Mixing, mingling and mentoring were on everyone’s mind at the Great Women in Film Networking Event at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Friday night. Power guests of both genders gathered to launch filmmaker-author Helena Lumme’s Women’s Film and Art Foundation at a party that was part art exhibit, part auction, part screening and all about connecting with great women behind the scenes.
Produced by nonprofit Step Up Women’s Network, the evening kicked off with a lively auction benefiting City of Hope’s women’s health and breast cancer research center, followed by a panel discussion with several industry heavy hitters, including helmer-scribe Kasi Lemmons, Jodie Foster producing partner Meg LeFauve, “Shrek” director Vicky Jensen, Oscar-nominated production designer Jeannie Oppewall and DreamWorks producer Bonnie Curtis.
“I think the road is hard for everybody, and I was lucky to have two incredible mentors,” said LeFauve on finding success in the film business. “You can find mentors, but it can’t be something that you force. You just have to find each other.”
Lemmons reminded the crowd that taking risks is still a big part of breaking into showbiz. “Life happens along the way,” she said. “When I was shopping around my screenplay, I went to 150 meetings and got 150 nos. Then I got the greenlight when I was eight months pregnant. It was a big risk, and that’s something I’m proud of.”