This past Monday, January 24, 2011, DC-based Lani Hay, President & CEO of Lanmark Technology Inc. hosted a private dinner at Sundance 2012 with ELLE magazine in honor of leading women of the entertainment industry. The exclusive, invite-only event, presented by Morrocan Oil, included the presentation of a Spotlight Initiative award from The Creative Coalition to actress Vera Farmiga (Oscar-nominated actress of Up in the Air).
The evening’s program included opening remarks from actress Alfre Woodard followed by a sizzle reel presentation of Lani Hay’s highly anticipated non-fiction television show entitled “Frogwomen”, which is being platformed as a big observational documentary series testing the mental and physical fortitude of 24 women against a simulated Navy SEAL training program. Due to the 1994 Combat Exclusion policy, as written, it precludes women from being assigned to direct ground combat units, especially within the Special Operations Forces. “Frogwomen” spotlights this current policy prohibiting women from becoming Navy SEALs and seeks to discover women capable of completing the training.
I am honored to be in the company of everyone at this dinner who has achieved extraordinary success in film, especially the women,” remarked Hay to her guests pre-viewing. “I have always been in awe of the complexity of the characters that female actors take on and am in total support of thought provoking roles that go against the grain.”
Hay continued, “My dream was to be a fighter pilot flying for the Navy’s premiere aerial flight team, the Blue Angels. I received an appointment to attend the United States Naval Academy and when I arrived, I was told that I couldn’t fulfill my dream simply because I was a woman. Little did I know that there was a Department of Defense restriction on women’s service called the Combat Exclusion Policy that precluded women from serving in a combat capacity. Needless to say, I was heartbroken.”
Also shown at the dinner was a preview of Anne O’Shea’s (Producer of the acclaimed The Kids Are Alright) highly anticipated The Goat starring Vera Farmiga, Jason Kirk, Ty Burrell, Kerri Russell and David Duchovny.
The night concluded with a public thank you to celebrity chef Todd English of Olives restaurant, by Lani Hay, for preparing the gourmet four-course dinner on site for the some 100 high-profile industry guests. Other famous attendees included actors Tim Daly, Kaycee Stroh, Nia Vardalos, Carol Kane and Sharon Lawrence among others.