Athena Film Festival Announces Honorees and Lineup

(released 1/24/2016)

The 6th annual Athena Film Festival will be held February 18-21, 2016 at Barnard College.  The festival celebrates women and leadership by screening films, awarding strong leaders, and holding panels and classes.

Among this year's award honorees are Mira Nair, Geralyn Dreyfous, Karyn Kusama, Jeanine Tesori, and cast and crew of the film Suffragette.

Mira Nair is being honored with The Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award. Nair was nominated for an Academy Award for her debut film Salaam Bombay.  She has also directed Mississippi Masala, Vanity Fair, Hysterical Blindness, and Monsoon Wedding. She recently completed Queen of Katwe starring Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo.

Geralyn Dreyfous executive produced the Oscar winning Born Into Brothels as well as Meet the Patels, The Invisible War, The Day My God Died, and the soon to be released The Invitation. She is a co-founder of Impact Partners.

Karyn Kusama directed Aeon Flux, Jennifer's Body, and wrote and directed Girlfight. Kusama also directed The Invitation.

Jeanine Tesori, a Barnard alum, is a Tony Award winning composer and musical arranger that scored the films Shrek the Third, Nights in Rodanthe, Lilo & Stitch 2, and Mulan II and musicals Fun Home, Twelfth Night, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

The inaugural Ensemble Award will be awarded to the cast and crew of Suffragette.  It was produced by Alison Owen and Faye Ward and directed by Sarah Gavron.  The ensemble cast includes Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Natalie Press, and Meryl Streep.

This year, Master Classes are abundant with guidance. Look for three classes in the program from these established creatives:
  • Sheila Nevins of HBO Documentary Films in conversation with festival Co-Founder, Melissa Silverstein
  • Jeanine Tesori (Athena Award winner 2016) shares her experience composing for Broadway and film.
  • Producer and writer Joel Fields (The Americans, Rizzo & Isles, Dirt) will give insight to writing in an intimate discussion.
Other panels will discuss unconscious bias in the entertainment industry, crowdfunding, and a look at research on the barriers surrounding the careers of women filmmakers.

The full lineup of films has been released including the opening night film Trapped, which documents the fight over abortion clinics, specifically TRAP laws.  View all the details at:

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