At Athena, we are committed to transforming the way the film industry values and views women both on-screen and behind the camera. We are committed to challenging traditional Hollywood cultural conventions, by educating and empowering women storytellers and filmmakers. Elevating the voices of women, and providing women filmmakers with the resources and networks they need to realize the full potential of their projects, is crucial to changing the narrative.
The Athena Film Festival offers a variety of different educational and skill-building programs and events for filmmakers and women in the industry:
We look for short film submissions that are under 40 minutes in length that: Reveal the diverse narratives of women leaders from all walks of life—narratives of ambition, courage, resilience and moxie. Showcase women leaders who currently are making or have made a difference in the world — captivating stories of truth, determination, innovation and vision. Highlight the talents of new and recognized artists — capturing their take on what truly makes exemplary women leaders.
Master classes for filmmakers taught by well-known women writers, producers, and directors. Previous classes have been taught by Academy-Award winner Callie Khouri screenwriter of Thelma and Louise; Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori of Fun Home; Directors Gina Price-Bythewood (Shots Fired, Love & Basketball), Karyn Kusama, (The Invitation, Girl Fight); and President of HBO Documentary Films Sheila Nevins.
For Documentary Filmmakers
The Works-in-Progress program will give you an opportunity to present short film clips that will be evaluated by a panel of distinguished professionals in the film industry. For more information please email: Athenafilmfestival@gmail.com
The Athena List is an annual script competition that selects exceptional scripts with women leaders at the heart of the story. As the central program in the Athena Film Festival’s Parity Pipeline program, The Athena List’s goal is to raise the profile of the scripts and the writers within the industry with the purpose of getting these movies made and elevating their careers to the next level.
Athena Screenwriting Lab
Currently, the Athena Film Festival hosts two labs for screenwriters—one in NYC and one in LA—providing women storytellers with training, skills and a valuable, supportive network. Partnering with WIST, we hold a two-day screenwriting lab for women writers in NYC during our annual Athena Film Festival. The NYC lab is structured to provide participants with multiple one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced screenwriters and opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback.
The Athena Film Festival and IRIS are partnering to present the Athena IRIS Screenwriting Lab. The Athena IRIS Screenwriting Lab is designed for female writers who have not yet had a feature-length fictional script produced. Screenplays must include one or more strong female characters in leadership roles at the center of the story and must be feature-length narratives.
In 2018, we launched a lab for screenwriters and television writers in Los Angeles. Partnering with WIST and the Stephens College Masters of Fine Arts in Television and Screenwriting, the three-day program focuses on emerging women writers in both television and film. The lab includes one-on-one mentoring sessions pairing participants with established screenwriters, a mock television writer’s room, and opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback. One day was devoted to film and another to TV, with an industry day in between, at which participants learned about the business of making films, including meetings with managers, showrunners and producers.