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Women’s History Month: Inspiring Women in Film

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

There is a certain peace that is found when one is consumed by a story on the silver screen. Whether it is the cinematography, the score, or the acting, there are so many factors that go into making an everlasting film. Many women have made incredible contributions to the art of filmmaking, each of them adding their own unique style and techniques. There have been so many trailblazing women throughout the history of film, so here are just a few to celebrate this month (and all year long):

Greta Gerwig

I’m saying it here and now: Greta Gerwig’s contributions to filmmaking have single-handedly changed my life. I realize how much of a loaded statement that may seem, but as someone who has worshiped her work for as long as I can remember, it only makes sense. 

There are so many instances in which you may find yourself familiar with Gerwig’s work. She is known for her acting, writing, and directing, all of which are for movies that focus on bringing female representation to the forefront of the screen. Some of her most popular films include Frances Ha (written and starred), Lady Bird (written and directed), and Little Women 2019 (written and directed). The upcoming film, Barbie, was also written and directed by Gerwig. It is set to premiere July 21, 2023, and it is arguably one of the most anticipated movies of the year. 

Greta Gerwig’s films encompass so much of what it means to be a woman. In every one, you may find a piece of yourself that you never thought existed, and I believe that is the true art of film. 

Viola Davis

Viola Davis is another woman in film that I have grown up worshiping. She is known for her repertoire of portraying powerhouse women, such as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad (film), Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder (TV series), Michelle Obama in The First Lady (TV series), and most recently Nanisca in The Woman King (film). Similarly, she has served as a producer on various different projects, including The Woman King and The First Lady

Davis is known particularly for her acting, as she has received multiple nominations and awards for her craft. However, one of her most recent successes was the Grammy she received for the narration of her memoir, Finding Me. This Grammy was particularly special, as it deemed her to EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status, making her the 6th woman in history to do so. 

If you want to see for yourself the truly amazing person that is Viola Davis, I highly recommend checking out her Producer’s Roundtable interview on YouTube. She specifically discusses the art of producing films as well as the intricacies that go into portraying female characters. 

Michelle Yeoh

Although many may know her through the recent success of the A24 production Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle Yeoh has been a constant force within the film industry. With the start of her work dating back to the late 1980’s, Yeoh grew up specializing in dance and martial arts. Although she never had formal training in either, her experience grew to where she starred in many action films while performing all her own stunts. 

One of Yeoh’s greatest accomplishments throughout her career is continuing to bring Asian representation to the big screen. Her most recent film, Everything Everywhere All at Once, is probably one of my favorite watches of 2022. The story centers around Yeoh’s character, Evelyn, who finds herself struggling to navigate through several hardships until she is confronted with an ultimate conflict. It portrays a beautiful story of mother-daughter relationships while presenting it in the most entertaining and heartfelt way. Yeoh’s incredible contributions to this film, including acting and producing, is what helped her become the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for Best Acting. 

Reese Witherspoon

As another female actress that has had such a long-lasting career, the impacts that Reese Witherspoon continues to make never cease to amaze me. Many are familiar with her work, especially all of us Legally Blonde fans (Bend and Snap!!). However, Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, is just another way in which she is changing the industry for the better. 

If you are not familiar with Hello Sunshine, it is a production company started by Witherspoon that focuses on bringing female-centered stories to life. Many of its popular productions include Big Little Lies (TV Show), The Morning Show (TV Show), Where The Crawdads Sing (Film), Daisy Jones and The Six (TV Show), and many more. However, the company’s focus is not only centered on film. It also includes podcasts and books, with one of its most popular features being Reese’s Book Club. If you have a Good Reads account, I highly recommend following their page as it is constantly being updated with current reads surrounding female lead characters. 

Emma Watson

As an actress many of us have grown up with, it is so incredible to see the differences that Emma Watson has made both in the industry as well as the world itself. Many have seen her in a variety of roles, such as the Harry Potter series, Perks of Being a Wallflower, or even Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. However, her role as an activist is what makes her stand out above all else. 

Immediately after her completion of portraying Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter, she attended Brown University. It was during this time that her passion for activism, specifically for that of gender equality, grew. In 2014, at just 24 years of age, she was appointed as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, where she helped to promote better education for young girls in Bangladesh and Zambia. It was after this that she launched her campaign HeForShe, which focuses on greater participation in the quest for gender equality. She has attributed many of her experiences as a child actor to her role as an activist for women throughout the world as well as those in the film industry.

Hannah Morris is the Public Relations Executive for the Her Campus at Texas A&M University chapter. She oversees the PR committee to ensure that each member meets their requirements for merchandise designs and press releases every semester. She also leads her team in dispersing products and brand samples to the rest of the chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Hannah is a junior at Texas A&M University, majoring in Political Science with minors in Journalism and Psychology. She works as a Student Assistant in TV and Digital Content at KAMU Broadcasting, where she assists at production shoots while also writing and creating content for KAMU Marketing and Communications. Hannah is also a freelance proofreader, with a proofreading and editing certification from the Proofread Anywhere training program. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her dog, Emmylou. She loves to go on new adventures, read fun books, or attend concerts with friends. She is a music and film connoisseur, and hopes to one day work in PR in either industry.