The annual fest, now in its eighth year, celebrates the leadership and creative accomplishments of trailblazers in the entertainment industry. The festival showcases films about powerful and courageous women leaders in real life and the fictional world; it is a weekend dedicated to elevating female voices and stories to inspire and empower a new generation of filmmakers and individuals.
“This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” director Kopple will receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to a woman in the film industry whose leadership demonstrates vision and courage and sets a standard for other women to emulate. Past recipients include Jodie Foster, Mira Nair, Sherry Lansing, and Gale Anne Hurd.
“A United Kingdom” helmer Asante will be honored with the Athena Award. Previous awardees include Ava DuVernay, Eve Ensler, Greta Gerwig, Diablo Cody, Kasi Lemmons, Karyn Kusama, Debra Martin Chase, Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper, Patricia Riggen, Callie Khouri, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Julie Taymor.
“Fun Mom Dinner” actress Everett is set to receive the inaugural Breakthrough Award.
“We are proud to announce our 2018 Athena Film Festival awardees. This outstanding group of women are bold and courageous leaders in the entertainment industry,” said Kathryn Kolbert, co-founder of the Athena Film Festival and the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. “Now more than ever, it is critically important to recognize and support women who are trailblazers in their fields.”
“One of the most exciting things we do at the Athena Film Festival is selecting a handful of incredible women each year to recognize for their contributions to the industry,” said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival artistic director co-founder and founder of Women and Hollywood. “It’s crucial that women continue to inspire and support each other, and we are thrilled that Athena is a part of that.”
Festival co-chairs include Debra Martin Chase, Geralyn Dreyfous, Paul Feig, Sherry Lansing, Jon Levin, Dylan McDermott, Sheila Nevins, David Oyelowo, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Susan Rovner, Regina K. Scully, and Rachel Weisz.
The fest takes places at Barnard College in New York City and runs from February 22–25, 2018.