Speaker Geena Davis
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Founder & Chair
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media & The Bentonville Film Festival
Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.
In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and
Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own.
Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She went on to star in such films as The Fly, Beetlejuice, Angie, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.
Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters -- and reduce gender stereotyping -- in media made for children 11 and under.
Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Davis is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.
Davis recently launched the successful Bentonville Film Festival, an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in our industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. The initiative is supported by Walmart, Coca-Cola and is the only Film Festival in the world to offer the winners guaranteed theatrical distribution from AMC Theaters, and Home Entertainment and Digital distribution from Walmart.
Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.
Featured in: If She Can See It, She Can Be It