NEW YORK (February 4, 2021) – The Athena Film Festival (AFF) at Barnard College announced its opening night film and lineup of programming for the 2021 festival today. The 11th annual festival, a joint partnership between Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership and the initiative Women and Hollywood, will take place virtually from March 1st through March 31st. The annual festival includes film screenings, in-depth conversations with filmmakers and industry experts, a series of programs that support the pipeline of women creatives, and a wide variety of events focused on celebrating and amplifying the stories of bold, courageous women leaders.
AFF will open with the U.S. premiere of “BEANS”. The film, directed by Tracey Deer, stars up-and-coming actor Kiawentiio as Beans, a twelve-year-old Mohawk Girl torn between innocent childhood and reckless adolescence as she grapples with her experiences of community, activism, and racism during the Indigenous uprising of 1990 known as The Oka Crisis.
This year, AFF has curated a selection of films that react and respond to this challenging moment in time, including: Making it Happen: Women in STEM; Tear it Down: Dismantling White Supremacy; Discovery; A Look At Health; Resilience through Uncertainty; Imagining a New Future; Nothing About Us Without Us and Come As You Are. Full descriptions on the program areas are available on the AFF website.
Selections include the New York Premiere of Luchina Fisher’s loving documentary about trans icon Gloria Allen, “Mama Gloria”, Caru Alves de Souza’s riveting drama “My Name Is Baghdad,” Jessica Earnshaw’s deeply intimate “Jacinta”, Loira Limbal’s compassionate look at 24 hour child care in “Through The Night”, Shatara Mitchell’s emotionally gripping “Test Pattern”, Ashley O’Shay’s essential documentary, “Unapologetic” following Black women abolitionist activists in Chicago, Susan Sandler’s tender portrait of trans-comedian “Julia Scott: Funny The Way”, Yoruba Richen’s comprehensive examination of the intersections of Black women artists in “How It Feels to Be Free”, Sharron Shattuck and Ian Cheney’s eye-opening look at sexism in the sciences in “Picture A Scientist”, Shannon Kring’s powerful “End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock”, Stacey Lee’s “Underplayed” which is a riveting look on the gender imbalance of DJ’s in the music industry, as well as two fascinating portraits of incredible women in Sue Williams “Denise Ho – Becoming the Song” and Raquel Cepeda’s “La Madrina: The (Savage) Life of Lorine Padilla”.
Shorts include the World Premiere of “La Indefinible” directed by Agustina Biasutto. This year’s edition also includes the U.S. Premieres of “Fine Particles” directed by Anne-Claire Jaulin, Inés Fernández’s “Freaks” and Dorothy Allen-Pickard’s “Material Bodies”. New York premieres include Leonor Zúniga’s “Exiled”, Kate Hackett’s “Oleander”, Esmé Creed-Miles’ “Jamie”, Maia Vota’s “Yellow Cards for Equal Pay“, Stephanie Sandoval’s “Immaculate”, Aisha Jamas’ “Neefso (Breathe)”, Dana Reilly’s “Ms Diva Trucker”, “Basta (Enough)” co-directed by Cecilia Albertini and Lesley Elizondo, Sharon Shattuck’s “The Scientists Versus Dartmouth”, Sophie Luo’s “Closing Annisa”, and Jessie Auritt and Jessica Wolfson’s “The Paint Wizzard”.
“While planning this year’s festival, we wanted to prioritize relevant and timely films that spoke to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the myriad ways we’ve experienced our world shift this year. We were also focused on inclusion – building on our history of featuring new and diverse voices and challenging the status quo to lead the industry forward” said Melissa Silverstein, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of AFF and founder of Women and Hollywood. “I think we’ve done that. The films and conversations at this year’s festival will tackle complex, emotional, and diverse subjects with voices from across the industry. While this year’s festival will feel very different, I could not be more proud of the incredible slate of programming which is 90% women and nonbinary directors and 51% women and non binary directors of color that we will bring to our audiences across the United States for the 11th annual edition.”
The festival will also feature a number of films that will screen alongside conversations that address issues confronting our culture. These screenings and conversations will include Jacqueline Decker and Tim Mullen’s short documentary “My Name is Ada Hegerberg” which will lead into a conversation around equal pay in sports titled “How Women Athletes Are Leading the Way on Gender Equality and Racial Justice”, the World Premiere of “The Third Strike” will screen in conjunction with a conversation on “The Push for Decarceration”, and following “What Would Sophia Loren Do” there will be a conversation between award-winning producer and Athena Film Festival Founding Sponsor Regina K. Scully and the subject of the film, her mother Nancy Kulik.
