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July 15, 2016

WICF Honors Ghostbusters Director Paul Feig with Award for Excellence
by WomenInComedy - 0

Director Paul Feig (Ghostbusters, Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids) accepts the WICF 2016 Award for Excellence via video.

By Michelle Barbera, Co-Producer, WICF

WICF honored Paul Feig with the 2016 WICF Award for Excellence on July 14th, at a special WICF screening of his new film, Ghostbusters. The screening took place at the Capitol Theater, in Arlington, MA. The film was filmed in part in the Boston area, which doubled for New York City, where the film is set.

How To Be an Ally to Women in Comedy:
The Women in Comedy festival celebrates women in comedy and their allies.  As a key ally of women in comedy, Mr. Feig has not only embraced female-driven films, he has consistently chosen to work with highly talented actresses and has spearheaded projects with women at their center. His films have helped shatter the now much reviled concept of the "chick-flick" and wake up detractors to the reality that humans like good comedy, and women's experiences are as universal and relatable as men's. Mr. Feig not only works collaboratively with the women who appear in front of the camera, but with those behind it as well. His collaborations with writers and producers like Katie Dippold, Kristen Weig, Melissa McCarthy, and Annie Mumulo, among others, have produced films that have created watershed moments for women in comedy.

Watch Mr. Feig's acceptance speech:

Spearheading Projects and Advocating for Women:
Mr. Feig's idea to cast the original Ghostbusters follow-up with a core cast of women shows again his great faith in, and appreciation for, the different perspective women's voices can provide. That the film's casting has in any way been controversial for some vocal detractors (and we know it has), shows how important the work that Mr. Feig and his colleagues is. Knowing that Mr. Feig is at the helm of the film fills one with confidence that the film will be funny, witty, and insightful. As his roster of collaborators expands to include comedians like breakout stars Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, Mr. Feig continues to demonstrate his keen eye for casting and directing stand-out female comedians in roles that are rich and well-written. His many years creating, directing, and writing on many varied projects, such as the brilliant and much missed Freaks and Geeks, The Office, and Arrested Development, have honed his skills to such a fine point, he can helm big, complex, blockbusters and still maintain the focus on the actors's performances and individual voices.

Mr. Feig has spoken out about sexism in film, the need for equal pay for women, and his assertion that the scripts need to be created for women become box office forces inline with their male counterparts. He has assessed the obstacles facing women in comedy, and is lowering and eliminating those obstacles on a much grander scale, but perfectly inline with WICF's mission.

Mr. Feig and his many female collaborators are opening the eyes of so many people who have been complacent in the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and type casting in comedy. WICF was lucky enough to be conceived at a moment of cultural zeitgeist, and we've grown year-by-year to provide more platforms for female comedians  and their allies to follow Mr. Feig's lead and get out there — and make stuff. Well.

WICF's Mission Expands to Advancing Women in Film:
WICF produces its signature Women in Comedy Festival annually, as well as shows, workshops, panels, and special events throughout the year. We've recently expanded to include a film component to our festival, spearheaded by producers Elyse Schuerman and Christine Cannavo, who are well aware of the disparity in numbers between female and male filmmakers in hollywood and the power of film to inspire change. Mr. Feig's work is a great example of the shift that is happening in film, and of the inspiration and encouragement that many new filmmakers and artists need to get started, and keep going, in film. WICF hopes to provide as much assistance to those filmmakers as it can.


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