Women’s Image Awards Shine a Light on Inspirational Women


Win Awards

The mood in the room was fierce, female—and funny—for 17th annual Women’s Image Awards held at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

The funny came from host Carol Leifer, the multi-talented writer, producer and comedian, who shepherded the ceremonies through multiple categories for film and television that honor the work that advances the value of women and girls through media.

The night’s honorees provided their own inspiration. Irena Medavoy and Abigail Disney received Woman of the Year Awards. Nicole Avant, former United States ambassador to the Bahamas, introduced Medavoy, who started her speech by saying, “You and Ted changed the world.” (Avant is married to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos.)

Medavoy, a former actress and model who is well known for her philanthropic efforts, was one of the first supporters of the bipartisan “Truth in Advertising Act, also known as the Photoshop law which aims to dispel unrealistic depictions of beauty.

Disney is an award-winning filmmaker who is passionate about advancing women’s roles in the public sphere. Having grown up in a family of filmmakers– she is the daughter of Roy Disney – she began producing documentaries in 2008 with the acclaimed film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” It tells the story of women in Liberia who used nonviolent protests to bring an end to that country’s long civil war.

Another highlight of the evening was the performance by Lebanese singer Xriss Jor, a protégé of legendary producer Quincy Jones, who was in the audience to cheer on her moving version of Michael Jackson’s iconic song, “Care About Us.”

Said Jor, “If there is anything I can say about women in Lebanon, if you have an opinion, it is rarely acknowledged, so it’s refreshing to be able to express myself freely for such an important cause.”


WIN (Women’s Image Network) founder Phyllis Stuart initiated the awards in 1993, and since then, they have grown in influence and encouraged both men and women to create multi-dimensional female media images.



The night’s list of presenters included Sam Elliott, Rosanna Arquette, Cheryl Hines, Mark Steines, Joely Fisher, Olivia d’Abo, Francesca Eastwood, Frances Fisher, Tamala Jones, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ambassador Nicole Avant, Yue-Sai Kan, Joyce Giraud and Breeda Wool.


Here is the list of nominees and winners:


Outstanding Feature Film

Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)

Mistress America (Fox Searchlight)

Far from the Madding Crowd (Fox Searchlight)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Fox Searchlight)

Suffragette (Focus Features)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics) – WINNER


Outstanding Actress Feature Film

Carey Mulligan Far from the Madding Crowd                                                                                                                                         

Bel Powley The Diary of a Teenage Girl                                                                                                                                             

Saoirse Ronan Brooklyn                                                                                                                                                                             

 Zoe Saldana Infinitely Polar Bear                                                                                                                                                            

Olivia Cooke Me And Earl And The Dying Girl                                                                                                                                        

Lily Tomlin Grandma – WINNER


Outstanding Show or Film Written by a Woman



Greta Gerwig, Mistress America

Maya Forbes, Infinitely Polar Bear  

Nikole Beckwith, Stockholm, Pennsylvania – WINNER                             

Elizabeth Chandler, Anita Diamant, Anne Meredith, The Red Tent

Nzingha Stewart, With this Ring



Raelle Tucker, The Returned, “Simon”

Courtney Kemp Agboh, Power, “Not Exactly How We Planned

Jennie Snyder Urman, Jane The Virgin, “Chapter One”

Alison Brown, Younger, “I’m with Stupid”    

Toni Graphia, Outlander, “The Devil’s Mark” -WINNER                                 

Anne Kenney, Outlander, “The Wedding”



Outstanding Made For Television Movie / Mini-Series

The Gabby Douglas Story (Lifetime)

American Crime (ABC Studios)

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (Lifetime)

With This Ring (Lifetime) – WINNER

The Red Tent (Lifetime)


