WIF (Women In Film, Los Angeles) recently announced the honorees for the 2021 WIF Honors that will be held on Wednesday, October 6 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Formerly named the Crystal + Lucy Awards, the annual benefit supports WIF’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry. This is the first time the organization has been able to hold its fundraising celebration since 2019, due to the pandemic.
This year’s WIF Honors will celebrate the women who are transforming the industry for the better, with innovative reimaginings of how the workplace can be set up for women to support women with compassion, care, and a renewed commitment to equity across intersectional identities.
The iconic Crystal Award will be presented to the following pairs of collaborators:
- MARLEE MATLIN and SIÂN HEDER
- JEAN SMART and HANNAH EINBINDER
- ZENDAYA and ASHLEY LEVINSON
“We are honoring these pairs of women with the Crystal Award to reflect the collective effort it takes to transform this industry into one that rewards equality and succeeds as it becomes more inclusive. Even in the most difficult of times, these women have taken steps forward towards a more ideal future,” says Kirsten Schaffer, WIF Executive Director.
Marlee Matlin and Siân Heder / Crystal Award
Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her motion picture debut in Children of a Lesser God, a performance the film community chose to recognize with its highest honor—the Academy Award for Best Actress. Matlin’s television roles include The L Word, The West Wing, and Switched at Birth, and Emmy-nominated work on The Practice, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Seinfeld, and Picket Fences. Matlin was an executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated short film Feeling Through, the first film to feature a DeafBlind actor in a leading role. Her New York Times best-selling autobiography I’ll Scream Later was published in 2009, and she has published a novel for children titled Deaf Child Crossing. Matlin has been instrumental in aiding the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, such as getting Academy screeners to have closed captions, helping get legislation passed that mandated ASL interpreters be present at all COVID-19 press conferences, and organizing a PSA that aided the 20 million Deaf and hard of hearing Americans in accessing resources on how to vote in the past elections.
Siân Heder is a writer, director, and showrunner. Her most recent work includes directing Apple Original Film CODA and executive producing and co-showrunning Little America for Apple TV+. She wrote and produced for three seasons on the acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, receiving multiple WGA nominations for her work. Her other television credits include Men of a Certain Age, which earned her a Peabody Award. She has directed episodes of Netflix’s GLOW and Orange Is the New Black, Hulu’s The Path, and Little America. Her first short film, Mother, was awarded the Cinéfondation Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Her debut feature film, Tallulah, starring Elliot Page and Allison Janney, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released as a Netflix original.
Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder / Crystal Award
Winner of three Emmys and an additional eight nominations, as well as a Tony nomination, Grammy nomination, and two Critics’ Choice Awards wins, Jean Smart recently received rave reviews and 2021 Emmy nominations for her performances in the HBO Max comedy Hacks, and the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown. In 2019, Smart received accolades for her role in the HBO series Watchmen, based on the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name. She won the 2020 Critics Choice Award and received a 2020 Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in a Drama for this performance. Some additional recent credits include Superintelligence, Dan Fogelman’s Life, Itself, as well as Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor. She also appeared in the Bravo series Dirty John, Noah Hawley’s FX series Legion, and the second season of Hawley’s acclaimed series Fargo on FX, for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Hannah Einbinder has quickly established herself as a highly sought-after actress and comedian. She can currently be seen starring in the HBO Max comedy series Hacks, for which she has earned a few nominations including Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy at the HCA TV Awards, and Comedy Supporting Actress at the GoldDerby TV Awards. Though the series marks Einbinder’s first major television role, she is no stranger to the comedy world. She was named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch for 2021,” a 2019 New Face of Comedy at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs comedy festival, and was also highlighted as one of Vulture’s “Comics to Watch of 2019,” cementing herself as one of the wittiest emerging talents in the industry.
Zendaya and Ashley Levinson / Crystal Award
Emmy Award winning actor Zendaya launched her career as an actress on Disney Channel starring in the hit series Shake It Up, as well as K.C. Undercover, which she also helped produce. Zendaya moved to the big screen in 2017 where she played MJ in Marvel’s newest Spider-Man trilogy, with the final film Spider-Man: No Way Home premiering in December 2021. Other credits include The Greatest Showman and animated film Smallfoot. Most recently, she can also be seen as titular character Marie in Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie, a film she helped create and produce in the beginning of the pandemic. Zendaya also starred in HBO and A24’s Euphoria, for which she won an Emmy Award for her performance as Rue, making Zendaya the youngest woman to win an Emmy for lead drama actress. Zendaya can next be seen in Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated film Dune, premiering October 2021, and season two of Euphoria, which is currently in production.
Ashley Levinson is a film producer and a co-founder of Little Lamb Productions. Little Lamb is best known for the HBO series Euphoria, starring Zendaya, who received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role. Levinson also produced the feature Pieces of a Woman (2021), which starred Vanessa Kirby, who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance. In the middle of 2020, Little Lamb produced Malcolm & Marie (2021). The film was one of the first to have been written, shot safely, and released within the pandemic and portions of the film’s proceeds from its record-breaking sale to Netflix were donated to Feeding America. In 2020, Levinson was featured in Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch List and The Hollywood Reporter’s Producer Roundtable in 2021. She served as an Executive Producer on Bombshell (2019), Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021), and Co-Executive Producer on Queen & Slim (2019), and A24’s The Green Knight (2020). Her other producing credits include several projects with HBO, including The Idol starring The Weeknd, Irma Vep starring Alicia Vikander, and Ohio, an adaptation of the book by Stephen Markley. Most recently, Levinson is a producer on 892, a veteran drama feature starring John Boyega.
Congratulations to the honorees!
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