Athena Film Festival Sets Curated Sections Centered Around Women's Health, Dismantling White Supremacy, Other Issues (Exclusive)

'Beans'
Courtesy of Beans

'Beans'

The 11th annual edition of the female-focused event, taking place from March 1-31, has revealed its opening night film and programming lineup.

The 11th annual Athena Film Festival has unveiled its opening night film and lineup of programming for its month long March 2021 virtual edition.

The female-focused festival, which highlights women's leadership onscreen and in real life, will open with the U.S. premiere of Tracey Deer's Beans, about a 12-year-old Mohawk girl torn between childhood and adolescence as she deals with community, activism and racism during the 1990 Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis.

The Barnard College-based event this year will also feature curated selections of films centered around key issues, such as dismantling white supremacy, women's health, women working in STEM fields, resilience during uncertainty, imagining a new future and representation and visibility in film.

The festival will also host an International Women's Day program on Monday, March 8 featuring conversations about how girls rights have been affected by the pandemic and women's leadership in the COVID-19 era.

Noteworthy selections being screened as part of this year's festival include the New York premiere of Luchina Fisher's documentary about trans icon Gloria Allen, Mama Gloria; the 24-hour-child-care documentary Through the Night; Ashley O'Shay's Unapologetic look at Black women abolitionist activists in Chicago; Susan Sandler's film about trans comedian Julia Scotti; Sharron Shattuck and Ian Cheney’s exploration of sexism in the sciences in Picture a Scientist; and Shannon Kring’s Standing Rock doc End of the Line.

The festival will additionally feature a panel on producing films during and after the pandemic, a writer's roundtable and master class with One Day at A Time's Gloria Calderon Kellett.

"While planning this year’s festival, we wanted to prioritize relevant and timely films that spoke to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the myriad ways we’ve experienced our world shift this year. We were also focused on inclusion — building on our history of featuring new and diverse voices and challenging the status quo to lead the industry forward” said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival co-founder and artistic director and founder of Women and Hollywood. “I think we’ve done that. The films and conversations at this year’s festival will tackle complex, emotional and diverse subjects with voices from across the industry. While this year's festival will feel very different, I could not be more proud of the incredible slate of programming which is 90 percent women and nonbinary directors and 51 percent women and nonbinary directors of color that we will bring to our audiences across the United States for the 11th annual edition."

More information about this year's festival is available here.