Giorgi’s Athena (2017)

FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto reports on her time at the 7th annual Athena Film Festival, hosted by Barnard College in Manhattan  from 2/9/17 thru 2/12/17. AFF’18 dates are 2/22/18 thru 2/25/18. We hope to see YOU there next year 🙂

While I ended up being pretty sick during the Athena Film Festival, I still managed to have some fun in between the sniffles! After an hour of quality reading time on the train up from my apartment in Crown Heights, I found myself in a surreal position—navigating Barnard’s Hogwarts-esque campus, with a bright red VIP pass along for the ride on a lanyard around my neck! Gothic and imposing as it was, I didn’t admire the college’s architecture for very long, as the snow was pouring down—or doing whatever a snow does instead of pour, anyway. Inside, though, the festival was undeterred by the weather, so I got to spend my snowy Sunday with a warm cup of tea and an absolutely knock-out festival lineup! Read on for my highlights!

My Best of Fest

Martha and Niki was one of the most compelling and dynamic documentaries I’ve seen in a long time—the film follows a competitive hip-hop dance team from Sweden as they develop artistically, starting from their first major win at the Juste Debout finals in 2010. The two girls travel the world to gain new inspiration for their dancing, but along the way they must deal with the fact that they are growing in different directions, both creatively and emotionally. The two girls have one of the most vital and fun female friendships I’ve seen onscreen in a while, and I was glad to see that they were still close at the end, even after they had both changed so much!

I also got the opportunity to speak with some of the most exciting industry professionals at the festival, including Jen Myronuk of STEM on Stage, who is working on a script about Marie Curie! Naturally, she had a lot to say about the staged reading from A Noble Affair, a biopic in development about Madame Curie’s affair with a married man. I wholeheartedly agreed with her position that a film that only covered Madame Curie’s affair was leaving as much out about her life, as a biopic about Hillary Clinton that only talked about the email scandal. Since Ms. Myronuk comes from a scientific background herself, I’m looking forward to seeing how her project frames Madame Curie’s life!

Even though I was only able to be there on the final day, my first Athena Film Festival filled me with hope and pride about the future of women in film! If you’re in New York next winter, I highly recommend catching the 2018 festival. You may well see me there 😀

© Giorgi Plys-Garzotto (2/16/17) FF2 Media

Top Photo: Martha & Niki.

Bottom Photo: After an AFF ’17 panel.

Photo Credits: © 2017 Athena Film Festival


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Giorgi Plys-Garzotto is a journalist and copywriter living in Brooklyn. She especially loves writing about queer issues, period pieces, and the technical aspects of films.
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