In late 2012, while producing a feature film, writer/producer Cornelia Ravenal found that most grants, incubator and financing programs were geared toward young people, rewarding potential rather than experience. Ravenal realized that she was not alone in finding any resources offered to a mid-career film professional.
In January, 2013, she invited two dozen women producers to meet in her home for networking, food and drink. Although Ravenal knew all of the women there, many of them did not know each other. During the dinner meeting they shared insights and experiences working in the entertainment industry. They disucssed the trials and tribulations of being an independent producer, offering each attendee an opportunity to connect on a personal level.
Ravenal dubbed the group the “Women Producers Group” and invited them into her home every month over the next two years. The group grew to include marketing professionals, film festival programmers, plus documentary and narrative creators. Hoping to expand its base, in March 2015 the group joined forces with a sister organization Film Fatales, a similar meetup of creatives who a year ago had exploded onto the industry as a collective supporting female directors. With sub-chapters forming across the U.S. and internationally, to now include documentary filmmakers and cinematographers, there was great potential for brand recognition, growth and support for the newly formed Film Fatales Producer's Chapter. Unfortunately, the merging of the two groups was short lived as it was realized that the inherent needs and path for producers were very different. As Fatales scaled down its organization with a singular focus on directors, the steering committee of the producer’s chapter met to strategically rebrand itself.
Led by co-founders Adetoro Makinde, Brandi Savitt, Cornelia Ravenal, Danelle Eliav, Kelly Bachman, Rachel Watanabe-Batton and Stephanie Dawson, the Women Independent Producers | WIP was officially launched in January 2016 with a mission to support, collaborate and promotes the work of independent producers who identify as women through strategic partnerships and equitable access to resources worldwide.
WIP members comprise of 160 awarding-winning producers having screened approximately 125 films at major festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Berlin, Venice, Cannes and many more. With prestigious nominations, wins and accolades, including Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Gotham and Spirit Awards, WIProducers champion the way of independent filmmaking.