LONDON — Geena Davis will deliver the opening speech at the Global Symposium on Gender in Media on Oct. 8, which is hosted by the Geena Davis Institute, the BFI London Film Festival and Women in Film and Television. The event takes place the day after the festival opens with Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette,” which focuses on the campaign to win votes for women in the U.K.
The Geena Davis Institute is a research body that works within the media and entertainment industry to “engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment.” At the London symposium, it will present new research that investigates the influence of international films on audiences in the U.K., India, Nigeria, France and Brazil.
Davis said in a statement: “Media images have a huge impact on our perceptions, and on our social and cultural beliefs and behaviors. Our new global study explores how global films may be reinforcing negative gender stereotypes with movie audiences of all ages.”
The London symposium will be followed by symposiums in India and Brazil in 2016, which will “bring together high level thought leaders, politicians, CEOs and key media and entertainment decision-makers with significant storytellers and content creators.”
The first panel at the London event will be introduced by the British Film Institute’s CEO, Amanda Nevill, and will explore “the impact of film on global issues concerning women and girls, focusing on organizational strategies and interventions.” The BFI will outline how it is addressing gender equality in film with programs such as its “three-ticks” initiative, which aims at ensuring that BFI-backed films reflect the diversity of the U.K.