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Women and Hollywood Announces 10th Anniversary Trailblazer Award Winners

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot on the set “Wonder Woman”: Warner Bros. Entertainment and THR

Women and Hollywood is honored to share the recipients of the Trailblazer Awards, which will be given out during our upcoming 10th Anniversary events in New York and Los Angeles.

The New York Trailblazer Awardees are directors Amma Asante (“Belle,” “Where Hands Touch”), Julie Dash (“Daughters of the Dust,” “Queen Sugar”), and Julie Taymor (“The Lion King,” “Frida”) as well as producer and GameChanger Films president Mynette Louie and HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins. They will be honored October 17 at the Time Warner Center in NYC.

Our Los Angeles Trailblazers include directors Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman,” “Monster”), Haifaa al-Mansour (“Wadjda,” “Mary Shelley”), and Angela Robinson (“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” “D.E.B.S.”). Director Leah Meyerhoff (“I Believe in Unicorns”) is being honored for founding Film Fatales. Other honorees include the Aclu; Melissa Goodman, Audrey Irmas director of the Lgbtq, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at Aclu of SoCal, and ​Lenora Lapidus, Director of the Women’s Rights Project at the Aclu, will be accepting. And the founder of the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, will also be recognized. They will receive their awards on October 25 at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood.

These are women who through their work, their voice, and/or their activism have been a part of raising the level of conversation on gender equality, stepping up the advocacy drumbeat, and paving the way for their female peers and colleagues.

To find out more about the Trailblazers, check out their bios below. And, remember, tickets are still available for our anniversary events in NY on October 17 and in La on October 25.

Amma Asante

Amma Asante, MBE is a multi-award winning writer and director who won a BAFTA for her first film, A Way of Life. This made Asante the first Black female director to win a BAFTA Film Award for writing and directing a film. Her next film, Belle, drew widespread critical acclaim, and saw Asante named one of CNN’s Leading Women of 2014, as well as being named by Variety as one of their 10 Directors to watch. In 2016, her film A United Kingdom was released and its European Premiere saw Asante celebrated as the first Black female director to open the BFI London Film Festival in its 60-year history. This year Asante was named an MBE by Queen Elizabeth on the 2017 Birthday Honour’s list, for services to film as a writer and director. Asante is currently in post-production on her next film, Where Hands Touch. The film, inspired by historical events, is set in 1944 Germany and follows the plight of a young girl of color attempting to survive under Nazi rule.

Julie Dash

Twenty-six years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust, and she became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. In 2004, The Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry where it joins a select group of American films preserved and protected as national treasures by the Librarian of Congress. Dash is the only African American woman with a feature film that has been inducted into the National Film Registry. She is the recent recipient of the New York Film Critics Special Award, the 2017 Robert Smalls Merit and Achievement Award, and the Visionary Award from Women in Film, Washington, D.C. Dash is currently a Distinguished Professor of Art at Spelman College. She recently directed multiple episodes of the award-winning dramatic series, Queen Sugar, Season 2, created and produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, for Own Television.

Mynette Louie

Mynette Louie is a New York-based film producer and the president of Gamechanger Films, the first equity fund to exclusively finance narrative features directed by women. Gamechanger’s films include Natalia Garagiola’s Hunting Season (Venice Critics’ Week 2017), Lauren Wolkstein & Christopher Radcliff’s The Strange Ones (SXSW 2017), Sarah Adina Smith’s Buster’s Mal Heart (Tiff 2016), and So Yong Kim’s Lovesong (Sundance 2016, 2017 Independent Spirit Award nominee), among others. Louie won the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award and was named one of Ted Hope’s “21 Brave Thinkers of Truly Free Film” and one of Indiewire’s “100 Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter.” She is on the Board of Directors of Film Independent and serves as an advisor to the Sundance Institute, SXSW, Ifp, and A3 Asian American Artists Foundation.

Sheila Nevins

Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

Sheila Nevins is president, HBO Documentary Films, responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries for HBO, HBO2, and Cinemax. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys, and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards, the most recent of which was A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness in 2016. Nevins has been honored with several prestigious career achievement awards including, most recently, the 2009 Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She has supervised the production of more than 1,000 documentary programs for HBO. Nevins is the bestselling author of You Don’t Look Your Age… and Other Fairy Tales, published by Flatiron Books.

