Special guests

Special guests

Geena DavisGeena Davis

Academy Award-winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon ‘Dottie Hinson’ in A League of Their Own. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series—Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.

Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She went on to star in such films as The Fly, Beetlejuice, Angie, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Stuart Little. Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children 11 and under.

Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and is an official partner of UN Women. She is also co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), whose mission is to champion women and diverse voices in all forms of media. Geena Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015 to champion women in media. BFF’s mission is to encourage content creation in film and other forms of media that reflects the diverse—and half female—world we live in. BFF proactively supports content creation by women and diverse voices with a platform to showcase their work and, with the help of our partners, is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. The Festival takes place in early May in Bentonville, Arkansas and is research based and commercially driven.

Most recently, Davis starred in 20th Century Fox’s The Exorcist; a serialized psychological thriller based on the 1971 book of the same name, Marjorie Prime, based on the Award-Winning play and Dear Angelica, one of the first VR narrative films from Oculus. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Academy Award-winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon ‘Dottie Hinson’ in A League of Their Own. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series—Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.

Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She went on to star in such films as The Fly, Beetlejuice, Angie, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Stuart Little. Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children 11 and under.

Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and is an official partner of UN Women. She is also co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), whose mission is to champion women and diverse voices in all forms of media. Geena Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015 to champion women in media. BFF’s mission is to encourage content creation in film and other forms of media that reflects the diverse—and half female—world we live in. BFF proactively supports content creation by women and diverse voices with a platform to showcase their work and, with the help of our partners, is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. The Festival takes place in early May in Bentonville, Arkansas and is research based and commercially driven.

Most recently, Davis starred in 20th Century Fox’s The Exorcist; a serialized psychological thriller based on the 1971 book of the same name, Marjorie Prime, based on the Award-Winning play and Dear Angelica, one of the first VR narrative films from Oculus. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Margaret ChoMargaret Cho

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee. Member of the LGBTQ community. Margaret Cho, a jack of all trades, master of many. When hasn’t Cho and her comedic voice been a part of our consciousness? It seems like she’s always been here, lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow.

Around the time she was starting her stand-up career at age 14, Cho won a comedy contest to open for Jerry Seinfeld in the early ’90s. She soon moved to Los Angeles and, still in her twenties, hit the college circuit, where she became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year.” She performed more than 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a household name.

In 2020, Cho appeared in three films­­—she played a ruthless Hollywood movie studio executive in Faith Based, also starring Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander, “Fairy Gay Mother 1” in Friendsgiving, starring Kat Dennings and Malin Akerman, and “Auntie Ling” in Netflix’s first major animated film, Over the Moon, which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, with Vulture stating it was “one of the most gorgeous animated films ever made.” As if she wasn’t exercising that artistic muscle enough, she launched her own podcast, “The Margaret Cho,” where the first part is a chat with a celebrity friend you already know and the second part is with an up-and-coming artist you may not know yet. She has recently interviewed Quentin Tarantino, Diablo Cody, Belinda Carlisle, Jonathan Van Ness and more.

With so much success in her creative life, Cho still finds time to support the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, and gay rights campaigns. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s Leadership Award, the first-ever Best Comedy Performance Award at the Asian Excellence Awards, the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Cho has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), PFLAG and LA Pride, who gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award for leaving a lasting imprint on the LGBT community.

In January 2021, Cho was honored alongside the Go Go’s, Cherie Currie of The Runaways and Heart’s Nancy Wilson by the She Rocks Awards. The award credits women who display unique talent and leadership within the music industry. Previous award recipients include Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, Suzi Quattro, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector and more. It seems only fitting that Cho should start the new year alongside some other bad ass women.

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee. Member of the LGBTQ community. Margaret Cho, a jack of all trades, master of many. When hasn’t Cho and her comedic voice been a part of our consciousness? It seems like she’s always been here, lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow.

Around the time she was starting her stand-up career at age 14, Cho won a comedy contest to open for Jerry Seinfeld in the early ’90s. She soon moved to Los Angeles and, still in her twenties, hit the college circuit, where she became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year.” She performed more than 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a household name.

In 2020, Cho appeared in three films­­—she played a ruthless Hollywood movie studio executive in Faith Based, also starring Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander, “Fairy Gay Mother 1” in Friendsgiving, starring Kat Dennings and Malin Akerman, and “Auntie Ling” in Netflix’s first major animated film, Over the Moon, which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, with Vulture stating it was “one of the most gorgeous animated films ever made.” As if she wasn’t exercising that artistic muscle enough, she launched her own podcast, “The Margaret Cho,” where the first part is a chat with a celebrity friend you already know and the second part is with an up-and-coming artist you may not know yet. She has recently interviewed Quentin Tarantino, Diablo Cody, Belinda Carlisle, Jonathan Van Ness and more.

With so much success in her creative life, Cho still finds time to support the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, and gay rights campaigns. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s Leadership Award, the first-ever Best Comedy Performance Award at the Asian Excellence Awards, the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Cho has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), PFLAG and LA Pride, who gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award for leaving a lasting imprint on the LGBT community.

In January 2021, Cho was honored alongside the Go Go’s, Cherie Currie of The Runaways and Heart’s Nancy Wilson by the She Rocks Awards. The award credits women who display unique talent and leadership within the music industry. Previous award recipients include Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, Suzi Quattro, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector and more. It seems only fitting that Cho should start the new year alongside some other bad ass women.