EXCLUSIVE: 'Winter's Bone' Filmmakers, 11 Others Win Athena Awards
"During this awards season, it's nice to hit the pause button on the frenzy and take a look at the contributions of a diversity of women who work in the business who don't always get recognized," says Melissa Silverstein, whose Athena Film Festival is honoring Winter's Bone director Debra Granik and producer Anne Rossellini.
Winning an Athena Award right when Oscar ballots are getting filled out should help Granik and Rossellini, whose film teeters on the bubble of nominations. Aptly for winners of the new feminist film fest at New York's Barnard College (home of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies), the duo are penning an adaptation of Pippi Longstocking, about the freespirited Swedish girl who inspired The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Women and Hollywood blogger and Athena fest co-founder Silverstein is not kidding that women don't get recognized. Try being a female director. When Mark Ruffalo and Annette Bening collected kudos at this week's New York Film Critics Circle Awards and Lisa Cholodenko didn't, Cholodenko quipped, "What? Do they think the actors directed themselves?"
So it's good to see women get their due from the first Athenas on Feb. 10, when the fest kicks off. Athena is a good goddess for filmmakers to worship: associated with weaving, an art quite like film, she also supervises the crafting of war weapons. And the difference between her and her brother Ares? She's smarter. She has to be.
Here are the other first-ever Athena Award-winning women:
Greta Gerwig, Greenberg actress
Delia Ephron, You've Got Mail co-writer and executive producer
Chris Hegedus, documentarian, The War Room, Kings of Pastry
Debra Martin Chase, producer Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Debra Zimmerman, executive director, Women Make Movies
Abby Disney and Gini Reticker, producer, director, Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Nancy Schreiber, director of photography, November
Tanya Hamilton, director, Night Catches Us
Anne Thompson, blogger, Thompson on Hollywood (Indiewire)
Leslie Bennetts, contributing editor, Vanity Fair
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Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.