“You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Marian Wright Edelman

Inspired by this quote, the Athena Film Festival was founded in 2011 to champion and promote diverse, nuance, complex, and underrepresented stories of women’s leadership on screen. Our annual festival, held each year on the Barnard College campus in NYC, serves as a platform and showcase for narrative, documentary, and short films all centering strong women leaders at the center of the story. Screenings are complemented by panels, Q&A’s with filmmakers, and community events.

Since the festival’s founding, we have supporting 700+ filmmakers and screened 540+ films — 90% directed by women or nonbinary individuals.

Through our year-round Creative Development Program, we support the writers bringing these stories to life. We offer numerous programs that support writers and projects at various stages of development. Accomplishments include shepherding 40 films in our Documentary Pitch Program, 51% of which were made by BIWOC filmmakers; and giving out more than $200K in grants to the people who most need it in the industry.

In partnership with our community of supporters, friends, filmmakers, and allies, we are challenging our culture to be more inclusive and inspiring the next generation with a new, more complex and complete understanding of all that women can be and do.

Celebrating 14 years of advancing inclusion on screen and elevating women-centered stories!

Join us on February 29 – March 3, 2024 for the 14th annual Athena Film Festival. We are so looking forward to once again gathering with thousands of friends and supporters for a weekend of films, conversations, and events that investigate and explore what it means to be a woman today.

Our festival is where filmmakers and attendees find community and connection. We can’t wait to see you there. Passes are now on sale.