Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis will be the keynote speaker at the Whistler Film Festival's (WFF) Women on Top series, the organization announced on Tuesday, May 1.
The event is set to take place on June 15 at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver. It's the first event in the two-part series, which aims to "inspire women and men in an environment that promotes networking, learning and growth around the issues of gender equity and cultural diversity in media both on screens and behind the screens," according to a release.
On top of a long acting career that includes films like Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own, and The Accidental Tourist, Davis is the founder and chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The research-based organization investigates the representation of female characters in film and other media and engages with film and television creators about increasing the percentages of female characters in media for children 11 and under.
Davis was also appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN's International Telecommunication Union and is an official part of UN Women, which promotes gender equality and empowering women around the world.
"The Whistler Film Festival's Women on Top Series is aligned with several industry-wide mandates that share the goals of addressing the imbalance of diversity in media and supporting collaborative efforts to achieve a more accurate, gender-balanced, diverse portrayal of society," says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, WFF executive director, in a release. "With this series, WFF is maintaining a timely leadership role for women in the industry, when the need is not only apparent, but the collective is calling for it."
The second part of the Women on Top Series will take place on Nov. 30 and feature Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She is set to speak on the institute's latest research on gender representation in media, as well as weigh in on why it's important to have more women on screen.
Tickets for the series are available now at whistlerfilmfestival.com.