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2011 College Television Awards

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation and Geena Davis to Honor Student Work Advocating Gender Equality at 2011 College Television Awards

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Television Academy Foundation have partnered to create the first-ever Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality in Children's Media Award. The honor will be presented at the 32nd College Television Awards Gala which will take place April 9, 2011 at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, Calif. Starting today, submissions are being accepted for all categories of the College Television Awards at

This new honor is sponsored by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, an organization devoted to the promotion of gender equality in children's programming. The College Television Awards recognize excellence in work by undergraduate and graduate students at schools around the country in the areas of video, digital and film production.

"It is crucial that the next generation of television creators focus on gender equality and diversity in children's media," said Davis. "I know there is tremendous student work out there, and I am looking forward to recognizing it in partnership with the Television Academy Foundation."

"Geena Davis is to be commended for not just talking about gender equality, but for doing something about it," said Norma Provencio Pichardo, Executive Director of the Television Academy Foundation. "We are thrilled to collaborate with her and to honor deserving students who create original work that challenges gender stereotypes."

This new honor comes in the form of a $5,000 cash award to the student producer who best showcases diversity and gender equality in their submitted work. Eligible entries must portray a balance between male and female roles, demonstrate diversity, dispel stereotypes about male and female characters, and target children ages 2-11.

Davis was motivated by her own experience when she started the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004. While watching movies and television with her daughter, she noticed the lack of strong female characters in popular culture. Davis then raised funds to underwrite the largest research project ever undertaken on gender in children's entertainment. The goal of the institute is to raise awareness and advocate for change, and its programming arm, See Jane, engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters -- and reduce gender stereotyping -- in media made for children 11 years-old and younger.

In addition to the Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality in Children's Media Award, as part of its regular program, the Foundation will present prizes at the event including: $2,000 to first-place recipients, $1,000 for second and $500 for third place in a variety of categories. Also, the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship which was introduced last year will again be presented this year.

All College Television Award winners will be provided with unique entertainment industry networking opportunities and some will be invited to attend "pitch" meetings. The deadline for all submissions for the College Television Awards is January 12, 2011.

Geena Davis is an Academy Award-winning performer and one of Hollywood's most respected actors, having appeared in numerous roles, several of which have became cultural landmarks. Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in a drama in ABC's hit show "Commander in Chief." Davis received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in "A League of Their Own." She was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott's "Thelma and Louise" and in 1989 she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan's "The Accidental Tourist."

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