Female Empowerment at SDCC 2016
Female Empowerment at SDCC 2016

Female Empowerment at SDCC 2016

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2016 was a fantastic event to be inspired by influential women from entertainment industry. There were many panels and events dedicated to empowering the female community, which were led by successful, influential women. Entire panels featuring women in film production and animation broke down and discussed the process of breaking into traditionally male-dominated fields of entertainment and the many challenges women are presented with. Successful animators, artists, cinematographers, costumers, and entertainers explained how they got into the industry, how to negate gender stereotyping, how to generate jobs for women, setting expectations, networking, and altering the general mindset of industry in desperate need of gender diversity. Actresses like Morena Bassarin, Melissa Benoist, Natalie Emmanuel, Lucy Lawless, Tatian Maslany, Connie Nielsen, and Ming-Na Wen talked about the power and privilege of playing female roles that redefine gender stereotypes. They laughed as they shared their experiences on how they got into entertainment, the demeaning work they had to endure in order to breakthrough, what made them feel powerful, and how their roles have made a personal impact on their lives. The Q&A’s that were hosted were extremely insightful and fantastic for aspiring or current female content creators who want to make a difference. The panels were extremely well-done and professional, yet captivated the audience and provided the attendees with priceless wisdom.

As well as the panels were executed, there was a hitch that occurred during the ‘You Do What? Women Working in Film Production’ panel featuring Layne McGovern (costumer, Girl Meets World), Kelly Stuyvesant (editor, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Lauren Haroutunian (cinematographer, RocketJump: The Show), and Melissa Ellis (re-recording mixer, Star vs. Forces of Evil). Towards the end of an extremely successful panel, as the Q&A questions were wrapping up, panelist Lauren Haroutunian recounted on Twitter how a SDCC staff member utterly derailed the panel. The staff member’s assigned job was to simply hold the microphone for the attendees to ask their questions; however, he took the opportunity to plug in his own film program and inserted his own knowledge in a panel full of professional and qualified female filmmakers. His actions stunned the audience and completely disrespected the panelists. The staffer’s failure to understand that his job was just to be there to assist the panelists, so they could run their panel smoothly, and his assumption that he had the right to talk down to and promote himself to the entire room is baffling. Haroutunian says that she deeply regrets that she was not able to bring herself to say anything and is, “…mostly furious that there were young women in the audience that didn’t get to see us shut this down.” To read Lauren’s complete account of the unwelcome intrusion, read her account of the incident at this link to her Twitter feed.

All in all, being surrounded by successful women working in a primarily male-run industry was awe inspiring and eye-opening. The goals of the panels were to provide aspiring female creators with guidance from professional female film makers and actresses, inspire future film makers, and spread awareness of the obstacles the female population faces pursuing a career in entertainment.


Marvel Hall H Recap

Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Captain Marvel

In case you missed it, one of the biggest events of the year just passed- Comic-Con International: San Diego. San Diego Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions, geek culture, and entertainment media. SDCC has been famed for its legendary Hall H, where the biggest announcements, exclusive information, and special guest appearances occur. People even go as far as to camp outside the hall in tents for over 24 hours! Considerably the biggest panel to take place in Hall H is the Marvel Comics panel, which, in recent years, has understandably become progressively more and more popular due to the exclusive content and surprise special guests.

Marvel had a huge presence at SDCC 2016 with the upcoming release of Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch and common knowledge for plans for upcoming films.

Alexa Cordeiro
Alexa Cordeiro loves and covers everything pop and geek culture. She attends and reviews events such as comic conventions, Japanese pop culture conventions, gaming conventions, musical events, films, museums, and more.
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