NYWIFT Announces Sabrina Wright-Gilliar Scholarship


NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 17, 2015 – New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) is pleased to announce the creation of The Sabrina Wright-Gilliar Award. The scholarship honors the memory of the legendary prop master Wright-Gilliar and will be given to a female high school senior graduating from the Academy for Careers in Television and Film (TvF) in Queens, NY. TvF is a career and technical education (CTE) high school where students simultaneously participate in a college preparatory academic program while learning skills that are applicable to the joining the workforce. It will be a tribute to the qualities of determination and creativity that Wright-Gilliar brought to her work and her everyday interactions.

NYWIFT will present $2500 annually to a student who intends to pursue a career in a below-the-line craft in the film, television or digital media industry. This award may be applied to post-secondary education expenses, craft training fees, union initiation costs or any other expenditures relating to the recipient’s becoming a full-time member of the New York City film, television and digital media industry. The first Sabrina Wright-Gilliar Award will be presented in the Spring of 2016.

“We are proud to honor the memory of this industry artist in way that we know would be meaningful to her – by supporting the next generation of women in the film, television and digital media crafts,” said NYWIFT Executive Director Terry Lawler.

Donations by check should be made out to NYWIFT with Sabrina Fund noted. Please mail to NYWIFT, 6 East 39th Street, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10016-0112. Donations can also be made online at www.nywift.org/sabrina.

About Sabrina Wright-Gilliar

Sabrina Wright-Gilliar was born on May 27, 1957. A native New Yorker, she grew up in the West Village, where she attended public school and took advantage of all the city had to offer. Sabrina and her mother traveled to Europe, Africa and South America. Her longest stays were summers spent in Spain, where she became fluent in Spanish.

After a stint in the corporate world, Sabrina followed in her father’s footsteps and started a thirty-year career in the film business. A fourth-generation member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE Local 52), she excelled at everything she tried her hand at and worked tirelessly in a variety of crafts. Sabrina started as a set dresser in the prop department on huge commercials. She continued to work her way up the ladder to become one of the first female department heads in the union’s history. She was the set decorator on When Harry Met Sally and on the New York unit of Sea Of Love. Sabrina then settled in on her true calling, working for the rest of her career as one of the most sought after and legendary prop master’s in the industry.

Sabrina’s love of working in film and television guided her choices, as she often took a job because she liked the script or the director or something personally moved her about the project. Her uncle, another mentor, hired her on the film Jumping Jack Flash, where she met her husband, Jim Gilliar. Sabrina’s daughter, Laura, is currently working in a prop department as a fifth generation IATSE Local 52 member. Laura was fortunate to work alongside and learn from her mother before her passing.

Sabrina’s film credits include PreciousMusic Of The Heart and Illuminata. Her television credits include over seventy episodes of The Good Wife and over eighty episodes of Sex In The City. Sabrina’s well-recognized laughter and bright smile will never be forgotten and her work ethic has left a legacy for many future generations.

About New York Women in Film & Television:

New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality.

The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members and produces over 50 innovative programs and special events annually. More information can be found online at https://www.nywift.org

About TvF

The Academy for Careers in Television and Film (TvF), which opened its doors to its first freshman cohort in September 2008, serves grades 9 through 12 and uniquely provides its students with meaningful entry points into a range of film and video “below-the-line” craft positions almost entirely neglected by existing high school and college programs, as well as a high quality college prep education. With a graduation rate of 99%, students benefit from a unique four year curriculum of film/video studies as well as unprecedented opportunities to work alongside industry professionals and gain valuable experience to support their career and academic aspirations. Industry internships (Work Based Learning) allow students to develop the technical skills and work ethic necessary to pursue careers in production and other industries.