|Los Angeles, CA, (May 2, 2019) – Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF LA) announced today the honorees for the 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala that will be held on Wednesday, June 12 at The Beverly Hilton. Formerly named the Crystal + Lucy Awards®, the annual benefit supports WIF LA’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry.
The 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala Honorees are:
• The Women In Film Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award – AMY POEHLER
• The Women In Film Emerging Entrepreneur Award – ISSA RAE
• The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award® – ELIZABETH DEBICKI
• The Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment – CATHY SCHULMAN
• Women In Film Member’s Choice Award – Announced at the event
Since 1977, Women In Film, Los Angeles has annually honored outstanding women in the entertainment industry who have broken ground and excelled in their chosen fields. This year’s Women In Film Annual Gala will debut new awards honoring women whose entrepreneurial strides are creating opportunities for more women to succeed in careers in the screen industries. The Gala’s new top honors include the WIF Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award, the WIF Emerging Entrepreneur Award, and the WIF Member’s Choice Award.
In its inaugural year, the WIF Member’s Choice Award will focus on female directors, highlighting the narrative features that had a U.S. theatrical release in 2018. All WIF LA members have been invited to cast their vote for one of these eligible films directed by a woman, and the winner will be announced onstage at the Gala. The deadline for voting is 5:00PM PDT on Monday, May 6, 2019.
Additionally, ReFrame, a collaborative initiative of WIF LA and Sundance Institute, will introduce the ReFrame Rise Directors Program at the event.
The evening will be hosted by actress Xosha Roquemore. Gala Co-Chairs are Amy Baer, Esther Chang, Hannah Minghella, and Talitha Watkins. The Co-Chairs stated, “We set out to pivot the event to highlight community, advocacy, and entrepreneurship, and are thrilled by this year’s honorees, whose collective body of work truly embodies those values. These extraordinarily talented women demonstrate a lifelong commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and support for the next generation of rising talent.”
The Women In Film Annual Gala is presented by sponsor Max Mara for the 17th year. The event is designed and produced by Carleen Cappelletti of Anchor Street Collective.
About The Honorees
Amy Poehler / The Women In Film Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award
Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents. She currently appears as co-host (alongside Nick Offerman) and executive producer of the hit crafting competition series “Making It,” which is in production on its second season. She will soon produce, star, and make her film directorial debut in the much-buzzed-about Netflix comedy WINE COUNTRY. Off-screen, she has multiple projects in development and/or production as part of her successful production company Paper Kite Productions, including “Russian Doll” (Netflix), “Duncanville” (Fox), “Three Busy Debras” (Adult Swim), and film adaptations of the feminist young adult novel Moxie, the children’s fiction book The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, the Rebecca Makkai-authored The Great Believers. Poehler is perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy®-nominated NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation,” which completed its seventh and final season in February 2015. Her portrayal of Leslie Knope earned her a 2014 Golden Globe® Award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical, or Comedy, a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy, and a 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role – Comedy. Her additional film and television work includes Disney Pixar’s Oscar®-winning smash hit INSIDE OUT as well as WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, BABY MAMA, BLADES OF GLORY, and MEAN GIRLS. Her first book, YES PLEASE, was released in October 2014 and debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list; the book went on to spend over 23 weeks on the list. In addition to her film and television work, she continues to produce the award-winning online website Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, which showcases real girls who are changing the world by being themselves.
Issa Rae / The Women In Film Emerging Entrepreneur Award
With her own unique flair and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae has received an Emmy® nomination and two Golden Globe® nominations for Best Comedy Actress for her hit show, HBO’s “Insecure.” Her web series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” was the recipient of the coveted Shorty Award for Best Web Show and her first book, a collection of essays, is a New York Times Best Seller. Rae made her film debut in the acclaimed drama THE HATE U GIVE, and currently stars in Universal’s LITTLE, with Regina Hall and Marsai Martin. Her company Issa Rae Productions has been involved in numerous television series and movies, including the upcoming series “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “The Dolls,” in which Rae will also star.
In 2014, Rae founded ColorCreative, along with Deniese Davis, to increase opportunities for women and minority writers to showcase and sell their work, both inside and outside the existing studio system. ColorCreative aims to discover and support emerging talent by facilitating development, production, and distribution of their original scripted and unscripted content. Rae moderates ColorCreative’s curated series of conversations with influential creatives about their unconventional journeys. This program, called A Sip, is purposely set in South L.A. and communities of color across the nation to inspire by bringing artists and creators to their audiences in a meaningful, personal way.
Elizabeth Debicki / The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award®
Australian stage and film actress Elizabeth Debicki has quickly gained attention the world over. She first made her mark in 2013 when she appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s critically-acclaimed film adaptation of THE GREAT GATSBY, subsequently awarded an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) for her role in the film. Most recently, Debicki appeared in the 2018 celebrated film, WIDOWS, landing her on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue and extensive global praise. She recently completed production on THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY. In 2018, Debicki also starred in THE TALE, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and VITA AND VIRGINIA, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. Debicki has also held starring roles in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 and THE RED BARN. Previous film credits for Debicki include THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., MACBETH and EVEREST. On the small screen, Debicki also starred as Jed in the Emmy®-nominated miniseries, “The Night Manager” and played the leading role in the Australian Foxtel drama, “The Kettering Incident.” On stage, Debicki starred in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids alongside Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert. Debicki currently resides in London, UK.
Cathy Schulman / The Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment
Academy Award®-winning producer Cathy Schulman is President and CEO of Welle Entertainment, the first independent female-facing film and television production and finance company in Hollywood. In its second year, Welle released FIVE FEET APART, and OTHERHOOD will be released in August. Schulman has produced and overseen over 100 films, including CRASH, BAD MOMS, THE ILLUSIONIST, and GANGS OF NEW YORK. She served as an executive at The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Savoy Pictures, was President of Mandalay Pictures, and Head of Production for STX Entertainment. She has programmed the Sundance Film Festival and taught graduate-level film producing at UCLA and Chapman University, where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.
