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Lia Fietz is a festival contributor for, she is covering the New York film scene and other key festivals around the world (Berlinale, Cannes ...)



Dispatches From NYWIFT 19th Annual Designing Women Awards

The New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) had it’s 19th annual Designing Women Awards gala on Monday, May 21 at Stage 48 in New York City and it was as always an inspiring and powerful event.  Co-presented by Variety, the event recognized and celebrated extraordinary women behind-the-scenes, renowned make-up artists, hair stylists and costume designers for their achievements, talent and vision in the entertainment industry.


                                       Gala set-up                                                                                                 Stage 48 Entrance                                        Gala Stage with Simone Pero (NYWIFT President) Opening Speech

NYWIFT has supported and empowered women working in the show business for 40 years and this annual award ceremony was hosted by comedian Sunda  Croonquist. Other outstanding presenters included Maggie Gyllenhaal, Christine Ebersole, Debra Monk, Jamie Lee, Nia Long, Joel Bernstein and more.

                     #DW Presenter & Comedian Sunda Croonquist

Video tributes were presented by Lena Waithe, Marc Feuerstein and Elizabeth McGovern.

Exceptional women honored were makeup artist Martha Melendez (She’s Gotta Have It, The Get Down, Spike Lee’s upcoming BlacKkKlansman); hair stylist Anita Lausevic (Instinct, Royal Pains); costume designer Dana Covarrubias (Quantico, Claws, Master of None), and makeup, hair, and costume design teams behind  the Mozart in the Jungle acclaimed Amazon Series : Catherine (Katie) Riley, Krystal Phillips and Esther Ahn that received the Variety’s ensemble award.

Martha Melendez     Dana Covarrubias

                 Makeup Artist Martha Melendez                                                 Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, Makeup Artist Anita Lausevic                            Costume Designer Dana Covarrubias
                                                                                                                                         & Actress Christine Ebersole

 Mozart in the Jungle Team: Costume Designer Catherine "Katie" Riley, Makeup Artist Krystal Phillips & Hair Stylist Esther Ahn

Maggie Gyllenhaal presented the award for hair stylist Anita Lausevic. To Maggie, Anita and her hair style work on The Deuce was what made her overcome the challenges of playing the streetwalker character Candy. “When I’m struggling with a very difficult scene, somewhere i’m convinced it’s because my hair isn’t right. So being my hairstylist  on a six month shoot, as Anita Lausevic was and currently is on “The Deuce”, is no small thing. It’s almost like being my therapist.”

                                             Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal

“The Designing Women Awards is one of my favorite events of the year because it allows us to recognize the contributions of incredible entertainment professionals who are rarely in the spotlight – those behind the scenes. Without the artistry and work of these exceptionally talented women, the film and television characters that we love could not exist. It’s essential that we commemorate the value that each and every single one of these amazing women brings to the industry.”, confesses Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television.

In this industry that is working towards diversity, including more women, people of race and range of beauty, it is essential to acknowledge the work of these women. They have created, innovated and developed a foresight for storytelling in the media entertainment.

We at film festivals congratulate these extraordinary women!





L. Fietz


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