Julie Taymor

Credit: Marco Grob

Julie Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and won a Tony for Best Costumes, for her landmark production of The Lion King. The Lion King has gone on to become the most successful stage musical of all time: 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. Her credits also include Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Green Bird, and Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass (five Tony nominations). She directed the play Grounded, and completed a cinematic version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed during the production at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn. Film credits include Titus, Frida, Across the Universe, and The Tempest. Operas include Oedipus Rex, The Flying Dutchman, Salome, The Magic Flute, and Grendel, composed by Elliot Goldenthal. Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur Genius Award and a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. She is currently in rehearsals for a revival of M Butterfly starring Clive Owen on Broadway.

Melissa Goodman

Melissa Goodman conducts legal and policy advocacy concerning Lgbtq rights, reproductive rights, gender equality, and the rights of people with HIV. Goodman leads the Aclu SoCal’s advocacy to end discrimination against women directors and increase inclusive hiring in Hollywood, to protect the rights of transgender students and adults, to expand access to quality and confidential reproductive healthcare, to increase protections for working parents, to end bias and over-policing and over-incarceration of Lgbtq people, and to improve healthcare for incarcerated women.

​Lenora Lapidus

Lenora Lapidus litigates gender discrimination cases in courts throughout the country, engages in public policy advocacy, and speaks on gender equity issues in the media and to the public. Her work focuses on economic justice, educational equity, ending gender-based violence, and women in the criminal justice system. Along with Melissa Goodman of the Aclu of Southern CA, she urged the Eeoc to investigate the low number of women hired by studios to be directors for film and television. Lapidus has received several fellowships and awards, including 21 Leaders for the 21st Century from Women’s eNews and the Wasserstein Fellowship for outstanding public interest lawyers from Harvard Law School.

Patty Jenkins

Credit: Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins is a writer and director best known for directing Warner Bros. and DC ComicsWonder Woman, her debut feature Monster, based on the life of convicted serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and helming the pilot episode of AMC’s hit show The Killing. Monster was named by AFI as one of its Ten Best Films of the Year. Jenkins garnered a number of awards and nominations, including winning Best First Feature at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards. She went on to direct many commercials and TV programs including the pilot and finale episode for AMC’s The Killing, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and won the DGA award for best dramatic directing. Jenkins directed several other pilots and episodes including Fox’s Arrested Development and HBO’s Entourage. She was nominated for an Emmy for a segment of Lifetime’s Five, an anthology about breast cancer.

In 2017, Jenkins broke the record for biggest grossing live-action film directed by a woman, domestic and worldwide, with Wonder Woman. The film simultaneously smashed box office records and received critical acclaim and it has grossed a worldwide total of more than $820 million to date. ​

Haifaa al-Mansour

Haifaa al-Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of its most significant cinematic figures. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo and completed a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Sydney. The success of her 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows influenced a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom front-page news. At home, her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on taboo issues and for penetrating the wall of silence surrounding the sequestered lives of Saudi women. Wadjda, al-Mansour’s feature debut, is the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director. The film received wide critical acclaim after its premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival and established al-Mansour as an important talent emerging from the Arab World. She recently published a novelization of the film titled The Green Bicycle for Penguin publishing group. Her latest film, Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning and based on the life of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Leah Meyerhoff

Leah Meyerhoff is an award-winning filmmaker whose debut narrative feature film I Believe in Unicorns was released theatrically in 2015 after premiering at SXSW, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and additional awards from Woodstock Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, First Time Fest, Tribeca Film Institute, Ifp, Nyu, and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Meyerhoff is also the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker organization based in New York with dozens of local chapters around the world. Film Fatales is a global community of women feature film and television directors who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects, and build a supportive environment in which to get their films made and seen. Founded in 2013, Film Fatales actively supports over 500 women directors in New York and Los Angeles, and hundreds more in a dozen sister cities across Europe, North America, Australia, and Africa.

