Timing of this event happens to coincide with the beginning of a new chapter, initiated by the recent scandal by Harvey Weinstein, in entertainment industry which has been dominated by male for decades. Finally, women are stepping up to speak up on injustice and finding support in organizations like this.
The organization honored Laura Dern, Judith Light, Amy Emmerich, Julie Dash, Regina K. Scully and Alysia Reiner. These awards recognized the outstanding vision and achievement of women in the film, television and digital media industries.
- Laura Dern, is an award winning American actress and producer who has starred in some of the most well-known films, including Jurassic Park, October Sky, Wild, and The Fault in Our Most recently, she won an Emmy award for the wildly popular HBO mini-series Big Little Lies. She will be appearing in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
- Amy Emmerich, is currently the Chief Content Officer at Refinery29 where she launched their video business which includes the critically acclaimed series Strangers, the Webby-award winning mini-series.
- The Skinny as well as their Shatterbox Anthology film series, which was created to cultivate and spotlight the voices of women directors, telling stories outside the narrow lens of this overwhelmingly male-dominated industry. In addition to her success at Refinery29, Emmerich has won multiple Emmy awards for the powerful documentary Translating Genocide, as well as her work on MTV’s Made.
- Judith Light, is a two-time Tony Award winning actress and producer. Light has starred in highly successful television shows including Amazon Prime's Golden Globe winning series Transparent, One Life to Live, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ugly Betty, Who’s The Boss? She also appeared on Broadway in Lombardi, Other Desert Cities, The Assembled Parties, Wit, and more. Light has won two Daytime Emmy awards and has been nominated for Primetime Emmys, Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice awards, among countless others.
Regina K. Scully received the 12th annual Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award. The Emmy/Peabody Award-winning and Academy-nominated film producer. Her documentary films include The Invisible War, Fed Up, Miss Representation andThe Hunting Ground, among others. A social justice filmmaker and philanthropist, Scully has produced over 125 films that educate, advocate and inspire transformation in our culture. Her films address some of the most challenging social issues of our time and have catalyzed positive change in legislation, education and behavioral norms.
The first new award, Nancy Malone Directing Award, was created to honor an outstanding female director in film, television, and/or digital media each year, will be awarded to New York City native Julie Dash. Dash has written and directed five feature length narrative films including Love Song, Funny Valentines, Incognito, The Rosa Parks Story, Daughters of the Dust, as well as part of the Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground HBO anthology feature; television commercials and documentary films. In addition to her work with television films, Dash has also directed episodes of television shows such as Women: Stories of Passion and Sax Cantor Riff. Currently, Dash is one of the directors working on the second season of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar.
The next award was the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) that was presented to powerhouse actress Alysia Reiner with a “Made in NY” Award, in recognition of her multifaceted career in film and television – both on camera and off. Established in 2006, the Made in NY Awards celebrate excellence in New York City's creative community, and recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City's entertainment and digital media industries.
Actress and CBS Commentator Nancy Giles was an engaging emcee.
New York Women in Film & Television, nonprofit, 501c3 public charity, founded in 1977, is considered the preeminent entertainment industry association whose mission is focused on gender equality in the New York entertainment industry.
This organization helps bring together over 2,200 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 50 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. This organization help produces over 50 innovative programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement, that honors women in front of and behind the camera, and Designing Women, which recognizes costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists in the industry.
More about the organization can be found at http://www.nywift.org.
Editor in chief: Christine Lee Contributing writer: Mitchell Acks
Photos by: Christine Lee