Highlight Reel

Now in its ninth year, the Athena Film Festival continues to celebrate powerful stories by and about strong women

AFF co-founders Kathryn Kolbert, left, and Melissa Silverstein, right, with Athena Award winners (L-R) Cameron Bailey, Nina Shaw, Marielle Heller, and Desiree Akhavan.
Photos by Jodie Chiang, Clarissa Sosin, and Justin McCallum

Sixty-seven hundred attendees feted women leaders in film at this year’s Athena Film Festival at Barnard. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York spoke at a panel following the documentary Knock Down the House, about four political newcomers running for Congress. Entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw ’76 (profiled on page 24) received the Athena Award for co-founding the activist group Time’s Up. Another Athena Award went to writer-director Marielle Heller for her depiction of a sexually confident young woman in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Writer-director Desiree Akhavan received the Breakthrough Award for The Miseducation of Cameron Post, about a teen lesbian sent to a religious “conversion” camp. Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, garnered the Leading Man Award for his promotion of women filmmakers.

1 Enthusiastic volunteers; 2 AFF co-founders Kathryn Kolbert, left, and Melissa Silverstein, right, with Athena Award winners (L-R) Cameron Bailey, Nina Shaw, Marielle Heller, and Desiree Akhavan; 3 Athena Awards; 4 Virtual Reality sponsored by Google; 5 President Beilock and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; 6 actor and  producer Alysia Reiner; 7 I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story panelists; 8 Athena Awards reception attendees; 9 activist-booth swag

Athena Film Festival

Enthusiastic volunteers

President Beilock and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Actor and  producer Alysia Reiner

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story panelist

Athena Awards

Athena Awards reception attendees

Virtual Reality sponsored by Google

Activist booth swag