GOOD

Geena Davis Unveils New Diversity-Minded Film Festival

The Bentonville Film Festival held in Arkansas will promote women and minority filmmakers, actors, and crew.

Geena Davis may be best known for her work onscreen—and will forever be beautiful baseball ace Dottie Hinson to this writer—but the actress is also a longtime staunch advocate for women, founding the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media and partnering with the UN to address issues of gender equality and female empowerment around the world. Now, Davis is launching a film festival specifically aimed at promoting women and minority filmmakers, actors, and crew.


The four-day Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) will debut May 5th in Bentonville, Arkansas, and is the only film competition of its kind where theatrical distribution is a part of the prize-winning packages. “I have been an advocate for women for most of my adult life,” Davis said in a statement. “The Bentonville Film Festival is a critical component of how we can directly impact the quantity and quality of females and minorities on screen and behind-the scenes.”

Submitted films must meet two of seven requirements listed, Variety reports: female or minority lead; female or minority director; female or minority writer; female or minority production company; gender and diversity balanced cast; gender and diversity balanced crew; and family or shared viewing appropriate. Davis has also emphasized commercial viability as being a factor in the decisions.

Davis’s efforts will undoubtedly benefit from the additional star power that BFF’s Advisory Board boasts, including Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, and Shailene Woodley. WalMart, AMC, Arc Entertainment, and Coca-Cola have all signed on as partners as well.

“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,” Davis said last year in a statement released with research from her institute showcasing the gender divide. “And media images exert a powerful influence in creating and perpetuating our unconscious biases… How do we encourage a lot more girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers? By casting droves of women in STEM, politics, law, and other professions today in movies.”

Among the findings? Forbes reported that: There are 2.24 male characters for every female character. Out of 1,452 filmmakers, 20.5% were women, but just 7% were directors. 19.5% of the writers were women, as were 22.7% of the producers. Comments about characters’ appearance were five times as likely to be directed at female characters than at male characters. And women are just as likely to be sexualized in a film if you are 13 or if you are 39.

In conclusion, the study looks to filmmakers to enact change in the industry, saying that they “make more than just movies, they make choices. Those choices could be for balance, for less sexualization, and for more powerful female roles. The choice could be for gender equality.”

Submissions for the Bentonville Film Festival will be accepted beginning January 15, with chosen projects revealed in March.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading