A Star-Studded Night to Remember: Women in Film Hosts The Annual Crystal + Lucy Awards

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CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 16:  Actress Sandra Bullock (L) and honoree Sue Kroll, recipient of The Tiffany & Co. / Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award, pose backstage at the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 16: Actress Sandra Bullock (L) and honoree Sue Kroll, recipient of The Tiffany & Co. / Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award, pose backstage at the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)

On Tuesday evening, June 17th, I had the pleasure of attending The 2015 Women In Film (WIF) Crystal + Lucy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century City. The event was well worth the hefty ticket price, as it brings together some of Hollywood’s most important female power players to honor and celebrate achievements of women in film and television. Inspirational, hysterical, and empowering, WIF gathered a top notch group with the likes of Nicole Kidman, Jill Soloway, and Ava DuVernay to be honored. Not only were the honorees a notable crowd, but also each table was occupied by an array of women in the industry. From female studio executives to agents, all gathered to toast the remarkable work of this year’s honorees.

“There is a lot of power in this room. So much power that we will all be on the same menstruation cycle tomorrow morning.” – Sandra Bullock (presenter of the 2015 Tiffany & Co./Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award)

Helmed and hosted by the tour-de-force, Maria Bello, the honorees were introduced and presented their awards by dear friends and colleagues. Each presenter and honoree’s speech was laced with acerbic wit and a maternal grace, that offered bits of hard-earned wisdom through a lifetime of navigating the tempestuous waters of Hollywood, and boundless gratitude for not only the award, but for the women who helped her get to where she is today. It was as if there weren’t enough compliments to be shared with one another.

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 16:  Host Maria Bello speaks onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 16: Host Maria Bello speaks onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

“Well, there’s no point in my having a memorial service now, because it isn’t going get better than this!” – Toni Howard (recipient of The Sue Mengers Award)

The sheer brilliance and radiance of these ladies was palpable. Laura Linney, speaking with an imperative fervor about longtime friend and agent, Toni Howard, Sandra Bullock throwing the audience into hysterical laughter followed by immediate reverence as she introduced Warner Brothers magnate, Sue Kroll, and Judith Light filling the room with her grace and charm and she introduced this year’s Lucy Award winner, Jill Soloway, for Excellence in Television, all had me near paralyzed with the grand enormity of the evening and accomplishments.

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 16:  Honoree Jill Soloway accepts The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 16: Honoree Jill Soloway accepts The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 16:  Honoree Sue Kroll (L) accepts The Tiffany & Co. / Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award from actress Sandra Bullock onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 16: Honoree Sue Kroll (L) accepts The Tiffany & Co. / Bruce Paltrow Mentorship Award from actress Sandra Bullock onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Women In Film)

Phylicia Rashad presented the BMW Dorothy Arzner Directing Award to acclaimed director, Ava DuVernay, who in turn shared her admiration of Dorothy Arzner and those creatives who have come before us. Nicole Kidman closed the night asking that we not make ourselves less, as she was presented with the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film by longtime Aussie friend, Naomi Watts.

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 16:  Actress Phylicia Rashad (L) and honoree Ava DuVernay, recipient of The BMW Dorothy Arzner Directors Award, pose backstage at the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)

CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 16: Actress Phylicia Rashad (L) and honoree Ava DuVernay, recipient of The BMW Dorothy Arzner Directors Award, pose backstage at the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara, BMW of North America, and Tiffany & Co. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 16, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)

“Let’s stand tall and never, ever apologize for it. The giants who have preceded me on this stage [previous honorees include Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett]have shown us the way. Let’s follow.” – Nicole Kidman.

I highly recommend that you take some time to become a member of Women In Film and plan on seeing me next year at the 2016 Crystal + Lucy Awards. As this truly was, a night to remember.

Meredith Kitz

About Meredith Kitz

Meredith is an actor, theatrical director, and event coordinator living and working in Los Angeles. She has curated numerous fundraisers, private events, and art dinners, as well as directed opera and theater for the stage. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s Directing Program, she has been an active member of the Panoply Performance Lab of New York for ten years. Since 2009, she has helped raise over $20,000 in funding for pancreatic oncology, hosted the art/dinner series Confluence, and volunteers as the Acting Coach for Notre Dame Academy LA. An actor since childhood, she first appeared professionally as Suzy Hendrix in the thriller Wait Until Dark, and received notable reviews for her performance as Lula in a guerilla style production of Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman. You can read her creative and esoteric musings on her blog at meredithkitz.com