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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.
Learn more about our year-round programs that support filmmakers at all stages of project development.
Our signature script competition for completed scripts with women at the heart of the story.
Hosted twice per year, our three-day intensive labs for film and television writers provide creative guidance, pitch training, industry insights, and connection to a creative community.
An intensive pitch-training and storytelling-strengthening opportunity for documentarians working on women-centric projects.
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.
A learning and career development opportunity for individuals passionate about festival programming and women’s leadership.
Our annual film festival, founded in 2011 and entering its 14th year, will be held next on February 29-March 3, 2024.
The annual film festival takes place on the Barnard College campus in Morningside Heights in New York City.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event.
Without a doubt, the Athena Documentary Pitch Program came at a critical time. I entered the program without any experience in ‘Pitch Forums’ and left feeling more confident to pitch my film to any audience in any setting.
In all my years of seeking a foothold in the industry, I’ve never felt more supported and empowered than by the Athena Film Festival. The immense honor of being on the Athena List has been the single most determining…
My movie was on the verge of falling apart when I received the Athena List Sloan Development Grant. The grant enabled my producer and I to save the picture by re-upping the book option for the underlying material. It…
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