AFF will additionally hold an International Women’s Day Program on Monday, March 8th that will include a screening of Safyah Usmani and Saad Zuberi’s “A Life Too Short”, a powerful film examining the tragedy behind the honor killing of Pakistani social media star, Qandeel Baloch. Additional conversations will focus on “Girls Rights and the Pandemic”, and“Women’s Leadership in the Covid Era.”
Industry related events include “Producing during/after COVID”, a Writers Roundtable, and in partnership with Stephen’s College, a “Master Class with Showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett”, the creator of “One Day at A Time”.
The 2021 festival sponsors include the founding sponsor, The Artemis Rising Foundation, and its founder Regina K. Scully, as well as The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Elizabeth Cuthrell, Dobkin Family Foundation, Hanky Panky, Secret Sauce Media, Christine A. Schantz, Walt Disney Studios, Netflix, Whitewater Films, Fork Films, JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath, Sheila Nevins, Warner Media, EMINUTES, FF2 Media, MTV Documentary Films, Stephens College, Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Wendy Ettinger, Joan Fallon, Ann Kaplan, Jenny Warburg, Lan Yang, Jacki Zehner, Cornelia Ravenal, and Gale Ann Hurd. The festival is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York Legislature, the City of New York Mayor’s Office for Media and Entertainment, and in part by an Award from The National Endowment For The Arts.
Passes and tickets are now on sale. Additional programming and 2021 honorees will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit the Athena Film Festival website for regular updates and more information.
MORE INFORMATION ON ANNOUNCED FILMS AND PROGRAMS:
Director: Tracey Deer
Writers: Tracey Deer, Meredith Vuchnich
Beans, a twelve-year-old Mohawk Girl, must grow up fast and become her own kind of warrior when her people fight the Canadian government in the Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis, which tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990.
A LOOK AT HEALTH
Will dive into films about health, with a focus on the ongoing fights for reproductive rights, justice, and disparities in maternal healthcare. It will feature a conversation entitled “Reframing the Conversation on Reproductive Health” that will bring attention to topics that often get left out including disparities in maternal care for Black women and women of color, miscarriage, forced sterilizations, and more.
Directors: Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O’Boyle
The 8th tells the story of the Irish women and their fight to overturn one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the world. After a 35-year struggle the pro-choice side radically shift tactics to try to bring a historically conservative electorate over the line.
Director/Writer: Natasha Ngaiza
As a town copes with the disappearance of a little girl, a mother of two must come to terms with her own decision to abort an unexpected pregnancy.
Belly of the Beast
Director: Erika Cohn
A powerful exposé of human rights abuses in women’s prisons.
Blood and Glory
Director/Writer: Satinder Kaur
Two homeless, female veterans’ friendship is tested when they confront adversity, discrimination, and even mother nature itself in their attempt to find work and survive the day.
Bye Bye Body
Director/Writer: Charlotte Benbeniste
When Nina fails to meet her goal in the final week of weight loss camp, she makes a deal with the devil that takes her on an unexpected adventure, through which she learns to see her body anew.
Director/Writer: Inés Fernández
Bea has been discharged from a psych ward but she is not fully recovered yet. She was overmedicated due to a budget cut on staff. Following her psychiatrist’s advice, she decides to testify against the director of the center, but she must pass a psychological evaluation before going to trial.
Good Thanks, You?
Director/Writer: Molly Manning Walker
In the aftermath of an attack, Amy is left voiceless, trapped in a whirlwind of incompetence. She must find a way to confront what has happened, in order to save what matters most to her.
Director/Writer: Kate Novack
Hysterical Girl revisits Sigmund Freud’s only major case history of a female patient and considers how his theory of hysteria has contributed to the silencing of sexual assault victims over the past century and into the present day.
Director/Writer: Stephanie Sandoval
A Chilean teenager dives into womanhood while getting ready to play the Virgin Mary in a school performance.
COME AS YOU ARE
This section will focus on how women, femmes, trans and non-binary folks are constantly being told how they should look, how they should act and how they should live. It will celebrate just being who you are and whatever that means to you. The discussion “Reassembling Identity: Social Media and the Path to Self-Definition” will focus on how communities are using different platforms to help people build a sense of self on the internet, from a sex positive community to a female trucker finding her place.
