News Archive

April 26, 2016

Tune-in Alert – Geena Davis in Extra Weekend Edition

Friendly reminder to set your DVRs and tune in to Extra’s Weekend edition this weekend (Saturday or Sunday depending on local listings) to see Geena discuss Bentonville Film Festival! Enter your zip code and specific cable provider for the most accurate information on where and when to view. Read More…

April 25, 2016

Second Annual A League of Their Own Reunion Game

Take Mom out to the ballgame for Mother’s Day Sunday, May 8! Tickets are only $5. Read More…

April 25, 2016

Bentonville Film Festival Box Office is Now Open

Passes are ready for pick-up starting today, April 25 at The Box Office located on 112 W. Central Avenue! Read More…

April 21, 2016

25 years ago, ‘Thelma & Louise’ was a radical statement. Sadly, it still is.

It’s been 25 years since Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon hit the desert highway in “Thelma & Louise,” Ridley Scott’s rollicking road flick that dared to put women in the driver’s seat — and kept them there to the iconic end, soaring into the open maw of the Grand Canyon in a turquoise Thunderbird convertible. Finally! said feminists, excited to see complex, stereotype-busting female characters. Read More…

April 19, 2016

Geena Davis Tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Be sure to watch Geena Davis tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, 11:35 p.m./10:35 central. Read More….

April 12, 2016

On The Road Again With Thelma & Louise

Geena Davis: One very common theme in the press was, “This changes everything. Now there are going to be so many female buddy pictures, so many female action figures. This just completely rewrites everything,” and it didn’t. The really short answer is, it didn’t do shit. Read More…

April 12, 2016

The sexualisation of men—not women—in film has worsened’

Since 2007, the ‘hypersexualisation’ of men on film has increased; in 2014, 8% of male characters were figured in “sexualised attire” (up from 4.6% in 2007), whilst 9.1% (an increase from 6.6%) were shot “with some nudity”. 2013 (incidentally the year that “Man of Steel”, featuring Mr Cavill, was released) marked the high water mark of this trend, with 9.7% of male characters in sexualised attire and 11.7% getting some (or all) of their kit off. Before we shed too many tears over the plight of the sexualised male, however, it is important to put these findings in context. Read More…

April 09, 2016

Geena Davis Tackles Unconscious Bias In Entertainment For Children

Geena Davis shared an anecdote with me when I sat down with her last week at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. She told me Catherine Hardwick, the director of the film Twilight, attended the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) last year and left feeling exuberant and empowered. As she and a group of friends boarded a plane to return to LA, the pilot welcomed everyone on board and announced details of the flight. But in this instance, the pilot was a woman. Hardwick admitted to Davis that her first thought was, “Oh, no. We might not be as safe as I hoped we would be if there were a male pilot.” And then she was astonished by her own unconscious bias! Read More…

March 19, 2016

BFF Packages on Sale NOW!

Did you hear the news?! Downtown Bentonville is not getting just one, but three movie theaters this May! Three portable theaters are being brought in just for the festival! The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! BFF passes (ticket packages, not individual tickets) are on sale and can be purchased. Read More…

March 15, 2016

Female characters in film and TV motivate women to be more ambitious, more successful, and have even given them the courage to break out of abusive relationships

Findings show that the lack of strong female characters in film and TV have long term effects on society and the progress of women

London 25 Feb, 2016: As the Oscars and Hollywood continues to draw criticism for the lack of equal representation of gender and diversity, ground-breaking global research by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and J. Walter Thompson Company shows that female role models in film and TV are hugely influential in driving women to improve their lives.

The research by the Institute and JWT finds that 90% of women globally feel that female role models in film or TV are important, 61% said female role models in film and TV have been influential in their lives and 58% said that women have been inspired to be more ambitious or assertive.

The survey of 4,300 women in nine countries; Brazil, China, India Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S., also showed that one-in-nine globally, rising as high as one-in-four in Brazil, said that positive female role models had given them the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

However, 53% of women globally think there is a lack of female role models in film and TV, 74% said they wished they had seen more female role models growing up and 80% said that women should have a louder voice when it comes to cultural influence.

Previous research by the Institute found that the percentage of fictional women in the workforce is even lower than the one that exists in the real world. Of the female characters with a job, less than 25% of employed characters were female, while women make up 40% of the global workforce. Film depictions also fail to reflect the slow but steady progress of female representation across professions. Despite women holding 24% of global political positions out of 127 characters holding political office in films, only 12 were female. In the legal sphere, male judges and lawyers outnumbered females 13 to 1, and in computer science and engineering, the ratio of men to women is 7.6 to 1.

Geena Davis, Founder & Chair, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media said: “The fact is – women are seriously under-represented across nearly all sectors of society around the globe, not just on-screen, but for the most part we’re simply not aware of the extent. And media images exert a powerful influence in creating and perpetuating our unconscious biases.
“However, media images can also have a very positive impact on our perceptions. In the time it takes to make a movie, we can change what the future looks like. There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them onscreen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to aspire to lead? By casting droves of women in STEM, politics, law and other professions today in movies.”

Rachel Pashley, global planner at J. Walter Thompson said: “The combination of existing research and the new findings from our global research prove that the lack of female role models on film and TV has been trivialised for too long – the statistics around abusive relationships in particular brings the importance of the issue into stark contrast. This is a real issue with real societal impact around the globe.

“Saying anything is possible isn’t as powerful as seeing that anything is possible. It’s about setting a precedent; if girls don’t see physicists, racing cars drivers and CEOs on screen, how are they expected to want to be physicists, racing cars drivers and CEOs? By shining a light on this issue when the world is watching, we can start to affect real and significant change.”

The full research report will be available through the Geena Davis Institute in March.

The findings form part of J. Walter Thompson’s Female Tribes project. A living breathing research study dedicated to the largest consumer category in the world; women.