Repost from WIFV.org
This month’s message is a celebration of success and a welcome message for the new members onto the board. After six years on the Board of Directors, and two as President, I’m feeling both nostalgic about the past, and excited about the next steps for Women in Film & Video. Special thanks to Immediate Past President and Advisory Committee Liaison Erin Essenmacher and departing board members Karen Whitehead, Judy Meschel, Keri Williams, and Ann Zamudio for their amazing commitment and service to Women in Film & Video. Below are some highlights from the last twelve months, or this “board year”.
Top-Rated Non-Profit Award – WIFV on a spot on the prestigious Top-Rated NonProfits List for the fifth year in a row. The Great Nonprofits Top-Rated Awards is a people’s choice award where volunteers, donors, and people served cast their vote in the form of a review to express their appreciation. Keep voting for WIFV!
Women of Vision Awards – In the Fall, WIFV recognized the outstanding technical and creative achievements of independent film producer Christine Vachon at the 24th edition of the Women of Vision Awards held at George Mason University and moderated by producer and GMU/FAVS director Giovanna Chesler. This Spring, WIFV honored accomplished filmmaker Julie Dash, whose feature DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991) was the first film by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release in the United States. It was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2004. This event was moderated by WUSA9 anchor Lesli Foster at Howard University. Special thanks to board member Carletta Hurt for her coordination of this event.
DC Mayors Arts Awards – The 2015 recipient of the Excellence in Service to the Arts Award, WIFV was invited to participate in the 2016 awards ceremony. I joined Brian Kenner, DC Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, in presenting the
Excellence in the Creative Industries Award to Stone Soup Films. This annual event is an opportunity to see some of the District’s most talented performers and industry leaders in a single setting, and it’s free for the public.
TIVA Peer Awards – Since Executive Director Melissa Houghton received the 2015 Community Partner Award, WIFV was invited to participate in the 2016 event. I was honored to represent WIFV as a featured speaker at this prestigious annual event, focusing on the need for media community solidarity, artistic collaboration, and gender equity in the DC metro area. Many of our members were honored with Peer Awards.
WIFV Service Awards and Scholarships – Beloved ScriptDC conference organizer and past board member Jane Barbara received the President’s Award for her outstanding volunteer service to the WIFV community. The amazing Gwen Tolbart received the Liesel Flashenberg Award for Community Service, Yi Chen received the Carolyn’s First Decade Fund, and Krystal Tingle, received the Randy Goldman Scholarship. True to WIFV’s two-old mission, the service awards raise visibility of member achievement, and the scholarships provide mentoring opportunities and advance the media careers of the recipients. Each award and scholarship as established in the memory of a WIFV member or past president whose self-less passion, creativity, and commitment to storytelling inspired our community. WIFV advisory committee members Monica Lee Bellais and Amy DeLouise continued to spearhead important initiatives that help bring national and international focus to the work of WIFV members. The third edition of Spotlight on Screenwriters, founded and created by Monica Lee Bellais, was revealed on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at American University. A highlight of the evening was Monica’s presentation of community service awards to screenwriters Linda Robbins, Diane Williams, Beryl Neurman, and Frances Cheever. Amy DeLouise continued the success of #GalsNGear, a pop-up event that features tech savvy women as role models who share their tools, skills, and community to help others succeed in their chosen craft. Once again, the #GalsNGear Live! event at NABShow 2017 in Las Vegas was livestreamed by Broadcast Beat Magazine.
Never one to rest on laurels, the second annual Seed Fund for Documentary Filmmakers application process is in full swing. Two filmmakers, Katie Lannigan and Kimberly McFarland, were selected by the inaugural Seed Fund Committee, chaired by board member Karen Whitehead, to receive grants last year for their films THE LAST DAYS OF BROOKLAND MANOR and PYRAMID ATLANTIC: THE STATE OF THE ARTS, respectively. Both films share a theme of community, an appropriate topic for grants that are funded by WIFV members and partners. Each awarded filmmaker receives a $2,500 grant to help with the research and development for their respective films.
F or those members who have decided to run for the board in June, I wish you every success and hope you will experience the same leadership growth in your term as I did. Last, but not least, none of this would be possible without the WIFV Executive Director Melissa Houghton, who reaches out to bring people, leaders, and media makers together daily. As I move into my role as Immediate Past President and Advisory Committee Liaison, I’m looking forward to another year of celebration and recognition of the very important work that the narrative and documentary media communities are doing in the DC metro area. I’m so very honored and proud to have had the opportunity to serve as your President.