Sarah Timberman
  • “The Equalizer” season 2 – Developed, Executive Produced by Terri Edda Miller; Executive Produced by Debra Martin Chase, Queen Latifah, Liz Friedlander 

Monday, October 11

  • “The Baby-Sitters Club” season 2 – Created, Executive Produced by Rachel Shukert; Executive Produced by Lucia Aniello, Naia Cucukov, Lucy Kitada

Wednesday, October 13

  • “Batwoman” season 3 – Developed, Executive Produced by Caroline Dries
  • “Dopesick” – Executive Produced by Beth Macy, Karen Rosenfelt
  • FEVER DREAM – Directed, Written by Claudia Llosa; Music by Natalie Holt
  • “Legends of Tomorrow” season 7 – Executive Produced by Sarah Schechter, Grainne Godfree, Keto Shimizu

Thursday, October 14

  • “Guilty Party” – Executive Produced by Rebecca Addelman
  • “Legacies” season 4 – Created, Executive Produced by Julie Plec

Friday, October 15

  • BERGMAN ISLAND – Directed, Written by Mia Hansen-Løve; Produced by Lisa Widén; Edited by Marion Monnier
  • HARD LUCK LOVE SONG – Allison R. Smith
  • INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR – Directed by Rachel Fleit; Edited by Sloane Klevin
  • NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK – Produced by Zanne Devine
  • THE LAST DUEL – Written, Produced by Nicole Holofcener; Produced by Jennifer Fox; Edited by Claire Simpson
  • “You” – Created, Executive Produced by Sera Gamble

(To be updated with premieres for the second half of the month!)

September Premieres

September 1, 2021

September is the biggest month of the year for television premieres, and some long-awaited film openings. We’ve got your viewing calendar for the month all set, highlighting the women behind-the-scenes of the top creative roles throughout the landscape of screens big and small:

Thursday, September 2

  • What We Do in the Shadows” – The third season of the supernatural comedy mockumentary series premieres on FX; executive produced by Stefani Robinson

Friday, September 3

  • CINDERELLA – The Camila Cabello-led retelling of the classic fairytale debuts on Amazon Prime; directed & written by Kay Cannon; produced by Shannon McIntosh; music by Jessica Weiss; edited by Stacey Schroeder
  • KAREN – This BET Original Movie debuts theatrically and on demand; produced by Mary Aloe, Gillian Hormel, and Taryn Manning
  • Money Heist” Season 5 of the Spanish crime drama returns to Netflix; executive produced by Cristina López Ferraz and Sonia Martínez
  • SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS – The next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts in theaters, and will be available to stream at home on Disney Plus Premiere beginning on October 18; edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
  • THE GATEWAY – A new crime thriller co-starring Olivia Munn; edited by Suzy Elmiger and Trish Fuller
  • YAKUZA PRINCESS – An action thriller set amongst the Japanese community in Brazil; written by Kimi Lee; written & produced by Tubaldini Shelling
  • ZONE 414 – A new sci-fi thriller; produced by Deborah Shaw-Kolar

Tuesday, September 7

  • Impeachment: American Crime Story” – The 3rd season of ACS, starring Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, premieres on FX; executive produced by Sarah Burgess, Nina Jacobson, Sarah Paulson, and Alexis Martin Woodall

Thursday, September 9

  • TIME IS UP – An Italy-set romance starring Bella Thorne; directed & written by Elisa Amoruso; written by Patrizia Fiorellini; cinematography by Martina Cocco; edited by Irene Vecchio

Friday, September 10

  • KATE – Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in this action-thriller premiering on Netflix; produced by Kelly McCormick; edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir and Sandra Montiel
  • Lucifer” – Season 6 premieres on Netflix; executive produced by Sheri Elwood, Iidy Modrovich, and KristieAnne Reed
  • LuLaRich” – A four-part docuseries chronicling the infamous multi-level marketing scheme premieres on Amazon Prime; executive produced by Blye Pagon Faust and Cori Shepherd Stern
  • MALIGNANT – The horror feature debuts in theaters and on HBO Max; story by Ingrid Bisu and Akela Cooper
  • THE CARD COUNTER – This thriller co-stars Tiffany Haddish; produced by Lauren Mann
  • QUEENPINS – This scam comedy co-led by Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste will be available on Paramount+; directed & written by Gita Pullapilly; produced by Linda McDonough; edited by Kayla Emter
  • SMALL ENGINE REPAIR – A film adaptation of the black comedy play; music by Kathryn Kluge

