In February 2011, the inaugural Athena Film Festival presented over 25 films highlighting the multiplicity of women’s roles in the film industry—as actors, writers, directors, and producers.
On the first night of the first ever Athena Film Festival, I was sitting in the dimly lit Diana Oval waiting for the screening of “Desert Flower,” a movie about nomad-turned-supermodel Waris Dirie, to begin. The last flickers of light died down and the screen lit up. Talking ceased as a pre-feature clip sang out: “I will not be afraid of women...”
For 40 years Carla Ricci, summered in a small Rhode Island town named Carolina. When fall returned, Ricci went back to Boston where she was an associate provost at Tufts University. But she kept thinking about the small town of 75 houses that was a mile wide and centered on an abandoned mill. Such a town had lots of stories, Ricci believed. One day she wanted to hear them. That day came in 2002, when shortly after retiring from Tufts, Ricci decided to make a film about the tiny mill town that she had come to love. She interviewed scores of residents to hear about the town’s 130 years of history. Carolina, Rhode Island: The Smallest of the Small will air on the Providence PBS station this fall.
Anne Aghion '82