LOOK BACK: Women in Film & Television Event

Photo by: Rob Belli

Photo by: Rob Belli

This past Saturday saw an inspirational event spotlighting and celebrating powerful and talented women working in different fields within the film and television industries. Hundreds attended and filled the overflowing room, and the talk ran far longer than anticipated, with a meet & greet session afterwards.

Our dynamic panelists included Janet Grillo, Ellen Kuras, Blair Breard, Lacey Schwartz-Delgado, Wendy Ettinger, Wendy Lidell, and Lisa Myers.

Each woman ended the panel with a word of advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Janet Grillo told us, “The DNA genetic code of a society caries forth who we are, what we value, what matters, and it’s so important to tell them, so keep telling your story.”

Ellen Kuras reminded us, “You don’t have to be a jerk to be good. Trust your inner voice, it will tell you the truth.”

Blair Breard left the imparting words, “You have to really love what you do and kind of give yourself over to that. And if it’s your thing it’s absolutely worth it.”

Lacey Schwartz-Delgado rules for working hard, “…having good people and being dedicated to it and doing that consistency is really the most important thing.”

Wendy Ettinger reminds us to know our worth, “Whether you're a filmmaker or a funder or you work at the hardware store don’t underestimate the value of your worth to other people whether they be an artist your neighbor or anyone else….they are unbelievably interesting we just have to listen harder to each other right now.”

Wendy Lidell advice to the future distributor, “My credo has always been I find an audience for a film and not a film for an audience.”

Lisa Myers encouraged young females, “…Specifically to female filmmakers, stop saying you're sorry, stop apologizing all the time….appreciate that you deserve the same opportunities and you deserve to be in the room.”

Barbara Pokras addresses the panel. Photo by: Rob Belli

Barbara Pokras addresses the panel. Photo by: Rob Belli

Audiences members were encouraged to ask questions and share their own experience as women working in the industry.

Phyllis shared with us about her involvement in the New York Film Festival in 1963. She had decided to rent a 16mm camera when she discovered no shoulder braces could accommodate a women’s body, the shoulder brace went across her chest in a large X. She had to make her own brace to try and wear this camera during the festival. No one had seen a woman with a camera at that time.

The full panel discussion can be streamed here.

The Women in Film & Television Panel could not have been made possible without our partnership with Radio Kingston. Our thanks go out also to Hillary Harvey for creating the Women’s History Month Kingston events, and to Aaron Rezny for his beautiful space and hospitality.

Refreshments were provided by the T-Salon and Bread Alone.

Next special event in collaboration with Radio Kingston: Voices of Diversity in Film & Media, June 1st.

Photo by: Rob Belli

Photo by: Rob Belli