Why We Need More Strong Female Film Roles

In today’s growing global political climate and all the recent reports surfacing around sexual harassment, particularly in the entertainment industry, it’s more important than ever that we see strong women in strong positions in our media, movies, and shows.

As Gal Gadot said recently in an episode of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series, “there cannot be women empowerment if women don’t have this visual in their subconsciousness, and if men don’t have it either. It’s important for boys and men to see that a woman can be super great.”

And it is happening, finally.

The ‘Wonder Woman’ blockbuster success has finally put female-driven tentpole films at the top of everyone’s radar and demonstrated their value and worth. And that, in turn, is helping women and girls the world over to see their own value and worth.

So I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these strong female-driven films in theaters and on our screens and in big ad campaigns, for all the world’s eyeballs to see.

We’re also seeing more women get into the game of creating these films and leading female roles, which is exactly what we need.’Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins became the first woman to direct an American studio superhero movie, not to mention the fact that it was a female-led superhero movie! And now with that film’s undisputed success and the subsequent development of a sequel, Jenkins will also be the first female director to helm the first two installments of a major franchise.

This is huge, people!

Then there’s the indomitable Ava DuVernay, who has set many records as the first African-American female director to receive Golden Globe and Best Picture Oscar nominations for her Martin Luther King Jr. biopic ‘Selma’ in 2014, and most recently as the first woman of color to direct a major blockbuster movie with the $100 million dollar budget Disney tentpole (and also female-packed) ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’

Reese Witherspoon’s production company and admirable endeavor is also a Productive Artist dream. Under her banner Pacific Standard, she has been making it her mission to create more roles for women in film, both in front of and behind the camera, beginning with the highly grossing, award-nominated hits ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Wild,’ and most recently with their wildly successful HBO miniseries ‘Big Little Lies,’ which stars Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Zoe Kravitz.

But as Gadot describes her reaction to seeing her film for the first time, “It was the first time for me — as a woman, a girl, a female — that I saw an image of strong women that are beautiful and confident and can take care of themselves. I was shocked by it, and then I was more shocked by the fact that I never saw anything like that.”

You said it, Gal. And I couldn’t agree more!

These may all be major milestones and amazing progress for women and girls, but they shouldn’t necessarily be. Because they should already be the norm. We are getting there though, slowly but surely, and this train shows no signs of slowing down or stopping.

So let’s give these pioneering ladies some credit where credit is absolutely due. Because they are doing incredible things, and it is certainly better late than never.

Happy #GivingTuesday to these amazing Productive Artists, and to all others the world over who are doing their part to give more creative women a powerful voice on and off the screen.

What’s your part?

Source: Variety and Variety (more variety!)

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