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!
#8: Glenn Close
By Tricia Nolan
Glenn Close had a distinguished career on Broadway, long before she made her feature film debut in 1982’s The World According To Garp, alongside Robin Williams. Yet, it was her role as a psychopathic temptress in the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction that turned her into a box office darling and a household name. Actress, singer and producer, Close is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, and one of the few performers to be nominated for the top awards in film, theatre, and television. In 2010, Glenn co-founded the nonprofit Bring Change 2 Mind, which is dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.
On mental illness: “The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation.”
On working with women: “With the hugely talented women I’ve worked with or observed, it’s not a question about temperament or ego; it’s a question about getting it right. If they’ve got a reputation for being difficult it’s usually because they just don’t suffer fools.”
On December 1, 2023, Season 3 of STARZ Power Book III: Raising Kanan premiered starring past NYWIFT Muse Award Honoree Patina Miller. This season of Raising Kanan continues to tell the origin story of fan-favorite character Kanan Stark (MeKai Curtis), originally played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the flagship series, delving further into his evolution from the devoted son of Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller) into the eventual ferocious, amoral and pragmatic personality fans know from Power.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In NYWIFT Member Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film Happy Campers, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each other’s company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. Happy Campers just made its world premiere at DOC NYC, where it received a Special Mention for the Grand Jury Prize. Amy spoke to us about her unique process making this film, biggest challenges and triumphs, and the commodification of some of life’s simplest pleasures.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Melisa Ramos! Melisa is a filmmaker and professor from Puerto Rico, bringing 14 years of post-production and motion graphics experience to New York. Her first production, Puerto Rican Voices, a docu-series about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Following Puerto Rican Voices, Melisa continued to share Puerto Rican and Latin American stories. In 2020, she directed and produced From Performers to Spectators, a doc-series showcasing New York City performers during lockdown. She is currently in production on Hoop Warrior, her first feature film. Read all about Melisa’s journey as an editor and artist here!READ MORE