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Athena Film Festival Returns to Barnard; Mira Nair, Diablo Cody, Debra Martin Chase Among Co-Chairs

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 21, 2011 at 5:27PM

The 2nd annual Athena Film Festival, described as a "Celebration of Women and Leadership,” is returning to the Barnard campus from February 9-12, 2012.
Athena Film Festival, 2012: Call for Submissions

The 2nd annual Athena Film Festival, described as a "Celebration of Women and Leadership,” is returning to Manhattan's Barnard campus from February 9-12, 2012.  Artistic Director and co-founder Melissa Silverstein of Indiewire Blog Network's Women and Hollywood is programming again with help from this year's co-chairs: screenwriter Diablo Cody ("Juno," "Young Adult"), director Mira Nair ("Salaam Bombay!" "Monsoon Wedding"), producer Debra Martin Chase ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," "The Princess Diaries") and Barnard alumna Jennifer Christman (Executive Director of The Picture House).  “We can’t wait to share the line-up of films and special events that focus on inspiring stories of women leaders," said Silverstein.

“I am thrilled to be part of a festival that encourages women to use their talents to tell compelling stories of women and to support each other as they face the many obstacles of getting their work made into successful films,” said Diablo Cody.  “The Athena Film Festival brings to the forefront the many issues women face today and celebrates the courageous women who help make a difference.”

“Not only is it critically important to support women in the arts," said Debra Martin Chase, "but also to highlight the accomplishments of women from all walks of life and from around the world.  The Athena Film Festival is a wonderful forum where women’s voices can be heard and amplified.”

JustFilms, a Ford Foundation initiative, is coming on board as a Festival sponsor. “We are thrilled to bring to New York audiences powerful films about women leaders," said Kathryn Kolbert, Co-Founder of the Festival and Constance Hess Williams Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, "and have the opportunity to create a much needed conversation about the important issues raised by these films.”

All access passes will be available in mid-December here.

This article is related to: Festivals, Women in Film

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.