We want to make sure you know how much we appreciate your support of the 2014 Athena Film Festival. Over the course of four years, the Festival has grown to be a significant and inspiring event. This year the vibe felt great — wonderfully diverse, packed audiences, great panels and conversations about women and leadership, and films that captured the courage and strength of women across the globe.
A special thank you goes to our Founding Sponsor, the Artemis Rising Foundation and its founder and CEO, Regina K. Scully, our Premiere Level Sponsor, the Ford Foundation’s Just Films, our eleven corporate and foundation sponsors, as well as our Honorary Host Committee, and Festival Co-chairs. Your faith in us and support has made the festival possible and inspired us to continue our goal — highlighting women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world.
Great Films & Stimulating Conversations
In total we screened 11 features, 11 documentaries, and 18 shorts and works in progress. In addition, we convened 4 panels to discuss the role of women in the film industry; held a moving conversation with Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and held three master classes for filmmakers. Over 4,800 people attended the movies, panels and receptions. Here are some highlights:
• Director of Belle, Amma Asante, flew in from Amsterdam for the New York Premiere of her stellar film;
• A fantastic panel followed the Centerpiece Film, DeCoding Annie Parker, with Steven Bernstein, the film’s director, and a panel of scientists;
• Grace Lee Boggs, a member of the Barnard Class of 1935, attended the screening of the bio-pic, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs and the buzz lasted late into the evening;
• Director Lexi Alexander whose recent blog post flew around the internet challenged the film industry to be more proactive about the lack of women directors;
• Director Donna Zaccaro attended the screening of the Closing Film that she made about her mother, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way;
• In what was perhaps the most joyous moment of the festival, following the screening of Frozen, Barnard junior, Ariane Rinehart (fresh from her role on NBC’s Sound of Music) led a sing-along of the Oscar nominated-song, Let It Go, with an audience filled with Girls Scouts of Greater New York.
The Film Festival’s Award Ceremony
Over 300 people attended the inspiring awards ceremony on Saturday evening. We honored Callie Khouri, Kasi Lemmons, and Keri Putnam with Athena Film Festival awards and Sherry Lansing received the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, we unveiled the 2014 Athena List of four movies that deserve to get made, which Time.com has dubbed the “new gender-conscious cousin of Hollywood’s Black List.”
Media Coverage of the Athena Film Festival
Significantly, the festival received great media coverage, both before, during and after the festival from such publications as Variety, Time.com, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post and more. And social media was buzzing both before and during the festival with hundreds of mentions on Twitter, in blogs and Facebook postings.