We’re counting down the 40 days to NYWIFT’s 40th Anniversary Muse Awards with a look at some of our favorite honorees, all women of vision and achievement who have contributed to the film and television industry. Join us as we look back at #Muse40for40, and buy your tickets for the Muse Awards on Tuesday, December 10th at nywift.org/muse!
#31: Lisa Nishimura
By Kathryn O’Kane
13-year Netflix veteran Lisa Nishimura was the VP of Original Documentary and Comedy Programming when we honored her at 2018; just three months later, she was named the head of Independent Film and Documentary Programming. In 2017, she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter.
Under her leadership, Netflix has provided a global platform for critically acclaimed documentary work including Making a Murderer; Wild Wild Country; Chef’s Table; Icarus; What Happened, Miss Simone?; 13th; White Helmets and Salt Fat Acid Heat. In addition, her team has produced global stand-up comedy specials including Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife as well as work from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Amy Schumer, with forthcoming specials from Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock. The current slate of films including Reversing Roe, Shirkers and Quincy, showcases Netflix’s commitment to female documentarians and compelling storytelling.
“I think this is the very reason why I absolutely love and feel so privileged to do the work I do. I get to support incredible storytellers — documentarians, comics – true creators who are the brilliant social commentators of our day.” – Lisa Nishimura at the 2018 Muse Awards
Journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault began her career as a reporter to The New Yorker, where she still contributes, and was the Harlem bureau chief for The New York Times. She worked for 20 years with PBS NewsHour where she was a national and international correspondent as well as a substitute anchor.READ MORE
NYWIFT member Cait Cortelyou has performed on stage or film since childhood but makes a breakthrough debut as producer (and star) of Ask for Jane, which screens at the NYWIFT Member Screening Series on November 19th. Cait sat down with us to discuss how a slice of women's history inspired her to make her producing debut, and what opportunities she sees for women working in the industry today.READ MORE