Athena Film Festival Partners With The Black List on Mini-Lab

Courtesy of Robin Marchant
Athena Film Festival co-founders Melissa Silverstein and Kathryn Kolbert

Four female screenwriters whose scripts focus on women's leadership will be selected, partially based on the Black List's screenplay evaluation service.

The female-focused Athena Film Festival has partnered with The Black List on a two-day mini-lab, it was announced Thursday.

The mini-lab is open to female writers with scripts focusing on women's leadership. Every script must be evaluated and hosted on The Black List's website. The deadline to purchase an evaluation is Nov. 1 and the deadline for submissions is Nov. 21. Ten screenwriters will be selected based on the strength of their scripts as evaluated by the Black List's screenplay evaluation service. Those finalists will then be invited to submit a one-page personal statement. Four writers will be selected to participate in the mini-lab.

The mini-lab will consist of an intensive peer workshop and one-on-one sessions with professional screenwriters as mentors.

"The Athena Film Festival strives to give voice to the incredible female talent in the entertainment world," Athena Film Festival co-founder Kathryn Kolbert said in a statement. "Partnering with The Black List was an obvious choice as their goals align perfectly with the festival’s: to discover, harness, guide and mentor creative artists."

Black List CEO Franklin Leonard added: "The deplorable state of gender diversity in Hollywood's screenwriting ranks is both a moral and an economic outrage. We've long admired what the Athena Film Festival, and co-founder Melissa Silverstein in particular, have done to raise the profile of this issue and address it head on. It was only natural for us to partner in an endeavor like this, and we're very excited to do so."

In addition to serving as a screenplay database, The Black List is known for its famous annual list of Hollywood's best unproduced screenplays. That list has spawned a number of imitators, including the Athena List, which Silverstein has called the "gender-conscious cousin" of The Black List, which is announced at each year's festival and consists of three to five completed screenplays with strong leading female characters that have yet to be made into films. This summer, The Black List partnered with another collection of production-ready screenplays inspired by the Hollywood run-down, NYU's Purple List.

The 2016 Athena Film Festival is set to take place from Feb. 18-21 at Barnard College.

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