Politics took centre stage at the Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards that featured Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Kamala Harris. In a video message, Clinton lauded the director of ‘Wonder Woman’ Patty Jenkins for creating the forum. Clinton also used the podium to dig into the Trump administration equating it to a massive international disaster.
Clinton honored Elizabeth Banks, a recipient of Crystal + Lucy Award and one of her vocal supporters in last year’s election. Dan Rather, who was honored with Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award praised Clinton for being a true champion of American value. He said WIF leaders have always made their voices heard whenever there “boorish” behavior from the political class.
Kirsten Schaffer, the WIF Los Angeles exec director said the country is divided culturally and politically. He advocated for use of art and Hollywood to increase the cohesiveness among the citizenry.
In order to increase the number of female participants in Hollywood, Schaffer announced that Women in Film will be partnering with APM Music to launch a library exclusively for women composers. APM Music is one of the major creative music studios and music production library.
During the awards, Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, the co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics were honored with the inaugural beacon award in recognition of their role in advancing women’s art work from Jacki Weaver. Bernard noted that the showbiz industry drew a lot of support and inspiration from Clinton’s presidency. “If you support a woman to run the country, you should support women to run your film,” he said.
Barker noted that Sony has given a strong consideration to the contribution of women in the Hollywood industry. He added that they have managed to work with a many women and their potential and ability has been outstanding.
The award recognized Nair with the BMW Dorothy Arzner trophy for her role as Lupita Nyong’o’s director. Michelle Obama introduced Lucy honoree Tracee Ellis Ross and was presented with her award by Aisha Tyler. Ross noted that although a lot of progress has been made, there is still more work ahead to ensure continued progress of women in the industry.