Women in Film Adds Six to Board of Directors

2021 New WIF Board Members Headshots
Courtesy of Women in Film: Stephanie Girard; Courtesy of Subject; Felicity Murphy ; David Hartcorn; Brandon Banks; Courtesy of Subject

Clockwise from top left: Chris Nee, Ida Ziniti, Michelle Lee, Monica Levinson, Niija Kuykendall and Shivani Rawat.

A cadre of industry insiders — Niija Kuykendall, Michelle Lee, Monica Levinson, Chris Nee, Shivani Rawat and Ida Ziniti — have joined the Los Angeles-based organization.

Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF) is expanding its board of directors by six with the election appointments of Niija Kuykendall, Michelle Lee, Monica Levinson, Chris Nee, Shivani Rawat and Ida Ziniti.

“Each of these impressive women is uniquely expert, whether as an executive, producer, creator, or agent," said board president Amy Baer, CEO of Gidden Media. "Their diverse skill sets will help us to continue championing the advancement of women across all facets of the screen industries."

Baer also saluted outgoing board members Stephanie Allain, Orly Adelson, Adriana Alberghetti, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and Keri Putnam, all of whom have completed their terms. WIF executive director Kirsten Schaffer added that the incoming members help the organization with its continued mission of balanced representation of women of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“As we continue to adapt our organization to the changing needs of our community, especially in what has become a ‘new normal’ for life and work during a sustained crisis, we are proud to have a 2021 board of directors who are committed to our mission of creating an industry where equity is a priority for success," Schaffer said.

Kuykendall, a member of the executive branch of the Academy, serves as executive vp of production at Warner Bros. Pictures where she oversaw films like Judas and the Black Messiah, Just Mercy, A Star is Born, It, Magic Mike and its sequel. She serves on other boards including Brown University’s Women Leadership Council and the Emma Bowen Foundation for Multicultural Interests in Media.

Lee is director of domestic programming at AppleTV+. Since joining the streamer in 2017, Lee has creatively driven the Emmy, Critics Choice, and SAG Award-winning drama The Morning Show and Little America. She is also shepherding upcoming series such as Nicole Kidman’s Roar, Rose Byrne’s Physical, Brie Larson’s Lessons In Chemistry, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Mr. Corman, Nick Stoller’s Platonic and the adaptation of international bestseller Pachinko.

Levinson is a film and TV producer whose recent credits include the critically acclaimed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Tara Miele's Wander Darkly, David Oyelowo's The Water Man and Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7. Levinson is a member of AMPAS, PGA, DGA, and on the leadership team for Women’s Production Society.

Nee, a Peabody, Humanitas, NAACP and Emmy winner, is creator and executive producer of the series Doc McStuffins. In 2018, Nee began a multiyear overall deal for her Laughing Wild company at Netflix where she's shepherding Ridley Jones, Dino Daycare, Spirit Rangers and Ada Twist, Scientist, which she is executive producing with Higher Ground Prods. alongside Barack and Michelle Obama.

Rawat is the founder and CEO of ShivHans Pictures, a production and finance company. Recent films include Wander Darkly, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Trumbo and Captain Fantastic. Upcoming titles include The Water Man, Badmash and The Ice Road. Rawat is a board member of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, PGA, and Film Independent.

Ziniti is co-head of the motion picture literary department at CAA. Ziniti works in the L.A. office where her client list includes Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Emilia Clarke, Rachel Brosnahan, Matthew Heineman, Zazie Beetz, Ryan Gosling, Phil Johnston, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Cathy Yan, and Maggie Betts, among others.