By Dana Harris | Indiewire January 10, 2012 at 1:47PM
Julie Taymor, Diablo Cody and Rachael Horovitz will receive awards at the 2012 Athena Film Festival, which will run February 9-12 at the Barnard College campus in Manhattan.
The festival, now in its second year, has also announced the bulk of its film program, which will include a look at Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton's documentary work in progress, "Ann Richards' Texas."
The Athena's awards, which "honor extraordinary women for their leadership and creative accomplishments," will also inaugurate the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award. This will be presented to "a trailblazer in the film industry who sets an exemplary standard for other women to emulate."
Created in the memory of the late producer, the first award will be accepted on Ziskin's behalf by her daughter, Julia Barry.
Other awards will go to Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper ("Pariah") Dana Fox ("What Happens in Vegas," "Couples Retreat"), Liz Meriwether ("No Strings Attached," "New Girl"), and Lorene Scafaria ("Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist," "Seeking a Friend at the End of the World"); and Theresa Rebeck ("Seminar," "Omnium Gatherum," "Smash"). The Athena Film Festival Awards will be presented on opening night.
The Athena Film Festival is a production of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood, a blog founded by Melissa Silverstein that's also a member of the Indiewire Blog Network.
The full release follows.
The Athena Film Festival: A Celebration of Women and Leadership, announces its 2012 lineup of narrative and documentary films, as well as this year’s recipients of the Athena Film Festival Awards. Now in its second year, the Festival runs from Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12 on the Barnard College campus in Morningside Heights.
A production of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood, the Festival boasts a diverse range of films that exemplify its mission—to illuminate the stories of courageous women who have made a difference across the globe.
The Athena Film Festival Awards honor extraordinary women for their leadership and creative accomplishments. This year, the Festival is creating The Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award, in memory of Hollywood producer and founder of Stand Up to Cancer who died in June 2011. Her daughter, Julia Barry, will accept the award on behalf of her mother. In future years, the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to a trailblazer in the film industry who sets an exemplary standard for other women to emulate.
Additional awardees include Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) for her exceptional talents as a motion picture producer; Julie Taymor (SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark, Across the Universe, Frida) for her vision and courage as an exemplary director; Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper (Pariah) for their impact as an emerging writer/director and producer; The Fempire: Diablo Cody (Young Adult, Juno), Dana Fox (What Happens in Vegas, Couples Retreat), Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached, New Girl), and Lorene Scafaria (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Seeking a Friend at the End of the World) for their creativity and panache as screenwriters; and Theresa Rebeck (Seminar, Omnium Gatherum, Smash) for her leadership as a playwright and author of films, books and television. The Athena Film Festival Awards will be presented at the Opening Night Celebration on Thursday, February 9.
The lineup of features, documentaries and shorts that are set to screen at the Festival includes The Whistleblower starring Rachel Weisz, Wish Me Away, the coming out journey of country singer Chely Wright, Black Butterflies starring Carice Van Houten, who won the best actress award at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, and HBO’s Gloria: In Her Own Words, a documentary about Gloria Steinem. The Lady starring Michelle Yeoh as Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi will serve as the closing film of the Festival.
“This year’s lineup is a diverse lot from numerous countries in multiple languages: women firefighters and aviators; women who made peace, who made music and who used their “naked power” to stand up to injustice, says Kathryn Kolbert, co-founder of the Festival and the Constance Hess Williams Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. “We have been inspired as we watched so many extraordinary films about courageous women,” says Melissa Silverstein, co-founder and artistic director of the Festival and head of Women and Hollywood, an online leader in the conversation about women’s roles in the film industry. “We hope the festival will encourage more filmmakers to tell these remarkable stories.”
The current lineup follows. Additional screenings, panels and special events are still to be announced. Please visit http://www.athenafilmfestival.com for regular updates and to purchase tickets or passes.
FILMS AND PANELS
ALL SHE CAN
Benavides Born (original title)
Director: Amy Wendel
Sneak Preview of a Work in Progress
ANN RICHARDS’ TEXAS
Directors: Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton
Director: Sande Zeig
Director: Paula van der Oest
Series Creators: Adam Price, Tobias Lindholm and Jeppe Gjervig Gram
DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK
Director: Sharon La Cruise
THE EDUCATION OF DEE DEE RICKS
Director: Perri Peltz
GLORIA: IN HER OWN WORDS
Director: Peter Kunhardt
Sneak Peek of A Work in Progress and Discussion
HALF THE SKY
Director: Maro Chermayeff
A HOLLYWOOD CONVERSATION:
WINNIE HOLZMAN AND SAVANNAH DOOLEY
Director: Luc Besson
THE LEGEND OF PANCHO BARNES
Director: Amanda Pope
A MARINE STORY
Director: Ned Farr
THE NAKED OPTION
Director: Candace Schermerhorn
OFF THE REZ
Director: Jonathan Hock
ORANGES AND SUNSHINE
Director: Jim Loach
Director: Michael King
SHORTS COLLECTION I
THE DIRECTOR, Director: Destri Martino; EQUALITY, I AM WOMAN, Director: Al Sutton; SLAYING THE DRAGON RELOADED, Director: Elaine Kim; TASNIM, Director: Elite Zexer; UMOJA: NO MEN ALLOWED, Director: Elizabeth Tadic
SHORTS COLLECTION II
ABUELAS, Director: Afarin Eghbal; HARRIET RETURNS, Director: Marquis Smalls; JUNKO’S SHAMISEN, Director: Sol Friedman; NURSES FOR AFRICA, Directors: Benjamin and Robert Clyde; T’AIN’T NOBODY’S BIZNESS: QUEER BLUES DIVAS OF THE 1920s, Director: Robert Phillpson; UNCHASTENED, Director: Brynmore Williams
Director: Celine Sciamma
WHO TOOK THE BOMP? LE TIGRE ON TOUR
Director: Kerthy Fix
WISH ME AWAY
Directors: Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf
Director: Larysa Kondracki
WOMEN, WAR & PEACE: WAR REDEFINED
Executive Producers of the Series: Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan and Gini Reticker
ABOUT THE ATHENA CENTER
Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies is a premier interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women’s leadership. Renowned civil rights attorney, Kathryn Kolbert, is the Center’s Constance Hess Williams Director. For more information, visit: http://athenacenter.barnard.edu
ABOUT WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD
Women and Hollywood operates at the intersection of feminism and entertainment. Since its inception in 2007, it has grown to be one of the most respected sites focused on women's issues and popular culture, and its founder, Melissa Silverstein, has become a well-respected commentator on the subject. For more information, visit: http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/
ABOUT BARNARD COLLEGE
The idea was bold for its time. Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, Barnard is the most sought-after college for women in the nation and remains dedicated to the education of strong, independent-minded women who change the world and the way we think about it. For more information, visit: http://barnard.edu