Athena Center

Athena Center

Ashley Bush was a junior at Barnard when she became a student coordinator for the first-ever Athena Film Festival in 2011.

We are delighted to announce that Umbreen Bhatti ’00 has joined Barnard as the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Umbreen brings a fresh perspective and considerable expertise to the Athena Center, with a focus on helping our students develop the skills they need to address today’s opportunities and challenges in creative and original ways.

Alumna Umbreen Bhatti ’00 Will Continue Center’s Advancement of Women Leaders

The 2019 Athena Film Festival opened on Thursday, February 28th with the New York Premiere of 'Fast Color', a film about a superhero who is forced to run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. The festival continued throughout the weekend to showcase even more fierce and fearless women leaders featured in inspirational films like 'On the Basis of Sex', 'On Her Shoulders', and 'Ask For Jane'. In addition to films, the festival had some great receptions, workshops, panels, and an activism booth. The festival concluded with a bang when U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attended as a panelist to support the New York premiere of 'Knock Down the House' on Sunday, March 3rd.

On Sunday, March 3, Barnard's Athena Film Festival capped its ninth annual celebration of fierce and fearless women leaders in film by welcoming U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who attended as a panelist to support the New York premiere of Knock Down the House.

The ninth annual festival screened films centered on women leaders, awarded trailblazers making their mark in their respective fields, hosted panels like "Time's Upx2" and more.

The Athena List, featuring three to five unproduced screenplays about women leaders, has provided early attention to films 'On the Basis of Sex,' the Alfre Woodard-starring U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury winner at this year's Park City festival, and Catherine Keener starrer 'Little Pink House' and led to more opportunities for its selected writers.

Kathryn Kolbert argued the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the Supreme Court as a public interest attorney specializing in women’s reproductive rights. Melissa Silverstein founded Women and Hollywood, an initiative that “educates, advocates, and agitates for gender diversity and inclusion in Hollywood and the global film industry,” according to its website. At Barnard, they worked together to create an innovative event that promotes a new kind of leadership, uniting politics and film.

Former Athena Scholar Zoë LePage ’13  is highlighted in Barnard Magazine, talking about her nonprofit, which started out as her senior social action project. It's called Exhale to Inhale (ETI), which uses the healing practice of trauma-informed yoga to empower survivors.

The ninth annual Athena Film Festival, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood, opens Thursday, February 28, and runs through Sunday, March 3 at Barnard College.