Director/Writer: Rebeca Huntt
Are you a single black woman yearning to be loved and desired? 1800 – Lovable provides the je nais se quoi that makes dreams come true, in this satirical short film shot on 16mm.
Director/Writer: Rosanagh Griffiths
Cindy’s first time performing in drag might be camp and outrageous, but it isn’t exactly a success.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Luchina Fisher
An intimate profile of Gloria Allen, Chicago’s trailblazing Black transgender elder icon who started a charm school for homeless trans youth and is now aging with joy and grace. The film was a participant in the 2020 Athena Film Festival Works-in-Progress program.
Director/Writer: Aïcha Diop
Once a month Nancy Falaise closes the doors of her hair salon to lead a workshop for young Black girls eager to learn how to care for their natural hair.
MY NAME IS BAGHDAD
Director: Caru Alves de Souza
Writers: Caru Alves de Souza, Josefina Trotta
17-year-old Baghdad lives in a working-class neighborhood in São Paulo in a house with strong-willed, emancipated women, and spends her days at the skatepark. When she meets a group of female skateboarders, her life suddenly changes.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Kate Hackett
A seventeen year old sex-positive YouTuber starts a social media war against her abstinence program.
The Paint Wizzard
*New York Premiere*
Directors: Jessie Auritt, Jessica Wolfson
Writer: Jessie Auritt
Millie “The Paint Wizzard” is a transgender housepainter who lives in a bright yellow motorhome in Austin, Texas. A few years ago, at the age of 58, she gained the courage to leave “Michael” behind and embrace her authentic self, cat ears and all.
Director/Writer: Agustina Comedi
Memories woven through a unique footage where the Kalas Group´s actresses resist trans genocide by turning the stage into a trench.
Director: Marco Alessi
Writer: Mary Antony, Marco Alessi
An awkward girl doesn’t fit in at school, but the internet has her back.
Celebrate the inspiring new voices of first time and student filmmakers as they discover and unlock their creativity. The panel “Bringing in New Voices in a Post-Pandemic Film Industry” will talk with the creators who will shape the next chapter of the industry.
Director/Writer: Regina Hoyles
A young Chicago woman with a well-kept secret enjoys a typical day in the south suburbs.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Aisha Jama
Raha’s special day comes to a halt when her anxiety (un)expectedly takes center stage.
Director: Tatiana Jorio, April Carroll
Chick Flicks explores the experience of women-identifying film students as they navigate a very white male dominated industry, the me-too movement, racism, industry sexism and a film school that perpetuates it all. The Film follows film students, but it also follows Industry professionals navigating the male- dominated industry.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Sophie Luo
Acclaimed chef Anita Lo says goodbye to her restaurant Annisa after 17 years of service in the West Village.
Director/Writer: Lurdes Maswanganye
In order to make her emotionally distant father happy, Boipelo lies to cover up her career as a cuddle partner to those who crave the touch of a caring woman.
Director/Writer: Catherine Rafferty
Hallowed Ground is about two Rochester student orators learning the words of Frederick Douglass as they navigate issues of racism.
Director: Jessica Earnshaw
A deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma, Jacinta follows a young woman in and out of prison as she attempts to break free from an inherited cycle of addiction, incarceration and crime.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Esmé Creed-Miles
Jamie watches herself and hates what she sees. She hates everything…
Directors: Martinique Watson, Tarik Smith
Writer: Martinique Watson
A young black woman faces conflict when going against what is normal in her community.
Director/Writer: Amit Lerner
Pam, a 73-year-old retired NYC teacher, defies stereotypes of growing older as she prepares for her annual tap, ballet and jazz recital.
Director: Nailah Robinson
On 9/11/2001, 11 year old Jamila Abdi is waiting for her mom to come from work at the Pentagon so they can celebrate her birthday.
Director/Writer: Shatara Michelle Ford
Test Pattern follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit.
Director: Ashley O’Shay
Writers: Ashley O’Shay, Rubin Daniels Jr.
Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Yellow Cards for Equal Pay
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Maia Vota
Members of the Burlington High School girls soccer team recount the launch of their viral #EqualPay movement, inspired by Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. women’s national soccer team, from its humble beginnings to national media coverage.
