Working to create positive images of girls and women in media and entertainment
Notes from Geena
(LtoR) Bentonville Film Festival President Wendy Guerrero, Writer Nicola Yoon, Director Stella Meghie, Writer and Moderator Malina Saval and Genna Davis Institute on Gender in Media CEO Madeline Di Nonno
We had a wonderful time hosting a screening of "Everything Everything" on Monday evening, followed by a Q&A at ArcLight Cinemas with director Stella Meghie, writer Nicola Yoon, writer and moderator Malina Saval, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media CEO Madeline Di Nonno, and Bentonville Film Festival President Wendy Guerrero. Watch the Q&A.
Disney and the pop music group L2M have teamed up for a new YouTube series called "Hyperlinked," which follows a group of middle school programmers who solve problems with their tech skills. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is part of an advisory council for the series, along with Google and Black Girls Code, to help ensure the series has a strong message for young girls. Viewers can watch the first of the 10-episode series for free on May 31 on Disney's YouTube channel, while the full series will be available for YouTube Red subscribers. LaughingPlace/News Release
Achieving gender equality on screen will probably happen faster than behind the camera, but it is important to reward progress and not always seek perfection, said Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, who spoke during the third-annual Bentonville Film Festival, which she co-founded. "[The festival's] whole philosophy is never to shame and blame...We definitely want to encourage people to go in the right direction. Disney now makes so many movies starring female characters. They make more movies starring a female character than starring a male character...and they're gigantic hits," Davis said.
Nicholas Shrunk's "Blood Road," Avid Liongoren's "Saving Sally" and Kirsten Carthew's "The Sun at Midnight" were among the films that took home top honors at the third-annual Bentonville Film Festival, where close to 90% of the films competing at the event will get help with distribution. The audience also recognized Judy Greer's directorial debut "A Happening of Monumental Proportions" and Haroula Rose's "Lost and Found." "The films at BFF have inspired and provoked change that we hope will continue for years to come," BFF co-founder Geena Davis said.
"Feud" creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy says Hollywood has made very little progress since the epic battle between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, but things could start to balance if more "women and minorities [were] in positions of economic power in the industry." Ryan added, "Greenlighting power, development power, running companies. And I do think it's getting better on the business side."
Dunst (L) and Coppola (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Director Sofia Coppola and actor Kirsten Dunst, in this interview, discuss their upcoming film "The Beguiled," how the industry has changed over the last two decades, and how women dominate Coppola's sets. "She hires an enormous number of women on her crew. So many department heads were women," production designer Anne Ross said.
Just 25% of films screened at major US film festivals last year had a female director, and only 28% of behind the scenes roles were filled by women, the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film reports. The 2016-2017 Women in Independent Film report also noted that twice as many male-directed documentaries were screened at festivals compared to those directed by women, although women directed 19% of all independent films, a 1 percentage point increase from the prior year.
Leading females music executives, including Red Light artist manager Tracy Gershon, Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern, CMT Senior Vice President Leslie Fram, Nielsen Music Senior Vice President Erin Crawford and Cosynd CEO/Women in Music President Jessica Sobhraj, all spoke on a panel alongside singer Kelly Clarkson at the Music Biz conference's "Music's Leading Ladies Speak Out" event this week. The panelists spoke about the importance of supporting and mentoring other women, nurturing relationships and going above and beyond for clients.
Join us at our next exclusive members only See Jane Salon on June 5 in Los Angeles, hosted by Fullscreen Media. Titled: "It Starts with a Script": The easiest way to improve the representations of women and girls is to create great characters from the start. Before a film or television show ever hits the screen, it starts as a script! This salon will focus on how you can develop great roles for women and girls in any scenario.
Panelists include Daron Nefcy, Creator/Executive Producer, "Star vs. The Forces of Evil;" Craig Gerber Creator/Executive Producer, "Elena of Avalor;" Rebecca Rusch, professional athlete; and Nicola Yoon, author of "Everything, Everything."
I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, environmentalist, via Quotabelle
About Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Founded by Academy Award®-winning actor Geena Davis, the Institute is the only
research-based organization working with media and entertainment companies with
cutting-edge research, education, and advocacy programs to dramatically improve
how girls and women are reflected in media targeting children 11 and under.
For more information visit:
About Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles
Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles is the only women’s university in Los
Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. We offer a dynamic
learning experience in the liberal arts and sciences, enhanced by an
emphasis on building leadership skills and fostering a spirit to serve
others. For more information, visit