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Sundance Women of Worth "Vision" Award to Tia Lessin

The L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth "Vision" Award was presented to Tia Lessin, the documentary filmmaker of Trouble the Water, at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The presentation took place on Monday, January 21st as a highlight of Variety's annual "10 Directors to Watch" event. The award, including a $15,000 donation to the filmmaker, was presented by actress and L'Oreal Paris spokesperson Andie MacDowell and Jane Fleming, president of Women In Film.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

Filmmaker Tia Lessin was chosen by a jury comprised of members of Women In Film, a non-profit organization devoted to the development, support, and promotion of women in the field of entertainment. Her film, Trouble the Water, follows Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband Scott both during and after Hurricane Katrina as they battle floodwaters, government neglect, and financial hardship with a grace and spirit that inspires even the most jaded heart.

As one of the Sundance Film Festival's sponsors, L'Oreal Paris created the Women of Worth "Vision" award to honor a female filmmaker whose work reflects the spirit of L'Oreal Paris' Women of Worth initiative, which was inspired by the signature phrase "Because You're Worth It." The program recognizes women from around the country who serve their communities, inspire others by example, and have an innate sense of social responsibility and act on it.

"As a proud spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris, I have communicated the "Because You're Worth It" message many times, and know firsthand how empowering it is to say, and how empowering it feels," said Andie MacDowell at Variety's event.

"On behalf of Women In Film, I want to say thank you to L'Oreal Paris for its commitment to women and for providing this very important grant to recognize remarkable female filmmakers. I am proud that together, we can recognize a filmmaker who has collaborated in creating a beautiful and touching film that sheds much needed light and humanity on the plight of New Orleans and its citizens," said Jane Fleming.

L'Oreal Paris teamed with Women In Film for this selection process because, for 35 years, Women In Film has been committed to creating opportunities for women in the entertainment business and nurturing their independent vision. Tia Lessin received a $15,000 cash award from L'Oreal Paris to help further her creative vision through filmmaking. The first L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth "Vision" Award was presented to Screenwriter Cherien Dabis at the Tribeca All Access awards ceremony at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2007.

About L'Oreal Paris:

The L'Oreal Paris brand encompasses the four major beauty categories -- haircolor, cosmetics, haircare, and skincare -- and includes such well-known brands as Preference, Excellence, Natural Match, Feria, and Couleur Experte haircolors; VIVE Pro, Studio Line, and L'Oreal Kids hair care; Dermo-Expertise skin care, including Advanced Revitalift, Age Perfect, Men's Expert, Skin Genesis, Sublime Glow and Sublime Bronze; and L'Oreal Paris Cosmetics, including Colour Riche, True Match, Bare Naturale, and Wear Infinite collections, Voluminous, Double Extend, Telescopic, and Volume Shocking mascaras, among many others, and the HIP High Intensity Pigments line.

About Women of Worth:

The Women of Worth initiative is inspired by L'Oreal Paris' iconic signature phrase, "Because I'm Worth It" and recognizes the achievements of real women who embody the spirit of the L'Oreal brand -- women who possess self-confidence and are committed to distinguishing their lives by making a difference in the lives of others.

In 2007, 13 women were recognized for their work and each received a $2,500 donation on behalf of the charity that they work with. A matching donation was made to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the ten-year charitable partner of L'Oreal Paris. One woman among the 13 was selected as the national honoree by an online vote open to the public and received an additional $25,000 donation in her name to her charity. Visit for more information.

About Women In Film:

Women In Film is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communications and media industries and to preserving the legacy of women within those industries.

Founded in 1973, Women In Film and its Women In Film Foundation provide members with an extensive network of contacts, educational programs, scholarships, film finishing funds and grants, access to employment opportunities, mentorships and numerous practical services in support of this mission.

In the independent film world, WIF focuses on assisting female independent filmmakers who have exhibited advanced and innovative skills, specifically through its Film Finishing Fund and award-winning PSA Program.

From Left: Jane Fleming, president of Women In Film, with L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth 'Vision' winner Tia Lessin and L'Oréal Paris spokesperson Andie MacDowell.

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