Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

SEE JANE SALONS

THE EASIEST WAY TO ADD FEMALE CHARACTERS:
IT STARTS WITH THE SCRIPT!

J. Walter Thompson New York
Monday, June 5, 2017
Hosted by Fullscreen Media

12180 Millenium Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094

It all starts with the script, and female-centric stories rare for Hollywood. This panel will discuss how to break through the stereotypical male-centric stories to include females in roles with a lasting impact. View Photo Gallery

OUR SEE JANE SALON PANELIST BIOS

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Founder

One of Hollywood’s most respected actors, Geena Davis is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under.

In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. This initiative is the only film festival to provide guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and home entertainment distribution for the winners.

In 2012, Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

As an actor, Davis has appeared in several roles that have become cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an award winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer, and a semi-finalist in the Olympic Trials), and a member of the genius society Mensa. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Alex Cohen

KPCC’s Morning Edition Host

Alex Cohen is the local host of Morning Edition, NPR’s most popular show. Prior to that, she was co-host of KPCC’s Take Two and All Things Considered. Before joining KPCC, Alex was a host and reporter for NPR’s Day to Day You may have also heard her on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered as well as American Public Media’s Marketplace and Weekend America. Prior to that, she was the L.A. Bureau Chief for KQED FM in San Francisco. She has won various journalistic awards including the LA Press Club’s Best Radio Anchor prize. As her roller derby alter-ego, Axles of Evil, Cohen made a cameo appearance and served as the trainer and choreographer for the Drew Barrymore derby film Whip It. She is also the co-author of the book Down and Derby: The Insider’s Guide to Roller Derby.

Madeline Di Nonno

CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Madeline Di Nonno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Di Nonno leads the Institute’s strategic direction, research, education, advocacy, financial and operational activities. Di Nonno brings thirty years of successful international executive and strategic advisor leadership experience in entertainment, non-profit, digital and consumer packaged goods industries.

Previously, Di Nonno served as President and CEO of On The Scene Productions, a leader in digital content creation and distribution. Di Nonno lead the company’s new business development and digital content platforms for the entertainment, healthcare, and consumer products clients such as Nike, Gatorade, Iconix, and PepsiCo.

Prior to On The Scene, Di Nonno served in executive marketing positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment where she led global brand marketing, branded franchise development, acquisitions, digital media initiatives for home entertainment and limited theatrical releases in North America, United Kingdom and Australia. 

As Executive Vice President and GM for Nielsen EDI, a leading research provider of Theatrical distribution measurement and information, Di Nonno drove innovations in digitizing product offering, new business and product development and studio theatrical distribution and exhibition client management.
Previously, Di Nonno served as Senior Vice President, Marketing Alliances and Digital media at the Hallmark Channel, and launched the cable channel and established marketing, digital media, e-commerce, and corporate alliance functions.  Di Nonno developed revenue-generating, integrated marketing programs with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Fuji, Mail Boxes Etc., Universal Pictures, Target, Sony Pictures, Chrysler, and Baskin Robbins.  Di Nonno pioneered the Channel’s digital media initiatives.

Di Nonno served eight years at Universal Studios Home Video as Vice President, Strategic Marketing where she established the company’s first Digital Platforms and marketing campaigns. Di Nonno supervised marketing campaigns for all theatrical, direct-to-video and library releases and spearheaded Universal’s launch into DVD and interactive.

Di Nonno began her career at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity working on the marketing communications campaigns for mini-series, sports and daytime, including “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds” and the 1984 Olympics.

Di Nonno is a requested keynote speaker at global industry conferences, corporations, academic institutions, film festivals and organizations such as AdWeek, Cannes Lion, CinemaCon, CTAM, Digital Hollywood, CES, The White House, The Department of State, UNESCO, the United Nations. Di Nonno has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Huffington Post, Kidscreen, Fast Company, and Wired Magazine.

Education
Di Nonno holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Board Affiliations
Di Nonno serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation; Board of Directors: Population Media Center, and Promundo U.S.; Advisory Board for PBS Kid’s Ready Jet Go, GameChanger Films; Strategic Advisor, YouTube Red. Di Nonno served as President of the Glass Lions Jury for the Cannes Lions 2016.

Craig Gerber

Creator & Executive Producer

Emmy Award winner Craig Gerber is creator and executive producer of Disney’s Elena of Avalor, which follows Princess Elena, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.

Gerber also developed and serves as executive producer of Disney Junior’s hit award-winning animated series Sofia the First, for which he won an Emmy Award for writing the series’ theme song. He has also co-authored many of the Sofia the First, storybooks.

Gerber has also written for the Disney Fairies film franchise. His prior work includes writing screenplays for Rogue Pictures, Radar Pictures and Intrepid Films.

A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, Gerber’s career took off after he participated in a screenwriting showcase at the university that led to a major Hollywood studio optioning the first script he had ever written. Gerber is also an award-winning short film director whose comedic short Hang Time, won Best Narrative Short at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival and Best Digital Short at the Sedona Film Festival in 2003.

Originally from New York City, Gerber currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three young sons, Miles, Desmond and Beau.

Daron Nefcy

Creator & Executive Producer

Daron Nefcy is creator and executive producer of Disney XD’s Annie Award-nominated comedy adventure series Star vs. The Forces of Evil.

In 2015, the year that Star vs. The Forces of Evil. debuted, Nefcy was recognized as one of Variety’s "10 Animators to Watch" and was featured in Forbes’ "30 Under 30." Additionally, she was featured in a Los Angeles Times front page story about the growing influence of women in animation and the increasing enrollment of women in art schools.

A 2009 California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) graduate, Nefcy’s additional television credits include Disney XD’s Wander Over Yonder, MAD and Robot and Monster.

Nefcy, a Los Angeles, California native, currently resides in Los Feliz with her husband, filmmaker Bobby Miller.

Rebecca Rusch

Professional Athlete

Rebecca Rusch is the Queen of Pain with a heart of gold. As a professional athlete for over three decades, the seven-time World Champion has continually tested her own limits, shattering the glass ceiling in whatever sport she tackles. Rusch redefined the team dynamics of adventure racing, has a first female ascent rock climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, river boarded down the Grand Canyon, and has given the men a run for their money in endurance mountain biking. Beyond the start line, Rusch brings energy, positivity and inspiration to whatever challenge she meets. She has pedaled through the night on an epic adventure across Italy, ridden all the way up to the summit of Africa’s legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro, and taught clinics and camps in her #JoinTheRusch effort to introduce more women to her sport. Rusch is also the best selling author of Rusch to Glory, event producer for Rebecca’s Private Idaho, motivational speaker, firefighter, cycling advocate, and has raised more than $100,000 for bike related charities through her adventures and events. This summer, a Red Bull Media House feature film called “Blood Road,” will be released, documenting Rusch’s epic personal journey along the 1,200-mile Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of her father.

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