Award-winning actor and advocate Geena Davis is set to launch a film festival this spring  that celebrates women and minority characters: Films will only qualify for the competition portion if the cast is gender-balanced and the script was written, directed, and led by a woman or minority person. The festival kicks off May 5th-9th in Bentonville, Arkansas, and will include a number of legendary actors and artists—like Angela Bassett, Eva Longoria, and Julianne Moore, to name a few.

The fest's s sponsor lineup is a little odd (it's full of huge corporations like Walmart, AMC Theaters, and Coca Cola), but we're truly inspired by all the work Geena Davis has done to support women's initiatives over the years. Not only did she found the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, she's also a newly-minted UN Women partner, expanding her female empowerment work worldwide.


Last year was pretty great for women in the movie business, between films like Belle, Palo Alto, Maleficent, Blackbird, The Babadook, Annie, Unbroken, and many more (all of which, by the way, were written, directed by, or starred women). We are so excited to check out more new movies from these artists and directors in 2015—and maybe even head to Bentonville ourselves!

Image courtesy of Bentonville Film Festival

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