BAWIFM began as Cinema Chicks in founding Board Member Liza Maine Seybold’s living room in 2001. In 2003, Liza assembled a board of directors, incorporated as a nonprofit organization and the group officially joined the larger network of Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI.) At that time, our local chapter was called BAWIFT (Bay Area Women in Film and Television.) The first local chapter founded was Women in Film in Los Angeles, and the largest chapter is New York Women in Film and Television. Chapters began to form in metropolitan areas throughout the United States and the world, and WIFTI was formed, the parent network of chapters. Individuals who are members of their local chapter have the additional benefit of being a part of WIFTI. Each chapter pays and annual membership fee to WIFTI.
In January of 2009, we were renamed Bay Area Women in Film & Media (BAWIFM) to better reflect the diversity and growth of the Bay Area as the heart of the digital media and technology industry and the growth of digital media for screen-based media distribution. BAWIFM is currently a non-profit member chapter of Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI,) which has grown into a global network with over 10,000 members combined. WIFTI is dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video, and other screen-based media.
BAWIFM is a run by a volunteer Board of Directors who have each made a two year commitment to BAWFIM, who attend twelve monthly work meetings, and plan and execute monthly events throughout the Bay Area.