EXCLUSIVE: No woman is nominated for the Best Director Oscar again this year, but there are plenty of females with recognition across the other categories for the 91st Academy Awards, and many all traveling to Santa Barbara to talk about their careers and how they got to this pinnacle. Eight nominees will appear on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s annual Women’s Panel at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Lobero Theatre. Madelyn Hammond, president of her own marketing company and producer of Deadline’s Contenders events, again will be presiding over the panel as she has done since its inception well over a decade ago.
Always a highlight of the popular festival that is perfectly timed to awards season, this year’s panel represents the first time all the participants are current Oscar nominees — perhaps a good sign for the industry and that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reflecting that increase in areas that once were completely dominated by men. You can bet this and other hot-button topics will come up during the 90-minute hour presentation.
Among those on this year’s panel are Oscar-nominated sound editors and mixers, writers, directors, producers, animators and production designers. Scheduled to appear are Louise Bagnall, writer-director of the animated short Late Afternoon; Hannah Beachler, production designer for Black Panther; Nina Hartstone, sound editor on Bohemian Rhapsody; Ai-Ling Lee, a double nominee for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing on First Man; Domee Shi, director of Pixar’s animated short Bao; Lynette Howell Taylor, Producer of Best Picture nominee A Star Is Born; Betsy West, director of the Feature Documentary RBG; and Rayka Zehtabchi, recent USC graduate and among Oscar’s youngest nominees as Director for the documentary short Period. End of Sentence.
For tickets and other information, visit http://www.sbiff.org.