The $25,000 (£15,625) award, dubbed The Nora, will be handed to a female writer or director who "embodies the spirit and vision" of the Sleepless In Seattle filmmaker, who lost her battle with cancer last June (12).
The recipient of the first accolade is to be named at the annual Women's Filmmaker Brunch on 25 April (13).
The festival's co-founder Jane Rosenthal, who will present the inaugural trophy, says, "Nora Ephron's work influenced screenwriters, filmmakers and moviegoers. She was a great friend to the festival since its inception, and I had the privilege to know her and be in absolute awe of her. She did it all brilliantly, with wit and wisdom that went straight to the heart."