The Stars Come Out for the 2017 NYWIFT Muse Awards

The annual New York Women in Film and Television Muse Awards took place Thursday December 14th in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan. INFEMNITY Productions and The Noshing with Nina Show had an official capacity this year as members of the press corps, and as such we were invited to cover the Red Carpet arrivals. Honorees included celebrated filmmaker Julie Dash, actors Laura Dern and Judith Light, Amy Emmerich (Chief Content Officer at Refinery29), and Regina K. Scully (filmmaker and CEO of the Artemis Rising Foundation). Emmy Award-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning, and our dear friend and colleague Nancy Giles served as emcee.

Nancy Giles
The program kicked-off with an inspiring speech by NY Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, stressing the importance of assisting and supporting female colleagues in the industry, and lifting each other up. Harvey Weinstein’s ears must have been burning as virtually every honoree had a story to tell about sexual harassment and sexism in the industry.

Julie Dash
Julie Dash received international recognition for her groundbreaking film Daughters of the Dust (1991), which was placed in the National Film Registry. Dash is the only African-American woman to have a feature film inducted in the National Film Registry. She was presented with the Nancy Malone Directing Award, and graciously gave The Noshing with Nina Show a long and detailed interview on the red carpet.

Laura Dern

Two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award winner Laura Dern gave a thoughtful, reflective acceptance speech. The clips of her various performances on film were most entertaining, including her unforgettable roles in Jurassic Park and Mask.

Most recognized for her Emmy Award-winning performances on One Life to Live, Ugly Betty, and Law and Order: SVU, Judith Light is also known for her work in the theater and in film. She is an active participant in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the Point Foundation. She gave an emotional speech about women rising up in the entertainment industry.

"We are awake now in a way that we have never been before, and we have infinite stories to tell, and the world is listening."

- Judith Light

Regina K. Scully is a five-time Emmy Award-winning, and Academy Award nominated producer of The Invisible War, the powerful 2012 film about the epidemic rapes of women and men in the military. Nominated for an Academy Award for producing the song Till it Happens to You, by Lady Gaga, Scully received much acclaim for the theme song as well as for producing the riveting film, The Hunting Ground.

Amy Emmerich is the Chief Content Officer at Refinery29, the leading digital media company for women with an audience footprint of over 500 million across all platforms. She has more than 20 years of experience developing content and programming for MTV Networks, Travel Channel, and Vice Media. She is also an Emmy Award-winning producer.

During the Red Carpet arrivals I was able to observe that most of the camera crew personnel were men. In fact, April Gibson was the only African-American camera woman present. Most of the people conducting interviews quietly stood by while Amy Emmerich, Julie Dash, Regina Scully, or Lieutenant Governor Hochul were walking the carpet; but they were tripping all over themselves to get to Laura Dern and Judith Light. It all served as a reminder of the fact that, as long as white males are making the decisions as to what is “news-worthy,” and what is not, then we will be left with their version of “news.” Luckily, INFEMNITY Productions was there to make sure that Julie Dash and Nancy Giles received their fair share of air time.

It was also gratifying to see an ad in the program for Spelman College – where Julie Dash is a professor – congratulating her, and an ad for Miss Jessie’s haircare products.


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