Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple, BAFTA winning writer and director Amma Asante and cabaret artist and actress Bridget Everett will be honored at 2018 Athena Film Festival.
The festival will honor Barbara Kopple with the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award, Amma Asante will receive the Athena Award, and Bridget Everett with be honored with the Inaugural Breakthrough Award. The eighth annual festival, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, will take place February 22 to 25, 2018, at Barnard College in New York City.
The Athena Film Festival celebrates the leadership and creative accomplishments of trailblazers in the entertainment industry. The festival showcases films about powerful and courageous women leaders in real life and the fictional world; it is a weekend dedicated to elevating female voices and stories to inspire and empower a new generation of filmmakers and individuals.
“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,” said Kathryn Kolbert, co-founder of the Athena Film Festival and the Constance Hess Williams ‘66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. “Now more than ever, it is critically important to recognize and support women who are trailblazers in their fields.”
“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,” said Melissa Silverstein, Athena Film Festival artistic director co-founder and founder of Women and Hollywood. “It’s crucial that women continue to inspire and support each other, and we are thrilled that Athena is a part of that.”
Barbara Kopple is known for her work in documentary film, winning two Oscars® for HARLAN COUNTY, USA and AMERICAN DREAM. The Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement award is given to a woman in the film industry whose leadership demonstrates vision and courage and sets a standard for other women to emulate. Past recipients include Jodie Foster, Mira Nair, Sherry Lansing, and Gale Anne Hurd.
Amma Asante has directed films including A WAY OF LIFE, BELLE, which opened the 2014 Athena Film Festival, and A UNITED KINGDOM. Bridget Everett recently starred in films including Sundance hit PATTI CAKE$, FUN MOM DINNER and TRAINWRECK, as well as TV shows “Girls,” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”
Previous Athena Film Festival awardees include Ava DuVernay, Eve Ensler, Greta Gerwig, Diablo Cody, Kasi Lemmons, Karyn Kusama, Debra Martin Chase, Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper, Patricia Riggen, Callie Khouri, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Julie Taymor.
The 2018 festival co-chairs include Debra Martin Chase, Geralyn Dreyfous, Paul Feig, Sherry Lansing, Jon Levin, Dylan McDermott, Sheila Nevins, David Oyelowo, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Susan Rovner, Regina K. Scully, and Rachel Weisz.