Barnard's Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Athena Film Festival Awards, which honor actors, directors, producers and other members of the film industry for their leadership and creative accomplishments. This year's awardees include Sheila Nevins '66, President of HBO Documentary Films, Gina Prince-Bythewood, director, writer and producer behind films such as Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees and Beyond the Lights, and Cathy Schulman, Academy Award-winning producer, President of Mandalay Pictures, and President of Women in Film, known for films including Crash, The Illusionist, Darfur Now and Bernie. Additionally, Academy Award® -winning actress and filmmaker Jodie Foster will receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of her extraordinary 49th year in front of the camera, including groundbreaking performances in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs. Foster’s influence also extends behind the camera as an acclaimed director and producer.

Tickets for the 2015 Athena Film Festival are now available to purchase online.

Check out the lineup of films for this year's festival.


The fifth annual Athena Film Festival – a celebration of women and leadership – will take place on Barnard's campus from February 5 – 8, 2015.  Honoring extraordinary women in the film industry, the festival highlights films that showcase women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world.  With a program including screenings, master classes, and Q&A panels with filmmakers and stars, the 2015 festival will inspire, entertain and recognize industry leaders. Regina K. Scully, the Phoebe Snow Foundation and the Artemis Rising Foundation are the festival’s Founding Sponsors. Festival co-chairs include: Amma Asante; Julie Parker Benello; Debra Martin Chase; Dan Cogan; Diane Levin; Jon Levin; Regina K. Scully and Rachel Weisz.

This year's festival also marks the return of the Athena List, which has been called the “gender conscious cousin” of The Black List, highlighting 3-5 completed screenplays with strong leading female characters that have yet to be made into films.  The festival will also illuminate the story and process behind some of the featured films with Q&A panels including cast members and filmmakers.  Ticket holders will have the opportunity to learn from a range of industry leaders, both behind and in front of the camera, with a curated program of master classes.  Full information on these programs will be released in January.

“We could not be more proud to see the festival celebrate its fifth year shining a light on women as creative, inspirational and essential pillars of the entertainment industry,” said Regina K. Scully. “As founding sponsor we are privileged to have seen the festival grow and to continue participating in what is certain to be one of the most dynamic programs to date.”

“This year’s awardees epitomize the leadership and ingenuity that women bring to the entertainment industry everyday,” said Kathryn Kolbert, Constance Hess Williams Director for the Athena Center and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival.  “We are excited for the festival to once again bring the Barnard community and campus to life with film and entertainment fans embracing all the festival has to offer.”

“We are thrilled to reveal the women we are honoring at this year’s festival, and look forward to announcing the full slate right after the new year,” said Melissa Silverstein, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Athena Film Festival and founder of Women and Hollywood. “As a festival we continue raise the visibility of accomplished women in the industry and create a four day celebration of work that highlights women's leadership in ways that are courageous and thought-provoking.”

Early bird passes for the festival are now available online.  Individual ticket sales and the announcement of the lineup will take place in early January 2015.  Please visit http://www.athenafilmfestival.com for regular updates, announcements and to purchase passes.