Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media


It Starts with a Script

March 26, 2014 • Hosted by CBS
CBS Entertainment


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 focused on how you can develop great roles for women and girls in any scenario.

See photos from the event.


Susan Cartsonis,

The Hollywood Reporter named Susan Cartsonis one of the top five grossing producers of the year for her box office record-breaking film, What Women Want (the second highest grossing romantic comedy of all time to this day) and Where the Heart Is starring Natalie Portman. As an executive at 20th Century Fox for nearly ten years and through the two successful independent film companies she’s built, Cartsonis has grossed over 1B in box office by creating movies that “women want to see, and men like too.” She has worked with many female directors including Nancy Meyers, Elizabeth Allen (on Aquamarine), Fran Kuzui (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Gurinder Chadha, Rachel Talalay, and Randa Haines. Cartsonis is a member of the Academy, The Producer’s Guild, is Chair of Women in Film’s Foundation Board, and is on the Women’s Board of Digital Hollywood.

Winnie Holzman

Winnie Holzman is the writer (with acclaimed songwriter Stephen Schwartz) of the hit musical Wicked. For television she created My So-called Life which starred Claire Danes. Winnie got her start performing and writing in a comedy group and writing syndicated comedy sketches for Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Her big break came when she was invited by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick to join the writing staff of their groundbreaking TV series Thirtysomething. Her work on that show earned her a WGA nomination and a Humanitas award. More recently she created the short lived but much loved ABC Family series Huge with her daughter, Savannah Dooley.

Maggie Malone

Maggie Malone is Head of Creative Affairs at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she has worked on such films as Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog and the Tinker Bell films of the DisneyToons Studio division. As Director of Development for Gary Ross’s company at Universal, Maggie worked on The Tale of Despereaux and conducted script research for Seabiscuit.

Michelle Raimo Kouyate

Michelle Raimo Kouyate is the President of Production for Sony Pictures Animation and is responsible for overseeing the development and production of all films on the Sony Pictures Animation slate. Under Raimo Kouyate, the animation studio, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012, released the monster comedy hit Hotel Transylvania directed by 3-time Emmy winner Genndy Tartakovsky, as well as the 2013 blockbuster family comedies The Smurfs 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Next up in Sony Pictures Animation’s pipeline is the August 2015 release of Untitled Smurfs Movie, directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2,Gnomeo & Juliet) as well as Hotel Transylvania 2 in September 2015.

Amy Talkington

Amy wrote and directed the feature film The Night of the White Pants as well as six short films which won multiple awards and played festivals all over the world (including Sundance). As a screenwriter, Amy has numerous projects in development including the Valley Girl remake at MGM, the Private Benjamin remake at New Line, and Hot Fuss, based on a pitch she sold to Disney. In the television arena, Amy wrote ABC Family’s Brave New Girl and co-wrote Avalon High a children’s movie for which she won a 2011 WGA Award. Amy’s first book Liv, Forever was published earlier this month. Amy is currently adapting it for film.

You have the power to change the
face of children's programming.

With your help, if she can see it, she can be it.

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fund continuing curriculum development for young children.

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