Submit to Women in Science Development Fund

Submissions Are Now Closed

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College is pleased to introduce our new Women in Science Development Fund, sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Chosen through an open application process, two filmmakers will each receive development grants of $10,000 to write feature-length scripts about women in STEM. Writers must identify as women or nonbinary and are required to apply with story treatments (two-four pages), a scientific statement (one-two pages) and samples of their previous writing (at most 15 pages). Projects must contain realistic and compelling depictions of women in the fields of science, mathematics and technology.

This fund is for projects currently in the treatment stage only. This fund is not applicable for projects that have already completed a draft.

In addition to $10,000 grants, writers will receive curated creative mentorship throughout the screenwriting process from the Athena Film Festival’s Creative Development Program, plus scientific mentorship from experts in the film’s subject matter. The winners of the Women in Science Development Fund will be celebrated during the 2022 Athena Film Festival at a dedicated Women in Science event. The event will invite notable women scientists, women producers and heads of production companies, writers, and other members of our community to join us to celebrate with us, and to encourage the industry to help develop these projects into films.

The Athena Ethos:
Women’s leadership takes no singular form. Stories of women leaders, in all their forms and all their complexity, are rarely shown on the big screen. Women whose leadership has been questioned, dismissed or erased, women who have risen up, spoken truth to power, women who empower their communities, inspire and educate, or women who simply survive – these are the stories we want to see. These are Athena stories. Here, the definition of leadership is intentionally left open because, everyday, revolutionary women change it.

Rules & Terms

    • Scripts must have a woman (girl) or women character(s) in leadership role(s) or position(s) within the fields of science, mathematics and/or technology. Projects from all genres are accepted, and we seek out stories about women from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural groups;
    • Writers who are women, non-binary, or gender non-conforming are eligible to apply. Projects with more than one writer may be considered as long as all writers identify as women, non-binary, or gender non-conforming;
    • Writers cannot have had a feature-length narrative script produced within the past 10 years;
    • Final scripts must be written in English and should ultimately be 80 to 120 pages long;
    • If chosen as a finalist, you may be asked to submit the answers to additional questions or participate in an interview;
    • Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s) and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or nonfiction material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced. Entries may, however, be adapted for the entrant’s (or entrants’) original work, which should be noted in the logline required on the application form. Entries lacking a logline on the application form will be disqualified.
    • If the script is based on a true story, historical or contemporary, this must be noted in the logline required on the application form with the phrase “based on true story/events.”
    • If the script is not original to the entrant(s), the entrant(s) must have the underlying necessary rights in order to submit and be considered for this grant.
    • The submission deadline is November 15th, 2021.
    • All notifications will go out by December 15, 2021.

*This fund is for projects currently in treatment stage only. This fund is not applicable for projects that have already completed a draft.