The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in New York City, is a weekend of inspiring films that tell the extraordinary stories of fierce and fearless women leaders. Over the last ten years, the festival has welcomed more than 35,000 people from all over the world to 200+ screenings of narratives, documentaries, and shorts that feature diverse stories of ambition, courage, and resilience.
Additionally, as part of our work we offer writing labs for TV and film writers, masterclasses and works in progress programs for women filmmakers, and other skill-building panels and opportunities for women who are breaking into film.
A signature program is the Athena List – an annual slate of between 3-5 screenplays about women leaders that have yet to be made into films. Now in its 7th year, three Athena List films have been released: Little Pink House, written and directed by Courtney Balaker starring Catherine Keener; On the Basis of Sex, written by Daniel Stiepleman and starring Felicity Jones; and Clemency, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and now has been nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. In addition, Athena List winner The Burning Season by Jenny Halper will go into production this year.
The festival is a project of the Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, a leading voice for women in the entertainment industry. The Artemis Rising Foundation and its CEO Regina K. Scully is the festival’s founding sponsor. The 11th annual Athena Film Festival will be held March 2021.