Quick Look: The Athena Film Festival Opening Reception

Interviews by Samantha Plotner and Photography by Sarah Lipkis
Last Thursday LL1 of the Diana Center was taken over by the Opening Reception for the Second Annual Athena Film Festival. In between smiling for the cameras, many of the women present took the time to talk to The Nine Ways of Knowing about the Festival and women in film.
(from left to right) Julia Barry, Katie Couric, Julie Taymor, Kathryn Kolbert, Debora Spar, and Theresa Rebeck

Barnard President Debora Spar on why the Festival has taken off in its second year: “Women in the industry are kind of at a critical mass…they’re not really getting the recognition that they would like, and this just tapped into that”

Julie Taymor and Katie Couric

Director Julie Taymor on women on film: “Romantic movies are usually about women who are just plain befuddled and needy, and that’s not necessarily the case, and I think we divide our women too much between the ones who are powerful and strong and don’t need anybody, which is a fallacy, and the ones who are so needy they can’t live without a man”

Melissa Silverstein and Nekisa Cooper

Producer of Pariah Neskisa Cooper on why she wanted to be a part of the Festival: “Because it celebrates women and the female impact on this industry and I think that that is not celebrated enough…The idea is 10, 20 years from now you won’t need something like this but right now this is sorely, sorely needed”

Theresa Rebeck

Broadway playwright and producer of Smash on the importance of the Festival: “The culture has gone awry…women’s stories have been erased.”

Kathryn Kolbert, Lizz Winstead, and Melissa Silverstein

Comedian Lizz Winstead, when asked her favorite comedy on TV: “The Republican Primary”

Gloria Steinem 

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem on why she is at the Festival: “I want to see more movies that mean something to my life. I am a movie goer, I love movies, this is very important to have a place where people who are usually peripheral can be central it is very important for everybody because we all get to see more of the human experience and on top of all that I’ve worked with Melissa for years and respect her very much and would go any place she told me to go”

Samantha is a junior at Barnard and Editor-in-Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing. She is still freaking out about interviewing Gloria Steinem.


Sarah is a junior at Barnard and Photography Editor of The Nine Ways of Knowing. Her photos of the event were also featured on Velvetpark.

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