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About the Focus on Women Committee

Originally a sub-committee of the Eastern Directors Council, in 2020 the Focus on Women Committee (FOWC) was designated an official and permanent committee of the DGA National Board for women members residing in the Eastern Region.
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History of the Focus on Women Committee

The Focus on Women Committee was founded in 2009, when then-Eastern Directors Council (EDC) Chair Steven Soderbergh formalized the work of a group of members by establishing a committee to explore ways to educate, inform, address the concerns of and create opportunities for women directors.

For over a decade, Focus on Women was an Eastern Directors Council sub-committee made up of a small group of invited director members with co-chairs selected by the chair of the EDC. After approval by the DGA National Board at its October 17, 2020 meeting, Focus on Women is now an official and permanent committee of the National Board. In its new form, the Focus on Women Committee, now open to all female Eastern Region members, is dedicated to empowering and advancing the professional interests of female members in all Guild categories, and to promoting and working for employment equity throughout the entertainment industry.

The current Co-Chairs of the FOWC are Directors Maggie Greenwald and Annetta Marion and Associate Director Joyce Thomas. Director Nora Gerard serves as the Alternate Co-Chair. The Committee's Category Reps are Lily Olszewski (Director), Lyn Pinezich (AD/UPM) and April Smith (AD/SM/PA).

Past Co-Chairs of the Committee include Directors Linda Laundra, Laura Belsey and Rosemary Rodriguez. 

For more information about the Focus on Women Committee contact DGA Assistant Executive Director Michael Berger or DGA Manager, Eastern Events, Suci Madjidji at (212) 258-0810 (

DGA Members: Please log in for meeting times and other Focus on Women Committee information.


Michael Berger
Associate Eastern Executive Director
(212) 258-0802
Suci Madjidji
Manager, Eastern Events
(212) 258-0810
Committee Chairs
Lily Olszewski
Director Category Representative
Lyn Pinezich
AD/UPM Category Representative
April Smith
AD/SM/PA Category Representative
DGA Diversity & Inclusion Mission Statement
Joyce Thomas

Associate Director Joyce Thomas reflects on her 30-year career as an Associate Director with CBS and her distinguished service as a Guild leader.

Mary Rae Thewlis

Mary Rae Thewlis discusses her 25-plus year career as a unit production manager, including her work on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Americans; as well as her extensive Guild involvement.

Mira Nair

Mira Nair discusses her 35-plus-year directorial career, highlighting her documentaries (Jama Masjid Street Journal, India Cabaret), independent features (Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding), and studio features (Vanity Fair, Amelia, Queen of Katwe).

Esperanza “Candy” Martinez

Veteran news associate director and stage manager Esperanza “Candy” Martinez discusses her long career working for the news crew of WABC in New York, her mentorship of new directors, and her “passion projects” directing documentaries on African-American quilt making.