Athena Film Festival: Oscar-Winning Doc Filmmaker Barbara Kopple Among Honorees

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Barbara Kopple

'Patti Cake$' star Bridget Everett and writer-director Amma Asante also will be recognized at the annual event celebrating female leaders in the entertainment industry.

Two-time Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple; Bridget Everett, comedian and star of last year's Sundance hit Patti Cake$; and United Kingdom director Amma Asante are set to be honored at the 2018 Athena Film Festival.

Kopple, who won Oscars for Harlan County, USA and American Dream, will receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a leading woman in the film industry who demonstrates vision and courage and sets a standard for other women. Previous recipients of the honor include Jodie Foster, Sherry Lansing, Gale Anne Hurd and Mira Nair.

Comedian and world-renowned cabaret artist Everett will receive the inaugural Breakthrough Award. Her film and TV credits include Patti Cake$, Lady Dynamite, Inside Amy Schumer, Two Broke Girls, Sex and the City, Trainwreck, Girls and Fun Mom Dinner. She recently co-created, co-wrote and starred in the Amazon pilot Love You More, which premiered Nov. 10.

Asante will receive the Athena Award. The writer-director became the first black woman to win a BAFTA Award for writing and directing for her work on 2004's Way of Life. Her subsequent films include 2013's Belle and 2016's United Kingdom.

Previous Athena Film Festival honorees include Ava DuVernay, Eve Ensler, Greta Gerwig, Diablo Cody, Kasi Lemmons, Karyn Kusama, Debra Martin Chase, Dee Rees, Nekisa Cooper, Patricia Riggen, Callie Khouri, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Julie Taymor.

“We are proud to announce our 2018 Athena Film Festival awardees. This outstanding group of women are bold and courageous leaders in the entertainment industry,” Kathryn Kolbert, Athena Film Festival co-founder and director of the Athena Center, said in a statement. “Now more than ever, it is critically important to recognize and support women who are trailblazers in their fields.”

Added fest co-founder and artistic director Melissa Silverstein: “One of the most exciting things we do at the Athena Film Festival is selecting a handful of incredible women each year to recognize for their contributions to the industry. It’s crucial that women continue to inspire and support each other, and we are thrilled that Athena is a part of that.”

The eighth annual Athena Film Festival, which is set to run Feb. 22-25 at New York's Barnard College, is designed to celebrate and honor extraordinary women in the entertainment industry. The event highlights movies demonstrating women's leadership in real life and the fictional world.