Nashville Women in Film & Television Celebrate Successful Debut of Women’s Conference In Nashville

Nashville Women in Film & Television Celebrate Successful Debut of Women’s Conference In Nashville
The inaugural Southern Women In Film & Television (SWIFT) Summit hosted by Nashville Women in Film & Television (WIFT) has wrapped in Nashville, Tennessee to rave reviews and plans for next year's event already on the table.

Press Release ( - NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Apr 01, 2018 - Nearly 200 creatives converged in Nashville for the inaugural Southern Women In Film & Television (SWIFT) Summit.  The event, hosted by Nashville Women in Film & Television (WIFT) at the Hotel Preston, featured industry panels, workshops, and networking events. Additionally, the group debuted a new event for awards season and showcased innovative fashions and exciting new musicians, establishing this as an event for talented women in all arenas.

The summit assembled industry professionals and celebrities from all across the country, and top names from all areas of the entertainment industry to discuss topics ranging from gender disparity, the rise of women directors, film financing and the art of storytelling in any medium.  Speakers and panelists included producer Stephanie Frederic (Girls Trip, Who Killed Tupac?), CMT’s Heather Graffagnino, Hank Erwin (I Can Only Imagine) award-winning producer Carolyn McDonald (Buffalo Soldiers, Fly) and actor Ted Welch (True Blood).

In addition to the informative panels, participants enjoyed inspiration keynote speeches by Allee Sutton-Hethcoat, Miss Tennessee 2017, international motivational speaker, Dale Smith Thomas and NewsChannel5 anchor, Amy Watson.

“I am so proud of the success of the first annual SWIFT Summit and I want to thank all of the people who participated in the panels and workshops,” says Lynda Evjen, President of Nashville Women In Film & Television.  “So many of the participants who came to learn, get inspired, and  network, told us how much they loved the event; and the stars who made the Gala an inspiring night.”

The new awards ceremony, the Women of True Grit Awards Gala, honored women who have achieved success despite challenges and adversity. The evening’s honorees were country icon, Lorrie Morgan, actress/model, Jennifer O’Neill, Saturday Night Live alumna, Victoria Jackson; actress JoMarie Payton of Family Matters, and The Proud Family; inspirational recording artists Candy Christmas and Ashley Harris and the inspiration behind the evening’s activities, Ms. Edie Hand.

“It was gratifying to see how my book, ‘Women of True Grit’ was able to come to life and recognize various contributions of women at the Awards Dinner on Saturday evening,” commented Hand, whose book chronicles 40 first-person narratives from women who reached the top of their respective fields, despite adversity.

“The evening honored these women for their tenacity, integrity, and the way they inspired others,” she continued.  “I am so proud of each of them. I was also honored and humbled to receive a Philanthropy Award for the work I’ve done for deserving causes, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

The Summit also offered unforgettable social events, including the Hot Dogs & Popcorn movie night, featuring screenings of films by Carolyn McDonald and Johnny Royal, and not forgetting that Nashville IS music city, the conference included a songwriter showcase, featuring two hit female songwriters, Heidi Raye, and Raquel Cole and recording artist, Hadley Park.

The Saturday Fashion Extravaganza was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.  The show featuring young performance artist, Tandy Turk, was breathtaking, and the runway show featuring Nashville’s most iconic designer, Manuel, showcased many of his designs, which were used in numerous TV shows and films. One of the original masks used by Clayton Moore, TV’s Lone Ranger, was modeled, then auctioned off to benefit Nashville WIFT’s scholarship fund.

“I am so honored to have had the opportunity to perform my fashion show and musical production “PTSD: Prisoners of the Past” at this event,” Turk remarked. “Thank you for hosting this event, WIFT of Nashville and thank you for having Tandy Land Productions!  I’m looking forward to the prospers of the year ahead and what the next SWIFT Summit has in store!”

And keeping with the mission of the organization, local film maker, Meleisha Edwards, was awarded the Nashville WIFT Finishing Fund Grant, receiving $5000 to complete her film, SingleVille, a comedy about the ins and outs of being single in 2018.

Nashville rallied around the organization with sponsorships and in-kind donations. Sponsors and supporters included the local CBS affiliate, Newschannel 5, Hollywood Weekly Magazine, Curb Records, APM Music, SAG-AFTRA, The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., Elite Travel, Northwestern Mutual, Watkins College of Art, Cognitive Dynamics, Hummingbird Productions, Cuestion Tequila, The Edie Hand Foundation and the Dubis Group.

About Nashville Women in Film & Television

Nashville Women in Film and Television is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized and dedicated to advance professional development and achievement for women working in all aspects of film, television and all other screen-based interactive media. The organization is committed to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communications and media industries and to preserving the legacy of women within those industries.
For more info on Nashville WIFT, please visit:

Source : Nashville Women in Film & TV

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