Monday, September 13

  • Y: The Last Man” – The long-awaited comic book adaptation debuts on FX; executive produced by Eliza Clark, Aïda Mashaka Croal, Louise Friedberg, Nina Jacobson, Melina Matsoukas, Mari-Jo Winkler

Tuesday, September 14

  • BAD CANDY – A horror anthology feature; co-directed and written by Desiree Connell

Friday, September 17

  • BEST SELLERS – A dramedy co-starring Aubrey Plaza; directed by Lina Roessler; produced by Arielle Elwes; cinematography by Claudine Sauvé
  • BLUE BAYOU – A drama co-starring Alicia Vikander; produced by Poppy Hanks and Kim Roth
  • CRY MACHO – The latest Western from Clint Eastwood debuts in theaters and on HBO Max; produced by Jessica Meier
  • Do, Re & Mi” – This new animated musical series premieres on Amazon Prime; executive produced by Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn
  • EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE – This coming-of-age musical adaptation debuts on Amazon Prime; music by Anne Dudley
  • LADY OF THE MANOR – This comedy starring Judy Greer and Melanie Lynskey premieres theatrically and on demand; produced by Dori A. Rath; edited by Annette Davey
  • PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND – Sofia Boutella co-stars in this new action flick premiering on demand; produced by Lauren Rister
  • Sex Education” – The third season of this beloved series returns to Netflix; executive produced by Laurie Nunn
  • THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE – Jessica Chastain stars in this biopic; produced by Chastain along with Kelly Carmichael, Gigi Pritzker, and Rachel Shane; edited by Mary Jo Markey
  • THE MAD WOMAN’S BALL – Adapted from Victoria Mas’ novel and starring its writer/director, the film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and be released on Amazon Prime; directed & written by Mélanie Laurent; produced by Axelle Boucaï; edited by Anny Danché
  • THE NOWHERE INN – A genre-bending music mockumentary; written/produced/starring Carrie Brownstein and St. Vincent; produced by Lana Kim; music by St. Vincent; edited by Ali Greer
  • THE WONDERFUL: STORIES FROM THE SPACE STATION – A new documentary; directed by Clare Lewins

Monday, September 20

  • 9-1-1” – Season 5 premieres on Fox; executive produced by Angela Bassett, Kristen Reidel, and Alexis Martin Woodall
  • Dancing with the Stars” – Season 30 (yes, thirty!) premieres on ABC; executive produced by Tyra Banks, Ashley Edens, Madalyn Meyers
  • The Big Leap” – A new dance competition series premieres on Fox; executive produced by Liz Heldens and Sue Naegle
  • The Voice” – The 21st season premieres on NBC; executive produced by Audrey Morrissey, Kyra Thompson, and Amanda Zucker

Tuesday, September 21

  • New Amsterdam” – The medical drama’s fourth season premieres on NBC; executive produced by Kate Dennis
  • Our Kind of People” – The new drama series starring Yaya DaCosta premieres on Fox; executive produced by Claire Brown, Karin Gist, and Pamla Oas Williams
  • The Resident” – Season 5 debuts on Fox; executive produced by Amy Holden Jones and Elizabeth Klaviter

Wednesday, September 22

  • Alter Ego” – The new avatar-based reality singing competition debuts on Fox; executive produced by Matilda Zoltowski
  • A Million Little Things” – Season 4 premieres on ABC; executive produced by Dana Honor
  • Chicago Fire” – Season 10 premieres on NBC; executive produced by Danielle Claman Gelber and Andrea Newman
  • Chicago Med” – Season 7 premieres on NBC; executive produced by Diana Frolov and Danielle Claman Gelber
  • Chicago P.D.” – Season 9 premieres on NBC; executive produced by Danielle Claman Gelber
  • Home Economics” – The 2nd season of this family comedy premieres on ABC; executive produced by Kim Tannenbaum
  • The Conners” – Season 4 of the sitcom reboot premieres on ABC; executive produced by Sara Gilbert and Debby Wolfe
  • The Goldbergs” – Season 9 of the retro family comedy premieres on ABC; executive produced by Annette Sahakian Davis and Anne Mebane

