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Judith Light, Laura Dern and More Among NYWIFT's 2017 Muse Honorees

Judith Light, Laura Dern and More Among NYWIFT's 2017 Muse Honorees

On July 13, 1977, 25 women called the first meeting to form New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and suddenly the lights went out across NYC in the great New York City blackout.

Now in its 40th anniversary year, NYWIFT calls upon the collective force of women to band together and empower each other once again. As the preeminent professional organization whose mission is focused on gender equality in the New York entertainment industry, NYWIFT will present the 38th Annual Muse Awards gala luncheon on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel.

After a year of much needed unity, the gala will honor women who have made remarkable strides in the film, television, and digital media industries. Slated to be the most spectacular event yet, NYWIFT will debut two new awards recognizing exceptional leadership and drive, the Nancy Malone Directing Award and an award from the New York City Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME). Actor and CBS Commentator Nancy Giles will emcee the afternoon's events.

The honorees for this year's Muse Awards include three of the most extraordinary women in the business:

- Laura Dern, an award winning American actress and producer who has starred in some of the most well-known films, including Jurassic Park, October Sky, Wild, and The Fault in Our Stars. Most recently, she won an Emmy award for the wildly popular HBO mini-series Big Little Lies. She will be appearing in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

- Amy Emmerich, currently the Chief Content Officer at Refinery29 where she launched their video business which includes the critically acclaimed series Strangers, the Webby-award winning mini-series The Skinny as well as their Shatterbox Anthology film series, which was created to cultivate and spotlight the voices of women directors, telling stories outside the narrow lens of this overwhelmingly male-dominated industry. In addition to her success at Refinery29, Emmerich has won multiple Emmy awards for the powerful documentary Translating Genocide, as well as her work on MTV's Made.

- Judith Light, a two-time Tony Award winning actress and producer. Light has starred in highly successful television shows including Amazon Prime's Golden Globe winning series Transparent, One Life to Live, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ugly Betty, Who's The Boss? and on Broadway in Lombardi, Other Desert Cities, The Assembled Parties, Wit, and more. Light has won two Daytime Emmy awards and has been nominated for Primetime Emmys, Golden Globes and Critics' Choice awards, among countless others.

Regina K. Scully, Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, will receive the 12th Annual Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award. Scully is an Emmy/Peabody Award-winning and Academy-nominated film producer. Her documentary films include The Invisible War, Fed Up, Miss Representation and The Hunting Ground, among others. A social justice filmmaker and philanthropist, Scully has produced over 125 films that educate, advocate and inspire transformation in our culture. Her films address some of the most challenging social issues of our time and have catalyzed positive change in legislation, education and behavioral norms. Scully also founded the innovative public relations agency, RPR Marketing Communications, specializing in premiere consumer brands. In addition to her work in film and media, Scully is passionate about education reform and has helped launch some of the most successful charter schools in inner cities around the country.

The Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award was created with the generous support of New York Women in Film & Television member Loreen Arbus. Each year, it is given to an individual, organization or corporation in the entertainment industry that has helped to create and bring about significant change to benefit and aid women.

The first-ever Nancy Malone Directing Award will be awarded to New York City native, Julie Dash. Dash has written and directed five feature length narrative films including Love Song, Funny Valentines, Incognito, The Rosa Parks Story, Daughters of the Dust, as well as part of the Subway Stories: Tales From the UNDERGROUND HBO anthology feature; television commercials and documentary films. In addition to her work with television films, Dash has also directed episodes of television shows such as Women: Stories of Passionand Sax Cantor Riff. Currently, Dash is one of the directors working on the second season of Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar.

The Nancy Malone Directing Award has been created to honor an outstanding female director in film, television, and/or digital media each year at the Muse Awards. One of the first female directors in television, Nancy Malone was an Emmy Award-winning producer and director, and a founding member of Women in Film in Los Angeles who dedicated her life to women's advancement in TV, film and digital media.

The second new award this year is from the New York City Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME), where Commissioner Julie Menin will honor powerhouse actress Alysia Reiner with a "Made in NY" Award, in recognition of her multifaceted career in film and television - both on camera and off. Established in 2006, the Made in NY Awards celebrate excellence in New York City's creative community, and recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City's entertainment and digital media industries. Other recent honorees include Michael K. Williams, Judith Light, and Aziz Ansari.

"It is my pleasure to present Alysia with a 'Made in NY' Award, and I can't imagine a better venue than the Muse Awards ceremony," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. "For 38 years, NYWIFT has championed women in the entertainment industry, so it's perfectly fitting for us to recognize Alysia's contributions in the field as an actress and producer at this inspiring event. I congratulate Alysia for this honor, which places her in the company of some of New York's most legendary entertainers."

"The Muse Awards is an incredible display of the fantastic work women are doing in the industry and an event we look forward to every year," said New York Women in Film & Television Executive Director Terry Lawler. "As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our organization, this year's commemoration of women's outstanding achievements is extraordinarily inspiring and encouraging to the continued pursuit of success at a critical time in our industry."

"NYWIFT was formed on the premise of supporting and empowering women in their profession and craft," said New York Women in Film & Television Board President Simone Pero. "In keeping with this long tradition, we call upon our peers to stand together and support each other now more than ever."

The Muse Awards is a favored celebration at the height of the holiday season. Join leading executives from major studios, broadcast and cable networks, and media production facilities as they celebrate these influential women. Past recipients include some of the most respected women in the entertainment industry such as Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Mary-Louise Parker, Anne Sweeney, Martha Stewart, Robin Wright, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Tina Fey, America Ferrera, Julianna Margulies, Blythe Danner, Victoria Alonso, Gabourey Sidibe, Debi Mazar, Martha Plimpton, Cicely Tyson, and Lucy Liu.

Tickets are $165 for most New York Women in Film & Television members and $350 for nonmembers. Corporate tables for $3500 or sponsorships starting at $5000 are also available. To purchase, visit nywift.org/MUSE.

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) advocates for equality in the moving image industry and supports women in every stage of their careers. As the preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers.

For further information about New York Women in Film & Television, please visit nywift.org and follow them on social media for additional event updates, news and photos.


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