The Athena Film Fest in New York City: Female Lead Indie Films You Might Have Missed

Indie film continues to thrive through the countless film festivals devoted to the independent frame of mind. But with concern still brewing about the lack of women in the filmmaking industry, it’s worth your while to go support the Athena Film Festival located in New York City at Barnard College from February 6-9. This year, they’ll be screening some excellent indie films starring and made by the best female filmmaking talent out there. A few titles being screened may be known in every household (yes, “Frozen”), yet others are still in need of much deserved larger audiences.


This film will kick off the Athena screenings, and it’s one certainly deserving based on the content. You could say it’s a good complement to “12 Years a Slave”, despite having a different approach to race issues. Nevertheless, it’s about the problems of mixed race and dealing with being the daughter of an aristocrat. In this case, it’s about the mixed race daughter of 18th century British Admiral Sir John Lindsay.

In the film, a new star is born in Gugu Mbatha-Raw who plays Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of Lindsay. It’s an important historical tale about the role Belle took in convincing her father to abolish slavery, even if it had to be behind the scenes.

“Decoding Annie Parker”

There haven’t been enough films about breast cancer and the impact its having on the lives of everyone around the world. This film delves into a real story about Dr. Mary-Claire King who helped discover the genetic link to breast cancer. Her life intersects with a woman named Annie Parker who became the first patient that King examined to find the breast cancer gene.

It’s a fascinating recent history portrait that every person should see, no matter your gender. So far, it’s received a small audience, though proves how many real-life past stories are still out there that movies need to tell. That’s helped along here with the supreme talents of Samantha Horton and Helen Hunt.

“Short Term 12″

Many critics cited this film as one of the best films of 2013, despite not getting much award notice. Forbes even bristled at the Oscars not nominating it for best picture. The reason is because the film is brilliant on all fronts, despite being directed by a man (Destin Daniel Cretton). However, the leads are all women and provide some very deep insights into the neglected topic of helping at-risk youth at a foster care facility.

Stars Brie Larson and Kaitlyn Dever are excellent, and their characters cross paths in a way that will knock you over. This film deserves a bigger audience, and it should be your only choice at Athena if you see no other film.

These important indie projects couldn’t have been made without the proper funding. It’s possible you’re a female filmmaker who’s struggling to find financing for an important indie film that could make a significant impact on society. We want to help you find that funding here at Indie Film Funding, Inc. When we go live, we’ll be an exclusive place where crowd funding will help indie film ideas finally get realized.

Contact us to find out how you can be involved. Especially for female filmmakers, we want to help you make the inequality divide a thing of the past.