Each year, as we put together our annual Top Women In Global Cinema list, we do so with a great deal of trepidation. While we seek nominations from throughout the industry, we always fear overlooking an important or deserving industry professional that should have made the list.
Maybe the best example of this came in 2018 when we didn’t include Anne Fitzgerald, then the Chief Legal Officer at Cineplex. This was the same year she was instrumental in helping with the formulation of the Global Cinema Federation. When we investigated how this may have happened we discovered Fitzgerald hadn’t been nominated by anyone in the industry, because everyone thought someone else would surely be nominating her. Thus they submitted names which might not be as obvious.
You can only imagine, when we finally decided to follow the suggestions we’ve received over the years to create a similar list of theatrical distribution executives, we were exceedingly nervous of committing similar errors. This is why we spent a great deal of time over the past several months researching our very first Top Women In Global Distribution list, which as published on Thursday, 17 November.
We sought nominations from across the industry and were heartened to hear many of the same names mentioned on numerous occasions. We were also dismayed to see a couple of disturbing trends; nobody could name any female distribution executives in places such as China, and very few in places such as Africa and India. So, while we await the verdict on the accuracy of this year’s Top Women In Global Distribution list, we are happy to have at least started the initiative as a means of calling attention to some deserving professionals in our industry.
We were also fascinated to learn about the background of so many of the nominees on this year’s list and their previous roles at different companies. So many have worked for both cinema operators and film distributors. And, as expected, a fair number had spent decades working their way up within their current organizations.
Indeed, some of these executives were kind enough to join us on last week’s CJ Cinema Summit, including Lia Devlin and Bryony Forde of Altitude Film Entertainment, Helen Moss of Paramount Pictures and Sarah Timlick of Elevation Pictures. You can view the session on-demand if you didn’t get a chance to attend in person.
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Celluloid Junkie is the leading online resource dedicated to the global film and cinema business. The Marquee is our newsletter focused on motion picture exhibition; keeping industry professionals informed of important news, the latest trends and insightful analysis