As part of our Parity Pipeline Program to support women filmmakers, The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College conducts a Works In Progress program for women and gender non-confirming documentarians. Several of the films that have participated in the program have been completed including Surge, Trapped, 93 Queen, and Radical Grace among many others.

We consider projects that focus on fierce and fearless women leaders. To be eligible for our Works-in-Progress program, this film will need to be the director's 1st, 2nd, or 3rd film. Directors of all ages are encouraged to apply.

Selected filmmakers will work directly with our program facilitator, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand. She’ll work directly with the selected filmmakers to put them in the best position to receive funding and or advance their projects to the next level.

Then, at the 2021 festival, the filmmakers will have the opportunity to pitch their projects during an invite-only event with Industry professionals. Last year our filmmakers received valuable feedback and exposure and, in some cases, pledges for direct support.

Over the past ten years, the Athena Film Festival has established itself as the premiere festival dedicated to celebrating and elevating women’s leadership. Our festival highlights films showcasing women’s leadership from underexplored perspectives; women leading in all places and spaces who are resisting and refuting preconceived notions of all they can be and do.

Through our Parity Pipeline Program we are bolstering the pipeline of women creatives who are telling these stories and fostering a network of women in film. Now, more than ever, we need to continue advancing this mission — to push our culture to be more equitable and inclusive, and to inspire the next generation.

The festival is a project of the Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, a leading voice for women in the entertainment industry. The Artemis Rising Foundation and its CEO Regina K. Scully is the festival’s founding sponsor. The 11th annual Athena Film Festival will be held March 2021.

Guidelines and Requirements:

-Films must feature a woman or women in leadership role(s) or position(s),
-It must be the director's 1st, 2nd, or 3rd film,
-Projects from all documentary genres are accepted
-Applicants must be able to provide: An image, title, logline, short synopsis, bio of key team
members, overall budget, money raised, and the funding gap.

Overall Rating
  • Elaine Del Valle

    One of the best curated festivals I have ever attended. The spaces are beautiful and the audience is smart, Thoughtful and supportive of filmmakers. It was truly an honor to have my film at the Athena film Festival. I wish I had more time to attend every event they offered.

    March 2020
  • Danielle Naassana

    I had a wonderful experience at the Athena Film Festival. I highly recommend it.

    July 2019
  • Incredible people and an amazing festival to showcase your work and connect with industry professionals.

    March 2019