The Academy Women’s Luncheon, presented by Chanel is a program supporting emerging women filmmakers. The event, which included a presentation of the Gold Fellowship, was held on the roof of the Academy Museum under a cinematic glass dome with a clear view of the Hollywood sign.
Statistically speaking, in 2022, USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative revealed that women in filmmaking are rare, with only 19 out of the top 100 films having a woman lead or co-lead from an underrepresented racial group, 34.6% of all characters being women, and 23.6% of directors, writers, and producers being women, the highest numbers seen since the inception of filmmaking – hence the need for this program.
This year’s gathering was marked by the approval of a deal by SAG-AFTRA to end the historic strike that shut down production for nearly four months with attendees including Lupita Nyong’o, Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp, Greta Lee, Riley Keough, Eva Longoria, and Sadie Sink celebrating the future of film.
The president, Janet Yang, expressed excitement about the industry’s unity and the need for more resources and opportunities. While America Ferrera, in her keynote speech, acknowledged the lack of Latino representation in film and the need for more space and resources.
However, she emphasized the importance of community and the need for more opportunities for women from different backgrounds. Ferrera urged the industry to grow and strengthen its community, as it was once a dream of her grandmothers and great-grandmothers, and that this could be the key to moving the industry forward.
“Fellowship is community,” Ferrera began, “and we’ve all decided to invest in fellowship just by being here this day. Our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers dreamed of rooms like this. Women from different backgrounds telling stories, celebrating each other, even as we stand together to demand more space, more resources and more opportunity. Community is not something that we can or should take for granted. And I would like us to consider that growing and strengthening this community might be the key to moving this industry forward.”