Athena List

Our Signature Script Competition

The Athena List is an annual script competition to highlight and amplify exceptional scripts with women leaders at the heart of the story. The Athena List raises the profile of these scripts, helping get them made, and elevates the writers’ careers to the next level.

Athena-List winning scripts that were produced and screened at the festival include:

  • On the Basis of Sex, based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, written by Daniel Stiepelman and directed by Mimi Leder
  • Little Pink House, written and directed by Courtney Balaker and starring Catherine Keener
  • Clemency, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu starring Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge

For a complete list of past winners and finalists of The Athena List, click here.


2023 Athena List Winners 

Driverless by Hari Leigh
After being given a suspicious promotion, female robotics engineer, Lana James, hijacks her company’s driverless car prototype and begins an autonomous cross-country journey of self-discovery.

Going Dutch by Kate Condé Hamilton
Sophie Clarke, a bright but impulsive scientist, finds herself entangled with Amsterdam’s wealthiest bachelor when he shows up at the Rijksmuseum with a potential Rembrandt. She must convince the art establishment there is much more to the portrait, and herself, than meets the eye.

Laylayon by Nic Yulo
Saddled with the death of her last living relative, an immigrant mother is forced to relocate her bi-racial family back to her ancestral home nestled deep within the Philippine jungle. She embarks on the monumental task of preparing the manor for sale, hoping to be rid of it once and for all. But as she strips away the layers of her childhood home, she is instead confronted by the literal ghosts of her past and the tragic events still echoing within its walls all of which must be confronted at the risk of losing herself and her family forever.

Scarce by Mrittika Sarin
After discovering that the water supply of an underprivileged community has been stolen, a cynical software engineer fights to right this injustice — even as it draws her into conflict with her idealistic son.

Athena List Finalists 

72 by Marissa Chibas
It’s New York City 1972 and Cuban refugee Gloria Cienfuegos’s life and New Year’s Eve party are upended when her 18-year-old daughter Viv reveals a deep secret, throwing the evening into an avalanche of emotion.

Blue Veil by Shireen Alihaji
In the wake of 9/11 and after losing her mother, Amina, a Muslim teenager, and her father Muhammad move to a small town in pursuit of an “American Dream.” With inescapable Islamophobia, dreams, and nightmares become an indistinguishable reality. Meanwhile, the search for a new home and a life of anonymity become virtually impossible after Muhammad wins the Lotto. Muhammad crafts a 400-mile road trip to retrieve the winnings in secret. Amina struggles with the pressures of protecting her identity until she discovers her mother’s record collection. The songs reflect Fatima and Muhammad’s migration stories to America and serve as a roadmap to Amina’s identity. Music helps Amina discover parts of herself she has yet to become. Through sampling, Amina is able to create her own playlist, preserve her roots, and hear her true self in the process.

The Copeland Case by Cecilia Copeland
When Bev’s ex-husband Sam takes off with their children, she never dreamed he would leave the country. If she hopes to get them back, she’ll have to change the law in the US, plead her case in the Israeli Supreme Court, and fight harder than she ever thought she could. Based on the true story of the Copeland kidnappings.

Requiem for a Glacier by Stephanie Falkeis
A highly competent yet emotionally dysfunctional glaciologist reluctantly returns to her estranged home, a remote village in the Alps, to assess the local glacier for its development potential as a ski resort. She is forced to confront the origins of her estrangement from her ancestral lands when challenged by her charismatic vigilante-activist mother, who is willing to defend the glacier from destruction at all cost. A contemporary, feminist anti-western set in a dying landscape. (Based on the filmmaker’s short film of the same name.)