MARCH 6 - 9, 2025 Athena Film Festival Writers Lab Submissions Open for Short Films


MARCH 6 - 9, 2025

The 15th Annual Athena Film Festival (AFF) at Barnard College will be back in 2025 with an incredible lineup of narratives, documentaries, and short films all featuring women leaders at the heart of the story.

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About Athena

A joint project of Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership and Women and Hollywood, The Athena Film Festival is the premier film festival dedicated to celebrating and elevating women’s leadership and advancing inclusion on screen. Athena’s approach to narrative change includes an annual festival showcasing women-centered stories alongside a series of year-round Creative Development Programs advancing a pipeline of diverse talent working on women-centered projects.

Creative Development Programs

Learn more about our year-round programs that support filmmakers at all stages of project development.

Athena List

Our signature script competition for completed scripts with women at the heart of the story.

Writers Labs

Our intensive lab for film and television writers provide creative guidance, pitch training, industry insights, and connection to a creative community.

Documentary Pitch Program

An intensive pitch-training and storytelling-strengthening opportunity for documentarians working on women-centric projects.

Grants & Awards

In partnership with numerous companies and organizations, Athena awards more than $65,000 every year to emerging storytellers working on women-centric content.


Providing writing and subject matter expertise to writers at various stages of development, Athena’s Fellowships include The Loreen Arbus Fellowship and the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

Programming Fellowship

A learning and career development opportunity for individuals passionate about festival programming and women’s leadership.

Intense Timetable

Classes Schedule


The Athena Members

Our Team

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Get the Inside Scoop


When is the Athena Film Festival?

Our annual film festival, founded in 2011 and entering its 14th year, will be held next on February 29-March 3, 2024.

Where does the festival take place?

The annual film festival takes place on the Barnard College campus in Morningside Heights in New York City.

When can I purchase tickets or passes?

Passes for the 2024 Athena Film Festival, and registration for the Teen Immersive Program, are now on sale. Visit our Eventive site for information on various pass types. Individual tickets for film screenings and events will become available when the lineup is released in early 2024.

What kinds of films does Athena screen?

Each year, the festival features a program of narrative, documentary and short films, all featuring a strong woman (or women) protagonist at the center of the story. Filmmakers can be individuals of any gender, as long as the films themselves are advancing a nuanced, complex, authentic portrayal of what women’s leadership looks like.

How can I submit my film?

Athena opens submissions for short films the summer prior to the festival. Short films submission for 2024 are now closed. The feature film program is curated by our programming team. If you have a film recommendation, please email

What does Athena do to support audience accessibility needs?

The Athena Film Festival is committed to creating an accessible festival environment for people with disabilities. We are grateful to our partners at The Loreen Arbus Foundation for their support in helping us make our festival as inclusive as possible. A few examples of accommodations that are available include: open captions on select films, ASL interpretation at all panels, and intros/q&as/panels with open caption films, live captioning at all panels, and intros/q&as/panels with open caption films, assistive listening devices, large print materials, sensory friendly room, wheelchair seating in all venues, and a wheelchair-friendly campus. If you have specific accessibility questions or requests, please email us at at least two weeks prior to the event.


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