The Academy, in partnership with E! Entertainment and Swarovski, hosted a luncheon in New York today (October 2), beginning the second year of its global initiative to support emerging female filmmakers with the presentation of an Academy Gold Fellowship for Women.
The luncheon at the Rainbow Room brought together women from all facets of the filmmaking community, including Annabelle Attanasio, Cynthia Erivo, Julie Hagerty, Alma Har’el, Laura Karpman, Barbara Kopple, Jodi Long, Jennifer Nettles, Katherine Oliver, Laura Poitras, Andrea Riseborough, Jane Rosenthal, Meg Ryan, Mary Stuart Masterson and Constance Wu. The afternoon featured an onstage conversation with writer-director Greta Gerwig and producer Amy Pascal, moderated by actress Laura Dern. Oscar®-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, whose work highlights inequality and human rights abuses of women around the world, delivered the keynote presentation.
The Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, a $35,000 grant, was awarded to filmmaker Eliana Pipes. Pipes, an alumna of the inaugural class of the Academy Gold diversity internship enhancement program, is a graduate of Columbia University and has written her first feature film, a comedy entitled “Fauxricua.”
The Academy will also hold a similar luncheon in London on October 4. The London event will mark the third year the Academy and Swarovski have hosted a gathering of female filmmakers in the UK. As a global multi-year partner of the initiative, Swarovski’s support extends across both the New York and London events, as well as a luncheon in Paris earlier this year, and makes possible the Gold Fellowship grants presented. Northern Ireland-based filmmaker Aislinn Clarke will receive the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women. Clarke wrote and directed her first feature, a horror film entitled “The Devil’s Doorway,” last year.
The fellowship program is a global effort, part of Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative, designed to create opportunities for female filmmakers and executives to connect, share their stories and celebrate inclusion. To date five fellowships have been awarded.
“In just two years, the Academy Women’s Initiative has granted five fellowships to aspiring female filmmakers in NY, LA, London and Paris,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “With the support of our partners E! Entertainment and Swarovski, we will continue to expand this program globally, empowering more women in film, and creating a more inclusive industry.”
“E! is proud to once again partner with the Academy for this powerful initiative that brings women together, celebrates inclusion, and supports female filmmakers,” said Jen Neal, General Manager, E! News, Live Events and Lifestyle Digital, NBCUniversal. “It is exciting to join so many creative, inspiring and courageous women at today’s event as we unite in our commitment to driving positive change.”
Nadja Swarovski commented: “Swarovski is delighted to partner with the Academy on the 2019 Gold Fellowship for Women as part its Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative. As a company we are committed to empowering women and to providing emerging creative talent with the support it needs to develop and thrive, so we are pleased to congratulate Eliana Pipes and Aislinn Clarke and we look forward to watching all the young Academy Gold Fellowship award winners share their work with the world.”
About Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative
Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative is intended 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 global events designed to connect women across all corners of the filmmaking industry and enable them to share their stories and celebrate inclusion.