It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DECEMBER 10TH 2017
Passion & Integrity
Commerce & Creativity
Equality Not Hierarchy
Elaine Partnow - United States
Lifetime Achievement Award (Film)
Actress - Author
Elaine Partnow is the recipient of TheWIFTS Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 for her performance in Slipaway, tackling the issue of Alzheimer’s. Partnow’s portrayal is inspiring as she balances the swings and roundabouts of dementia with grace and respect for the complexity suffered by those afflicted with the disease. A long time female activist over the last three decades, she has been promoting women through her book The Quoteable Woman and offering living history portraits of inspiring women through performances in schools and adult extension colleges.
ELAINE’S PARTNOW’S JOURNEY AS A ‘SINGULAR WOMAN AS
AN INDIVIDUAL’ - AS TOLD IN HER OWN WORDS.
“When I was a very little girl, I, evidently, had a repertoire of a number of songs and dances. My parents loved to show me off to family and friends. I have no memory of this; it is what I’ve been told. But, given that, it’s not surprising that I began acting in plays at the local community center when I was eight or nine, a practice I continued throughout my school years. As a senior in high school, I won my first Best Actress award at a city-wide contest held at the Pasadena Playhouse. So why was my father surprised—and vehemently against—my majoring in Theatre Arts at UCLA? His previous pride vanished; instead, he claimed that “all actresses are whores.” But I went ahead and did what I wanted to do, even though he cut me off financially when, at nineteen, I moved into my own apartment. While he and my mom attended all the plays I was in locally—and there were many—it wasn’t until my first book was published, The Quotable Woman, The First 5,000 Years, that he once again expressed pride in my accomplishments. Suddenly, I was legit!
“Switching from acting to writing was almost as difficult as moving from Los Angeles to Louisiana, which my husband ached to do; it is his birthplace. But I managed both. For the next thirty years, I produced 17 books, many of which delved into women’s history. ‘How,’ I often wondered to myself in the early author years, ‘can I breathe life into these women I’m discovering so that more people can know about them?’ I began doing living history portrayals at schools, colleges, community centers, even military bases. Eventually, I developed a repertoire of 40 women, each of whom could be mixed-and-matched with others, depending on the desired theme (i.e., Political Women, Literary Women, etc.). After hundreds of presentations, my husband, a former photographer and cinematographer, and I decided to commit six of these amazing women to film; thus we produced ‘Global Women Speak.’
Now schools, which have precious little money for the arts these days, can purchase my work for far less than a live performance. It has been my privilege to dedicate much of my adult life to raising the voices of women everywhere. I so firmly believe that until and unless there is equality in representation of the sexes in all arenas—government, corporations, educational institutions, et al.—human beings will not be able to reach a higher level of consciousness. “When my husband and I returned to Los Angeles, after thirty years living in Louisiana, Seattle, and northern Florida, I decided to get back in the biz. Acting was my first passion, and the flame still burns brightly. Playing Fall in Slipaway has been the highlight of a renewed career which I am thoroughly enjoying. I love what I do, and I do what I love: who could ask for anything more?”