Academy Launches New Women's Initiative

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Hannah Gadsby and Lena Waithe will speak at a Los Angeles luncheon, while director Susanne Bier will offer a keynote at a luncheon in London.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is launching a new initiative called Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative, an extension of its A2020 initiative to promote inclusion and increase representation within the Academy and the greater film community.

This year’s events, with the support of Swarovski, will be held in London and Los Angeles and will be designed to help female filmmakers connect with each other. 

The Women of the Academy Lunch, which will be held Oct. 15 in London, will feature a keynote by the Academy’s directors branch governor Susanne Bier and the presentation of an Academy Gold Fellowship to a U.K.-based filmmaker. It will mark the second year the Academy and Swarovski have hosted a gathering of female filmmakers in the U.K. 

A Los Angeles Women’s Lunch on Oct. 30, which will see the Academy partner with E! Entertainment and Swarovski, will feature an onstage conversation with comedian Hannah Gadsby and Emmy-Award winning writer, creator, actor and producer Lena Waithe. In addition to announcing the second Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, it will launch the Academy Directory, a tool for Academy members to identify and connect with each other and build a filmmaker community for guidance, support and hiring opportunities.

“As we continue to advocate for inclusion, we are honored to bring Academy members and the filmmaking community together to support women in all stages of their careers, especially emerging Academy Gold filmmakers." Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said Thursday in a statement. “We are grateful that E! and Swarovski support our commitment to a more inclusive film community."