Schulman was the Board President of Women In Film, Los Angeles from 2010-2018, remains an active board member, and is a top spokesperson for issues of gender parity in media. Schulman was on the team that designed the multi-year Annenberg School gender data research project and she is the co-founder of ReFrame, a systemic change project for studios, networks, and talent agencies. As a leading voice in Hollywood’s recent harassment crisis, Schulman helped launch WIF’s sexual harassment help line and legal resources. Schulman is a Board Member of Film Independent, served as a Council Member of the Producers Guild of America, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
About The Host
Xosha Roquemore is best known for making audiences laugh with her hilarious portrayal of nurse and office gossip Tamra on the hit comedy “The Mindy Project.” Roquemore was recently seen recurring on Showtime’s “I’m Dying Up Here” and co-starred on Showtime’s “Black Monday.” She will next be seen co-starring in Tom Shadyac’s highly-anticipated film BRIAN BANKS. Roquemore’s first big onscreen role was Jo-Ann in Lee Daniels’ 2009 Academy Award®-winning film PRECIOUS. Other film credits include THE RUNAROUND opposite J.K. Simmons, James Franco’s THE DISASTER ARTIST, G.B.F., PRICE CHECK opposite Parker Posey, and MISSISSIPPI REQUIEM opposite Topher Grace and Amy Smart. Her notable television roles include guest spots on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Rescue Me,” and “My Boys.”
About Women In Film, ReFrame, and the Awards
Women In Film advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries—to achieve parity and transform culture. Founded in 1973, Women In Film supports all women working in film, TV, and digital media from emerging to advanced career. Our distinguished programs include: mentoring, speaker & screening series, production training program, writing labs, film finishing funds, legal aid and an annual financing intensive. Women In Film advocates for gender parity through research, education and media campaigns. Women In Film honors the achievements of women in Hollywood through the legacy series, annual Emmy and Oscar parties and our signature event, the Women In Film Annual Gala. Membership is open to all media professionals and more information can be found on our website: wif.org. Follow Women In Film on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Founded and led by Women In Film and Sundance Institute, ReFrame employs a unique strategy, a peer-to-peer approach, in which ReFrame Ambassadors engage with senior, industry decision-makers at over 50 Partner Companies to implement ReFrame programs. The initiative’s goals are to provide research, support, and a practical framework that can be used by Partner Companies to mitigate bias during the creative decision-making and hiring process, celebrate successes, and measure progress toward a more gender-representative industry on all levels. For more information download the ReFrame Culture Change Handbook or visit ReFrameProject.org. ReFrame is made possible by support from The Harnisch Foundation; IMDbPro; Melanie Backer—Backer Charitable Trust; Mercer; the Women at Sundance Leadership Council: Ruth Ann Harnisch, Katy Drake Bettner, Barbara Bridges, Abigail Disney, Cristina Ljungberg, Ann Lovell, Susan Bay Nimoy, Patty Quillin, Brenda Robinson, Kimberly Steward, Lynda Weinman, and Jenifer Westphal; Delta Air Lines; Zola Mashariki; and an anonymous donor.
The Women In Film Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award celebrates the ongoing achievements of an individual whose work nurtures the advancement of their female collaborators. Integral to the conscientiousness of the recipient’s professional endeavors are principles accordant with the mission of Women In Film. Just as their creative output is shaping the landscape of high-quality stories and entertainment, their influence is benefiting the conversation about gender parity in our industry.
The Women In Film Emerging Entrepreneur Award honors a promising talent in the fields of film, television, and/or digital media, whose professional pursuits are resulting in progress for the next generation of talented women. Its recipient has demonstrated a foundation for her career comprising of accomplishments marrying creative achievements and business acumen.
The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award®, inaugurated at Women In Film’s 2006 Crystal + Lucy Awards®, is given to an actress who is experiencing a turning point in her career through her work in the film and television industries, through her contributions to the community at large, in recognition of her outstanding achievements, and her embodiment of style and grace. Past recipients include Alexandra Shipp, Zoey Deutch, Natalie Dormer, Kate Mara, Rose Byrne, Hailee Steinfeld, Chloë Grace Moretz, Katie Holmes, Zoë Saldana, Elizabeth Banks, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emily Blunt, and Maria Bello.
The Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment is a reenvisioning of the iconic Crystal Award, which was established in 1977 to honor outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. With this new clarification of the award’s identity, Women In Film is continuing the tradition of celebrating those who, through their success, are creating increased opportunities for the advancement of women working throughout the screen industries: in front of and behind the camera.
The Women In Film Member’s Choice Award is a new opportunity for WIF LA members at all levels to participate in the recognition of a singular talented woman making her mark on the entertainment landscape. As a response to the oversight of female directors in almost every major awards show earlier in the season, this award’s inaugural focus is women directors whose narrative features had a U.S. theatrical release in 2018.
About Max Mara
Max Mara, founded in 1951 by the late visionary Achille Maramotti, epitomizes Italian luxury and style. A contemporary collection of ready-to-wear and accessories for the confident woman, Max Mara is the premier offering within the Max Mara Fashion group consisting of sophisticated silhouettes and couture details achieved through masterful design. Recognized for its timeless sensibility and constructed from the most luxurious fabrics, Max Mara is revered for the classification of the coat, sharp suiting and elegant accessories. Max Mara is available in 2,378 locations in more than 100 countries worldwide. The Max Mara Fashion group counts nine different brands under its ownership. The company remains privately held and managed by the Maramotti family.