cgpbadgeWilliam Nix is serving as industry advisor in the planning and production of a national entertainment industry symposium entitled Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System. Pepperdine University School of Law's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Pepperdine University's Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture will co-sponsor the symposium Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System on womenminiNovember 15-16, 2013 on the Malibu Campus.

peperdinelogosealWomen have played important roles in the entertainment industry from its earliest days. They have achieved great success as actors, directors, writers, producers, agents, managers and legal advisors, and have attained leadership positions in guilds, studios, networks and other industry organizations. But women still face significant challenges in Hollywood. Women in creative, business and legal roles must find ways to effectively balance careers and personal lives. Groups such as Women in Film L.A., New York Women in Film and Television, The Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and the Directors Guild of America Women's Steering Committee have highlighted the relative scarcity of opportunity for females as creative artists. Although notable efforts have been made toward addressing these realities, challenges and disparities remain.

Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System is intended to focus on the special issues and challenges facing women individually and collectively in the entertainment industry. The program will:

  • underline and draw lessons from the lives of women such as Mary Pickford, Frances Marion, Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland and others who successfully "negotiated the system," or strove to improve opportunities for themselves and others;
  • provide critical guidance for women in managing conflicts and relationships in their careers and personal lives;
  • building on recent studies, help identify sources of resistance to greater opportunities for women and set a collective action agenda aimed at altering the landscape for the next wave of women in the entertainment industry.

The Symposium concludes with a Saturday evening reception and dinner at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. The event, which is also a part of the Hollywood Visionaries & Beyond series, will feature a keynote address entitled Lean In: Honoring the Next Wave of Hollywood Women Leaders. Organizers of the symposium include Thomas J. Stipanowich, Straus Institute Academic Director and Professor, William Nix, Straus Center for Entertainment, Media & Sports Law, Industry Advisor and Adjunct Professor; Stephanie Bell, Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Law; Craig N. Detweiler, PhD, Seaver College Communications Professor and Director of Pepperdine's Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture (EMC); and Kathryn Linehan, Manager of the EMC. Other members of the Symposium Planning Committee include major film and television industry professional women and organizations, each of whom will lend their backgrounds in production, management and law to the design and staging of the event. These include Cari Beauchamp, Film Historian and author of Without Lying Down: Francis Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood; Susan Cartsonis, Studio Production Executive and Independent Film Producer and Chair of the Women in Film Foundation (WIFF); Ivy Kagan Bierman, Partner at Loeb & Loeb and Women in Film Los Angeles Foundation Board of Directors member; Rachel Kimbrough, Studio Business Affairs Lawyer and Vice-President of Business & Legal Affairs at Lionsgate Entertainment (a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law); Ghen Laraya Long, Entertainment & Technology attorney and WIFLA V.P. Technology and Executive Board Member; Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) Executive Director; Victoria Riskin, Screenwriter, Producer and former Writer's Guild of America West (WGAW) President; Kim Richardson, Vice-President, Legal Affairs, Universal Studios; Jennifer Schaeffer Snitko, Studio Business Affairs lawyer, CORE Media Group (a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law); Suzelle M. Smith, partner with Howarth & Smith; Bonnie Stylides, Studio Business Affairs lawyer and former Senior V.P. Business Legal, Participant Media; and Christa Zofcin, Executive Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs, River Road Entertainment (a graduate of Pepperdine University's Seaver College, School of Law and the George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management ).   


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