Abortion Pipeline Project

A Project of The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College

In Collaboration with: Jess Jacobs, filmmaker/activist; Renee Bracey-Sherman, Co-Executive Director of WeTestify; Dr. Gretchen Sisson, lead researcher of ANSIRH’s Abortion Onscreen; Melissa Silverstein, Artistic Director of Athena Film Festival

The Abortion Pipeline Project (APP) is an annual narrative screenplay competition for feature and short film scripts which seeks to seed and source a variety of narrative film projects which center abortion. It is part of the Athena Film Festival’s Creative Development Program.

APP will introduce writers to reproductive justice leaders to ensure the scripts are steeped in expertise with the goal to give creatives a positive and generative experience of collaboration with abortion justice experts within the reproductive justice movement. The competition winner(s) will also be connected with writing mentors to support their creative process, and will receive a grant to continue to develop their project.

Awards and Prizes

  • Winners will receive grant money, mentorship, and sessions with experts on the depiction of abortion on screen.
  • Finalists will receive a session with experts on the depiction of abortion on screen.


  • Projects must have a female, trans or non-binary character(s) in leadership role(s) or
  • Projects must contain representation of, meaningful mention of, or thematic reference to abortion.
  • Projects from all genres are accepted; we look for stories from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, ability and cultural groups, but must be a NARRATIVE;
  • Projects must be written in English (dialogue intended to be filmed in non-English language is OK) and cannot be more 120 pages;
  • If you have been on the Athena List, you can submit a project, but it CANNOT be a script that was on the Athena List;
  • Scripts based on existing material will be considered, as long as the writer(s) have secured the underlying rights to the source material;
  • There is NO FEE to submit your project;
  • The Athena Film Festival encourages applications from people of all races, religions, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and ages, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are from a marginalized or underrepresented group, particularly in the film industry.