Carmen Larios and Selina Nederhand received the Woman of the Year award. Fidela Navarro, who was unable to attend, will receive the award at the WAWA meeting in January 2024

WAWA celebrated the strength of the union after choosing Carmen Larios, Selina Nederhand, and Fidela Navarro as Woman of the Year 2023
17 de noviembre de 2023

Stronger Together, the phrase that has become the slogan of the Worldwide Audiovisual Women’s Association (WAWA) since the pandemic, was filled with significance during the event held by the organization born in MIP Cancun seven years ago and which gathered more than 500 members in over 70 cities of 41 countries of the world.

For the first time, they celebrated the event Woman of the Year outside Miami, in a Latin American country, and for the first time, they chose three women instead of one, for this distinction. The three nominees, Carmen Larios, Selina Nederhand, and Fidela Navarro, were declared “Woman of the Year” after a tied vote.

Larios and Nederhand went together to the stage, embraced, and expressed feeling happy to share the honor. Fidela Navarro was unable to attend MIP Cancun, but was applauded by the entire room.

The event was full of emotions and demonstrated the strength of these women, who have managed to create different events and emerged stronger after the pandemic: spaces to share in traditional markets, distribution models and the creation of content, learning meetings, and valuing other women, and accompanying other women who are starting out in the market.

The WAWA Business Forum Market, which in 2024 will have its 4th edition, WAWA Business Forum Lab Mentoring Program, the mentoring program that this year brought eight women to MIP Cancun and will take another group to Miami in January; Content Hunter, a space that promotes the presentation of content to decision-makers, First Look Turkey, to present Turkish content, Inspiring Minds, in which there are conversations with women who are an example in the industry, Meet & Greet members; face-to-face networking meetings, among others.

They announced their pavilions in the NATPE and Content Americas markets next January, in addition to the mentoring plan that will take place in Miami, with FIU. “I am a person who believes that actions speak louder than words,” said Roxana Rotundo, Chair of the Board of the organization, when sharing the creative and organizational capability of the organization that expresses with facts that "together we are stronger".

In the event, which was full of memorable moments, WAWA's four values were emphasized: leadership, ethics, diversity, and commitment, values presented by Vanessa Velasquez, María Elena Paniza, Maria Eugenia Muci, and Emilia Nuccio. They also stated that the three women chosen as Woman of the Year are examples of these values.

The mentoring program, presented by Kathy Cardenas, is a summary of these values, in addition to WAWA goals, such as the creation of networks, the promotion of businesses among women, and the aid and sorority, to face a changing and difficult industry.

This year, eight women were selected, seven of whom attended the event: Angela Andrade, Denisse Nilo, Marina Lande, Natalia Freire, Dalmira Tobal, Gabriela Marcos Payton, and Vanessa Castaños. This trip was not without its difficulties: it was not easy to bring Marina Lande from Israel, in the middle of the war, while Yackelin Ureña, from Panama, sent a recorded message, as she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. “The day they read the biopsy was when they gave me the news of the WAWA award. I have reserved my status, but I consider them my sisters. I ask you to take advantage of every microsecond of this opportunity” said Ureña, who could not attend the event for this reason.

Carolina Cordero, general manager of WAWA, who has accompanied the scholarship recipients throughout the entire process, said that those who were able to attend are presenting to the industry in MIP Cancun the project that Ureña was unable to, called Arponero, “because together we can all be stronger” she commented, after expressing that they hope next year Yackelin will be healthy and they will be able to embrace her in person.

An emotional recorded message from the previous five women of the year was also shown: Blanca Ponce, Analida López, Cecilia Galeana, Cynthia Hudson and Giselle González. And a heartfelt tribute was paid to Ana Piñeres, founder of CMO Producciones, who died in March 2023.

Watch the gallery of the WAWA event in the context of MIP Cancun

EN VIVO during the WAWA event in the context of MIP Cancun

EN VIVO with Gabriela Marcos Payton, northern Mexican screenwriter and director winner of WAWA Lab from #MIPCancun

EN VIVO with Denisse Nilo, Chilean director, and scriptwriter, winner of the WAWA Lab pitchings in #MIPCancun

EN VIVO with Natalia Freire, executive producer of Vitruvio Producciones in #MIPCancun

EN VIVO with Marina Lande, director, scriptwriter, and producer of GLG Contenidos in #MIPCancun