(WIFMCO — March 16, 2017) —
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kathryn Gould, WIFMCO President
Email: [email protected]
WIFMCO, a fledgling chapter of Women in Film and Television International, will celebrate its anniversary Thursday, March 23rd, following a very successful inaugural year encouraging, promoting and educating women working in the media industry in Colorado.
Denver, CO, March 14, 2017 – A local organization dedicated to promoting women working in the entertainment industry is celebrating its first successful year of hosting educational panels, networking events and a screenplay contest, as well as receiving official status as a non-profit 501c3 organization. The one-year birthday fiesta will be held Thurs, March 23rd at The [email protected], a creative co-working space in Denver’s River North Arts District.
Women in Film and Television International was founded in the 1970s with the aim of improving the situation for women working in the entertainment business, and has grown to over 40 chapters and more than 10,000 members all over the world. Both the national organization and individual chapters provide educational opportunities, scholarships, grants and finishing funds to projects by and about women and women’s issues.
While many other film organizations exist here, no one else in Colorado is currently providing grants, mentorship opportunities and prizes to film industry students and professionals—and all of this on top of high quality monthly programming. WIFMCO’s first annual screenwriting contest winners (to be announced at the March 23rd event) will receive a total of $500 cash and meetings with Colorado based producers, and the to-be-determined recipient of the upcoming film finishing grant will receive at least $1000 to help her complete her film project. WIFMCO’s programs bring much needed professional development and financial support to the Colorado film community.
Colorado’s film industry has gotten a boost in recent years thanks to the film incentives passed by the state legislature, which has attracted a number of high profile projects to the area, as well as helped fund local film, TV and multi-media endeavors. While Colorado’s industry is growing, women here and all over the world are underrepresented in almost every profession in the business, and especially at the highest levels. According to a recent study, in 2014 women directed only 7% of the top 250 films, while female writers scribed only 11% of those films. 23% of the producers on the top 250 films were female, and only 5% of the cinematographers. The number of female editors came in at 18%. (http://variety.com/2015/film/news/women-hollywood-inequality-directors-behind-the-camera-1201626691/)
Women in Film and Media Colorado officially started last March with a kick-off event that attracted over a hundred women who work in the entertainment industry here in Colorado, but its inception was months earlier. Kathryn Gould, a writer and actor in Colorado, whose first produced feature film shot here in Denver last spring, had been wanting to start a chapter for several years, but the task seemed daunting to someone who had never been involved in starting up an organization of this size and complexity. Luckily in the fall of 2015, she met Windy Borman, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who had recently moved to Colorado from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she had served on the board of Bay Area Women in Film and Media. The two soon roped in many like-minded female peers, and by spring of 2016, WIFMCO had a founding board (all board member bios available at https://www.wifmco.org/about/board-members/).
Since the launch event last March, WIFMCO has grown to over 150 members, put on an event every month with anywhere from 20 to 70 attendees, held a screenwriting contest, and sponsored or co-sponsored several presentations at local business conferences. In the works are a film finishing grant, a mentorship program, a quarterly acting seminar, a film showcase, and much more! And just this week, the board received notification that WIFMCO was approved by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit, which will allow the organization to expand efforts to promote, educate and encourage women filmmakers by partnering with local businesses willing to help fund grants, scholarships, and other programs.
Of her experience serving on the WIFMCO founding board, departing board member Alicia Leeper says, “I could not be more proud of the women in the industry right here in Colorado. No matter what their experience level, I’m seeing women support women AND men to create equality. I’m seeing women working hard to get jobs and create jobs, without becoming the oppressor. We are the female story tellers who will fight for human rights all while creating beautiful art.”
In addition to a much-deserved celebration, the March 23rd event will be a general membership meeting where members can meet their newly elected board and discuss what the future holds for the nascent organization. It has been an exciting year, and the board looks forward to hearing from members about how to make the coming year even more successful. A short video highlighting WIFMCO’s accomplishments over the past year was put together by board member Meryem Ersoz, and can be viewed here: WIFMCO Emerging Year in Review
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