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Athena Film Festival

Athena Film Festival

Thursday, 28 February 2019 until Sunday, 03 March 2019

The Athena Film Festival — a celebration of women and leadership — is an engaging weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that highlight women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world.  The four-day festival, which includes conversations with directors and talent and workshops for filmmakers, has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind.


 

2019 program...

7 Planets {New York Premiere}

A young girl dreams to escape planet Earth.

93Queen

93Queen follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are smashing the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City.

A Private War

One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the front lines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.

A Woman’s Place

Three female chefs grapple with barriers in the male-dominated food service industry.

Activism Booth

During your visit to the Athena Film Festival, don’t forget to swing by our Activism Booth to learn more about how you can support local organizations working for gender equality.

Ask For Jane

The true story of determined women in the 1960s who quietly provided the phone numbers of a reliable abortion doctor to women in need.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female film director at age 23. She went on to write, direct, produce, or edit more than 1000 films and became one of the early film industry’s biggest stars. Then she vanished from history.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Based on a true story, Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer. Unable to get a new publishing gig, Lee turns to artistic deception.

Cinematographer

Six women cinematographers share the complexities of working in an industry that rarely hires women.

Closing Night Film: Knock Down the House {New York Premiere}

A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada and a registered nurse in Missouri build a movement of insurgent candidates challenging powerful incumbents in Congress.

Come & Take It

America’s most irreverent anti-gun activists create the Great Texas Dildo Revolt. #CocksNotGlocks.

Cross My Heart

While visiting her family in Jamaica, an American teenager becomes her cousin’s confidant, changing the way she sees the people she loves.

Don’t Talk To Irene

When an overweight and unpopular teenager is suspended from school, she must endure two weeks of community service at a nearby retirement home.

Dykes, Camera, Action!

Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, set the stage for lesbian filmmakers to transform how society views queerness.

Game

The new teenager in town shows up at the boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?

Giving Birth in America: California

A Mexican farmworker, pregnant with her third child, seeks prenatal care from a clinic in the “Strawberry Capital” of California.

Happy Today

In Northern Uganda, a midwife accompanies new mothers through the physical pain and intense emotion of giving birth.

Heed the Call {New York Premiere}

In the midst of World War II, a young woman must decide if she is willing to defy both social expectations and her family by joining the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

I’m Just Here

A suicide helpline operator fields an unforgettable call from a young, queer woman.

Jinn

An African-American teenager’s world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular TV meteorologist, abruptly converts to Islam, prompting both mother and daughter to reevaluate their identities.

Juck

Feminist activists use dance to challenge popular notions of modern femininity.

Lady Parts Justice in the New World Order

The Lady Parts Justice League barnstorms the country to support abortion providers and defend women’s reproductive rights. Using comedy as the ultimate weapon to mobilize voters for the 2018 elections, they use a boots-on-the-ground strategy to protect bodily autonomy for all.

Life Without Basketball

After the International Basketball Federation forbids head coverings, making it impossible for Muslim women to maintain their religious convictions, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir fights to change the rules. With her victory, she becomes the first Division I basketball player to play wearing the hijab.

Lotte That Silhouette Girl

With music, magic and a stirring narration by Lotte herself, Lotte that Silhouette Girl tells the tale of one of animations’ foremost pioneers, German Film Director, Lotte Reiniger.

Masks

A closeted medical student’s secret is threatened when out on a date with her girlfriend.

Masterclass on Writing with Ligiah Villalobos

Join us for Masterclass on writing for the big screen. Ligiah Villablobos is a writer, producer, and consultant, whose credits include, Go, Diego, Go!, Chavez, and Dirty Girls Social Club.

Netizens

As the internet becomes the next frontier of civil rights, three women who are targets of harassment confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online.

Newport Gun Girls {New York Premiere}

The story of a forgotten group of Welsh women who worked at an ordinance factory during World War II.

Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS

A compelling portrait of the inspiring and remarkable women at the forefront of the global AIDS movement.

Nour {New York Premiere}

A young girl feels self-conscious about wearing a hijab at her new school.

On Her Shoulders

With deep compassion and an elegance that matches her calm and steely demeanor, 23 year-old Nadia Murad survives the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis and escapes ISIS to become a relentless beacon of hope.

On The Basis of Sex

The compelling story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years, as she crafts a national legal strategy to win equal rights for women and fights to succeed in a profession notably hostile to women.

One Small Step

In this animated short, an ambitious girl aspires to be an astronaut, guided by her supportive father.

Opening Night Film: Fast Color {New York Premiere}

This fantasy superhero re-mix stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a hero forced to run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after abandoning her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.