Angela Robinson

Angela Robinson is a filmmaker who explores and exposes the breadth and complexity of humanity in an extensive body of work across both film and television. Filtering her storytelling through the multi-faceted prism of identity, Robinson uses the power of her unique voice to intelligently and empathetically bring compelling, intersectional stories — specifically those of women, people of color, and Lgbtq individuals — to the mainstream in a way that is entertaining, emotional, and thought-provoking. Most recently, Robinson wrote and directed Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, the origin story behind one of the world’s most famous superheroes, Wonder Woman.

Moving fluidly between film and television, Robinson has an overall deal with ABC Television Studios and recently served as a Consulting Producer on ABC’s hit series “How to Get Away with Murder.” She is in development on a series exploring the intersecting lives of Golden Age stars Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.

Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D.

Stacy L. Smith is the Founder and Director of the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative, the leading think tank globally studying issues of inequality in entertainment. Mdsc research focuses on inclusion in film, television, and digital media and all facets of the music industry. Dr. Smith has written over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on media content patterns and effects. She was the principal investigator of the Card report, examining Hollywood’s hiring practices on screen, behind the camera, and in the executive ranks across the major media companies and digital distribution platforms. Dr. Smith speaks routinely on issues of inequality. She has given a Ted Talk and spoken at the United Nations, the White House, Sundance Film Festival, Promax, and Lunafest. Dr. Smith’s work was the basis for the EPiX docuseries, 4%: Film’s Gender Problem.

Women and Hollywood Announces 10th Anniversary Trailblazer Award Winners was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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People En Español's Editor-in-Chief Sends Strong Message About Dreamers To Trump

The Justice Department announced plans to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program in September, affecting the young lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants protected from deportation. Armando Correa, People en Español’s editor in chief, writes a personal reflection on what it really means to be a DREAMer and why we must raise our voices.

We Are Americans

For the first time in our 20 year history at People en Español, we decided to sideline something that always graces our magazine covers: the lives of celebrities. I know you all are inspired by the stars you admire, how they dress,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Felicity Jones Heads to Supreme Court With Vickie Thomas Casting Filling Addt’l Slots

Stay in the loop on industry and casting news with our write-up on who’s been slated for recent film and television roles! “On the Basis of Sex”Longtime judicial feminist and current Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg is about to get her own biopic. The blunt-talking American icon was nominated by President Bill Clinton and has been seated in the Supreme Court since 1993. The Brooklyn-born Justice Ginsburg, who was the second woman to be confirmed for the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O’Connor, speaks frequently with journalists, and several books have been written about her life. The film will follow her rise through the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals and onward to her current role. Vickie Thomas Casting has already slotted English actor Felicity Jones to portray the well-known American judge. Additional roles are still being cast for the Mimi Leder–directed project. Production
See full article at Backstage »

The 20 Best TV Episodes of 2017 (So Far)

  • Indiewire
The 20 Best TV Episodes of 2017 (So Far)
At the halfway point of the year, it’s only right that we reflect on the best that 2017 TV has had to offer. But even though we’ve singled out our picks for the greatest shows from the past six months, that still leaves plenty of quality TV experiences unpraised.

Read More: The 10 Best TV Shows of 2017 (So Far)

With that in mind, we singled out 20 of the best TV episodes of the year. Some are from shows we’ll already given high marks to, while others are standout installments from series that sadly flew under the radar as they aired. The result is a cross-section of TV that covers comedy, drama, tragedy, triumph and all the spaces in between.

20. “Legion” – Season 1, Episode 6, “Chapter 6”

It’s almost too fitting that a man named Hiro directed the best episode of FX’s non-superhero superhero series, “Legion.” An hour-long dance through David
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From Being Held at Gunpoint as a Teen to Taking Center Stage in the Year’s Biggest Political Drama: All About James Comey

From Being Held at Gunpoint as a Teen to Taking Center Stage in the Year’s Biggest Political Drama: All About James Comey
As the ousted FBI director prepares to address the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, in testimony expected to be watched by millions, James Comey takes center stage in the biggest political drama in decades.

Comey, 56, made headlines over the past several months for his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server, his role in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, and his abrupt firing last month by President Donald Trump.

