An Academy Event Turns Into a Post-Strike Celebration

The Academy’s Women’s Luncheon is an annual celebration of women in the industry, but this year’s event, held Thursday just hours after the end of the 118-day actors strike, was buzzing with added excitement.

Held on the Academy Museum’s picturesque open-air rooftop and presented by Chanel, the event highlights the Academy’s Gold Fellowship for Women recipients, but also brings out plenty of A-list actors, with this year’s attendees including Annette Bening, Kristen Stewart, America Ferrera, Riley Keough, Lupita Nyong’o, Lily-Rose Depp, and Greta Lee. “Today is truly a day of celebration. The energy in this room is electric. If we had a roof, we would be blowing it off,” said Academy president Janet Yang in her opening remarks. “We are all eager to get back to work and we at the Academy are particularly thrilled that our industry is once again united.”

Janet Yang and Kristen Stewart

Stefanie Keenan

Between courses and speeches, much of the Chanel-clad room – which included top executives, producers, agents and craftspeople – was talking about the end of the actors strike and the next steps for the industry to get back to work. “Morale has really lifted,” said one publicist during the welcome cocktail hour.

It was also the first major event where talent with awards films in this year’s race could talk openly about their projects. Annette Bening, who stars in Netflix’s Nyad as long distance swimmer Diane Nyad, opened her speech by saying, “It’s wonderful to be here. It’s good to be out and about.” Bening was on hand to introduce one of the two fellowship winners, filmmaker Erica Eng, who will receive mentorship opportunities and a prize of $35,000.

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