ATHENA FILM FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 28TH – MARCH 3RD 2019

The ninth annual festival, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, will take place February 28 to March 3, 2019, at Barnard College in New York City. AFF showcases films, television and content that tell the extraordinary stories of fierce and fearless female leaders from all walks of life. Stories of ambition, courage, and resilience amplify the voices of strong, bold women, curating a public discourse on gender equality, and changing the cultural conventions surrounding leadership.
The festival will open on Thursday, February 28, with the New York premiere of Fast Color.” The film, directed by Julia Hart and written by Hart and Jordan Horowitz, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a hero forced to run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after abandoning her family, the only place she has left to hide is home. Lorraine Toussaint and David Strathairn co-star.
The festival will close on Sunday, March 3, with the New York premiere of the documentary “Knock Down The House,”directed by Rachel Lears, and featuring NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The film centers on a young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada, and a registered nurse in Missouri, as they build a movement comprised of insurgent Congressional candidates who challenge powerful incumbents. One of their races ultimately becomes the most surprising political upset in recent American history.

About Us

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 female leaders. Over the last nine years, the Festival has welcomed more than 30,000 people from all over the world to 200+ screenings of narratives, documentaries, and shorts that feature diverse stories of ambition, courage, and resilience. This past year we screened 46 films including 17 features, 13 documentaries, and 16 shorts. We welcomed guests including Billie Jean King, J.J. Abrams, Lena Dunham, Amma Asante, Barbara Kopple, and Bridget Everett among many others.

Additionally, as part of our work we offer writing labs for TV and film writers, masterclasses and works in progress programs for female filmmakers, and other skill-building panels and opportunities for women who are breaking into film.

One signature program is the Athena List. Now in its 5th year, the Athena List is an annual slate of between 3-5 screenplays with female leaders that have yet to be made into films. Several Athena List scripts have been produced. Athena List finalist, Little Pink House written and directed Courtney Balaker starring Catherine Keener was released in the spring of 2018, and Athena List winner, On the Basis of Sex based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be released in the fall of 2018.

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