Academy Foundation Supports NYWIFT Initiatives with 2020 Grant


NEW YORK, NY – May 18, 2020New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) is pleased to announce it has received a significant grant from The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The funding will provide general operating support for the organization and will allow it to further its initiatives in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 health and economic crisis hit New York in early March, NYWIFT shifted its professional development and networking activities to a virtual space and expanded its programming to keep the industry community connected, informed, and enriched while sheltering at home. In addition to continuing its regular services, NYWIFT:

  • Launched the new free weekly NYWIFT Talks virtual conversations to directly address how COVID-19 has impacted the media and entertainment industry and provide useful strategies to overcome current strains due to the health and financial crisis.
  • Created a NYWIFT Emergency Resource Directory which is updated daily.
  • Encouraged members to network daily through their new private virtual discussion group.
  • Instituted online screenings of documentary and narrative projects with talkbacks by visionary women in NYC film community.

NYWIFT is one of 96 recipients of the Academy Foundation’s 2020 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants, which received an additional $2 million in April to support organizations during the crisis. All of the grants, which total a combined $2.5 million in funds, are awarded based on current need to organizations that support filmmakers and reach audiences from underserved communities. The Academy’s FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists.

The Academy’s Grants committee is honored to continue to provide much-needed support to these 96 worthy organizations – their impact on the world of film is truly immeasurable,” said Marcus Hu, chair of the Grants committee.

It is not every day that a grassroots non-profit organization receives a call from Marcus Hu, Chairman of the Academy’s Grants Committee and Shawn Guthrie, Sr. Manager of Grants and Student Academy Awards to inform us that NYWIFT had been selected, along with 96 organizations in the midst of a crisis, to receive vital support to continue our work. It is a testament to the Academy’s commitment to the rank and file people working in this industry. We are grateful and honored that the Academy Foundation has chosen to support New York Women in Film & Television through the FilmCraft grant,” said NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez. “This funding comes at crucial juncture as our community and our industry as a whole face unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. Now more than ever, NYWIFT will continue to champion women’s voices as leaders as we adapt to these ever-changing circumstances. We are thrilled to align with The Academy’s mission of supporting diverse storytellers.”