Thursday, September 23

Friday, September 24

  • DEAR EVAN HANSEN – The Broadway hit adaptation; edited by Anne McCabe
  • Goliath” – Season 4 premieres on Prime Video; executive produced by Jennifer Ames
  • I’M YOUR MAN – A sci-fi romance; directed & written by Maria Schrader; written by Emma Braslavsky; produced by Lisa Blumenberg

Sunday, September 26

  • Bob’s Burgers” – Season 12 premieres on Fox; executive produced by Holly Schlesinger, Nora Smith, Lizzie Molyneux Logelin, and Wendy Molyneux
  • Family Guy” – The 20th season premieres on Fox; executive produced by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Kara Vallow
  • Supermarket Sweep” – The 2nd season of this reality reboot premieres on ABC; executive produced by Alycia Rossiter
  • The Great North” – The 2nd season of the animated comedy returns on Fox; executive produced by Minty Lewis, Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin, and Wendy Molyneux
  • The Rookie” – Season 4 debuts on ABC; executive produced by Michelle Chapman and Liz Friedlander
  • The Simpsons” – The 33rd season debuts on Fox; executive produced by Carolyn Omine

Monday, September 27

  • The Good Doctor” – The medical drama’s fourth season premieres on ABC; executive produced by Liz Friedman and Erin Gunn

Tuesday, September 28

  • Ada Twist, Scientist” – This animated children’s series debuts on Netflix; executive produced by WIF Board Member Chris Nee, Andrea Beaty, Tonia Davis, Priya Swaminathan, and Michelle Obama
  • La Brea” – The new sci-fi drama series premieres on NBC; executive produced by Naomi Cleaver and Rachel Kaplan

Thursday, September 30

  • Grey’s Anatomy” – Season 18 of the landmark hospital drama premieres on ABC; executive produced by Debbie Allen, Betsy Beers, Zoanne Clack, Meg Marinis, Stacy McKee, Marti Noxon, Joan Rater, Jeannine Renshaw, Shonda Rhimes, and Krista Vernoff
  • Station 19” – The firehouse-set “Grey’s” spinoff airs on ABC; executive produced by Betsy Beers, Stacy McKee, Ellen Pompeo, Shonda Rhimes, and Krista Vernoff

Interview: Really Love Director Angel Kristi Williams

August 25, 2021

Really Love, the new feature from director Angel Kristi Williams and co-writer Felicia Pride is a gorgeous evocation of the richness of Black love, culture, and urban life, via the story of Isaiah (Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar”), a struggling artist, and the enchanting woman who changes his life, Stevie (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, THE PARADISE SUITE). Set in a gentrifying Washington, D.C., the film offers an incredible tapestry of music and art, from visual artists like Meleko Mokgosi and Chanel Compton to the songs of Ari Lennox and Kamasi Washington.

Read on for our interview with Williams, in which she discusses working with her director of photography on the color theory that informed the film’s palette, explains her process for connecting with her cast and crew on a story, and shares the Spotify playlist that kept her inspired during her creative journey.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


WIF: You’ve shared that this story had been with you for a long time, since you were—I think—seventeen. What was it, exactly, that you were most interested in capturing in this story?

Angel Kristi Williams: Yeah, well, I mean, one thing that I’ll say is that Felicia brought this love story to me. But my first experience with love was at the age of 17. So, what was important to me when Felicia and I decided to collaborate was, I sort of grew into that process. I had to become comfortable with being vulnerable enough to allow my own experience with love to be a part of the story. And once I fully allowed that to happen, that’s when the film got financing, that’s when I found my actors. That’s when, you know, everything just began to fall into place. But, you know, I think artists tell very personal stories, [but] there’s a wall that—especially when it’s about love and heartbreak—you don’t want to, you know, sort of put your business on front street.

But I learned that not being willing to do that was blocking the film and my process. And so the film really broke me open in some of the best ways. I walked away from production feeling like a new woman. What was important to me is to just show, like, Black people living and breathing and working and creating. And there’s no trauma; they’re just tying the space that they’ve created for themselves, that they feel facing. That, for me, was the most important.

