Last week, Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF, LA) celebrated outstanding women in the entertainment industry with the 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala presented by Max Mara with additional support from Delta Air Lines and Lexus.
Formerly named the Crystal + Lucy Awards, the Women In Film Annual Gala supports WIF LA’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry. The evening, hosted by actress Xosha Roquemore, was held at The Beverly Hilton.
This year’s Women In Film Annual Gala recognized women whose entrepreneurial strides are creating opportunities for more women to succeed in careers in the screen industries. The 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala honored Amy Poehler with The Women In Film Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award presented to her by Natasha Lyonne; Issa Rae with The Women In Film Emerging Entrepreneur Award presented to her by Stephanie Allain; Cathy Schulman with The Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment presented to her by Viola Davis; Elizabeth Debicki with the Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award presented to her by Max Mara Vice President US Retail and Global Brand Ambassador Maria Giulia Maramotti.
During the Gala, Lake Bell, actress/director and WIF, LA Board Member revealed the winners of the inaugural WIF Members’ Choice Award, which focuses on female directors, highlighting the narrative features that had a U.S. theatrical release in 2018. All WIF LA members were invited to cast their vote for one of these eligible films directed by a woman. The winners of the WIF Members’ Choice Award included Mimi Leder (On The Basis Of Sex), Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Debra Granik (Leave No Trace), Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and Anne Fletcher (Dumplin’).
Additionally, ReFrame, a collaborative initiative of WIF LA and Sundance Institute, announced the inaugural class of ReFrame Rise directors. Actor, director and producer, Kyra Sedgwick, introduced the inaugural class of ReFrame Rise directors, which include Desiree Akhavan, Haifaa al-Mansour, Patricia Cardoso, Hanelle Culpepper, Sydney Freeland, Zetna Fuentes, Tina Mabry and Meera Menon, four of whom were in attendance (Haifaa al-Mansour, Patricia Cardoso, Hanelle Culpepper and Tina Mabry). Commenting on the program, Sedgwick stated: “As an actor transitioning into directing, I know how important it is to be supported at every level in this industry – and that it requires a community-wide commitment to expand the lens and include bright new voices and perspectives.”
ReFrame Rise is a comprehensive and customized 2-year sponsorship that provides endorsement and support to accelerate high-level sustainable careers for experienced female directors who are poised to lead studio and independent features, pilots and episodic television across all platforms. It was also announced that Hulu joined ReFrame Rise for a three-year commitment. Participants selected for the ReFrame Rise Directors Program receive complimentary memberships to IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, to manage and showcase their IMDb profile and discover and connect with key collaborators to bring their projects to life. For more information about the inaugural class of ReFrame Rise directors, visit here.
Gala attendees included Amy Baer (WIF, LA Board President), Annie Starke (The Wife), Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll, You), Christina Ochoa (A Million Little Things), Cindy Chupack (Director/Writer, Otherhood), Claudia Kim (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,), Elizabeth Frances (The Son), Erika Christensen (To Have and To Hold), Hannah Leder (The Morning Show), Harley Quinn Smith (Jay and Silent Bob Reboot), Jaime King (Black Summer), Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Director/Producer/Writer, Someone Great), Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Kirsten Schaffer (WIF, LA Executive Director), LaKeith Stanfield (Someone Great, Atlanta), Melanie Liburd (This Is Us, Brian Banks), Mishel Prada (Vida), Retta (Good Girls), Rosanna Arquette (Ratched), Ryan Michelle Bathe (The First Wives Club), Shivani Rawat (Producer, Brian Banks), Tiffany Dupont (Brian Banks) and more.