By: Melanie Wise
I have long been a huge fan of powerful women and long wished that women were more valued in our world – if I can lend one thing to this world it would be redefining the feminine principal. We have the power to affect all generations positively by altering how women view themselves and broaden what they think is possible in life. We can convey the message that women don’t need to sit back and wait for someone else to take action for them.
Our culture has reinforced the notion that femininity is passivity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women have been agents of physical action since the dawn of time. Whether it was the Amazons, Boudica, Joan of Arc, modern day athletes, soldiers and first-responders, women have always taken physical action. One need only watch a mother when her child is threatened.
I come from a long background in strength conditioning, fitness, injury rehab, and the like – I’ve dedicated many years to making women physically stronger through strength conditioning. I quickly learned when women exceed what they think is possible for them physically, their horizons of what they believe is possible for them personally expand greatly. I trained all kinds of bodies in both genders, and I can say this: pound for pound, many women are stronger than men, have higher pain tolerances, more endurance, and I’m certain that women are as physically capable as men. I have long believed that until women are as seen as physical equals to men, we will always be seen as less. I think sexism is the last bastion of acceptable racism.
I’m 6’ tall, athletically built, and as actor, could never make a victim believable. In my pursuit of producing content with heroic female characters, I’ve hit many ceilings in this industry as well as an amazing amount of resistance to the concept.
I believe filmmakers have a responsibility in our messaging to the world. We can influence women to believe they can be the heroes of their own stories – not just in film, but in real life. I’d like our art to reflect a world where our children, both boys and girls, share in equal power, strength and love. I believe the fastest path to seeing women take up a stronger place in society and culture is through creating empowered images of women in our media. These thoughts, ideas, and philosophies are the heart of the inspiration for the film festival.
The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival is the very first dedicated completely to women in action roles. I founded it to celebrate action films and the women who kick ass in them. Our inaugural event is planned for April 24-26, 2015. The response to the festival has been astounding. We’ve received an amazing number of submissions from the world over, even an animated work of art from Iran showcasing a strong, fearless woman on a journey of self-empowerment.
We have engaged in crowd funding … because the response to the festival has been overwhelming. At this point, the festival we designed will not support the amazing submissions we have. Our campaign is www.womenkickass.com. Any contribution is appreciated and will help us create a fuller and stronger reflection of women in film. Our festival website is: www.ArtemisFilmFestival.com.