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Rosie O’Donnell is headed to the Athena Film Festival.
The comedian and View co-host will attend the world premiere of her HBO documentary Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand Up at the Barnard College-based festival focused on women’s leadership. She’ll also participate in a panel on women’s heart disease following the screening on Saturday, Feb. 7 and that night present HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins with the festival’s President’s Visionary Award.
The documentary features O’Donnell in a hybrid form of stand-up inspired by her recent heart attack, sharing her experience with heart disease. The film will premiere on HBO on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.
Athena Film Festival: ‘Beyond the Lights,’ ‘Obvious Child’ Highlight Female-Focused Lineup
“This film is such an important project to me, and I’m so happy to debut it at the Athena Film Festival,” said O’Donnell in a statement. “My hope is to tell a very personal story that will help demystify symptoms of hearts attacks in women, which are so different from men. I hope to share what I learned through my very personal experience. HBO has made this project possible, so to also present Sheila Nevins with the President’s Visionary Award is a true honor.”
In addition to Nevins, the Athena Film Festival is also set to honor Jodie Foster, writer-director-producer Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights) and Oscar-winning producer and Mandalay Pictures president Cathy Schulman.
“Rosie O’Donnell has forged a career which embodies the strength and creativity of women in the entertainment industry,” said Athena co-founder Kathryn Kolbert said in a statement. “As an Emmy-winning TV personality and groundbreaking comedienne, Rosie has parlayed her success into acclaimed philanthropic efforts. We are thrilled to premiere her latest project.”
Athena co-founder and artistic director Melissa Silverstein added: “The Athena Film Festival is honored to host the world premiere of Rosie O’Donnell’s HBO documentary as part of our stellar 2015 lineup. Her leadership and visibility on this issue will help save women’s lives.”
O’Donnell’s documentary joins a slate that includes narrative, documentary and short films from around the world that showcase women’s leadership. Notable titles set to screen at the festival include Obvious Child, Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights and Sweden’s We Are the Best!
The festival, presented by Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies, runs from Feb. 5-8 on Barnard’s Morningside Heights campus in New York.
More information about the festival, including tickets for the premiere of O’Donnell’s documentary and other Athena Film Festival events, is available here.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek