The Alliance for Women Film Composers (“The AWFC”) have announced a new board and President as Laura Karpman steps down as the organization’s President to focus on her new role as Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. Emmy-winning composer Lolita Ritmanis will assume the Presidency of the AWFC to help steer its next course of action for the upcoming 2017 year. In addition, new board members Germaine Franco (“Dope”), George S. Clinton (“Austin Powers”) and Penka Kouneva (“Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands”) join the Board of Directors, while Catherine Grealish becomes the organization’s Executive Director.
“The Alliance: We are colleagues, competitors, friends, and fans of one another. We have developed a kind of sisterhood, a bond that has given tremendous amount of fuel to our fire,” comments Lolita Ritmanis. “As I assume the presidency, I want to publicly thank Laura Karpman for her energy and dedication. Laura’s passion and sheer will have knocked down some pretty big doors this past year, helping to create tremendous opportunities for our members! I will continue to be an advocate for our composers, work on dismantling stereotypes, mentor up and coming composers, and celebrate the achievements of our AWFC members. Through awareness and action, together with our partners in this industry – employers, professionals, and studio executives, we can accomplish great things.”
With over 140 registered members in their directory, the AWFC offers the only resource for filmmakers to discover and research women film, television, video game and media composers. In 2016, the AWFC’s efforts to increase the visibility of women composers within the industry have included the addition of women to discussion panel and presentations during major festivals and conferences such as: Cannes International Film Festival, Krakow Film Music Festival, San Diego Comic-Con International, Game Developers Conference (“GDC”), Soundtrack Cologne, California Copyright Conference and more. The visibility from these events has generated growing coverage of women composers with articles featured in Emmy Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard Magazine and Variety. The second annual “Alliance for Women Film Composers Sundance Film Festival Brunch” was a huge success, giving independent filmmakers the opportunity to meet with women composers in Park City.
Culminating efforts in 2016 took shape with The Women Who Score: Soundtracks Live, an orchestral concert produced in co-operation with Grand Performances. With the partnership of The Film Music Society and White Bear PR, and the support of numerous sponsors, including support from major studios like Warner Bros, Walt Disney Pictures, 20thCentury Fox, and Sony Pictures, the resulting project highlighted the work of 20 of the industry’s leading women composers.
2017 will see the AWFC turn to education, mentorship and compelling conversations to give members the tools to work in the Entertainment Industry. Established composers will host intimate events in their studios to emerging composers to explain their set-up, their process and teach composing techniques. In addition, the AWFC will host monthly breakfasts in varying locations around Los Angeles to discuss topics of interest from technology, to the art of pitching, to childcare in the workplace and more.
And finally, to punctuate the importance and success of the AWFC’s first year, a wonderful honor has been bestowed upon Laura Karpman. In July, Laura was elected to the Music Branch of the Board of Governors for the Academy for Motions Picture Arts and Sciences. As a founding member of the AWFC, it is clear that Laura’s visionary passion for diversity will be a valuable addition to this institution.