The Athena Film Festival Black List Mini-Lab In Harlem 2016

October 1, 2015

the atena film festival in harlemThe Athena Film Festival (AFF) announced today that they are partnering with The Black List to present the inaugural Athena Film Festival Black List Mini-Lab.

This unique Mini-Lab, offered as part of the 2016 program, is open to female writers with scripts focusing on women’s leadership. The Athena Film Festival, an annual celebration of women and leadership, will return for its sixth year February 18–21, 2016 at Barnard College, 3009 Broadway in Harlem, NY.

 The Black List is a well-respected database where writers submit their screenplays for filmmakers and producers. The Mini-­Lab will consist of an intensive peer workshop and one­-on­-one sessions with professional screenwriters as mentors. The two-day lab will provide an opportunity to receive professional guidance, and prepare each writer for the realities of life in the industry.  Previous Black List Mini-Lab mentors have included Beau Willimon (House of Cards, The Ides of March), Leslye Headland (Sleeping with Other People, Bachelorette), Kiwi Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You), Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips), Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Minority Report), Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On) and Michael Mitnick (The Giver).

 This Mini-Lab is only open to women writers. Ten screenwriters will be picked, based on the strength of their scripts, as evaluated by The Black List screenplay evaluation service and invited to submit a one ­page personal statement. Four writers will be selected to participate in the Mini-Lab.

 “The Athena Film Festival strives to give voice to the incredible female talent in the entertainment world.” said Kathryn Kolbert co-founder of the Athena Film Festival and Constance Hess Williams Director of the Athena Center.  “Partnering with The Black List was an obvious choice as their goals align perfectly with the festival’s: to discover, harness, guide and mentor creative artists.”

 “The deplorable state of gender diversity in Hollywood’s screenwriting ranks is both a moral and an economic outrage,” said Franklin Leonard, Founder and CEO of The Black List.  “We’ve long admired what the Athena Film Festival, and co-founder Melissa Silverstein in particular, have done to raise the profile of this issue and address it head on. It was only natural for us to partner in an endeavor like this, and we’re very excited to do so.”

 The submission period for the Athena Film Festival Black List Mini-Lab is now open.  Every script must be evaluated and hosted on  The deadline to purchase an evaluation is November 1, and the deadline for submission is November 21. 

For more information please visit or

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