Celebrating 10 Years of Reel Stories

Published On: October 10, 2023 |

On September 28, we celebrated a significant milestone and gathered at KQED for the second annual Reel Stories Celebration & Awards. It was a night to remember, as we commemorated a decade(!) of Reel Stories programming that has been instrumental in uplifting women, girls, and gender-expansive filmmakers in the Bay Area.

A Decade of Empowering Voices

The evening was not only an awards ceremony but also a celebration of the voices and creativity of women and gender-expansive filmmakers of all ages. In the words of Paula Smith Arrigoni, BAVC Media’s Executive Director, “We celebrated the rebellious act of training young women and nonbinary filmmakers, and a trailblazing group of women and gender expansive artists, collectives, and organizational leaders that have profoundly impacted the Bay Area film community.”

A Night of Recognition and Gratitude

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our dedicated community as well as our exceptional awardees!

These individuals and organizations have been at the forefront of pushing boundaries, telling important stories, and creating a more inclusive film industry. Congratulations!


Lifetime Achievement Award
Sally Jo Fifer

Trailblazer in Fiction Award
Laura Wagner

Excellence in Social Impact Award
Débora Souza Silva and the Black Mothers Love & Resist Impact Team

Collective Power Award
Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

Triple Threat Award
Renée Wilson

Field & Movement Building Award
SF Urban Film Fest

Trailblazer in Documentary Award
Lourdes Portillo

Support Reel Stories

If you are inspired by the work of Reel Stories and wish to support our mission of empowering women, girls, and gender-expansive filmmakers, you can make a donation here. Your contribution will help continue this important work and ensure that diverse voices continue to be uplifted.

Here’s to the next decade of empowering filmmakers and celebrating their creativity, resilience, and impact!

Many thanks to Producer Sponsor LucasFilm

Special thanks as well to event supporters: The Film Collaborative & Justine Jacob

Photos by Reflect Light Photography