Month: June 2018

Hollywood’s Leading Ladies Turn Out in Full Force

 The Women in Film Los Angeles Awards

Last night, a glittering crowd came out for the annual Women in Film Los Angeles Crystal + Lucy Awards, sponsored by Max Mara, Lancôme, and Lexus. Industry heavyweights and leading ladies including Lake Bell, Jane Lynch, Katherine Langford, Michaela Watkins, and Letitia Wright turned out in full force at the iconic Beverly Hilton hotel, packing the ballroom to capacity to honor 45 years of WIF as they advocate for and advance the careers of women in the industry.

The star-studded evening featured a host of female entertainment icons such as Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo, who presented the Lucy Award (named for Lucille Ball) for Excellence in Television to ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey—who most recently made headlines when she canceled the network’s Roseanne revival following Roseanne Barr’s racist Twitter comment. Beyoncé protégés Chloe x Halle performed and presented the Artistic Excellence Award to the Grammy Award–winning songwriting and production team Nova Wav, aka Denisia “Blu June” Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney, whose work last year included A Wrinkle in Time. And actress Alexandra Shipp, of X-Men fame, received the Max Mara Face of the Future Award.

Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand finally shared the story behind her acceptance speech “inclusion rider” closer, which set the film world abuzz earlier this year. “A couple of nights earlier, I heard about the idea at a dinner party from agent Blair Kohan,” she recalled. Fast-forward to the awards ceremony and “in the excitement of having all those women rise to their feet and stand with me in that room, I got flustered, and I improvised—little did I know. Now I know a lot more. And I’m here tonight to take some responsibility for my actions and to restate a call to action. If I may use a sporting metaphor: If you want to go fast, go it alone; if you want to go far, do it together.”

The last award of the evening—the Crystal Award for Excellence in Features—went to Brie Larson, who used the moment to promote a new kind of inclusion rider—this one calling for more diversity among film critics. “If you make a movie that is a love letter to a woman of color, there is an insanely low chance that a female critic of color will be able to review your movie,” she said. “I am thrilled to announce that [next year] Sundance will ensure that at least 20 percent of their top-level press passes will go to underrepresented critics.” She added that the Toronto International Film Festival would do the same. There was a physical takeaway from the night, too: McDormand’s red and black “Inclusion Rider” bumper sticker—inspired by the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri movie signs. “Every revolution needs really good merch,” she quipped.

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