“Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative” Expands

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with Swarovski, announced today the expansion of Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative, an extension of the Academy’s A2020 initiative which seeks to support inclusion and increase representation within the Academy and the greater film community.

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The Academy Women’s Initiative is comprised of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, the Academy Directory and annual events designed to create opportunities for female filmmakers to connect, share their stories and celebrate inclusion.

Building upon events in London and Los Angeles last year, the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women which is supported by Swarovski, has been awarded to a European filmmaker, writer/director Maïmouna Doucouré.

Female Academy members and industry guests attended an event in Paris on International Women’s Day where Doucouré was announced as the fellowship recipient.

Doucouré is an emerging Senegalese-French filmmaker who began her career making short films, most notably “Maman(s)” which screened at more than 150 film festivals and won 47 awards including the Short Film Jury Prize Award for International Fiction at the Sundance Film Festival, the Short Cuts Award for Best Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and the César Award for Best Short Film in 2017. She received the Global Filmmaking Award from Sundance Film Festival in 2017 for the screenplay of her first feature film, “Mignonnes”.

“As we continue to advocate for inclusion, we are honored to bring Academy members and the filmmaking community together to support women in all stages of their careers, especially emerging Academy Gold filmmakers.” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are grateful that Swarovski supports our commitment to a more inclusive film community.”

Carola Ash, the Academy’s Director of Europe said: “I am delighted to support the recipient of the Gold Fellowship for Women in France, selected from a shortlist of emerging female talent on either their first or second feature or short film. We have a wealth of upcoming talent in the European Academy and we are delighted to be able to provide this additional support.”

Maïmouna Doucouré said: “I am so honoured to be given this Gold Fellowship. For me it is a dream come true it shows that you can do everything as a woman even win an award from the Oscars.”

The Gold Fellowship for Women event is one of several initiatives the Academy hosted in Paris from 7-8 March, in association with UniFrance, with the aim of increasing the Academy’s presence in Europe for its European membership and providing a series of events targeted at students, young filmmakers and the local industry.

This lunch was co-hosted by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and Nadja Swarovski, and the event gathered France-based and international female filmmakers. As a global partner of the Action initiative, Swarovski will continue its support of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women in Paris, as they have done in London and Los Angeles for a third year. Swarovski has a long history of partnership with the Academy, having illuminated the Oscars® stage with more than 45 million crystals over the past twelve years.

Nadja Swarovski commented: “Swarovski is committed to empowering women and to providing emerging creative talent with the support it needs to develop and thrive. We are delighted to support the Gold Fellowship for Women and to watching these young female filmmakers share their work with the world.”

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