Out of Blue {Narrative Centerpiece}

Detective Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is called to investigate the shooting of a leading astrophysicist.

Programming for Parity Panel

This panel will discuss what role festivals can play in advancing the parity agenda and will feature festival programmers discussing what steps they are taking to create change in the industry.

Rafiki

In their community “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls are forced to choose between happiness and safety.

Rise and Shine

Waking up after years in a deep sleep, the last surviving scientist in Antarctica must use her ingenuity and science to survive.

She Flies By Her Own Wings

Driven by the military tenet of “Leave No One Behind,” Shannon Scott, a proud transgender veteran, seeks justice for those vets who championed equality before her.

Shorts Program I

Shorts Program I films: Cinematographer, Come and Take It, Heed The Call, I’m Just Here, Juck, Sister Hearts

Shorts Program II

Shorts Program II – A Woman’s Place, Game, Mask, Nour, Waahi, While I Yet Live

Shorts Program III

Shorts Program III films: 7 Planets, Giving Birth in America: California, Happy Today, Newport Gun Girls, One Small Step, Rise and Shine

Sister Hearts

After thirteen years in prison (six in solitary), an ex-offender opens Sister Hearts, the largest thrift store in New Orleans, and offers a path forward for women like her.

Support the Girls

The general manager at a highway-side ”sports bar with curves” who has incurable optimism and faith in her girls, her customers, and herself, is tested over the course of a long, strange day.

The Favourite

This award-winning comedy-drama stars Olivia Colman as Queen Anne and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone as cousins whose quarreling take center stage as each jockeys to be the court favourite of a frail and mercurial Queen Anne.

The Feminist

This personal and compelling portrait follows Gudrun Schyman, spokesperson of Sweden’s Feminist Initiative political party as she moves between small towns, refugee camps, and the corridors of power.

The Great Mother

When two U.S. born children share that their mother is being deported, immigration activist Nora Sandigo steps up to become their legal guardian, saving them from the fate of “immigration orphans’’ trapped in the foster care system.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Chloë Grace Moretz plays a teenager sent away to a remote “treatment center” after being caught in the backseat with the prom queen. As she is subjected to questionable gay conversion therapies, she finds both challenge and solace in fellow residents.

The Sun Ladies

Meet Xate Singali, captain of the Sun Ladies, a female-only fighting unit that risks everything to protect the Yazidi community from violent attacks by ISIS.

The Technology of Filmmaking

The Athena Film Festival and Barnard’s Instructional Media and Technology Services host a unique filmmaker forum exposing attendees to the technical fields of filmmaking.

This Is Personal {Documentary Centerpiece}

While the 2016 election catalyzed the Women’s March and a new era of feminist activism, Tamika Mallory and Erika Andiola have been fighting for their communities for years.

Virtual Reality Full Program Session I

Make sure to visit the Virtual Reality lounge at the 2019 Athena Film Festival.

Virtual Reality Full Program Session II

Make sure to visit the Virtual Reality lounge at the 2019 Athena Film Festival.

Waahi {US Premiere}

A Pakistani wheat farmer shatters stereotypes with her courage and resilience.

Warrior Women

Madonna Thunder Hawk, unapologetic organizer of the American Indian Movement, has cultivated a ragtag gang of activist children into the We Will Remember survival group. The film highlights the struggle for native rights and how activists pass their legacies from generation to generation.

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

This nuanced portrait of Pauline Kael, among the most famous and divisive film critics of all time, uses never-before-seen archival film, wide-ranging interviews and her own writings voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker.

While I Yet Live

Acclaimed quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, talk about love, religion, and the fight for civil rights as they continue the tradition that brought them together.

Whispering Truth to Power

After her appointment as South Africa’s Public Protector in 2009, Thuli Madonsela immediately faces violent protests, court interdicts, political and personal attacks, and death threats, as this remarkably steadfast woman seeks justice in a country still coming to terms with its apartheid past.

Women & Horror Panel

This panel will delve into the history of women in horror and discuss the recent renaissance of the genre.  

Work-in-Progress: Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

The story of acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary historical periods through which she lived—reveals the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest artists and social commentators.

Work-in-progress: Surge

Surge is about this extraordinary moment, when an unprecedented number of first-time female candidates ran, won and upended conventional politics in 2018.

Working Woman

Caught between the need to support her family and the increasingly disturbing behavior of her boss, Orna fights for her job and her sense of self-worth.

Works-In-Progress Full Program

Join us for a moderated conversation with film professionals and advisors as they review clips of three works-in-progress and help the filmmakers push their films to the next level.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Explore the remarkable life and legacy of the late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin.