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The filmmakers behind "Guess Who?" talk about how their preconceptions of women in the film industry have changed after working with the Geena Davis Institute.

Geena Davis partners with Hothouse Productions

In a recent interview with The Boston Globe, actress and Boston University alumna Geena Davis (CFA ’79, Hon. ’99) talked about the role COM’s Hothouse Productions played in her latest venture: identifying the gender disparity in media programming aimed at young children with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The institute’s mission is to work within the entertainment industry to dramatically alter how girls and women are reflected in media.

Davis commissioned Hothouse to create two videos for her Institute’s “Guess Who?” series. The series works to bring attention to and challenge kids’ assumptions about gender stereotypes. During a recent visit to Boston, Davis had lunch with Hothouse students who worked on the series.

Hothouse productions is a Film and TV class operating as a student-run, client-driven production company. Projects include PSA’s for local TV stations, videos for non-profits, an occasional music video and documentary shorts. Prior clients include Harvard University’s McLean Hospital, Massachusetts Advocacy Council and Boston Children’s Hospital.

The following is an excerpt from the Globe‘s interview with Davis.

Q. What part is your BU connection playing?

A. [Film & Television department professor] Garland Waller’s class helped create the video series. In one, the “The Baker and the Mathematician,” kids are asked what a mathematician would look like. Their answers are all “he.” “He would wear a blue suit.” What would a baker look like? “He has a big moustache.” Each is then asked, “What if you were told the baker and mathematician were the same person — and she’s a woman?” They’re like, “No way. Is that possible?” That might make sense if this were a 1950s film. These days, it’s shocking.

Read the full interview here.

Davis previously visited in November to meet with the Hothouse team.

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