Ava DuVernay is among a select group of African-American women to be highlighted by the Golden Globes and Sundance. Still, the recipient of the BMW Dorothy Arzner Directors Award from Phylicia Rashad, would prefer to praise the unrecognized female helmers who came before her.
“There’s definitely a systemic challenge here to anyone who believes inclusion, community and all the things we in the industry say are important,” she says. “If we are only sharing one voice, the voice of the white male, then we are being disingenuous about what we are doing.”
Actress Expands Role Beyond Entertainment
The Crystal Award for Excellence in Film
Nicole Kidman is in good company. Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange and Viola Davis are a few past recipients of the Crystal Award that Naomi Watts will present. It celebrates actresses who have helped expand the role of femmes, a goal she has worked for as goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development Fund for Women and advocate for the Women’s Cancer Program.
“My generation has to help girls handle that inner voice that tells them they’re not worthy. Women need choice and opportunity. Women directors need to make up more than 4.3% of studio films.”
Soloway Explores Center of Feminism and Creativity
The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television
Jill Soloway’s “Transparent” thrust Amazon Studios into limelight, winning a Golden Globe and drawing critical raves and viewer eyeballs to Amazon’s streaming service. Her credits include exec producing “Six Feet Under” and “United States of Tara.” “I take my personal purpose as a feminist really seriously,” says Soloway, who will receive the award from Judith Light. “I think beyond the fact that I love making television and I love creating; I also think a lot about gender and a lot about women. I’m always trying to explore the intersection of feminism and creativity.”
Toni Howard Gives 100% to Mentoring Others
The Sue Mengers Award
Toni Howard has 46 Oscar noms, 148 Emmy noms and 125 Golden Globe noms under her belt. At least, her clients do. Howard has represented Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Walken during her time as a partner at ICM Partners. She will receive an honor of her own, the inaugural Sue Mengers Award from Laura Linney. It honors a representative who has been instrumental in guiding careers.
“I don’t think mentoring should be reserved for the young,” Howard says. “I mentor every age, from 25 to 50 — whether they like it or not.”
Courtesy of Toni Howard
WB’s Sue Kroll Commits to Helping Women Succeed
Tiffany & Co./Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award
Having had a hand in distributing Warner Bros.’ “Gravity,” “American Sniper” and the “Harry Potter” series, Sue Kroll has a platinum touch. WB’s prexy of worldwide marketing and international distribution will accept comes the Tiffany & Co./Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award, which aims to recognize a professional who has mentored the next gen of filmmakers.
“I truly believe that when women succeed, other women believe it’s possible and they’re more likely to succeed. It’s not easy, but with commitment and hard work, we can get there.”
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kate Mara Pushes for Visible Change
Max Mara Face of the Future award
Kate Mara has garnered success from roles as diverse as the sex-crazed ghost in “American Horror Story” to journo Zoe Barnes in “House of Cards.”
In the “Fantastic Four” reboot, she will play Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, an apt turn for the Face of the Future honoree, who will receive her award from Nicola Maramotti, global brand ambassador for Max Mara.
“It is a step in the right direction that (gender) inequality is making headlines. My hope is that the more we talk about it and discuss the problems within the industry, the faster the change will come.”