Comey’s recent role as one of the most powerful people in Washington is a far cry
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

James Comey Learned He Was Fired from TV – and Initially Thought It Was a Prank

James Comey Learned He Was Fired from TV – and Initially Thought It Was a Prank
Former FBI Director James Comey reported learned he had been fired by President Donald Trump from a TV report while he wasin the Los Angeles field office talking to agents – and he thought it was a joke.

“He was caught flat-footed,” an FBI source told The Los Angeles Times.

According to The New York Times, Comey did not immediately believe the news and even laughed in response, thinking the report was a prank. He was not in Washington, D.C., to receive the letter from Trump, which was delivered to FBI headquarters shortly after.

Comey was in Los Angeles for a
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Meet Ivanka Trump’s Neighbor Who Wore a Fur Coat to Toast Protestors: ‘I Couldn’t Resist!’

Meet Ivanka Trump’s Neighbor Who Wore a Fur Coat to Toast Protestors: ‘I Couldn’t Resist!’
Dianne Bruce chuckles that a photo of her wearing a fur coat and sipping white wine at a neighborhood dance-party protest outside Ivanka Trump’s Washington, D.C., home is the Internet’s latest viral hit.

“I couldn’t resist, it was just great fun, it really was,” Bruce tells People in an interview Tuesday. “I love seeing people having fun and doing what they do. It added pizazz to the neighborhood.”

Bruce, who lives across the street from the Kalorama neighborhood mansion that Trump is renting with her husband Jared Kushner and their three young children, says she had heard
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Ivanka Trump’s Neighbor Watched Protests with Glass of Wine and Fur Coat Becomes Viral Hit

Ivanka Trump’s Neighbor Watched Protests with Glass of Wine and Fur Coat Becomes Viral Hit
Ivanka Trump‘s new neighbors in Washington, D.C., aren’t fans of the constant Secret Service presence or the gawkers hoping to catch a glimpse of the First Family, but one woman who lives near Trump appears to be making the best to make the best of the situation.

Hundreds of Lgbtq protesters gathered outside of Trump’s home with husband Jared Kushner on Saturday night for a “dance party” protest. The event was meant to “send the clear message that our climate and our communities matter,” according to a Facebook page titled “Queer Dance Party for Climate Justice at Ivanka Trump’s House!
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Firelight Media Launches Impact Producer Fellowship & Names Inaugural Honorees

Credit: Firelight Media’s Twitter account

Firelight Media has introduced the Impact Producer Fellowship and announced the initiative’s inaugural participants, Shadow and Act reports. “The first-ever training program dedicated to mentoring and training impact producers of color,” the yearlong fellowship will see eight Impact Producers developing campaigns with filmmakers.

The inaugural Impact Producers are Jin Yoo-Kim, Jumoke Balgun, Sam Tabet, Julien A.Terrell, Iliana Sosa, Ani Mercedes, Tracy Rector, and Carmen Dixon.

The Impact Producer Fellowship “is rooted in a core belief that by providing social change activists with training on media strategy and impact, and connecting them with diverse storytellers, we can fuel change efforts and catalyze new narratives about vulnerable populations,” writes the Firelight blog. Retreats and monthly online roundtables with filmmakers and other industry execs are among the Impact Producers’ training activities.

“The inaugural cohort of Impact Producer Fellows bring with them trusted relationships in diverse communities and social justice movements, cultural competency, and a proven commitment to social change,” explained fellowship director Sonya Childress.

We aim to build on those assets and provide them with the skills and networking that will position them as narrative strategists who can strengthen both the nonfiction film community and the movements they serve,” she continued.

Programs like the Impact Producer Fellowship are sorely needed in the entertainment industry. According to the 2017 Diversity Report from the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, “initiatives focused on developing diverse creative executives” are few and far between — and are usually designed for writers of film and TV.

So, obviously, we’re thrilled that Firelight is doing its part and contributing to “an area in dire need of improvement” by training and mentoring an inclusive group of up and coming producers.

The inaugural Impact Producers’ bios are below, courtesy of Shadow and Act.

