WIFT - FL Muse Award

Women in Film & Television Florida is excited to continue with our rich tradition of honoring and supporting our local production crew and have added the Muse Award as an honor bestowed upon a deserving member of the Florida production community. In keeping with tradition of other WIFT Branches around the country, The Board of WIFT Florida honors a Muse each year at the annual Jingle Mingle event.

What is the definition of a Muse? 

The WIFT-FL Muse Award is dedicated to those who share and provide enjoyment of all entertainment art forms.  Our selections are experts in their fields, and they come from all directions of Florida, with the common interest in improving the art form, raising its standards and inspiring all those who have found themselves on this creative and rewarding path.

2018 Muse Award Winner

Karen Hall

Karen Hall was honored by WIFT in its inaugural Muse Award as an extraordinary and prolific writer for both television and film. She has been a trailblazer from the very beginning of her career as the only female writer for the highly acclaimed program, M*A*S*H. We honor her dedication as a screenwriter, producer, and show runner on numerous productions including Hill Street Blues, Northern Exposure, Roseanne, and The Good Wife. Over the course of her career, she has received 6 Emmy nominations and 7 Writer’s Guild Awards nominations. She won the Writers Guild Award for her work on Hill Street Blues. She was recently named a juror for The Peabody awards. Ms. Hall lives in Windemere, FL with her family and is developing content for her production company, New Voyage Productions. Hall is truly WIFT Florida’s muse. It is our honor to welcome her at Jingle Mingle and to present her with the 2018 Muse Award.

2019 Muse Award Winner

Elayne Schneiderman Schmidt

Elayne Schneiderman Schmidt was honored by WIFT as their 2019 Muse Award winner.  A renowned line producer and production manager, her 40+ credits include such blockbuster films as I Am Number Four, Academy Award nominated Ali, six-time Academy Award Nominee Up In The Air , the Cameron Diaz/Shirley MacLaine hit In Her Shoes, the Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick, Jr. romantic comedy New In Town, the Robin Williams smash hit (and Academy Award nominee) The Birdcage, and Entourage, the film adaptation of HBO’s hit series. Her television credits include Reno 911, CSI: Miami, South Beach, and Miami Vice, where she began her career as assistant to producers Michael Mann and John Nicollela.

While Elayne’s production services have been sought out by legendary filmmakers J. J.Abrams and Michael Bay, in 2011, Elayne decided to bring her considerable expertise tothe independent film world and focus on smaller projects (under $20 million), with exceptional stories and potential for both film festival accolades and cross-over appeal for mainstream audiences. Elayne has broken barriers in the past few years with her creative producing for independent films such as “Moonlight” and “The Florida Project,” using her skills to give these low budget films a competitive edge in the arena with much larger productions.

2020/2021 Muse Award Winner

Diane Kirman

Diane Kirman was presented the 2020 Muse Award during the virtual Jingle Mingle.  Diane is a producer and founder of Code7 Films, who's passion is filming around the world. As an independent film producer with 20 years of experience, her films have placed number one in network time slots airing on ABC and NBC as well as digital platforms including Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, Disney and Hulu.

She grew up in Philadelphia and after graduating with a BS and MS degree from Penn State she started a casting company whose credits included: Rocky V, Mannequin on the Move, Rat Race, ABC After School Specials, Super Force, Grizzly Falls, Lost in Africa and over 100 national commercials. She has cast projects for MGM, Universal, ABC and Disney.  After moving to Los Angeles she began a career in producing.

She has taken films from concept to worldwide distribution overseeing all areas of film production in addition to fund-sourcing and aftermarket management. With a zest for travel and the challenge of distant locations, her productions have taken her to Africa, Thailand, Canada, Nassau, Puerto Rico, England, and throughout the US. She is experienced in rebates, and building a worldwide production team with credits on films and TV shows for major film studios.  The New Swiss Family Robinson produced by Kirman was the highest rated show for Disney ABC in its time slot.

As founder of Code 7 Films, Diane has built a global production company with a team of multi-talented industry professionals and an educational division to mentor and support new filmmakers.

She is a member of Women in Film, The Screen Actors Guild, a graduate of Woody Mosten Mediation training and John Gaskin Film Accountant training. Currently Diane serves as a board member of The Greater Contribution helping to empower women in extreme poverty living in Uganda to start their own businesses with training and micro loans. She has often rescued stray animals and has a heart to make the world a better place for all humans and animals.

2022 Muse Award Winner

Judge Marilyn Milian

“Raise your right hand,” Judge Marilyn Milian bangs the gavel on the bench of the multiple Emmy award winning “The People’s Court.”  When asked how long she will continue to preside over “The People’s Court” Milian laughingly responds, “when they pry my cold white knuckles off the gavel.” Milian continues to resolve complex cases with compassion while offering sound legal knowledge to all of the litigants that appear before her.  Milian’s advice to litigants: “Social media is a valuable courtroom tool. Posts, tweets and photos can be used as evidence to prove your case so don’t get rid of them! And remember, say it forget it, write it regret it!”

Judge Milian is honored to be the first Latina Judge to host a nationally syndicated television court show.  In the courtroom, Milian often uses pearls of wisdom recalled from her Cuban mother and grandmother when addressing litigants.  Milian proudly admits she gets her feistiness from her mother and her drive from her father. 

Judge Milian has enjoyed major media exposure including appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Rachael Ray,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “TMZ,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Judge Milian is a well-versed legal expert appearing on many news outlets including FOX News, CNN and HLN. Milian is a pursued interview subject and has been profiled in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Miami Herald, People, People en Espanol, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, InTouch, Elle, Vibe, Latina, Vanidades, and Glamour, among others.  In addition, Judge Milian has appeared on “Last Comic Standing” and in several episodes of “George Lopez.”

Originally from Queens, NY, Milian moved to Miami with her family when she was eight years old.  Milian received her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, where she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade average.  She then attended Georgetown Law School, where she earned her law degree and graduated cum laude at the age of 23.

Milian spent a year working at Harvard Law School, where she served as director of training for the Guatemala Project.  She was responsible for training the Guatemalan trial judiciary, defense, and prosecution bar in investigatory and trial techniques.     

Judge Milian served as an Assistant State Attorney from 1984-1994, appointed by Miami-Dade State Attorney Janet Reno. In 1994 she was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the County Court bench, and assigned to the Domestic Violence, Civil and Criminal Divisions. In 1999 Governor Jeb Bush elevated her to the Circuit Court bench, where she handled complex criminal cases, including death penalty litigation.

Judge Milian is well known for her dedication to the Hispanic community and a strong voice against domestic violence.  She has served as emcee for countless charitable causes, including March of Dimes, The Lighthouse for the Blind, The Latino Commission on AIDS, The Miami-Dade County Teachers Awards, Hope for Vision, and the South Florida Children’s Home Society.  She was an honorary host for National Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger’s annual celebration of the South Florida Inner-City Games.  Judge Milian and her family are actively involved in supporting the Children’s Cancer Center’s Summer Camp, hosting “Camp Court” mock trials of camp counselors by the young campers.

Out of the courtroom Judge Milian treasures time with her family including her husband John Schlesinger, and their three daughters Cristina, Alexandra and Sofia.

2023 Muse Award Winner

Susan Simms 

For her many years of support of WIFT-FL is dedicated to those Florida residents who share and provide enjoyment of all entertainment art forms.  Our selections are experts in their fields, and they come from all directions of Florida, with a common interest in improving the art form, raising its standards, and inspiring all those who have found themselves on this creative and rewarding path.

WIFT-Florida  P.O. Box 533541 Orlando, FL 32853-3541

©2018 Women in Film & Television Florida

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