N.Y. Premiere of Gugu Mbatha-Raw Starrer 'Fast Color' to Kick Off Female-Focused Athena Film Festival

Fast Color Still 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of SXSW

The annual Barnard College event revealed the film slate for its 2019 edition, including a number of women-centric features like 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'On the Basis of Sex,' 'The Favourite' and 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post,' three of which were directed by women.

The female-focused Athena Film Festival has announced the film slate for its 2019 edition, including opening and closing night and centerpiece titles.

The festival, which highlights women's leadership onscreen and in real life, will open with the New York premiere of Gugu Mbatha-Raw-starrer Fast Color. The film, written and directed by Julia Hart and co-written by La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, stars Mbatha-Raw as a hero on the run once her superhuman abilities are discovered. Lorraine Toussaint and David Strathairn co-star.

The festival will close with the New York premiere of the documentary about insurgent Congressional candidates, Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears, which features Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The festival's documentary centerpiece is the Amy Berg-directed This Is Personal, about activists Tamika Mallory and Erika Andiola's fight for social justice.

The narrative centerpiece is the U.S. premiere of Out of Blue, written and directed by Carol Morley, starring Patricia Clarkson as a detective investigating the shooting of an astrophysicist.

The festival's full slate includes women-centric features like Can You Ever Forgive Me?, On the Basis of Sex, The Favourite and The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

“We are thrilled to announce our phenomenal lineup of films for this year’s festival,” said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival co-founder and artistic director and founder of Women and Hollywood. “The Athena Film Festival’s goal is to showcase the diverse work of women leaders, and this year, we have some incredible films and stories that aim to change the narrative and highlight important topics.”

Additional programming and 2019 honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

The ninth annual festival, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, will take place Feb. 28-March 3 at Barnard College in New York City.

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