Submit to the AFF Documentary Pitch Program


Submissions Are Now Closed

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College facilitates an annual AFF Documentary Pitch Program (formerly named the Works in Progress) as part of our Creative Development Program to support filmmakers.  

The program is an intensive pitch training and storytelling strengthening opportunity that will take place during January and February 2024 and will culminate with the pitch during the Athena Festival on Friday, March 1, 2024.  Each filmmaking team will work with Peabody Award-winning filmmaker/teacher/Co-Founder of Chicken & Egg Picture, Judith Helfand.

The program includes:

  • Story Development and Pitch Training;
    • Two months of honing, writing, and perfecting a pitch;
    • Editing a trailer for presentation (3-5 minutes);
  • Live pitch in front of a panel of esteemed industry representatives;
  • Introductions to a network of potential supporters and partners;
  • Mentorship from experienced professionals.

Submissions will open on September 5 and will close on December 1.

Rules & Terms

  • This program is for documentary feature-length films and short films (over 25 minutes) ;
  • Films must have a woman (girl) or women character(s) in a leadership role(s) or position(s) on screen;
  • Projects from all genres are accepted, and stories about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups are encouraged to apply;
  • Filmmakers who apply MUST NOT have completed more than THREE feature-length documentaries;
  • Films need to be in production or at least have some footage shot to submit to the program. Projects that are in development without any footage are not eligible;
  • Projects must have a producer attached to their film to be considered;
  • Films that don’t focus on women’s leadership WILL NOT be considered;
  • Each project receives a $500.00 honorarium
  • There is a $10.00 Submission Fee

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.

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