Celebrating Women’s History Month with Film

According to Wikipedia, Women’s History Month is an annual observance to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8, it is observed during October in Canada, corresponding with the celebration of Persons Day on October 18.  

Let’s all take a moment to recognize women everywhere for the contributions they have made as part of the American story.   The grit and determination they continue to display in the face of an unprecedented assault on some of the hard fought for rights that are being slowly stripped away.  More wins are in the crosshairs of politically motivated and misguided folks who would like to see the country go back to a world pre-1920 before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote.  Keep on battling y’all!
Can I talk history for a moment?  Many of us are familiar with history-making women such as Harriet Tubman, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Rosa Parks.  Just this past week, University of Iowa women’s basketball phenom Caitlin Clark, made history in becoming the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader, man or woman, breaking Pistol Pete Maravich’s record that stood for over 50 years. 
But this is a Greater Cleveland Film Commission blog, so how about we talk about a little women’s history in film?  Better yet, with a little Cleveland flavor? 

During Black History Month in February, I had the pleasure of doing Black Film History presentations at PNC Fairfax Connection, and at Glenville High School, focusing on African American luminaries in film with connections to the Cleveland area.  Many are familiar with names like Oscar-winner Halle Berry.  But did you know that Lawanda Page (aka Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son) and Dorothy Dandridge were both born in Cleveland?  The latter was widely considered one of the most beautiful women in the world back when she starred in films such as Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess.

Other women with links to the Land include Molly Shannon (SNL, Superstar, and The White Lotus), Isabela Merced (Madame Web, Transformers: The Last Knight, and a huge film about to start shooting here this summer), and Oscar nominee Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment and Shadowlands).  Margaret Hamilton who played Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz was also born in Cleveland. 

Visit our website www.clevelandfilm.com to learn more about the industry and how you might become the next big name from the Land!   Also, find out details about the first GCFC networking mixer of 2024 coming up on March 27th.   For how to make the most of attending the mixer, click here.
Hope to see your face in the place!
Chief Diversity Officer, VP of Corporate & Community Engagement