Last week, WIF (Women In Film, Los Angeles) celebrated outstanding women who are transforming the entertainment industry for the better with the 2021 WIF Honors: Trailblazers of the New Normal supported by sponsor Max Mara for the 18th year, alongside Visionary Partners ShivHans Pictures and Lexus.
The annual benefit supports WIF’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry. The evening, hosted by comedian Jenny Yang, was held at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
This year’s WIF Honors acknowledged the transformative work that it takes to make the entertainment industry more inclusive and equitable, celebrating the collective efforts that this year’s honorees have made to improve our world and our business. The 2021 WIF Honors: Trailblazers of the New Normal honored Jane Fonda with the inaugural Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award presented to her by RuPaul Charles; Marlee Matlin and Siân Heder with the Crystal Award presented to them by Lauren Ridloff; Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder with the Crystal Award presented to them by Carl Clemons-Hopkins; and Zendaya and Ashley Levinson with the Crystal Award presented to them by John David Washington. Zazie Beetz was honored with the WIF Max Mara Face of the Future Award at an exclusive Max Mara dinner and attended the Max Mara Spring/Summer 2022 Fashion Show in Milan, Italy on September 23, 2021.
During the Gala, WIF Chief Executive Officer, Kirsten Schaffer introduced a video by Max Mara featuring Zazie Beetz being honored with the WIF Max Mara Face of the Future Award® at an exclusive Max Mara dinner in Milan, Italy on September 23, 2021.
Gala attendees included Amy Baer (WIF Board President), Kirsten Schaffer (WIF CEO), Lake Bell (Director, Writer & Actor), Shivani Rawat (Producer, The Ice Road), and more.
- During her opening speech, host Jenny Yang said, “It is 2021. To be a woman is to have a story worth telling. To be a woman is to have a voice worth hearing. We are worthy, we are powerful.”
- Zendaya when accepting the Crystal Award said, “When you open the door, your job is to open the door and jam it open for other people to come in. I encourage everyone in any kind of position of power to give people opportunities, to show that they can do what they do. Give them the time to shine, give them a moment because that’s all it really takes—and allow them to network and meet other people and be in spaces and rooms and get paid.”
- Marlee Matlin when accepting the Crystal Award said, “Authenticity is so important these days. It’s time for it to happen now, now, now.”
- Jean Smart when accepting the Crystal Award said, “I do think that women in positions of power are the healthier ones. They don’t feel like they have as much to prove. It’s not as much about their ego as it is about just wanting to do what they love.” Accepting alongside Smart, Hannah Einbinder said, “It’s incredible because we got so lucky to be working with women who are as egoless as they are talented.”
- Jane Fonda when accepting the inaugural Jane Fonda Humanitarian Award said, “This award I think is a torch that will be handed off year after year to new generations of activists who will I hope do a better job than my generation did.”
- On stage Kirsten Schaffer, WIF CEO said, “Imagine an entertainment industry where the threshold is simply treating people well. From our daily interactions to our company policies, it is possible to have compassion and excellence.”
- Jean Smart, Marlee Matlin, Hannah Einbinder, Siân Heder, and Jenny Yang arrived dressed in Max Mara.
- Lexus showcased the 2021 LC 500 Convertible and an interactive photo booth for guests to enjoy.
The WIF Honors Committee, chaired by Esther Chang, is comprised of Jamila Hunter, Michelle Lee, Monica Levinson, Talitha Watkins, and Lauren Williams. The WIF Honors were supported by sponsor Max Mara for the 18th year, alongside Visionary Partners ShivHans Pictures and Lexus and Major Partners Google, Apple TV+, and STARZ. The event was designed and produced by Carleen Cappelletti of Anchor Street Collective.