Outstanding Actress Made For Television Movie / Mini-Series

Kristen Connolly Houdini                                                                                                                                                                               

Jill Scott With This Ring                                                                                                                                                                   

Emmanuelle Chriqui Killing Jesus                                                                                                                                                          

Felicity Huffman American Crime – WINNER                                                                                                                                                 

Regina King The Gabby Douglas Story


Outstanding Show or Film Directed by a Woman



Laurie Collyer The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe               

Maya Forbes Infinitely Polar Bear – WINNER 

Melissa Joan Hart Santa Con                                                 

Angela Bassett Whitney

Nzingha Stewart With This Ring

Nikole Beckwith Stockholm, Pennsylvania  



Helen Shaver Vikings “The Usurper” – WINNER                                                                  

Kari Skogland Sons of Liberty “The Uprising”                    

Ryan Case Modern Family Closet? You’ll Love It!”                                                                                                     

 Anna Foerster Outlander “The Wedding”                      

Eva Longoria Devious Maids “An Ideal Husband


Outstanding Reality Series

Fixer Upper “New Home New Life for Mom” (HGTV & DIY Network)

Kitchen Crashers (HGTV & DIY Network) Kitchen Crashers, “Gigantic Blue Island Kitchen”

Rehab Addict “A Bathroom Fit For King James” (HGTV & DIY Network)

Total Divas (E! Entertainment)

House of DVF (E! Entertainment)

Funny Girls (Oxygen) – WINNER                              


Outstanding Actress Reality Series

Diane von Furstenberg House of DVF

Navey Baker Behind The Mask “All In the Family” – WINNER                               

Nicole Curtis Rehab Addict “A Bathroom Fit For King James”

Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper


Outstanding Show or Film Produced by a Woman



Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey Brooklyn                                                                                                                                          

Laurie MacDonald He Named Me Malala                    

Keri Selig The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe – WINNER                                             

Greta Gerwig Mistress America 



Emily Whitesell Finding Carter “Love The Way You Lie”

Sabrina Wind, Carol Leifer, Elle Triedman, Eva Longoria Devious Maids “Night Mother”

Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling Transparent “The Letting Go”

Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro UnREAL – WINNER                               

Liz Meriwether, Katherine Pope, Erin O’Malley, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel New Girl “Julie Berkman’s Older Sister”

Clara George, Marti Noxon, Elizabeth Kruger, Vicki Iovine, Meryl Poster Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce 


Outstanding Documentary Film                                                                                                                                               

The Hunting Ground (RADiUS-TWC) – WINNER                              

Amy: The Girl Behind the Name (A24 & On The Corner Films)

He Named Me Malala (Fox Searchlight)

Chasing Sunshine (Outside Television & Boarding For Breast Cancer)


Outstanding Drama Series                                                                                                                                                                           

How To Get Away With Murder Mama’s Here Now” (ABC Studios) 

Bates Motel “Norma Louise” (A&E)

The Returned “Camille” (A&E)

UnREAL “Premiere Episode” (Lifetime)

Empire “False Imposition” (20th Century Fox Television)

Outlander “The Garrison Commander” (Starz) – WINNER                              


Outstanding Actress Drama Series

Vera Farmiga Bates Motel “Norma Louise”                                                                                                                                           

Naturi Naughton Power  “Not Exactly How We Planned”

Cynthia Addai-Robinson Texas Rising                                                                                                                                

Katheryn Winnick Vikings “Mercenary”

Emily Berrington Sons of Liberty                                                                                                                                                         

Caitriona Balfe Outlander,  “The Garrison Commander” – WINNER                              


Outstanding Comedy Series

Transparent “The Letting Go” (Amazon Studios)

Jane The Virgin “Chapter One” (CBS Television & Warner Brothers Television)

Black-ish “Crazy Mom” (ABC Studios)

The Grace Helbig Show (E! Entertainment)

Fresh Off The Boat (Pilot) (20th Century Fox Television)

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo Media)  – WINNER                              


Outstanding Actress Comedy Series

Sutton Foster Younger “I’m With Stupid”

Gina Rodriguez Jane The Virgin “Chapter One”

Lisa Edelstein Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce “Rule #23: Never Lie to The Kids”    – WINNER                               

Melissa Joan Hart Melissa & Joey “Be The Bigger Person”




Author: Hillary Atkin

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