“Leave No Trace” producer Linda Reisman, celebrated “Coco” composer Germaine Franco, and rising writer-director Nicole Dorsey (“Black Conflux”) will be among the biggest names at Emerson College this coming Monday, Nov. 18, for its second Women in Film & Media Summit.
Organized by visual and media arts professor Cristina Kotz Cornejo, the free and open-to-the-public event is designed to celebrate progress for gender equity in Hollywood and discuss the many obstacles that still impede women in the industry.
“The primary goal is to create an opportunity for students studying media, primarily female students,” said Cornejo. “Our school’s department has almost a 50/50 female-to-male ratio, and yet when they go to Los Angeles to make their way in the industry, they’ll find challenges in getting through the system.”
The summit, said Cornejo, aims to illuminate those challenges while praising women who’ve succeeded despite them. “When they make progress," she said of the speakers, "they also open doors for other women.”
As part of the event, Emerson students will be able to sign up for a luncheon with guests, turning the summit into a networking opportunity. They’ll also screen Dorsey’s film, which recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, later in the evening.
A filmmaker of color herself, putting together a diverse panel of speakers was important to Cornejo. Among those speaking at a panel on inclusive storytellng are indie distributor Karin Chien; recent grad Devynne Lauchner, a set decorator on films like “If Beale Street Could Talk;” and Amazon Studios exec Latasha Gillespie.