I trekked downhill to the Air BnB Haus in ski crazy Park City, Utah to listen to actor Geena Davis talk about women in the media.
I had no idea how much inspiration could be packed into one small arty Sundance Film Festival room.
First, the venue. It's hard not to love a place whose logo is built out of trees.
The Air BnB public room has old barn wood as backdrop, mismatched checked woolen blankets for curtains and axes sunk in the wall, upside down, to hold your coats.
I'm smitten before Geena even arrives.
Yes, she's as tall and stately and beautiful as in films, but her gracious relaxed humor
instantly won the room.
The SEE JANE campaign says, Don't get mad. Get smart and simply report what is: films and TV are gender biased, and films and TV can change the world overnight.
Here's the fascinating aspect of Geena's work. She says, "We can create what the future
looks like, rather than wait for the future to change."
To date, every studio who has seen her presentation gapes in wonder at the truth of it. They all thought gender bias had been overcome. When they hear how skewed their imaginary worlds are—17% not 50% women—they instantly want to right the imbalance. Geena and her numbers have that power over people. The media jump on board. She's presented to Disney Studios a dozen times, they have so many departments that need enlightening.
And here's another of her beautiful ideas:
I believe Geena Davis can help change that in a heartbeat. And that's how change, in the hands and heart of a brilliant woman, can arrive. From the heart, right now.
P.S. I haven't captured Geena's humor. When executives from a children's film studio heard her figures on how kid's movies excluded girls, they said, "We have Belle!" Davis questioned the wisdom of having a girl with Stockholm Syndrome represent 50% of humanity. When fans told her they loved Thelma and Louise so much they took their own Thelma and Louise trip, she wondered which part: convenience store robbery, drunken rapists, risky one-night-stands, or the launch off of the . . . but she refrained from spoiling the ending for us.
P.S. Robert Redford, founder of Sundance Film Festival, has said, "There should always be an artist at the table." Meaning the negotiating table. Geena Davis is doing just that, bringing her artist's view and waking up her fellows in film.
P.S. The Air BnB Haus has the most startlingly homey vibe, if you ever need to have coffee in Park City.
HUGE P.S. The BBC just reported that the season opener of CALL THE MIDWIFE, with its largely all-woman cast, had more viewers than DOWNTON ABBEY or SHERLOCK HOLMES!