Athena Film Festival: Helen Reddy Biopic, Liz Garbus' 'Lost Girls' Highlight Lineup

Lisa Tomasetti/Goalpost Pictures Australia
'I Am Woman'

The Barnard College-based event celebrating women's leadership will also feature the New York premiere of Haifaa al-Mansour's 'The Perfect Candidate.'

The Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman and Liz Garbus' true-crime film starring Amy Ryan, Lost Girls will have their New York premieres as part of the 2020 Athena Film Festival, which has revealed its opening and closing night films; narrative, international and documentary centerpieces; and more programming.

The female-focused festival, which highlights women's leadership onscreen and in real life, will open with I Am Woman, directed by Unjoo Moon, written by Emma Jensen and starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey as the singer-songwriter behind the titular song that became a women's movement anthem.

Narrative centerpiece Lost Girls follows Ryan's Mari Gilbert as she forces law-enforcement agents to search for her missing daughter, revealing a wave of unsolved murders of female sex workers on Long Island's South Shore.

The Barnard College-based event will also feature the New York premiere of Haifaa al-Mansour's The Perfect Candidate as its international centerpiece, with Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama, directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, as its documentary centerpiece.

The closing night film is Rocks, directed by Suffragette helmer Sarah Gavron and co-written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson. The film, created in collaboration with the teenagers depicted, stars newcomer Bukky Bakray as a British teenager who struggles to take care of herself and her younger brother after being abandoned by their mother.

Other lineup highlights include screenings of Harriet, A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem and Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.

“We are so proud to share our 10th anniversary lineup of films — diverse stories of women leading in different places, across time and around the world. These films will entertain, educate, and inspire our audiences to amplify the extraordinary and sometimes hidden work of women leaders,” said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival co-founder and artistic director and founder of Women and Hollywood. “We are more committed than ever to inclusion and doing our part to redress the gender and racial imbalance that is still pervasive in the global film industry.”

The 10th annual festival, co-founded by Barnard's Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood, will take place Feb. 27-March 1 at Barnard College in New York City.

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