This particular event is not about fashion, though there were very fashionable people who attended. But rather, it is an awards showcase dedicated to women in the film and television industries…activists, filmmakers, CEOs, etc who’ve made a difference in this world and the lives of others. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the entire ceremony, but in the time I was there, I was moved and inspired by these women, some of whom have overcome all odds to make that one documentary or overcame adversity during a time when it was hard for a woman to start her own business.
One of the PR reps from Elizabeth Grant International contacted me and asked if I’d like to attend an event while Elizabeth Grant was in LA and I happily obliged. I chose to attend the Second Annual Womens International Film and Television Awards at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood; Elizabeth Grant was being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I had the honor to meet Elizabeth, who is such a beautiful and amazing woman and truly inspiring, along with her Granddaughter, Margot, who is head of the Public Relations and Marketing Department and Marion Witz, who is the President of the company, Margot’s Mother and Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law.
Elizabeth Grant founded Elizabeth Grant International- a luxury skin care line in 1958, a time when it wasn’t “proper” or it was unusual for a woman to start a business. Her company went from one employee to now over 100 employees at the headquarters in Toronto. Elizabeth is not only a successful businesswoman, but she’s a philanthropist, playwright, mother, grandmother and professional lecturer, who speaks on success and the hardships she had to endure during the 1950’s and the difficulties she faces today. Even in her eighties, she’s still going strong as CEO of her company, even when other people her age have retired. For more information or to purchase skin care products, please go to www.elizabethgrant.com.
The festivities started off with a cocktail hour, where the waiters, wearing casual button-downs and white sneakers perused through the crowds offering little delicacies. The actual ceremony took place in the rooftop ballroom, which offered spectacular panoramic views of the Sunset Strip and surrounding city. The Honorees of the Evening (when I was there) were: Tegla Loroupe- Founder of the Tegla Laroupe Peace Academy and honored with the Dove Award; Shohreh Aghdashloo- 2009 Emmy Award Winning Actress and winner of the Humanitarian Award; Betty Makoni- Founder of the Girl Child Network and winner of the Humanitarian Award; Judy Irola- cinematographer, one of her films being “La Dolce Gilda” and winner of the Cinematographer Award; “We Are Half of Iran’s Population”- winner of the Jury Film Award; Ruth Carter- winner of the Best Costume Award; “Madre” and “Sidewalk Sisters” were winners of the Diversity Award; “Tapestries of Hope” (Director Michealene Cristini Risley) won the Best Documentary Award; Elizabeth Grant (presented by E!s Thea Andrews) won the Lifetime Achievement Award… For those who were announced after I left, congratulations on your achievements!!
SPECIAL THANKS: J, April Jackson, Thea Andrews of E!, Margot Grant, Elizabeth Grant, Marion Witz, the presenters, Patrick Moulin-WIFTS award designer, Pillivuyt (http://www.pillivuytus.com) – Manufacturer of WIFTS award, host, Councilwoman Jan Perry, the honorees, Actress Jennifer Tilly, and the Andaz Hotel (www.westhollywood.andaz.com), the WIFTS Foundation (www.thewifts.com), photographer Zach Lipp (www.zachlipp.com)