Refinery29 turned its annual NewFronts presentation into a party for women.
The digital lifestyle brand hosted advertisers at Terminal 5 in New York on Wednesday at a presentation that included musical performances and the reveal of a slate of female-focused projects. "Elevating women's voices benefits everyone, it benefits the world," co-CEO Philippe von Borries told the crowd as he welcomed them to the event.
The company, which is expanding its longform programming efforts, is planning an anthology series, Fabled, from executive producers Zosia Mamet (Girls) and Evan Jonigkeit that will reimagine classic fairytales in alternate realities. It also has docuseries Girly in the works from Fictionless Films and executive producer Rashida Jones about girls who refuse to stand on the sidelines.
Chief content officer Amy Emmerich, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the event, said she feels it is Refinery29's responsibility to support the voices of female filmmakers. "I don't know how we can stand for women and representation for women if we're not pushing those further," she added.
Refinery29 began producing shortform digital video two years ago. Today, it claims a global footprint of 500 million across platforms.
Last year, the company premiered short films from Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny that hail from its incubator series ShatterBox Anthology. The 12 shorts that are part of ShatterBox have been viewed 15 million times, the company announced. Building on that initiative, Refinery29 is launching a music video series, Soundscape, that will team female filmmakers with up-and-coming musicians to create music videos. Willow Smith is executive producing the project.
This year, Refinery29 is also adding to its initiatives with the RIOT Writer's Room, a two-day comedy workshop created in partnership with TBS that will feature professional mentors including Sasheer Zamata. The writers will pitch their ideas to network execs, and one person will have the chance to pilot her project.
Other projects include The Drop, which will feature music videos from female artists starting with the latest video from Evan Rachel Wood's band Rebel and a Basketcase. The group was expected to make a appearance at Refinery29's event to perform their single "Today." Sisters Chloe x Halle also performed during the presentation.