Photo from Oprah magazine.
Writer and director Nora Ephron, a woman of brilliance, warmth, generosity and wit, has inspired the creation of an award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. “The Nora” is a $25,000 prize, which will be awarded annually to the woman filmmaker whose voice and vision best embody Nora Ephron’s spirit, and whose film makes its North American, International, or World Premiere at TFF. Eight candidates are nominated for The Nora, which will be presented at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Women’s Filmmaker’s Brunch on April 25.
Terry Lawler, Executive Director of NYWIFT, enthusiastically supports The Nora as a celebration of Ephron. “Nora was a wonderful, generous and supportive member of NYWIFT, and really believed in helping other women.” Lawler also sees this as a step in rectifying the unfair under-representation of women as narrative film directors. “More resources must become available to women in order to change this, and $25,000 helps. It is fitting that Nora Ephron should be remembered this way, an influential ally to women filmmakers.”
Ephron attended NYWIFT’s first Muse Awards in 1982, when there were only 50 women in the room. Ten years later when she received her own Muse Award, there were one thousand applauding her achievements. In her acceptance speech, Ephron spoke of how encouraged she was that NYWIFT had grown so much, and saw it as a hopeful sign for women directors everywhere. “There’s nowhere to go but over the top!” she declared to the women in the room.
According to a recent Huffington Post article Women Directors, men outnumber women directors more than 15 to one, and at studios, the numbers have been dropping since 1998. The news from festivals is more encouraging: women helm almost one in four festival entries, versus less than five percent of studio films. The need to actively support women-directed feature films is clear, and the dedicated involvement of film festivals is necessary in the cultivation and development of talented women directors.
“Nora Ephron’s work influenced screenwriters, filmmakers, and movie goers,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival. “She was a great friend to the festival since its inception, and I had the privilege to know her and be in absolute awe of her. She did it all brilliantly, with wit and wisdom that went straight to the heart, plus she cooked too. I am proud to honor her memory and continue her legacy with this award that I hope will inspire a new generation of women filmmakers and writers.”
The 2013 nominees for the inaugural The Nora:
Laurie Collyer, Sunlight Jr.
Steph Green, Run and Jump
Jenee LaMarque, The Pretty One
Meera Menon, Farah Goes Bang
Mo Ogrodnik, Deep Powder
Marina de Van, Dark Touch
Jane Weinstock, The Moment
Enid Zentelis, Bottled Up
UPDATE: Meera Menon and Farah Goes Bang win The Nora!
— ANNIE LABARBA