Friday, October 31, 2014

WIF Chicago to Honor Four Amazing Women at Annual Focus Awards on November 5, at Museum of Broadcast Communications (Chicago,IL)

WIF Chicago to recognize Hollywood Director and former Chicagoan Shira Piven, others.

 WIF Chicago is proud to recognize the achievements of its colleagues in the creative arts during its renowned Focus Awards gala which will take place at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State Street in Chicago. The public and the press is invited to show their support for these amazing women - who through their remarkable work in the film, television and advertising industries, continue to make Chicago proud. For more gala information and to purchase tickets visit:

Honorees include Hollywood film and theater Director Shira Piven; Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett U.S.A, Susan Credle; Creative Director and Owner of Sarofsky Corp --Erin Sarofsky; and award-winning independent film producer, Christina Varotsis.

“The Focus Awards is our organization’s major fundraiser and serves two purposes,” says Megan Maples, president of Women In Film Chicago. “One, to raise the necessary capital to provide quality programming, networking and mentorship opportunities for women in the advertising, film and television industries and two, to highlight the phenomenal Chicago women who are out there changing the conversation with their amazing accomplishments.”

About our Honorees:
Shira Piven recently directed her second feature, Welcome To Me, starring Kristen Wiig. Her first feature, Fully Loaded, won the audience favorite feature award at Palm Beach International Film Festival as well as best feature at both The River's Edge International and Carmel Art and Film Festivals. It was also featured at the Boston, San Luis Obispo, Talking Pictures and Newport Beach film festivals and released by Starz. She also directed a short documentary, The Beast and The Angel, that premiered at the Lincoln Center Film Society and aired on PBS.
Piven’s other film and digital credits include the co-created shorts, That’s Not Racist, The Dog Park, Self Help Group and the short trilogy I Human. She also directed and was a contributing writer for 12 episodes of the political web series Tastes Like Home. She also created film sequences for the plays Shoemakers, Tastes Like Home, and has completed preliminary filming on a feature length documentary The Perfect Conversation, in collaboration with Jeremy Piven and Tarvis Watson.  She also contributes her time to the Actors Gang prison project, teaching commedia dell'arte to inmates in prison, and at Homeboys industries to former LA Gang members. She is married to filmmaker Adam McKay and they have two daughters.

Susan Credle serves as Chief Creative Officer of US at Leo Burnett Worldwide. Since Susan joined Leo Burnett in the fall of 2009, she has led and inspired the creative teams behind legacy-respecting yet forward-looking campaigns like McDonald's Happy Meal "Happy Tales," Kellogg's Special K "What Will You Gain When You Lose?" and Allstate's "Mayhem."

Erin Sarofsky is the president, owner, and creative director of Sarofsky Corp., which specializes in live action production, visual effects, 3D development, design, animation and editorial for the entertainment and advertising communities.  In addition to working on commercial spots for brands like Verizon, Capital One and Walgreens, Sarofsky Corp., has produced the main titles for Shameless, The Killing, Community, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine Nine and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 
Christina Varotsis is an award-winning producer, who most recently finished work on Lost River, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut starring Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendes. Lost River was an official 2014 Cannes selection. Christina's past film work includes The Rite (2011), A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011); her television credits include the shows Sirens and Shameless.

About WIF Chicago
For more than 30 years, Women in Film Chicago has been building a global community of film, television, advertising, digital and on screen media professionals. With 6,800 members in the United States and 12,000 members internationally, Women in Film Chicago is the preeminent organization for the advancement of women in these industries.

Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization for all creative content professionals.  WIF Chicago provides a dynamic network to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opportunities and builds a solid educational platform to accelerate the professional development of our members.

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