Geena Davis to join NZFC’s Power of Inclusion conference

Geena Davis. 

Academy Award winner and activist Geena Davis will be among the speakers at the New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC) Power of Inclusion summit in October.

Put on in partnership with the Walt Disney Co. and Women in Film and Television International, the conference, to be held in Auckland, is designed to shine a spotlight on inclusion and representation in entertainment.

In addition to Davis, it boasts a line-up of speakers that include NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; Pose creator Steven Canals; Black-ish star Yara; Shahidi; writers and directors Niki Caro (Mulan, The Zookeeper’s Wife) and Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda, Mary Shelley); The Black List founder Franklin Leonard; writer and producer Philippa Boyens (Lord of the Rings); Raising Films founder Hope Dickson Leach; director Heperi Mita (Mereta: How Mum Decolonised the Screen) and Maria Giese, who led a federal investigation for female directors in the US. Among the Australian speakers are Magda Szubanski and Benjamin Law.

Davis founded the the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004 at Mount Saint Mary’s University out of frustration  with female representation on screen. Its research and guidance has prompted change in on-screen portrayals at major networks, studios, advertisers, production companies, guilds and agencies. Davis will be the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards.

Joining the actor is the Institute’s CEO Madeline Di Nonno, who leads its strategic direction, management, financial and operational activities.

NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said: “It is such an honour to welcome Geena Davis to The Power of Inclusion summit. Her body of work and her activism are an inspiration. The Power of Inclusion hosts a groundbreaking line up of entertainment sector speakers, of a depth and breadth not seen before in New Zealand and Australasia. The siren call of the conference has attracted speakers from across the global screen industry and in New Zealand, whose activism and production work are inextricably linked to the core issues of diversity and inclusion. As an industry we have a responsibility to empower, to amplify and to focus on equity in front of and behind the camera.”

The Power of Inclusion will be held in Auckland October 3-4.