IMAGINING A NEW FUTURE
Examining how so much has changed so fast, when in the span of just a few weeks, people started talking about the “new normal,” how does that change our ideas of what is possible? The panel “Creating Utopias: Science Fiction as a Model for Future Planning” will bring together science fiction creators from different mediums to discuss the worlds they have created as well as what they see comes next. “Black Feminist Future: Reconceiving Freedom for Collective Power and Justice” will examine how the Black feminist movements must be centered in order for any form of true justice to prevail.
Adeline, The Great
Director: Jessica Mendez Siqueiros
Writer: Jasmine Johnson
A woke boarding school student questions her commitment to activism when she finds herself with no friends, countless enemies and facing some very serious accusations that threaten to get her expelled.
Ahead of the Curve
Directors: Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow
Writer: Jen Rainin
Ahead of the Curve is the story of one of the most influential women in lesbian history you’ve never heard of and the impact her work continues to have today.
Denise Ho – Becoming the Song
Director: Sue Williams
This timely documentary explores the singer and musician, Denise Ho’s, remarkable journey from Cantopop superstar to outspoken political activist, putting her life and career on the line in support of the people of Hong Kong’s struggle to maintain their political freedom.
*New York Premiere*
Directors/Writers: Cecilia Albertini, Lesley Elizondo
Veronica, a Salvadoran immigrant, was 24 years old when she was sexually assaulted while working as a night janitor in Los Angeles. In response, she created, alongside other brave night janitors, a grassroots movement to change the janitorial industry.
Kama’āina – Child of the Land
Director/Writer: Kimi Howl Lee
A queer sixteen-year-old girl, Mahina, resides in the predominantly Native Hawaiʻian neighborhood of Wai’anae, Oahu. After suffering abuse from her stepfather, Mahina must navigate life on the streets, until she eventually finds refuge at the Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae––Hawaiʻi’s largest organized homeless encampment.
Director: Monica Wise Robles
Writers: Monica Wise Robles, Mar Jardiel
A Tsotsil Maya massacre survivor becomes a spokesperson for her people amid a Mexican indigenous movement led by women.
Unable to deal with her grandmother’s declining mental and physical health, a young girl uses her cardboard spaceship to escape her reality before the matriarch of her family dies.
Mizuko (Water Child)
Directors: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo
Writer: Kira Dane
Inspired by a Buddhist ritual to grieve abortions, a Japanese-American woman reevaluates what it means to end her own pregnancy.
NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
A program where films examine, celebrate, and dissect representation and visibility as it appears in everyday life. The panel “Disability Access and Visibility in Film and Television” will be a conversation that will discuss how disabled people are portrayed on screen, and who is telling these stories as well as what challenges do disabled filmmakers face. The “Roundtable Discussion on Indigenous Representation and Storytelling” will bring together Indigenous filmmakers who will discuss their struggles and what they picture the future will look like.
Ava & Bianca
Director/Writer: Rachel Fleit
An ambient documentary handing out lessons on self-love and life from two trans cinematographers.
Director/Writer: Behrad Sahebgharani
This is a story about a teenage girl named Delaram who has Down syndrome. Delaram longs to escape the judgments from “normal” children and adults and break down the border those assumptions and stereotypes have built.
êmîcêtôcêt – Many Bloodlines
Director/Writer: Theola Ross
In a relationship, two women decide that the white partner will carry her partner’s Indigenous child.
Director/Writer: Agustina Biasutto
La Indefinible is an abstract, documentary-style celebration of the diversity of latin women and a glimpse into the path of dismantling the Latina stereotype.
La Madrina: The (Savage) Life of Lorine Padilla
Director/Writer: Raquel Cepeda
A beloved South Bronx matriarch rooted in the outlaw, spiritual & activism world takes us on a complicated journey through 5 decades of Bronx history.
Director: Dorothy Allen-Pickard
Material Bodies is a sensual and cinematic look at the relationship between amputees and their limbs.
Director/Writer: Ashley Eakin
A girl born with one arm gets set-up on a blind date with a guy who has one hand…and she is pissed.
Director: Stacey Lee
Writer: Neil Blewett, Georgia Dodson, Stacey Lee
Filmed over the summer festival season, Underplayed presents a portrait of the current status of the gender, ethnic, and sexuality equality issues in dance music.
MAKING IT HAPPEN: WOMEN IN STEM
Sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
This program will look at the discoveries scientists make and the challenges they face as they uncover the truth about our world and break down social barriers. The conversation “Understanding Numeracy: Breaking Down Numbers to Break Up Oppression” will break down common misinterpretations of numbers and statistics, and discuss how to critically understand the daily numbers that impact our lives.
