The Women Texas Film Festival announced today that Studio Movie Grill (SMG) will be the presenting sponsor for this year’s edition of the critically acclaimed film festival. WTxFF also announced that film festival and film production veteran Vanessa Cook has come onboard as the festival’s Executive Director.
WTxFF Founder and Artistic Director Justina Walford said, “Having an organization like Studio Movie Grill as a presenting sponsor for WTxFF is about as good as it gets for a film festival like ours looking to grow and form alliances with major companies of great integrity. The idea of presenting our films at one of their state-of-the art theaters, and have the SMG brand behind us is a huge thrill. There’s no other way to put it than to say it’s a big seal of approval for us heading into our second year.”
Studio Movie Grill Senior Director, Public Relations & Outreach, Lynne McQuaker added, “With the recent spotlight and discussion of women in the film industry, the success of the female directed WONDER WOMAN, and on the heels of SMG celebrating real life women superheroes, it seemed like the perfect time for us to sponsor the Women Texas Film Festival. WTxFF’s accomplishment in programming original and daring artistic works as they celebrate and promote the women responsible for creating those films, aligns perfectly with SMG’s mission to open hearts and minds, one story at a time and to leave a positive wake.”
The SMG sponsorship is part of the dynamic theatre chain’s outreach program, committed to localizing the SMG brand in the communities they serve. Its goal is to contribute to supporting issues impacting their communities. According to SMG, they want their involvement to extend past the walls of their theaters with an authentic and clear vision to make the world a better place. Their support of the WTxFF mission ensures that female filmmakers, who are largely underrepresented in the industry, have a powerful platform to showcase their unique stories.
WTxFF also announced that Vanessa Cook has been named as the film festival’s Executive Director.
A familiar presence to film productions and festivals in Dallas, Austin, and Los Angeles, Cook has a wealth of experience in filmmaking production and film festival management. Her filmmaking credits span several disciplines, including; writer, director, producer, assistant director, production coordinator and production assistant. She wrote, directed, and produced her own short film/sitcom hybrid (“Breadwinner”), and has served as production assistant on several well-known TV shows, including “The Gifted,” “The Amazing Race,” “Queen of the South,” and “Undercover Boss.” Cook’s sure-handed and level-headed production and management talents have also been at the service of several notable film festivals, among them; the Dallas International Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Lone Star Film Festival, EarthXFilm, and last year’s Women Texas Film Festival. She also served as the print traffic coordinator for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Walford said, “I am ecstatic to have Vanessa Cook as WTxFF Executive Director. Last year, she served as the fest’s executive theater manager and was a primary force in giving our volunteers, patrons and filmmakers an awesome experience. Since accepting the ED post, she has undeniably moved us above and beyond what we accomplished last year. I am grateful to have her as a sister in the future of the film festival.” Cook added, “Females dominated the film industry over a century ago and I think it’s high time we reclaim our position at the top. WTxFF is doing its part by providing a platform for women to shine and I’m absolutely honored to work with this revolutionary organization. I will do everything I can to help our festival succeed and solidify its place within the local film community and national film festival scene. When we succeed, all women succeed."
For more information on the Women Texas Film festival go to WomenTxFF.org.