Jin Yoo-kim — Los Angeles, CA

Jin Yoo-Kim is currently co-producing filmmaker Yu Gu’s feature documentary, A Woman’s Work, following the NFL cheerleaders’ fight for wage equality. Some of her past directorial film projects range in subject matter from an underground student movement fighting racism in the administration, the prophetic dreams pregnant Korean women have, the raw vegan subculture, Korean immigrants navigating the Us healthcare system, Asian American women attempting to define their sexuality, and a bio-pic of a struggling Korean American indie musician. She worked for documentary filmmakers like Bill Guttentag and Rory Kennedy, and is most excited about working with Yu Gu and Elizabeth Ai on A Woman’s Work. Jin was born in Bolivia (the poorest country in South America) but is of Korean descent and as a result, her passion for immigrant stories and global social inequality was sparked. Through film, she hopes to bridge the difference gap between people, cultures, socioeconomic status, races, and nations.

Jumoke Balogun — Washington, D.C.

From a groundbreaking report focused on ending the criminalization of Lgbtq youth of color, to an award-winning public history exhibition that debunked accepted truths about World War I, to a website that challenged the official government narrative of Hurricane Katrina, Jumoke Balgun has spent the entirety of her career finding compelling ways to elevate the dignity of people of color. She does this by writing, creating media strategies, and designing digital content that highlight the genius of the most impacted. She has done this on Capitol Hill, in rural Mississippi, upstate New York, Little Haiti in Miami, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, New Orleans and at the White House. Currently a writer living in Washington D.C., Balgun was most recently an advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration and she is excited to gain new tools as a Firelight fellow.

Sam Tabet — Brooklyn, NY

Sam Tabet is a Brooklyn based creative producer and cinematographer. Sam produced Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Tribeca Film Festival, HotDocs, Idfa 2016) which had its television premiere on Investigation Discovery to one million viewers this fall. The critically acclaimed film helped exonerate the ‘San Antonio Four’. Sam was also the assistant producer for award-winning feature documentary Call Me Kuchu (Berlin Film Festival, HotDocs 2012) and produced Signified, a multi-media archive of Lgbtq testimony featuring the work of queer artists and activists. Sam previously worked at Chicken & Egg Pictures, NewFest and American Documentary, Pov, and hold a B.A. from Connecticut College in Film and Gender studies. Sam is a founder of the Queer Producers Collective.

Julien Terrell — Philadelphia, Pa

Julien A.Terrell was born and raised in Harlem where he first developed his passion for social justice. He began organizing on issues of gentrification and environmental justice in Buffalo and NYC connecting this work to the preservation of cultural and community spaces. From 2008–2016, he worked with young people at organizations such as Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice,The Brotherhood Sister Sol, and The School of Unity and Liberation (Soul), focusing on how organizing and art can be used to develop leadership and analysis. As a member of The Yuri and Malcolm Mural Project and The Argus Project, he develops community engagement programming with a focus on collective determination and liberation. Julien currently lives in Philadelphia with his partner and daughter and continues his social justice work through their cultural organizing collective called Village Funk.

Iliana Sosa — Austin, TX

Iliana is a filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas by Mexican immigrant parents. A former Bill Gates Millennium Scholar, she holds a Mfa in film production and directing from UCLA. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Steven Bochco Fellowship, the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fellowship and the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts Scholarship, among others. Her Mfa thesis film, Child Of The Desert, won Best Short Film and the Texas Award at the 2012 USA Film Festival. She was a 2013 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow and was selected for the 2013 TransAtlantic Talent Lab in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance sponsored Latino Screenwriting Project. She has worked as a story producer for Brave New Foundation on a documentary series that follows several families who are stuck in the crosshairs of the immigration epidemic and currently manages the artist services programs at the Austin Film Society.

Ani Mercedes — Miami, Fl

Ani Mercedes directed, produced, shot and edited her first short documentary (The Hall) in 2013, which aired on PBS. Her second short documentary (Hand Built Boat) was an official selection at the Miami International Film Festival and awarded an Awesome Foundation Grant. She coached the lead subject to use the film as a tool to raise funds to help sustain a boat building program for youth. Ani began her film career at the documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) as an intern, where she lead transcription on several projects by award-winning director Steve James. Prior to filmmaking, she was a Community Organizer on President Obama’s 2008 campaign, served as a White House intern, and organized over 1,000 rides to the polls in the 2012 campaign. She holds a B.A. from The University of Chicago and a Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Education Policy.

