27 Feb

Athena Film Festival

New York
2019 Highlights
  • 75% of films screened at the 2019 Athena Film Festival were directed by women, 32% directed by people of color and 20% directed by women of color. 
  • Attendance was overflowing/above capacity for their free panel discussion about the groundbreaking movement, Time’s Up, and the next steps for the organization in their fight for gender equity. 
  • A selection of seven short films which included Academy Award-winning short Period. End of Sentence, screened to a sold out audience. Following the screening, AFF had an extended panel discussion on how we as storytellers can empower, support and celebrate women in STEM. 
  • Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum
  • Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum

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 their work Athena Film Festival offers 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.

A signature program is the Athena List an annual slate of between 3-5 screenplays with female leaders that have yet to be made into films. Now in its 6th year, three Athena List films have been produced. Two films have been released: Little Pink House, written and directed Courtney Balaker starring Catherine Keener and On the Basis of Sex, written by Daniel Stiepleman and starring Felicity Jones. Additionally, Athena List winner Clemency premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and The Burning Season which will go into production this year.

The festival is a project of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard 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 tenth annual Athena Film Festival will be held Feb. 27-  March 1, 2020.

Submissions for the 2020 Athena Festival will open in June 2019.

Submit Your Film

Short films that are under 40 minutes in length that:

Reveal the diverse narratives of women leaders from all walks of life—narratives of ambition, courage, and resilience. Showcase women leaders who currently are making or have made a difference in the world — captivating stories of truth, determination, innovation, and vision. Highlight the talents of new and recognized artists — capturing their take on what truly makes exemplary women leaders.

Keep In Mind:

All films must feature a female in a leadership position at the center of the story. Films may be directed by a person or people of any gender. Films that are directed by women but do not focus on female leadership will not be considered.

Entry is free 

All synopses are reviewed by our programming team. If your film does not fit our criteria it will not be considered. 

If you have a feature-length film that you would like to submit to the festival, please email [email protected] with the title of your film, full synopses, and how it fits our criteria.