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Sundance Institute And Women In Film Los Angeles Appoint First-Ever Director Of Systemic Change Project

Alison Emilio will lead the joint initiative.

Alison Emilio

Sundance Institute / Women In Film Los Angeles

The Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles have hired Alison Emilio for the newly-appointed position of Director for their joint initiative, the Systemic Change Project.

The Systemic Change Project, which was launched in October of 2015 by WIF LA and Sundance Institute, grew out of an unprecedented two-day meeting with top industry decision-makers and talent who came together to discuss and develop plans for concrete action and change within the industry. The project’s “established goal is to build a coalition of industry leaders to take tangible steps that will bring about measurable progress in achieving gender equity, with an initial emphasis on female directors in film and television.”

READ MORE: You Want To See More Women In Film? This Is How To Do It — Girl Talk

The project initially evolved out of a study begun in 2012 by Sundance Institute and WIF LA, who partnered to conduct research to better understand the systemic causes of the gender parity gap in Hollywood. The results of four years of research,  commissioned from USC’s Annenberg School, identified the barriers and so-called “fall out” points for female filmmakers. The project was born out of a desire to use the groundbreaking research to find and enact real world solutions to issues related to parity and equality.

Emilio, a seasoned executive who has more than 25 years of experience working in a wide variety of Hollywood-facing industries, including entertainment marketing, communications, branding, strategic partnerships, media relations, fundraising, cultural arts advocacy and nonprofits, will begin working with WIF in July. Emilio has previously held positions at Norstar Releasing, Lorimar Filmed Entertainment and CreativeFuture, amongst many others. She was also previously Senior Vice President, Marketing and Publicity for New Line Cinema.

“In Alison Emilio we have found the leader we need to manage our multi-faceted project, and we look forward to building momentum as we engage and unify decision makers in Hollywood,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute of the hiring.

READ MORE: Sundance Institute Picks Up Two Academy Grants to Help Develop Underrepresented Filmmakers

“She has the programmatic experience, management skills and film industry relationships to oversee the dynamic systemic change strategy we seek to advance gender equality in media,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film Los Angeles.

Emilio added, “I am excited and honored to be joining Women In Film and Sundance Institute in this movement to turn significant research into tangible change.  I look forward to working with both established and new industry advocates, regardless of gender, on this program that is vital to the equal rights and opportunities of women in the entertainment industries.”

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