Tracy RectorSeattle, Wa

Tracy Rector is a Choctaw/Seminole filmmaker and activist, as well as Co-founder of Longhouse Media. In addition to arts advocacy, Rector has made 400 short films in collaboration with Indigenous people and communities, and is currently in production of her fifth feature documentary. As co-producer of the award-winning film Teachings of the Tree People, producer of March Point, and co-director of Clearwater; Rector has developed an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project, Toronto International Film Festival and in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. Rector has begun to transfer her method of storytelling to large gallery exhibitions and art movements. She most recently curated You Are On Indigenous Land, in·dig·e·nize, Women on the Brink, Bloodlines and Re:definition featuring contemporary works by Indigenous artists on the significance of place, truth, transformation and identity.

Carmen Dixon — New York, NY

Carmen Dixon is an organizer and educator with a social justice politic rooted in faith. Carmen’s organizing was activated during childhood as she witnessed her parents fighting for worker justice. She currently organizes at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (Ldf) to support families and communities that have been deeply impacted by police violence. Prior to joining Ldf, Carmen worked at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (Fpwa) organizing clergy to advocate for economic equity policies. There she launched Fpwa’s first faith based initiative designed exclusively for women. After journeying to Ferguson, Mo in the aftermath of the police murder of Michael Brown Jr., Carmen attended a screening of Freedom Riders that inspired her to get involved with the Black Lives Matter New York City Chapter. Carmen’s own organizing is inspired by storytelling and she is excited to use film as a visual/auditory tool to fight oppression.

Firelight Media Launches Impact Producer Fellowship & Names Inaugural Honorees was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Barack Obama Spotted Out for First Time Since Denying Donald Trump’s Unsubstantiated Wiretap Claims

Barack Obama Spotted Out for First Time Since Denying Donald Trump’s Unsubstantiated Wiretap Claims
Barack and Michelle Obama were all smiles in the wake of President Donald Trump‘s unsubstantiated wiretapping claims.

The couple stepped out in Washington, D.C. on Sunday in their first appearance since a spokesman for the former president denied allegations that he ordered wiretapping in Trump Tower during the election – claims President Donald Trump made in a string of tweets without citing any evidence.

Obama, 55, and 53-year-old Michelle waved and smiled as they left the National Gallery of Art, appearing at ease despite the recent media storm surrounding Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

In a series of Twitter posts early on Saturday,
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Edward Gero Stars as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in The Originalist on the Next Theater Close-up

Theater Close-Up -- the unique collaboration between Thirteen and the large community of New York City area Off-Broadway and regional theaters - continues with John Strand's The Originalist, captured live on-stage at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Monday, March 13 at 9 p.m. on Thirteen, with an encore presentation on Sunday, March 19 at 340 a.m. The play will also air Sunday, March 26 at 10 p.m. on WLIW21. The play, directed on the stage by Molly Smith, will be available for streaming for two weeks after the broadcast.L to R Edward Gero as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Kerry Warren as Cat in The Originalist at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Credit C. Stanley Photography. Four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Edward Gero Red returned to Arena Stage as one of America's most brilliant and polarizing figures Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. When bright, liberal, Harvard
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To Rotterdam ’17 (Iffr) from Sundance ’17

Films and projects travel from Sundance to Rotterdam and Rotterdam’s love affair with Latin America becomes apparent.

Making their way from Sundance to Rotterdam, “Lemon” was Opening Night in the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sloan Prize Winner “Marjorie Prime” played in Voices while director Michael Almereyda was on the Jury of the Hivos Tiger Competition. His documentary, “Escapes” also played in the Regained section of the festival.

Marjorie Prime”: Director Michael Almereyda, Lois Smith and Jon Hamm

“Chile’s “Family Life” by Alicia Scherson and Cristian Jimenez, Singapore’s “Pop Aye”, “Lady Macbeth” and “Sami Blood” all screened here after premiering in Sundance as well.

Pop Aye director Kirsten Tan won the Big Screen Competition and in addition to the cash prize may also count on a guaranteed release in Dutch cinemas and on TV.

“The Wound” by John Trengove has even longer legs, reaching from Sundance World
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

This Is Us Recap: The Vow Factor

This Is Us Recap: The Vow Factor
Need to catch up? Check out the previous This Is Us recap here.

