Coronado Island Film Festival Advocates for Diversity in Film Through New Partnership

Written by Tyra Wu of the Coronado Times

01/25/2021

The Coronado Island Film Festival is partnering with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to advocate for diversity and equality in the film industry.

GDIGM is a research-based organization that is working to create gender balance and reduce negative stereotyping in the entertainment industry. They kicked off the partnership at CIFF’s annual event in November with a special panel about ageism.

“One of the brighter developments to come about in 2020 is our partnership with the Institute that was brokered with CEO Madeline Di Nonno and her team,” CIFF Executive Director Merridee Book said. “After watching the powerful work the Institute has done to bring awareness and more accurate representation, not only for women, but for all minorities, onscreen, I felt this would be a strategic partner for CIFF and would help us evolve our programming and shape important conversations on gender, race and inequality in the media.”

CIFF members and supporters will now be invited to events hosted by GDIGM in Los Angeles and San Diego. Book believes film is one of the most effective tools for education, shifting mindsets or challenging perceptions. She says there are multiple opportunities for open discussions following films, which usually turn into lively conversations.

Coronado Island Film Festival Executive Director Merridee Book

“The strength of GDIGM lies in their initiatives and outreach, based on exhaustive and targeted research and data that we can all learn from,” Book said. “This data is relevant to film and media stakeholders to foster change, shift priorities and promote emerging voices through character development and representation. This trickles down to the programs you and I watch everyday and how we respond to characters, stereotypes, narratives and our perceptions and portrayals of individuals in film.”

Book believes this partnership will enrich the organization and its members.

“Coronado is a special city and a fantastic host for our film festival. We are on track, as we continue to build a world-class festival, attracting national and international filmmakers. Aligning ourselves with strategic experts within the industry such as GDIGM, we will continue to strengthen our programming and stellar reputation.”

This year’s Coronado Island Film Festival will take place on November 10-14.

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