Athena Film Festival Preview

This weekend we’re attending the Athena Film Festival in New York City, billed as a “celebration of women and leadership.” Why a festival dedicated to women and film? 
From the official website:
In 2010, for the first time in history, a woman won the Oscar for best director. Directing is the most visible leadership position in film yet, in 82 years, only 4 women have been nominated for best director, and only a single woman has won. In 2009, in the 250 top-grossing domestic films, women made up only 7% of directors, 8% of writers, and 17% of executive producers. 98% of these films had no female cinematographers. And, in front of the camera, as of 2007, women had less than 30% of the speaking roles.

In addition to feature films, documentaries, and short films, there will be events such as “A Hollywood Conversation with actress Greta Gerwig” and a panel on “The Bechdel Test – Where Are the Women Onscreen?” among others.

Here are previews of some of the films we’re planning to see. You can purchase tickets for individual films or a pass for the entire weekend. If you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss this festival!

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbiased
Synopsis from the official site:

Unbought & Unbossed is the first historical documentary on Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her campaign to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 1972. Following Chisholm from the announcement of her candidacy in January to the Democratic National Convention in Miami, Florida in July, the story is like her- fabulous, fierce, and fundamentally “right on.” Chisholm’s fight is for inclusion, as she writes in her book The Good Fight (1973), and encompasses all Americans “who agree that the institutions of this country belong to all of the people who inhabit it.”

The Mighty Macs
Synopsis from the Athena site:
In the early 70s, Cathy Rush becomes the head basketball coach at a tiny, all-girls Catholic college. Though her team has no gym and no uniforms — and the school itself is in danger of being sold — Coach Rush looks to steer her girls to their first national championship.

Miss Representation
Description from the official film website:
Writer/Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom brings together some of America’s most influential women in politics, news, and entertainment to give us an inside look at the media’s message. Miss Representation explores women’s under-representation in positions of power by challenging the limited and often disparaging portrayal of women in the media. As one of the most persuasive and pervasive forces in our culture, media is educating yet another generation that women’s primary value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality—not in their capacity as leaders. Through the riveting perspectives of youth and the critical analysis of top scholars, Miss Representation will change the way you see media.

There are plenty more films being shown at the festival–be sure to check them out!

  • Cool! Safe travels.
    I’m reminded…
    Have you all heard of the book Full Court Quest, which covers a group of girls who played basketball at the Fort Shaw Indiana Boarding School in Montana in 1902 or so? The girls went on to become a “living exhibit” at the St. Louis World’s Fair. One of my friends just told me about the book and related documentary. Montana Public Television made a documentary based on the book and it’s available to watch on line.

  • Thanks for the link, Abby. We’ll have to check it out.