Amazon Studios to Sponsor Athena Film Festival's Unproduced Screenplay List

The Hollywood Reporter

The female-focused Athena Film Festival has partnered with Amazon Studios on the 2017 edition of its Black List-inspired Athena List, featuring three to five unproduced screenplays that feature female leadership or strong female protagonists.

Amazon Studios will sponsor the upcoming edition of the list, which was launched by the festival in 2014 to help deal with a lack of female characters and misconceptions about female-led films. A committee of industry professionals will participate in the selection of the screenplays on the 2017 list and, for the first time, winners will participate in a symposium with the festival and Amazon Studios and have access to industry executives, helping them advance their projects.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Amazon Studios on the 2017 Athena List," Athena Film Festival co-founder Melissa Silverstein said Thursday in a statement. "The goal of the Athena List has always been and continues to be the ability to showcase scripts with female leaders. With Amazon's sponsorship we can take the work to a whole new level and enable our winners to meet with industry executives and learn how to build sustainable careers. The Athena List has become a staple of the Athena Film Festival and we could not think of anyone better than Amazon Studios to support this initiative. They continue to break barriers in the entertainment industry and support female voices both in front and behind the camera."

Past Athena List winners include the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex and Highsmith, about famed crime novelist Patricia Highsmith and her spiral into alcoholism during the McCarthy era when she couldn't put her name to The Price of Salt.

The seventh annual Athena Film Festival, which celebrates women's leadership and was co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, is set to run Feb. 9-12.

Read more: Athena Film Festival Honoring Paul Feig, Mira Nair Amid Increased Talk of Gender Issues in Hollywood