WIF: What sorts of things were you saying to your department heads to convey what you were hoping to get out of the final project—whether it’s with the colors or the lighting or the music and the sound? Because it is so rooted in a look and a certain feeling.

AKW: We use color theory. I’m forgetting—I’m blanking on the artist’s name, but it was this psychology of color that my cinematographer, Shawn Peters, shared with me very early on. And the ironic thing was that when I read it, and it describes just how different colors embody different emotions and how you can use color to embody different emotions. I was unconsciously choosing those colors, not really realizing what they represented. And then once he shared that with me, then that became sort of the the language; that created our color palette.

WIF: Your cast received a special jury award for performances at SXSW. Can you talk a little bit about what you think characterizes the way you direct actors? What’s your approach?

AKW: The way that I approach working with actors in this film, Really Love, it really raised my bar in that regard because, just the level of trust that we all had across the board. I mean, there was just so much trust. And I’d like to, you know, build the world for the character, like even outside of what’s in the screenplay. So I made playlists; I sent them history on D.C. And in the film, Steve is a Howard alum, so I wanted her to really understand what it meant to be a Howard grad and what it meant to live in the city and what the culture felt like and what it looked like and what the language sounded like. So, I was trying to just give them so much, so that they could dig in and create these full characters. And so for me, process is about everything, everything that happens before you even get to set. And those conversations, just about character and story, and what’s important, I think really gave them the freedom and also allowed them to trust me that what we ended up creating was something that feels—I hope it will feel full for people, and rich.

WIF: How long did you actually have with the actors before you started filming? Did you have an extensive rehearsal period, a getting-to-know-each-other period with all of the cast?

AKW: Oh no, not at all. I mean, Kofi was still in production on Queen Sugar. So a lot of that work, it would happen in between setup. He would call me, we would FaceTime while he was in New Orleans. I was in Baltimore. We would just talk about character. I would send him Spotify playlists that he could listen to. Those conversations kept growing and building. Every time we had a conversation, we would continue where we left off. With Yootha, my producers made it happen, that she could come a few days earlier. So, she actually came from Amsterdam—I don’t remember how many days, but it was enough for her to like, go to a go-go and to stay in an apartment and see… you know, she had never been in D.C.

And it was really important to me, for her to at least plant her feet in the city and see what it felt like and what it smelled life. It’s an independent film, so you know, they are doing these things because they want to do that extra work. Not because we had all these resources to make that happen. But they were just really passionate about the process and what they needed to embody the characters.

WIF: Do you tend to work with the same crews often? Where are you finding people that you work with?

AKW: Yes, I’ve definitely loved working with the same people over and over and over again, like my producer Mel Jones. [Director of Photography] Shawn Peters; we hadn’t worked together until this project, but he and I have a lot of mutual friends and I was an admirer of his work. But yes, I have so many collaborators in Baltimore. I have a collective of artists that are in Baltmore. But this project also introduced me to my composer, whom I’m never gonna let go; my costume designer; my head of makeup, Ngozi [Olandu Young]. I remember calling her and I was like, “I’m coming to Baltimore. This project has no money.” I asked her to recommend someone and she was like, “I’ll do it.” And was like, “What?” You know? And we went to high school together in Baltimore.

I think that, as artists, we spend so much time creating work that, I think if you can have community in [that] work, that it just makes the process so much better. And I think that process is more important than the product, you know what I mean? For me, just having a particular kind of collaborators is like, number one, supreme for me.

WIF: Let’s talk about the music in this film and how crucial it is. How exactly do you work with your music supervisor or with your composer? Are you bringing songs to them, saying, “I want this song in particular,” or, “I just want something to sound like this; this is the kind of sonic landscape I’m trying to create here”?

AKW: So, I love music. I listen to music all day long. It’s such a huge part of my process that the reason that the playlist even exists is because when Felicia and I were still working on the screenplay, I needed music to help me imagine the film. I was listening to different things to turn to that mindset. But also it’s hard for me not to imagine what things sound like. I was trying to sort of figure out, well, what type of music does he listen to? What type of music does she listen to? What types of music would they listen to together? And what’s his music sound like when they make love for the first time?

