Fri. Aug 7th, 2020

Academy launches Women’s Initiative featuring conversation with Hannah Gadsby and Lena Waithe

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with E! Entertainment and Swarovski, announced today the launch of Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative, comprised of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, the Academy Directory and annual events, all designed to create opportunities for female filmmakers to connect, share their stories and celebrate inclusion. This year’s events will take place on October 15 in London and October 30 in Los Angeles, and will see the announcement of the first two recipients of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women. Action is an extension of the Academy’s A2020 initiative, which seeks to support inclusion and increase representation within the Academy and the greater film community.

In partnership with E! Entertainment and with the support of Swarovski, the Los Angeles Women’s Lunch will bring together female filmmakers from across all corners of the filmmaking industry and feature an onstage conversation with comedian Hannah Gadsby and Emmy®-Award winning writer, creator, actor, producer Lena Waithe. In addition to the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, the event will launch the Academy Directory: a tool for Academy members to identify and connect with each other and build a filmmaker community for guidance, support and hiring opportunities.

The Women of the Academy Lunch in London will feature a keynote by Academy Directors Branch Governor Susanne Bier and will mark the second year the Academy and Swarovski have hosted a gathering of female filmmakers in the UK. As a global multi-year partner of the Action initiative, Swarovski’s support extends from the Los Angeles event to presenting partner of the London event where the company will also support and award the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women to a UK-based filmmaker.

“As we continue to advocate for inclusion, we are honored to bring Academy members and the filmmaking community together to support women in all stages of their careers, especially emerging Academy Gold filmmakers.” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are grateful that E! and Swarovski support our commitment to a more inclusive film community.”

“E! is a network that is for and about women, and it’s exciting for us to be a part of this celebration of female filmmakers and help launch new opportunities for women across the industry to connect, support and inspire one another,” said Jen Neal, Executive Vice President, Marketing, and Executive Producer, Live Events for E! Entertainment. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Academy on this important initiative and look forward to the inaugural events.”

Nadja Swarovski commented: “Swarovski is committed to empowering women and to providing emerging creative talent with the support it needs to develop and thrive. We are delighted to support the 2018 Gold Fellowship for Women – we look forward to unveiling the winners in the UK and US, and to watching these young female filmmakers share their work with the world.”

About Action: The Academy’s Women’s Initiative

Action: The Academy’s Women’s Initiative, an extension of A2020,is the next step in the Academy’s efforts to make Hollywood a more inclusive place by empowering women in the film community. The initiative includes the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, Academy Directory and events designed to bring together women across all corners of the filmmaking industry, to create an opportunity for these women to connect, share their stories and celebrate inclusion. The A2020 initiative, launched in 2015, aims to champion diversity and inclusion within the Academy membership, spearhead programs that provide opportunities for emerging talent and help increase representation throughout the film industry.

About the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women

The Academy Gold Fellowship for Women is a one-year fellowship designed for female filmmakers or executives. The fellowship combines direct financial support with personalized mentorship and networking opportunities, creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an emerging, female filmmaker or industry executive. The US recipient will be selected from the alumnae of one of the Academy Foundation’s key educational initiatives: Academy Gold Talent Development and Inclusion program, Student Academy Awards and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. The fellowship in the UK will be awarded to an emerging female talent working on either their first or second feature film or short film.

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