Viola Davis, Maria Giulia Maramotti, Elizabeth Debecki Photo: Courtesy

Italian fashion House Max Mara has a history of championing women-centric causes, whether it is their decades-old ethos of making chic, sophisticated clothing for the working woman, initiatives like ‘Max Mara Art Prize for Women’, or their patronage of non-profit organizations like ‘Women in Film’, which advocates for women in the media and honours their outstanding achievements.

The non-profit organization, Women In Film Los Angeles, has been partnered with Max Mara since 2003, three years before the brand established a new honour for the organization’s annual Award Gala – The Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award. Previous honourees include Emily Blunt, Elizabeth Banks, Zoe Saldana, Katie Holmes, and Rose Byrne. 

Photo: Courtesy

This year’s Gala took place on 12th June, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Co-chaired by Amy Baer, Esther Chang, Hannah Minghella, and Talitha Watkins, and hosted by actress Xosha Roquemore, the gala was a star-studded celebration of women and their film careers, full of empowering moments.

The Winners

This year’s winner of the Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award is Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who shot to fame with her role in “The Great Gatsby” alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Leonardo Dicaprio. Debicki attended the gala in a satin, jewel-toned gown, showcasing a timeless and elegant look that reflected the actress’s personal style.

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In her speech, Debicki delivered an inspiring message about resisting the pressure on women to downplay their own achievements. She said, “I was taught by a system that tells women that they should achieve with a kind of humility, and with a kind of silent gratitude, for what we’re given, which actually stung me a bit and made me realize how important it is for me to personally work at shirking that off.”

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Other honourees include Hollywood-favourite Amy Poehler, who was presented  with the Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award by Natasha Lyonne, and ended her acceptance speech with an expression of gratitude, “To all the mothers, all the sons, all the brothers here tonight, all my sisters in arms — thank you, thank you.”

Comedian Issa Rae was presented with the Emerging Entrepreneur Award, and gave a tongue-in-cheek speech that quickly went viral on Instagram. Injecting her speech with humorous jabs, she said to resounding applause, “I’m the first, so you future hoes need to bow down. I’m closing all doors behind me, so if you didn’t make it in, oops, your bad! You’re out!”

    • Oscar-winning producer and outgoing Women In Film board preside bt Cathy Schulman was presented with an Award for Advocacy in Entertainment by Viola Davis. In her moving and empowering acceptance speech, Schulman said, “Inclusion is what happens when diverse people are actually present in equal numbers in decision making and heard — when their diverse, opinions are taken seriously and considered equally.

The Cocktails

Max Mara followed the Women In FilmGala with another celebration of their own – an exclusive cocktail event held the next day at the luxurious Chateau Marmont hotel. Hosted by Max Mara’s Maria Giulia Maramotti and InStyle Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown, the party saw guests streaming into the white rose-dotted gardens of the hotel.

Guests included actors like Olivia Wilde and January Jones, #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke, filmmakers, fashion industrialists, and a plethora of women who came together to celebrate success, and sisterhood.

Olivia Wilde. Photo: Courtesy

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