For me, all of those things were important. And so they were in the screenplay. And so, when my music supervision team came on board, I shared with them the playlist, which is now ten hours long, because it was growing over the course of two years. And I still, you know, listen to that playlist.

It’s funny, some of the music that was on that playlist is in the film. I heard it, like many, many years ago. And then, of course there were things like, “Angel, we can’t afford this. We don’t have the budget for this.” My music supervision team was amazing in that they listened to that playlist. They read the screenplay and we had conversations. So they also brought so much new music to me. I was like, this is a D.C. story. Like, let’s get some local artists in here, you know what I mean? So we got, you know, Ari Lennox, April + VISTA, and Oddisee. People who are making great, great music, but also just kind of embody what it means to be from this particular place. The music is like one of the things that I’m the most proud of.

WIF: What was the process of taking the script to market and pitching it to places like MACRO, who ultimately said, “Yes, there’s a home for this here.”

AKW: One of my other producers, Aaliyah Williams, she and I were friends. We met through a mutual friend when I first moved to L.A. And she, at the time, was COO of Digital at MACRO. She was the one who walked the screenplay into MACRO. I was on the set of my producer, Mel Jones, who had created and was directed a web series that MACRO was financing and producing. I was on her set, shadowing her, and Aaliyah and I just started chatting and she was like, “What are you working on?” I was like, “I think I’ve found the screenplay that I want to be my first feature.” And she was like, “Well, what is it about?”

I said, “You know, it’s Love Jones meets Blue Valentine set in D.C.” And she was like, “I need to read that.” It was December, and you know, in December, like around the 15th, L.A. shuts down, and nobody’s coming back until like, the second week in January. So I hesitated to send the screenplay, but that next morning was a Saturday. I said, “Angel, send her the look book and send her the screenplay.” Thinking, she’ll get to it when she gets to it.

And on Sunday morning I had a voicemail and an email and she said, “So, I wasn’t ready to read the screenplay, but I looked at the look book and it was so dope that I said, ‘Let me just read, like, the first ten pages.'” She said, “I read the first ten pages and I couldn’t stop.”

She said, “What are we doing? We need to make this now.” And so she gave the script to Stacey King, Charles King’s wife, and she read it and told him, “You have to read it.” After he read it, it took him, I think, about two months, which was the most excruciating two months of my life. And he read the screenplay and asked Felicia and I to come in and pitch it. I left that meeting feeling full and feeling like that story was in me at that point. And the next day, I get a call and they’re like, “We have Charles King for you.” He gets on the phone and he said, “Never before have I been so impressed with a filmmaker’s vision for a project, and I’ve met a lot of filmmakers.” He said that MACRO wanted to fully finance this film.

And then we started the journey, and we were in production a year later.

Events & Applications

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our upcoming virtual events including Laptop Cinema Club, Conversations & Connections, the WIF Speaker Series, and more.

• Jan. 20: WIF | Sundance Institute Financing Intensive Applications Open
• Jan. 20: Sundance Film Festival – Maidenhood member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 20: Sundance Film Festival – La Guerra Civil member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 21: WIF | Sundance Institute Financing Intensive AMA
• Jan. 22: Sundance Film Festival – “Restoring the Future” panel incl. ReFrame Director Andria Wilson Mirza
• Jan. 23: Sundance Film Festival – To the End member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 24: Sundance Film Festival – Brown Girls Doc Mafia & WIF Directors Artist Talk
• Jan. 24: Sundance Film Festival – Outfest panel “Partners in Work and Love—A Talk with AM I OK?” ft. ReFrame Director Andria Wilson Mirza
• Jan. 24: Sundance Film Festival – AM I OK? member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 24: Sundance Film Festival – Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 24: Sundance Film Festival – The Janes member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 25: Sundance Film Festival – Alice member chat in “The Lobby”
• Jan. 25: Sundance Film Festival – Brainwashed member chat in “The Lobby”
• Feb. 28: WIF | Sundance Institute Financing Intensive Applications Close
• March 8: WIF | The Black List Feature Writing Residency Applications Close
• March 31: WIF | The Black List Episodic Writing Lab Applications Open

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