WICT Announces Touchstones Luncheon Keynote Trudie Styler & Honorary Chair Lisa Schwartz

Washington, DC – Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) today announced actress, producer and director Trudie Styler (IFC Films’ Freak Show) will deliver keynote remarks at the Touchstones Luncheon, taking place on Monday, September 25 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. In addition, WICT announced that Board Member Lisa Schwartz, Co-President, Sundance Selects & IFC Films, will serve as the 2017 Touchstones Luncheon Honorary Chair. 
The WICT Touchstones Luncheon is a key component of the WICT Leadership Conference held in conjunction with Cable’s Diversity Week. AMC Networks serves as the Premier Sponsor of the luncheon.
"WICT is delighted to welcome the multi-talented Trudie Styler to the WICT Touchstones Luncheon as we celebrate the honorees of the Woman of the Year and Woman to Watch Awards. Trudie is truly a renaissance woman. Not only is she an accomplished actress, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, she recently made her feature directorial debut with Freak Show, bringing issues of bullying and discrimination to light that affect teens today," said Maria E. Brennan, CAE, WICT President & CEO. "We are also pleased to have Lisa Schwartz serve as our Honorary Chair. Aside from Lisa’s significant accomplishments in the industry, she is a staunch WICT supporter and diversity champion.”

2017 Touchstones Luncheon Honorees

Woman of the Year – Programmer, Sarah Barnett 
President & General Manager, BBC America 

Woman of the Year – Operator, D’Arcy Rudnay 
EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Comcast 

Woman to Watch – Technology, Samira Panah Bakhtiar 
Director, Media Operations, Cisco Systems

Woman to Watch – Operator, Charlene Keys 
AVP, Field Operations – Western North Carolina, Charter Communications

Woman to Watch – Programmer, Tina Thornton 
SVP, Production & Multimedia Sponsorship Integration and Management Operations, ESPN

About Trudie Styler
Styler is co-founder and partner of New York-based production hedge Maven Pictures, the company behind recently acclaimed feature films GIRL MOST LIKELY (2012), starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon; FILTH (2013), starring James McAvoy; BLACK NATIVITY (2013), starring Forest Whitaker; and STILL ALICE (2014), starring Julianne Moore. Styler’s narrative directorial debut, FREAK SHOW, which Maven produced with Flower Films, stars Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson, Laverne Cox, and John McEnroe. The film debuted to a sold-out crowd at the Berlin Film Festival and was purchased for domestic distribution by IFC.
Prior to founding Maven with partner Celine Rattray, Styler’s many feature production credits include Guy Ritchie’s LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (1998) and SNATCH (2000), as well as A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS (2006), starring Robert Downey Jr. and Shia LaBeouf, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, winning both the Directing Award and the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Styler also produced the BAFTA award-winning film MOON (2009), written and directed by Duncan Jones, released by Sony Pictures Classics. Additionally, Styler has produced numerous documentaries, including the award-winning MOVING THE MOUNTAIN and THE LOST ART OF ORATORY (2009), co-produced with the BBC.
In 1989, Styler and her husband Sting started the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia, raising more than $30 million for the cause. As a long-time UNICEF ambassador, Styler has raised millions for their projects around the globe.

About Lisa Schwartz
As Co-President of Sundance Selects and IFC Films, Lisa Schwartz serves as a full partner in all of the company’s operations, including oversight of creative and financial success of the film brands. Additionally, she oversees the division’s strategy for creating and identifying strategic partnerships that provide long-term financial stability for the division. 
Schwartz’s oversight includes domestic and foreign distribution for IFC Films across all platforms, including theatrical, premium VOD, pay TV, digital, mobile, home video, and all emerging new platforms. Schwartz was a key executive in the creation of the new infrastructure within IFC Films to fully develop and maximize the business model for the division’s day and date distribution initiatives. The day and date distribution model was groundbreaking industry first, distributing independent films to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, and has met with great success due to the strong demand for multiplatform content. In 2010, Schwartz also spearheaded the launch of IFC Midnight, a leading U.S. distributor of genre entertainment, including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, erotic art house, action and more, and was one of the key architects behind the launch of Sundance Selects, a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films that focuses on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. In addition, Schwartz led the development of SundanceNow, an online destination where viewers can rent or buy the best in contemporary and classic independent films from all over world.
In 2006, Schwartz joined IFC Films with more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing. Prior to joining the division, she served as senior vice president of national accounts and advanced services for AMC Networks National Affiliate Sales, the national distribution division of IFC Films’ parent company AMC Networks Inc.  There, Schwartz played a significant role in pioneering the introduction of IFC In Theaters and developing key strategies that maximized IFC Films’ relationship with filmmakers and MVPDs. She also managed several national accounts including Comcast corporate for AMC Networks’ TV business units AMC, IFC and WE tv and was responsible for distribution and contract negotiations for all distributors for several of AMC Networks’ VOD services. Previously, Schwartz held various key affiliate distribution positions within the Company.
Schwartz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications from Cabrini College. She has been named to CableFAX’s Most Powerful Women, Multichannel News/WICT Wonder Woman in 2011 and Woman to Watch in 2010. Schwartz is an alumna of CTAM University, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s executive management program at Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Television Academy, New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIF), Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and has served as board President for The Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, an all girl’s Catholic Private School in Bryn Mawr, PA.
About WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications)
WICT’s mission is to create women leaders who transform our industry. We do this by providing unparalleled professional development programs, commissioning original gender research, and supporting a B2B network that helps advance women. For nearly 40 years, WICT has partnered with cable and technology companies to help build a more robust pipeline of women leaders. Founded in 1979, and now over 10,000 members strong, WICT is the largest and oldest professional association serving women in cable media. Comcast NBCUniversal, Charter Communications, and Turner are WICT’s Strategic Touchstone Partners. Please visit www.wict.org or follow @WICT on Twitter for more information.
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