Director: Shalini Kantayya
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software misidentifies women and darker-skinned faces, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms.
The Dilemma of Desire
Director/Writer: Maria Finitzo
Entertaining, thrilling and radical, The Dilemma of Desire shatters the myths and lies about female sexual desire, bodies and – ultimately – power.
Director/Writer: Mana Pakseresht
A teenage girl who is home alone on her birthday has a surprise coming to her from her mother who works as a hospital nurse.
Director: Anne-Claire Jaulin
Writers: Anne-Claire Jaulin, Marlène Poste, Nyima Cartier
Delphine lives with her seven year old, Louise. With the peak in pollution, her daughter’s asthma attacks intensify. Delphine has no choice but to stay at home and take care of her.
Director: Ellie Wen
An all-girls robotics team competes to smash stereotypes and prove themselves in a male-dominated field, while also trying to get through high school.
Picture A Scientist
Directors: Sharon Shattuck, Ian Cheney
Writers: Ian Cheney, Sharon Shattuck, Manette Pottle
Picture a Scientist chronicles the groundswell of researchers writing a new chapter for women scientists.
The Scientists Versus Dartmouth
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Sharon Shattuck
After a harrowing experience, a young neuroscientist and her colleagues make a life-changing decision to speak up for women in science everywhere.
RESILIENCE THROUGH UNCERTAINTY
This program will investigate and showcase the exhaustion and devastation, and the powerful manifestations of perseverance and hope that keeps people going. “Emerging at Your Own Pace: Different Pathways in Film” will be a panel of women who may have entered the world of filmmaking later in life or who have been working in the industry but are now switching gears.
Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible
Directors: Kristen Lappas, Tom Rinaldi
A boxing gym on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana teaches girls how to defend themselves.
*New York Premiere*
Director/Writer: Leonor Zúniga
She accused the leader of the Sandinista revolution of sexual abuse. Now he is president of Nicaragua and she lives in exile.
Director/Writer: Yuan Yuan
A Mongolian girl visits her father in the big city and meets an unwelcome addition to the family.
Julia Scotti: Funny That Way
Director: Susan Sandler
With breathtaking emotional honesty, this powerful and tender portrait of transgender comedian Julia Scotti explores the unrelenting courage and humor it takes to be Julia.
Margarita of the River
Director/Writer: Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma
A documentary paper cut-out animation in Spanish showcasing moments in the life of a woman from Honduras who immigrated to the United States in order to support her family.
Ms Diva Trucker
*New York Premiere*
Director: Dana Reilly
In Ms Diva Trucker, a long-haul trucker turns to YouTube to combat loneliness and social isolation. In the process, she creates an empowering online community whose impact reaches far beyond America’s highways.
Director/Writer: Liz Sargent
Mother and daughter reunite after 35 years, with only a basic understanding of each other’s languages, they struggle to connect and forgive.
Through the Night
Director: Loira Limbal
To make ends meet, people in the U.S. are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers.
TEAR IT DOWN: DISMANTLING WHITE SUPREMACY
Will take a look at people organizing and taking action to tear down systems of oppression. There will be stories of activists organizing to fight white supremacy in the many forms it takes, whether that is hair discrimination, mass incarceration, or continued disrespect for indigenous communities and their sacred land. Panels include “Deconstructing Whiteness” where the conversation is centered on the “what” of the matter, the harm being perpetuated against marginalized communities, and not the “why” and “how”, of white supremacy. “Decolonizing Documentary” will feature a conversation that will break down the current landscape of documentary filmmaking and talk about how this vital film area can move forward in a new and more inclusive way.
All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Director/Writer: Ufuoma Essi
All That You Can’t Leave Behind is an experimental appropriated video archive film that explores the relationship between black women’s collective experience with music, history and the act of reclamation.
End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock
Director/Writer: Shannon Kring
The incredible story of a small group of indigenous women who risk their lives to stop the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline construction that desecrated their ancient burial and prayer sites and threatens their land, water, and very existence.
How It Feels To Be Free
Director: Yoruba Richen
Writer: Elizabeth Trojian
Six breakthrough African American female entertainers use their artistry and activism to challenge an industry that was hell bent on keeping them out.
I’m Free Now, You Are Free
Director/Writer: Ash Goh Hua
I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9.
