Athena Film Festival

Save the Date! 
February 5-8, 2015

Barnard College


Athena Film Festival Sponsorship Opportunities


A Letter From Our Founders:

Dear Friends,

We want to make sure you know how much we appreciate your support of the 2014 Athena Film Festival. Over the course of four years, the Festival has grown to be a significant and inspiring event.  This year the vibe felt great -- wonderfully diverse, packed audiences, great panels and conversations about women and leadership, and films that captured the courage and strength of women across the globe.  We are so proud of what we are building and extremely appreciative that we have so many of you partnering with us to ensure the Festival’s success. 

A special thank you goes to our Founding Sponsor, the Artemis Rising Foundation and its founder and CEO, Regina K. Scully, as well as our Premiere Level Sponsor, the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, our corporate and foundation sponsors, our Honorary Host Committee, and Festival Co-chairs. Your faith in us and your financial support has made the festival possible and inspired us to continue our goal -- highlighting women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world.

There are a number of other people who have also contributed to the festival: industry advisors, friends of the festival who have given in-kind donations, partner organizations, readers for the new Athena list, Festival staff, Barnard students, staff and faculty, and of course the 400+ volunteers who warmly greeted our audiences and ensured that all ran smoothly.  Here are a few of the highlights from the weekend:

Awards Ceremony: Over 300 people attended the inspiring awards ceremony on Saturday evening. We honored Callie Khouri, Kasi Lemmons, and Keri Putnam with Athena Film Festival awards and Sherry Lansing received the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award.    In addition, we unveiled the 2014 Athena List of four movies that deserve to get made, which has dubbed the “new gender-conscious cousin of Hollywood’s Black List.” 

Great Films and Stimulating Conversations:   This year’s films were stronger and more moving than ever, and the audiences responded. Eight of the movies, including the opening film Belle, sold out and numerous others had near capacity crowds.

  • Director of Belle, Amma Asante, flew in from Amsterdam for the New York Premiere of her stellar film.  Her movie and the insights she brought about the making of the film received standing ovations; 

  • Grace Lee Boggs, a member of the Barnard Class of 1935, attended the screening of the bio-pic, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs and the discussion lasted late into the evening;

  • A fantastic panel followed the Centerpiece Film, Decoding Annie Parker, with Steven Bernstein, the film’s director, and a panel of scientists;

  • In what was perhaps the most joyous moment of the festival, following the screening of Frozen, Barnard junior, Ariane Rinehart (fresh from her role on NBC’s Sound of Music) led a sing-along of the Oscar nominated-song, Let It Go, with an audience filled with Girls Scouts of Greater New York;

  • Director Lexi Alexander whose recent blog post flew around the internet challenged the film industry to be more proactive about the lack of women directors;

  • Director Donna Zaccaro attended the screening of the closing film that she made about her mother,Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way

In total we screened 11 features, 11 documentaries, and 18 shorts and works in progress.  In addition, we convened 4 panels to discuss the role of women in the film industry; held a moving conversation with Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and held three master classes for filmmakers.   Over 4,800 people attended the movies, panels and receptions.  Best of all, the number of people purchasing all-access passes and spending the entire weekend reached an all-time high. 

Significantly, the festival received great media coverage, both before, during and after the festival from such publications as, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post and more.   Social media was buzzing both before and during the festival with hundreds of mentions on Twitter, in blogs, and Facebook postings. 

With your support, we have created a wonderful festival that we hope will continue to grow in the years ahead. Please know how appreciative we are for all that you do. We would love to hear any thoughts you have on the festival – particularly your thoughts on what worked well, what can use improvement, and ideas for next year’s festival.

We will soon begin planning for next year’s festival and hope we can count on your energy, enthusiasm and continued support. In the meantime, please know how appreciative we are of your contributions to Athena 2014. Pictures will be up on our site and facebook page soon. Click here to view press on the festival and here for a YouTube video of the Frozen sing-along

Thanks again for all of your support, 

Kathryn Kolbert                                              Melissa Silverstein
Athena Center for Leadership Studies              Women & Hollywood


Athena Center Interns Profiled on MTVu -- watch the video! 



Athena Film Festival Goes Global

Athena Global Shorts:   A collaboration with UN Women,  Athena Global Shorts includes four short films that celebrate the power, audacity and creativity of international women leaders. First shown at the 2012 Athena Film Festival, the films are now compiled onto a 56-minute DVD, ready-made for a film screening.  LEARN MORE

In 2012, the Athena Film Festival helped to launch the International Women’s Film Festival Network to support and promote women’s voices, visions and leadership, both onscreen and behind the scenes.  Membership in the network is open to any independent film festival that has staged at least one festival within the last three years with programs dedicated to screening films by or about women and girls. As of March, 2013, there are 35 members from 23 countries and 6 continents.  The website for the network is housed at the Athena Film Festival.  LEARN MORE