Variety Names Shauna Hardy Mishaw Among Top Women Influencers – Jennifer Merin reports

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It comes as no surprise to the Alliance of Women Film Journalists that Shauna Hardy Mishaw, co-founder and Executive Director of Canada’s Whistler Film Festival, has been named in Variety’s International Women’s Impact Report as one of the top women who are influencing and reshaping showbiz around the globe.

Released on March 8, to mark International Women’s Day, the Variety report includes 50 women who “come from all corners of the world, representing the creative and business sectors from China to Nigeria and beyond; their ranks include Oscar and Tony winners, along with power players in executive suites.”

Variety’s entire roster of women influencers — from Indian actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja at #1 to Endeavor Content VP Negeen Yazdiin the UK at #50 — is impressive. Shauna Hardy Mishaw’s spot is #36. But we think she actually tops the list.

“Through our programs,” Mishaw says in the Variety report. “Whistler Film Festival is maintaining a timely leadership role in supporting gender parity, inclusion and diversity in media when the need is not only apparent, the collective is calling for it. This is about systematic change and changing the system, one story at a time.”

AWFJ has had the privilege and pleasure of partnering with Shauna Hardy Mishaw and the Whistler Film Festival team since 2013 to present juried EDA Awards for Best Female Director(s) at the annual festival.

We have witnessed Shauna’s dedication to inclusive programming that recognizes diverse perspectives, with women filmmakers and femme-centric stories always strongly represented. We’ve recognized and applaud Shauna’s determination to create opportunities for emerging artists of all genders, races and ethnicities by profiling her in AWFJ’s October 2018 SPOTLIGHT feature.

Shauna Hardy Mishaw is indeed making an impact in moviemaking in Canada and around the globe.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).