Oil & Water
Director/Writer: Anjali Nayar
Women of Northern Kenya navigate the opportunities and challenges of a massive oil discovery; as the promises fail to materialize they must face the complicated web that stands in their way: greed, politics and the patriarchal fabric of their world.
Standing Above the Clouds
Director: Jalena Keane-Lee
Writers: Diana Diroy, Jalena Keane-Lee
Standing Above the Clouds follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope.
Director: Samantha Knowles
Tangled Roots follows Attica Scott, the only black woman in the Kentucky state legislature, as she fights to dismantle a system of discrimination against black people penalized for something seemingly innocuous – their hair.
We Can’t Breathe
Directors: Miranda Winters, Rocky Romano
Writers: Chief Wakil, Kelli Wakili
After the killing of George Floyd, a queer black woman in Los Angeles is determined to capture the spirit of a mass social movement, so she hits the streets, camera in hand.
What Would Sophia Loren Do?
Director: Ross Kauffman
Writer: Robin Honan
A woman from Naples discusses the ups and downs of her life drawing comparisons to the life of a woman born nearby and whom she has always admired, Sophia Loren. Loren is also interviewed and offers commentary and insights on her life as well.
*This film will be accompanied by a conversation between Regina K. Scully and her mother, Nancy Kulik
HOW WOMEN ATHLETES ARE LEADING THE WAY ON GENDER AND RACIAL EQUALITY
If you are paying attention, you will notice that women athletes are using their platforms to challenge the status quo and push for systemic change. Megan Rapinoe was the first professional athlete to take a knee after Colin Kaepernick. The WNBA dedicated this past season to Say Her Name and Breonna Taylor, Ada Hegerberg who is one of the world’s top soccer players sat out the 2019 World Cup because of Norway’s lack of investment in the women’s team. This conversation will focus on how women athletes are leading, what impact they are having and how we can all support their work.
This conversation is hosted in conjunction with the following documentary screening:
My Name is Ada Hegerberg
Directors/Writers: Jacqueline Decker, Tim Mullen
This all-access documentary film featuring Norwegian National Team and Olympique Lyonnais soccer star Ada Hegerberg, gives fans an intimate look at her decision to opt out of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in protest of unequal treatment of women by the Norwegian Football Federation.
THE PUSH FOR DECARCERATION
The Third Strike
Director/Writer: Nicole Jones
Attorney MiAngel Cody leads a small – but mighty – team of women fighting to free people sentenced to life in prison for drugs and put an end to the unfair “three strikes” drug laws.
*Accompanying this film will be a solution focused panel around both the necessity for decarceration and different methods of pursuing it including the possibility of prison abolition.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY PROGRAMMING
Women’s Leadership in Covid Era
It has not been lost on anyone that countries that had female leaders fared much better than countries that did not. What are the takeaways from these success stories as we create a new world post-pandemic?
Girls Rights and the Pandemic
Girls across the globe have been devastatingly impacted by the pandemic. With schools closed so many more girls are vulnerable to child marriage, adolescent pregnancy and a host of other issues. This discussion will forefront people on the front lines of the global fight for the future of girls.
This conversation is hosted in conjunction with the following documentary screening:
A Life Too Short
Directors: Safyah Usmani, Saad Zuberi
A Life Too Short examines the tragedy behind the killing of Pakistani women’s rights activist and social media star, Qandeel Baloch.
Producing during/after COVID
COVID has changed the industry for the foreseeable future. There are many questions on how to navigate it particularly on an independent film budget. Top producers discuss getting their films made as well as navigating awards and distribution during the pandemic. The conversation will also include where they see the industry going.
There would be no films or TV without the writers, yet writers don’t get the visibility they deserve. This conversation will cover topics including what writers use for inspiration, how to remain connected while writing on your own, what writers programs are helpful, and how they make it all work. This conversation will include writers at different levels of the industry for a wide ranging discussion on best strategies of navigating the industry.
Master Class with Gloria Calderon Kellett, creator of One Day at A Time.
ABOUT THE ATHENA FILM FESTIVAL
The Athena Film Festival is dedicated to bringing together inspiring films that tell the extraordinary stories of fierce and fearless women leaders from all walks of life — stories of ambition, courage, and resilience. The festival amplifies the voices and stories of strong, bold women, curating a public discourse on gender equality and changing the cultural conventions surrounding leadership. As the only film festival specifically focused on women’s leadership, the Athena Film Festival provides a forum for dialogue about — and an opportunity to showcase — what it means to be a powerful woman