WEEK IN WOMEN: Debbie Allen gets TV Academy Governors Award at Emmys – Brandy McDonnell reports

The Television Academy has announced that entertainment industry trailblazer Debbie Allen will receive the 2021 Governors Award in recognition of her numerous contributions to the television medium through multiple creative forms and her philanthropic endeavors around the world. The entertainment icon was chosen by the Television Academy’s Board of Governors for her unprecedented achievements in television and her commitment to inspire and engage marginalized youth through dance, theater arts and mentorship.

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SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Although the movie rightly stays focused on Shang-Chi’s journey, he gets plenty of much-needed help from the capable, caring and powerful women in his life. As expected, Awkwafina’s Katy is funny, but she’s more than just comic relief. She’s relatable, loyal and resourceful, with a penchant for joy-riding that comes in handy.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Jennifer Garner’s Netflix partnership includes YES DAY sequel – Brandy McDonnell reports

Netflix and Jennifer Garner will continue to work together through a new partnership across multiple new films for Garner to star in and produce. The deal builds on Netflix’s relationship with the four-time Primetime Emmy Award-nominated performer, who starred in and produced Yes Day, a family comedy also starring Edgar Ramirez and Jenna Ortega.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sydney Freeland to helm basketball drama REZ BALL – Brandy McDonnell reports

Navajo director Sydney Freeland (Drunktown’s Finest) is helming the Native American basketball drama Rez Ball. The film follows the Chuska Warriors, a Native American high school basketball team from Chuska, New Mexico, that must band together after losing their star player if they want to keep their quest for a state championship alive. It’s an all-American underdog story about Navajo kids and coaches told from the inside-out.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Gotham Awards eliminating gendered acting categories -Brandy McDonnell reports

The New York-based Gotham Film & Media Institute has announced that, beginning this year, its Gotham Awards for acting will no longer be defined by gender. The Best Actor and Best Actress categories for independent feature films will be replaced with Outstanding Lead Performance and Outstanding Supporting Performance. The move to introduce gender-neutral lead and supporting acting awards builds on the legacy of the now 24-year-old Gotham Breakthrough Actor Award – to be renamed “Gotham Breakthrough Performer Award” as of this year – which has been gender-neutral since its inception.

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Shonda Rhimes: SeriesFest and Shondaland’s Women Directing Mentorship

SeriesFest and Shondaland have partnered for the past two years on the Women Directing Mentorship, a competition designed to discover aspiring women directors with a unique voice and provide a launchpad for their career. The Women Directing Mentorship is anchored with the opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland original series.

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