Jun 24, 2022 - Things to Do

Geena Davis turns tables on gender roles

Ashley Atkinson, Brianne Howey and Geena Davis perform roles from poplular movies that were played by males. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios
Ashley Atkinson, Brianne Howey and Geena Davis perform roles from popular movies that were played by males. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

On Day Two of the 8th annual Bentonville Film Festival, founder Geena Davis and some of her female friends performed scenes from male-dominated movies.

  • An audience of about 250 watched the often-comedic turns from flicks like "The Godfather" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in the performing arts center of the Thaden School in Bentonville.

Context: Davis founded the festival to champion women and girls in film. Movies that are both made by and portray diverse groups of people, including different genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations and people with disabilities, are screened.

  • The festival also includes panels and events focused on inclusivity.

Background: Davis launched her organization, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in 2004 and studies how women and girls are depicted in entertainment.

What they're saying: "The world is very diverse; society is diverse — it's half female — so reflecting the population [in movies] should be a given," Davis told Axios. "It should be very easy and natural."

  • BFF and Davis’ foundation can't take all the credit for changes in films the past few years, but they're seeing traction in elevating the voices of women, she said.
  • "We love this area. Northwest Arkansas is really a cool place," she added.

What to watch: The festival runs through Sunday at various venues in Bentonville.

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