The summit examines strategies to create meaningful change in the industry, mobilizing support and leadership, which will contribute to creating a more diverse and inclusive Hollywood.
This year’s conference, billed as “The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined,” will specifically hone in on the best practices for indies and media companies, which are actively reassessing their objectives, staffing and community responses. The conference will also look at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated financial downturn on the industry, as well as lessons taken from the Black Lives Matter Movement, and recent waves of violence against the AAPI community.
In addition to keynote speeches, fireside chats and panels, the conference will allow for daily networking opportunities. Networking events will cover numerous pressing topics relevant to the modern industry landscape, including Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives at WarnerMedia and AMC Networks; Advocates for Change; and Organized Labor and the Future of the Workplace.
Confirmed keynote speakers at the NYWIFT Summit include Christy Haubegger, EVP, Communications and Chief Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia; Tina Tchen, CEO, Time’s Up; and Aisha Thomas-Petit, AMC Networks Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.
Additional panelists set to appear are WarnerMediaEquity & Inclusion SVPs Karen Horne, Samata Narra, Asif Sadiq, and MyKhahn Shelton; Christina Chou, Motion Picture Lit Agent, CAA; Netflix Animation producer Peilin Chou; filmmakers and educators Christine Choy (NYU) and Renee Tajima-Peña (UCLA); Ann Burdick, General Counsel, WGA East; Maggie Bowman, Director of Programming at International Documentary Association (IDA); Rebecca Damon, Executive Vice President and New York Local President, SAG-AFTRA; Daniel Rosenberg, VP Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Staff Me Up; Carole Kirschner, Director, Writers Guild of America Showrunner Training Program; Valerie Armstrong, creator of AMC’s Kevin Can F***k Himself; J. David Shanks, executive producer, 61st Street; and Victoria Rowell, best-selling author of The Women Who Raised Me. Moderators at the summit will include journalists Natasha Del Toro and Simon Moya-Smith.
Further keynotes and panelists will be announced at a later date.
“We at NYWIFT are thrilled to recognize the executives, creatives, and advocates who have been doing the work for years to build a safer, more equitable, and more inclusive media industry,” said NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez. “This last year has brought incredible challenges, and with it, opportunities for growth and re-birth. We look forward to seizing this moment as a turning point toward a brighter future, and are thankful to all of our partners who want to join us for these vital conversations.”
“With the world opening up again, we as an industry have to ask ourselves, ‘What kind of world to we want to work in?’” said NYWIFT VP of Advocacy Kathryn O’Kane. “Our Summit is a great opportunity to share learnings and best practices from the past year as we strive to keep the workplace safe and undertake a long-overdue social reckoning in this country.”
“We’re working to create safer, fairer, and more equitable workplaces across all industries, including entertainment – but we can’t do it alone,” added Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation. “We’re proud to join NYWIFT in celebrating the leaders, creatives, and advocates leading the fight for diversity and inclusion in media and hope to build a world where everyone is represented on and off screen.”
Each day’s virtual program will be available for viewing between 4 and 6 p.m. ET. These programs are free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $15 for NYWIFT members and $20 for non-members to support NYWIFT’s ongoing advocacy and professional development initiatives.
The summit is made possible by support from the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, as well as the Academy Foundation, WarnerMedia, AMC Networks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, The New York Community Trust, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), David Yurman, eMinutes, and The Tribeca Film Festival.
Those looking to register for the NYWIFT Summit can do so here.