National Democratic Institute & New York Women in Film & Television Present:
Representation Matters for Climate Justice
The voices of women and girls in politics and the media have been stifled and excluded from the decision-making conversations around climate justice. This globally representative panel of climate activists will focus on the rights of women and girls to engage with and be represented in both politics and the media on the issue of climate justice. They will discuss why representation matters for successful climate justice and provide examples of initiatives across the media and politics which promote a more diverse and intersectional approach to finding solutions to the existential threat we all face.
Presented as part of the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Speakers include Lydia Dean Pilcher (Film Producer & Co-Founder PGA Green), Rachel Lears (Jubilee Films), Emily Wanja (Impact Producer) and Mwanahamisi Singano (Women’s Environment and Development Organization).
Journalist Natasha Del Toro will moderate.
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Time: 10:00am EST (7:00am PST)
Rachel Lears is a documentary director, producer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her most recent feature documentary, To the End, which premiered at Sundance 2022, follows four young women of color who fight for a Green New Deal and ignite a historic shift in U.S. climate politics. Her last feature, Knock Down the House (2019, Netflix), won the US Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, was shortlisted for an Oscar and nominated for an Emmy in 2020. Rachel received the IDA Emerging Filmmaker Award in 2019, holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from NYU, and is the mother of a six year old.
Lydia Dean Pilcher is a two-time Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominated producer of over 40 feature films with auteur directors including Gina Prince-Bythewood, Wes Anderson, Barry Levinson, Ritesh Batra, Kathryn Bigelow, George Wolfe, and eleven films in a longstanding collaboration with internationally acclaimed director Mira Nair. Their recent work includes the feature, “Queen of Katwe” for Disney and the six-hour mini-series set in India, “A Suitable Boy” based on the novel by Vikram Seth for BBC/Netflix.
Pilcher has worked extensively in the international realm and is inspired by themes of cultural perception, climate change activism, and social justice. She began her career directing documentaries and she co-directed the dramatic feature, Radium Girls (Netflix), starring Joey King and Abby Quinn, accompanied by a social impact campaign in 2021 with The Sierra Club to ban “forever” toxic chemicals, past and present. She also recently directed the feature, A Call to Spy, a female-driven World War II spy thriller based on the true stories of Noor Inayat Khan, Vera Atkins, and Virgina Hall, released in 2020 by IFC Films.
She is Co-Founder of PGA Green and GreenProductionGuide.com, a collaboration with eleven studio partners –Netflix, Disney, NBC-Universal, Sony, Warner Media, Fox, Amazon, Paramount, Viacom CBS, and Participant Media– seeking to the reduce the environmental impact of film/tv productions by carbon calculation, best practices, and climate messaging through storytelling; and she is Co-Chair of the Director’s Guild of America Sustainable Future (Eco) Committee.
Mwanahamisi (“Mishy”) Singano is an African feminist passionate about fighting structural and intersecting inequalities while contributing to a more just, equal, fairer, and sustainable world. Over the last 15 years, she has worked with women’s rights organizations, civil societies, and governments in developing strategies, building partnerships, managing programs, and engaging communities towards the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the health of the planet. At WEDO, Mwanahamisi serves as Senior Global Policy Lead.
Emily Wanja uses storytelling to drive social change. She is an award-winning Impact producer for the campaign ‘We Can Fight Climate Change’ for the international feature documentary, ‘Thank you for the Rain’. In conjunction with Docubox, she has worked with policymakers across national and county governments, private stakeholders, funders, civil society, and communities, using film as a tool for advocacy. She ran impact screenings for the film, ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ by Participant Media, in Kenya. She’s on the Climate Justice Resilience Fund Advisory Council and on the Global Impact Producers Assembly Steering Committee. She works with the Storyboard collective on Impact and regional partnerships and is on the Kenya oscars selection committee. Emily Wanja works at Doc Society as the global community manager at the Climate Story Unit.
Natasha Del Toro (Moderator) is an award-winning journalist and host. She reported and produced investigative documentaries for Fusion’s Naked Truth, which became a popular docu-series on Netflix and was part of a consortium of journalists that won a Pulitzer for their reporting on the Panama Papers. She currently hosts PBS’s long-running America Reframed on World Channel and appears regularly as a correspondent on Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines, a current affairs documentary show, where she has reported on the Catholic sex abuse scandal, corrupt cops in Baltimore, and FEMA’s failed response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. A Fulbright scholar, she also anchored a news magazine on Facebook Watch called Mic Dispatch and worked for PBS’ Frontline World and Time.com, traveling across the U.S. with internationally acclaimed photographer Joakim Eskildsen to create a book and multimedia website on poverty in America called American Realities. That project led to an Emmy award-winning documentary by KQED and Center for Investigative Reporting called Hunger in the Valley Of Plenty. Born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in North Carolina, she is bilingual and proud of her southern and Latino roots.
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.