Professor Annette Insdorf Receives 92nd Street Y's 2020 Extraordinary Women Award

BY Amanda Breen, November 4, 2020

Professor Annette Insdorf is among the recipients of 92nd Street Y’s 2020 Extraordinary Women Awards, which honor “game-changing and trailblazing women who bring equity, leadership and contributions to their communities and who work to rebuild a world in which we all belong.” This year’s honorees also include Georgette Bennett, founder of the Multi-Faith Alliance for Syrian Refugees; Roxane Gay, acclaimed writer and author; Lisa Lewin, CEO of General Assembly; and Ann Rubenstein Tisch, founder and President of The Student Leadership Network. 


92nd Street Y’s programs and initiatives have supported generations of women and girls. For nearly 150 years, 92nd Street Y has served “its communities and the larger world by bringing people together and providing exceptional, groundbreaking programs in the performing and visual arts; literature and culture; adult and children’s education; talks on a huge range of topics; health and fitness; and Jewish life.” 


A virtual event on November 10, 2020 from 12 pm to 1 pm will celebrate the honorees and raise funds to support 92nd Street Y’s programs for women and girls. ABC News Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang will host; Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Ali Stroker will perform. For every ticket purchased, one will be donated to someone in the 92nd Street Y community who may not be able to afford one. Tickets can be purchased here

Insdorf is the author of Francois Truffaut, Indelible Shadows: Film and Holocaust, Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Philip Kaufman, Intimations: The Cinema of Wojciech Has, and Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes. She is considered an authority on the French New Wave and has provided voice-over commentary for the DVDs of Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, and The Last Metro. She was interviewed in the French documentary Francois Truffaut: Stolen Portraits, and her other DVD commentaries include Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds and Milcho Manchevksi's Before the Rain


Since 1983, Insdorf has hosted "Reel Pieces," the popular and prestigious film series at 92nd Street Y. Her guests have included Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis, Pedro Almodovar, Angelina Jolie, and Al Pacino. She is Executive Producer of the Academy Award-winning live action short Shoeshine. Insdorf co-hosted BRAVO/IFC’s Cannes Film Festival coverage with Roger Ebert and has appeared on 20/20, Charlie Rose, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Good Morning, America, and CNN.


Insdorf was named Chevalier dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1986. In 1993, she was "knighted" for her educational efforts, and in 1999, she was promoted to "Officer" in the arts. She was honored by Anthology Film Archives in 2004; by the National Arts Club in 2005 (Gold Medal for Contribution to French Culture in the US, jointly with her mother, Dr. Cecile Insdorf); and by the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York in 2008. 


Insdorf served as Columbia University’s Director of Undergraduate Film Studies for 27 years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Award for Excellence in Teaching from Columbia’s School of General Studies. From 1990 to 1995, she was Chair of the Graduate Film Division.