For a guy who seems to value the power comedy, This Is Us‘ Toby really needs to learn how to read a room.

That lack of awareness is painfully clear in this week’s episode, when it takes all of five minutes for the big guy to overstay his welcome at Kate’s “immersive weight-loss retreat.” Looks like the evolving Ms. Pearson may be more in love with the idea of her guffaw-getting fiancé than she is with the man himself.

Still, I don’t expect Kate
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Read President Donald Trump’s Combative Inauguration Speech – Complete with a Fist Pump: ‘It’s Going to Be Only America First’

Donald Trump addressed the sharply divided nation for the first time as president on Friday after taking the oath of office on the U.S. Capitol steps.

President Trump’s speech focused on returning the “power” to the American people.

“Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country,” he said. “And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”

“That all changes starting right here and right now,
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Donald Trump Inauguration Protesters Will Get Free Lawyers if Arrested

  • TMZ
Lawyers are ready to represent demonstrators who get arrested for protesting Donald Trump's inauguration ... TMZ has learned. The Partnership for Civil Justice, the National Lawyers Guild, D.C. Law Students in Court and other orgs have a game plan to hit the streets Friday, monitor police conduct, and provide free representation for many demonstrators who may get cuffed and taken to jail. An official from the Partnership for Civil Justice tells TMZ, they are worried
See full article at TMZ »

5 Things to Know About Rio-bound Basketball Star Maya Moore

  • PEOPLE.com
5 Things to Know About Rio-bound Basketball Star Maya Moore
Women's basketball Olympic veteran Maya Moore is returning to the Games hungry for a second gold medal - and the forward thinks her all-star squad has a good shot of obtaining it. "The core [players] have been pretty solid for the past 5 years," Moore, a Minnesota Lynx Wnba player, tells People of her Olympic team heading to Rio de Janiero. "But USA basketball is fun, it's easy. It's the best of the best, the people you respect on the court." Joining Moore - who won best Wnba player at this year's Espy Awards - on Team USA are fellow Wnba superstars Sue Bird,
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Who Is Anita Hill? The Real-Life Story Behind HBO's Confirmation

  • PEOPLE.com
Who Is Anita Hill? The Real-Life Story Behind HBO's Confirmation
This weekend, nearly 25 years after the events themselves, Anita Hill's story will be brought to life in the HBO film Confirmation, with Kerry Washington taking on the role of the law professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. For those of you who didn't tune in the first time - or those who simply need a refresher - here's everything you need to know about Hill's groundbreaking testimony that rocked the country and changed the way America handles allegations of sexual harassment. Who is Anita Hill?Hill was a law professor at the University of
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Who Is Anita Hill? The Real-Life Story Behind HBO's Confirmation

  • PEOPLE.com
Who Is Anita Hill? The Real-Life Story Behind HBO's Confirmation
This weekend, nearly 25 years after the events themselves, Anita Hill's story will be brought to life in the HBO film Confirmation, with Kerry Washington taking on the role of the law professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. For those of you who didn't tune in the first time - or those who simply need a refresher - here's everything you need to know about Hill's groundbreaking testimony that rocked the country and changed the way America handles allegations of sexual harassment. Who is Anita Hill?Hill was a law professor at the University of
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Supreme Court Justice Scalia -- Thousands Gather To Pay Respects

  • TMZ
Justice Scalia was honored in Washington D.C. Saturday ... with thousands gathering to mourn the loss of the heart and soul of the conservative justices.  Scalia's son Paul delivered Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. Every current member of the Supreme Court sat in the front row and Justice Clarence Thomas participated in the service. President Obama was not in attendance -- something he's taking heavy criticism from Republican for -- however,
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Thousands Pay Respects to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at Washington, D.C., Funeral

  • PEOPLE.com
Thousands Pay Respects to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at Washington, D.C., Funeral
Thousands of mourners gathered in and around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., to pay their respects to at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral Saturday morning. Scalia's son Paul delivered the sermon at the funeral mass, CNN reports, and gave a heartfelt eulogy for his father. "God blessed Dad, as it's well known, with a love for his country," Paul said. "He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing. A blessing quickly lost
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