May 19, 2017: Study Finds Women Underrepresented at U.S. Film Festivals, Flooding Leaves Toronto Event Planners Searching for Last-Minute Venues, More Organizations Are Opposing L.A. 2024 Olympic Bid

By Ian Zelaya May 19, 2017, 12:35 PM EDT

1. STUDY FINDS WOMEN UNDERREPRESENTED AT U.S. FILM FESTIVALS: A new study of U.S. film festivals shows that women in director positions and behind-the-scenes roles still lack representation. The New York Times: “The Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University examined 23 festivals held since last June in the United States and found that their programmers selected features directed by men three times as often as those made by women, according to the report released Wednesday. The findings also showed that programmers chose twice as many documentaries directed by men. Over all, 29 percent of the directors of independent movies in these festivals were women, a rise of 1 percentage point over the previous year and an increase of 7 percentage points since 2008-9. Women fared better in another key role—they made up 32 percent of the producers on the films studied (a dip of 1 percentage point since 2008-9). Expanding the view to include whether the festivals’ indie selections employed women in any important behind-the-scene role, like writer or cinematographer, the study found that they accounted for only 28 percent of all those jobs. But that was a recent high—in 2008-9, the figure was 24 percent. The report comes as the Cannes Film Festival gets underway in the south of France. That festival has also been criticized for not including enough female filmmakers. This year, 19 features are competing for the Palme d’Or, only three of which are directed by women.”

2. FLOODING LEAVES TORONTO EVENT PLANNERS SEARCHING FOR LAST-MINUTE VENUES: Ferry service to the Toronto Islands—a popular summer wedding and event spot in the city—has been canceled through June due to flooding, which has left local planners scrambling to find new venues. CBC News: “Meagan Cooper and James Cutler had their wedding set for June 24 at Artscape Gibraltar Point. Cooper said they chose the venue as their wedding location for the 'Canadian atmosphere'—the lake, trees and greenery. But the perfection the couple envisioned was quickly quashed after April's floods washed out the venue's lawns. 'That's where we were going to have the ceremony, where everyone would be eating and dancing,' Cutler told CBC Toronto. A spokesperson for Artscape refused to comment on how many wedding parties have been affected but said it is working with the couples involved to find a different space for their weddings. ... Couples aren't the only ones hit by the costs of the aftermath of the island flooding as event organizers have been left scrambling to cover their losses.  Michelle Cliffe, an organizer who specializes in Toronto Islands events, has already lost approximately $10,000 on cancelled weddings this summer. Cliffe said her losses could continue to mount depending on how long the flood cleanup goes on for, adding 'if I lose all of my weddings to the end of June and into July, it's tens of thousands of dollars for me. It's a big impact, I'm a small business.' Charities that have long depended on a dry start to the summer are also feeling the pinch.  Set Sail for Hope, an event that raises funds for children living with cancer traditionally held on Hanlan's Point also stands to lose revenue due to the floods. It was originally set for June 23 and has now been re-scheduled for Sept. 8."

3. MORE ORGANIZATIONS ARE OPPOSING L.A. 2024 OLYMPIC BID: Eight more groups have joined a political group's opposition to Los Angeles hosting the 2024 Olympics. Los Angeles Times: “The local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America first announced its campaign last week, days before an International Olympic Committee delegation arrived to assess the city’s bid. DSA-LA said its 'NOlympics LA' coalition now includes groups such as Saje, which advocates for tenant rights; Union de Vecinos, a nonprofit organization that works on housing and other issues; and the National Alumni Assn. of the Black Panther Party. The LA 2024 bid committee has responded to the opposition by saying that it has already held dozens of meetings with community groups and is willing to speak with anyone who has concerns about the possibility of hosting the Games. L.A. is competing with Paris and there is a growing chance the IOC will select both cities, giving 2024 to one and 2028 to the other. During a news conference at Staples Center last week, Olympic executive Patrick Baumann was asked if he’d had any contact with DSA-LA. 'None whatsoever,' he said.”


ATLANTA:  Crowne Plaza Atlanta—Midtown and Staybridge Suites Atlanta Midtown have appointed Jim Keller complex general manager. 

BOSTON:  Mandarin Oriental, Boston, has appointed Philipp C. Knuepfer general manager. 

CHICAGO:  Independent trade-show organizer Corcoran Expositions will manage the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine show and the Experimental Biology conference and expo. 

LAS VEGAS:  Caesars Entertainment will launch a $90 million renovation of the Flamingo Las Vegas in August. The renovation, which will involve the hotel's 1,270 rooms, is slated to be complete in the second quarter of 2018. 

LOS ANGELES:  The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens will celebrate its 50th anniversary at its annual Beastly Ball fund-raiser on Saturday. Slash is slated to perform. 

Universal Studios Hollywood will debut “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle,” a light project experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on June 23. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Sugar Factory American Brasserie has appointed Max Santiago corporate pastry chef. 

NEW YORK:  The seventh annual Lower East Side Film Festival will take place June 8-15 at various venues. 

MoMa PS1's outdoor music series Warm Up will kick off its 20th season on July 1, with concerts taking place every Saturday through September 2.

The Lab powered by HP, a curated digital art exhibition featuring New York-based artists, will return to the second annual Panorama music festival July 28-30 at Randall's Island Park. 

Experience! The Finger Lakes will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a culinary festival on June 18 at Ithaca Commons. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  A new Sesame Street theme park is slated to open at SeaWorld by fall 2022. Orlando Sentinel:

TORONTO:  Toronto Life's first-ever Doughnut Festival will take place June 25 at Dufferin Mall. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue