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Athena Film Festival to Honor Mira Nair, ‘Suffragette’ Ensemble and More

Athena Film Festival to Honor Mira Nair, 'Suffragette' Ensemble and More

The Athena Film Festival has announced that filmmaker and activist Mira Nair is set to receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 festival. Additional honorees include producer Geralyn Dreyfous ("The Square," "The Invisible War"), director Karyn Kusama ("Jennifer’s Body," "Aeon Flux") and composer Jeanine Tesori ("Fun Home," "Twelfth Night"). This year, the Athena Film Festival will award the cast and crew of "Suffragette" with the inaugural Athena Ensemble Award.

Now in its sixth year, the Athena Film Festival is a celebration of women and leadership in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. "The push for gender parity in Hollywood has gained momentum this year. We are proud to recognize women who through their work and their voices are changing the industry," said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival co-founder and artistic director and founder of Indiewire’s sister blog "Women and Hollywood."

Mira Nair, celebrated director of "Salaam Bombay" and "Monsoon Wedding," will join past honorees such as Jodie Foster, Ava DuVernay and Diablo Cody. Nair said, "It is an honor to receive this award, to be in the august company of several splendid women who have paved the path before me. ‘No words – action’ was the lesson my mother taught me: as artists, we have the privilege of holding a mirror to the world, to engage, to question, to bring beauty to a complex universe."

The Athena Film Festival will take place from February 18-21 at Barnard College. Passes, individual ticket sales and the announcement of the lineup will take place in early January 2016. Head to the Athena Film Festival’s website for more information.

READ MORE: ‘Obvious Child,’ ‘Beyond the Lights’ Announced to Fifth Annual Athena Film Festival; Complete Lineup Released

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