“Until we can look at women and see them as physical equals to men, we’re going to keep being seen as less.” — Melanie Wise
How different do you think the world would be if all girls grew up believing in their strength? What if each time we went to the movies, we left feeling empowered? What if there was a film fest that encouraged both?
Guess what: THERE IS! (Don’t worry – this post isn’t an advertisement, but a natural derivative of being thoroughly inspired by this fest!)
Last month, I had the privilege of interviewing Melanie Wise, founder of the Artemis Film Festival—the first film fest ever to celebrate female-driven action films. Man, is she groovy! I learned so much.
The groundbreaking event will take place April 24 – 25 here in Los Angeles, featuring screenings of films large and lesser known and honoring iconic leading ladies, including Linda Hamilton, Angela Meryl and Maja Aro.
I was recently asked to emcee a Red Carpet awards ceremony at the fest on Friday, April 24—I couldn’t be more stoked or honored! I hope if you can, you’ll join us.
Regardless, here are just a few of the important reasons why supporting female-driven action films is, IMO, vital.
1. They’re freaking awesome! Aliens. Terminator 2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Kill Bill. My Super-Ex Girlfriend. Action films featuring kick-ass women characters are some of the most awesome films out there. Yet, when I looked up “top action films,” many of my favorites didn’t appear. WTH?
“For a lot of years, women in action films was considered box office poison,” Melanie told me. (Ah…) As a result, many female-led action films are marketed as romantic comedies, sci-fi or horror. Those available are making mega-bucks, however, and for good reason.
2. They empower women to embrace their strength. If the only women we saw on the big screen were women playing distressed damsels and princesses awaiting rescue dudes, we’d all be less likely to envision more for ourselves. For many years, that’s all we could see.
Here’s just one example of what happens when we celebrate empowering alternatives:
When Terminator 2 came out, Melanie explained, workout gym memberships soared, largely from women wanting to work out and increase their physical strength. (Makes sense! Uma did have me considering karate classes after watching Super-Ex.)
3. Doing so can better the world. Stories really do shape, and have the potential to change, the world.
“As the film industry, especially in the U.S., we have a very large voice that is heard the world over,” Melanie said. “We have an amazing responsibility and opportunity to make really nice messages. This is something we can easily do, if we choose.”
I couldn’t agree more! If you can’t attend the Artemis Film Festival in person, you can still support its mission by making a donation and/or sharing links with your friends. For tickets and specifics, visit ArtemisFilmFestival.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@)
What’s your favorite female-driven action film? Will you be attending the fest? I love hearing from you! ♥