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I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about this for a while now, but only just got the chance to do so. I want to show you guys this amazing thing that one of my followers shared with me the other week.

The Athena Film Festival is, as their description states, “a celebration of woman and leadership.” It’s a four-day festival of short, documentary, and feature films that celebrate the achievements of both real and fictional women. More than that, it also has an extensive schedule of Q&As and conversations with female directors, producers, and actresses, as well as workshops for aspiring filmmakers.

I really feel like I need to highlight the fact that this is an intersectional organization. They’re interested in the work and experiences of all women from all classes, ethnicities, races, and countries, and this is reflected not only in the subjects of the films, but also in the international attendance and creative teams that bring these films to life. This is a festival about women everywhere in all walks of life, about celebrating what makes us leaders and pioneers, what makes us strong and amazing and women. This is for us.

If you’re lucky enough to attend (and I’m basically cursing the fact that I didn’t know this existed when I was still in NYC), the Festival will be February 6-9, 2014, at Barnard College. This may seem far out, but part of the reason for sharing this with you guys so early is to encourage any aspiring filmmakers out here on tumblr to submit and share their work. (guidelines and more info here—deadline is September 15th) This is a great chance for you to make your voice heard and join a network of similarly badass women paving their way through the film industry.

Even if you can’t submit or make it to the festival, I strongly encourage you to spread the word in case someone in your network does. And while you’re at it, you really ought to check out the Athena Festival’s Tumblr, which is constantly posting quotes, articles, interviews, and features from and about the inspiring women who are leading the way in the film industry. It’s an absolutely fantastic read, and a wonderful thing to have on your dash :)

On a more personal note, I should add that as an actress who grew up in the film/commercial industry thanks to her writer/director father, and who has seen friends from high school and college trying to break into the industry, this really, really warms my heart. 

I’m not doing the festival justice. Seriously, take a second and go check it out. It’ll definitely be worth your while! 

Athena Film Festival Master Class Features "CALLIE KHOURI"

Callie Khouri, who dazzled me with her first screenplay, “Thelma and Louise,” did it again speaking at the Athena Film Festival at Barnard University on Saturday, February 8th.

"I was making the movie I wanted to see," she said and revealed that she refused to change the violent scenes and the ending that made the movie so powerful.  She believes there’s clearly a bias against women that keeps the numbers down. "There’s a lot of rage, derision and ridicule directed against us." It took her ten years to get another directing job after "Thelma and Louise," but eventually she made more films and is writing and directing the popular TV show, "Nashville."

She inspired us with her grit and advised, “Go where the people are who can help you.”  Television is much easier to work in than facing “the tsunami of the film business.”

Asked if she’d make another independent film, she said, “Of course.” I’d love to get her to direct one of my films.

Guest Post: 

Barbara Masry Writer/Producer

athenafilmfest said:

Thank you for sharing the submission information regarding the Athena Film Festival! Every year we hope to reach new talented filmmakers with stories to tell, and we greatly appreciate your support in this endeavor. -The Athena Film Festival Team

everyone signal boost : )

Watch on thewonderwomenproject.tumblr.com

Check out the teaser trailer for the #athenafilmfest coming up this February 7th-10th in New York City at Barnard College! Check our website for more information: athenafilmfestival.com

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