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Athena Film Festival returns to Barnard College

11/23/2011, 2:42 p.m.

Barnard College's Athena Center for Leadership Studies, along with Women and Hollywood, announce the 2nd Annual Athena Film Festival, "A Celebration of Women and Leadership," set for February 9-12, 2012, on Barnard's campus in Morningside Heights.

The festival will highlight the diversity of women's leadership in both real life and the fictional world, illuminating the stories of women from across the globe who have made a difference in their countries and communities. The goal is to expand on last year's robust dialogue about women and leadership-what it takes to excel, collaborate, lead, inspire-and to celebrate the vision, courage and resilience that women leaders share.

The 2nd annual Athena Film Festival is proud to announce this year's co-chairs: Debra Martin Chase, president and CEO of Martin Chase Productions, Academy Award nominated motion picture producer ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," "The Princess Diaries" and the upcoming "Sparkle") and Emmy Award nominated television producer; Jennifer Christman, a Barnard 1984 alumna and executive director of The Picture House; Diablo Cody, Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay ("Juno") and making her directorial debut with "Lamb of God"; and Mira Nair, Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning director whose credits include "Salaam Bombay!," "Monsoon Wedding" and "Vanity Fair." These incredibly talented women continue to pave the road for women in the entertainment industry.

"Not only is it critically important to support women in the arts, but also to highlight the accomplishments of women from all walks of life and from around the world. The Athena Film Festival is a wonderful forum where women's voices can be heard and amplified," said Chase.

"I am thrilled to be part of a festival that encourages women to use their talents to tell compelling stories of women and to support each other as they face the many obstacles of getting their work made into successful films," said Cody. "The Athena Film Festival brings to the forefront the many issues women face today and celebrates the courageous women who help make a difference."

JustFilms, a Ford Foundation initiative, is building on 75 years of support for the arts by coming on board as a festival sponsor. JustFilms supports works that educate, motivate and create positive change in people's lives by conveying stories that have the power to transform how we think and act.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support we've received this year from our remarkable co-chairs, Honorary Host Committee and the Ford Foundation," said Melissa Silverstein, co-founder and artistic director of the festival and head of Women and Hollywood, an online leader in the conversation about women's roles in the film industry. "We can't wait to share the line-up of films and special events that focus on inspiring stories of women leaders and that will build on the success of last year's inaugural festival."

The line-up of films, as well as the names of Athena Award winners, will be released in the coming months. All access passes will be available in mid-December.

Please visit www.athenafilmfestival.com for regular updates and to purchase passes.