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Beth Allen of the Loudmouths talking about Sarah.

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Hi all, thanks for your patience—this is mostly a one-woman show so sometimes things don’t move at the pace we’d all like them to. However! See below, please distribute far and wide, and we can’t wait to see your entries! I will be announcing this year’s judges next week. —Mikki

Sarah Jacobson Film Grant

2011 Call for Entries and

Film Festival Announcement!


This year we plan to give out three grants to support projects in any stage of completion from pre-production through distribution. The amounts will be between $1000 and $2000.

We are also planning a film/video/media festival for early 2012, in conjunction with the rad feminist group Permanent Wave. All work samples submitted will be considered for the festival as well.

(We won’t screen without your permission though!)


We are open to films of any length and genre, from documentary to experimental to narrative. What we are looking for are projects that in some way embody Sarah’s spirit and represent the values that she articulated in her work — powerful representations of women, a do-it-yourself approach to filmmaking and life, and a passionate commitment to advancing equality without sacrificing fun. I want to note that last year we awarded grants to three documentaries that were all pretty big in scope—definitely don’t take that as a bellwether, look back at all the past winners and you will see very experimental pieces, shorts, etc.

We award grants to projects at any stage of production, including post, but not for marketing or publicity. After the jump is the list of what you need to enter. And I like to post Tamra’s video every year for inspiration.



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a horixontal rectangle with text and images. On the left is a young female-presenting white person with a camera. It says "Athena Film Festival." On the right the text is on a blue background and it says "February 9–12, 2012"Melissa Silverstein, a rad and modern lady, runs the site Women and Hollywood. (Note it’s women AND, not women IN. I feel that is important.) Last year she was the first year of her Athena Film Fest, which was brilliantly run had this really generous curatorial position that brought in so many different films and women-identified makers for a really rich program. For 2012 she’s having a trailer contest. Go for it!


The Athena Film Festival, a celebration of women and leadership, held from February 9-12, 2012 at Barnard College in New York today announces a competition for the creation of a film festival trailer.  The 30 second to one-minute trailer will be used to promote the festival on-line and in other media and will run prior to the screening of festival films.

Contest Requirements

Who Can Enter?  Any person can participate in the contest.  Entries from individuals or teams of individuals will be accepted.  Only one entry per person or team is permitted.  No individual can participate on more than one team.

Concept:  The trailer must promote the Festival which highlights the wide diversity of women’s leadership in both real life and the fictional world. Through feature films, documentaries, and shorts directed by both women and men, the Festival explores women’s leadership across race, class, and culture and serves as a forum for robust dialogue about women and leadership:  what it takes to excel, collaborate, and lead.  Learn more about the Festival at www.athenafilmfestival.com

Trailer elements: The trailer should introduce the name of the Festival (Athena Film Festival), its tagline:  (a celebration of women and leadership) and the founding organizations (Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood.

Length: The length of the trailer can range between 30 seconds and 1 minute.

Deadline:  All entries must be submitted on or before 5 pm., Thursday, December 1, 2011. No extensions will be granted.  Winners will be announced in January 2012 or sooner if practicable.

Delivery:  All submissions must be in a digital format.  No DVDs will be accepted.  The link with the submission should be sent by email to the following addresses: athenacenter@barnard.edu and athenafilmfestival@gmail.com.  Videos in you tube and vimeo are preferred.  Make sure to include a password (where appropriate) and make the file available through January 1, 2012.  Please include your name, email and phone number and country of origin in your email.

Rating: The trailer must be appropriate for all audiences and may not contain sex, violence, or offensive language.

Originality: The trailer you submit must reflect your own work and may not make use of any copyrighted material in any form.

Awards:  In addition to having your trailer played during the Athena Film Festival, the winning filmmaker(s) will receive $500, an All-Access Pass to the festival, and 2 tickets to the Awards reception on February 9, 2012 as well as attribution in the Festival Program.

Criteria for Judging the Submissions:  The team at the Athena Film Festival will review submissions and, if appropriate, select a winner. The trailers will be judged based on their originality, technical proficiency and their ability to capture the look, feel, goals and mission of the Festival. The Athena Film Festival team will, in their sole discretion, establish procedures and standards for judging the contest.  The Athena Film Festival reserves the right to accept or reject any or all of the contest entries.

Rights Granted to the Athena Film Festival:  By entering the Athena Film Festival Trailer Contest, contestants agree to grant to Barnard College and its successors full and complete ownership of  the trailer  for use in perpetuity in any and all formats.  Contestants fully understand that the trailer may be used prior to and at the 2012 Festival and in succeeding years  and in any current or subsequent promotions in print, online and in other formats.  Contestants retain the right to seek permission from Barnard College to use the ideas and images in their trailers to create derivative works in any and all other media. Permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at: athenacenter@barnard.edu or athenafilmfestival@gmail.com.

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A billboard on a hill, probably in California. It shows a king-kong-like character holding an Oscar statuette in its hand and the type reads "Women directed only 7% of the films in 2005, and no woman has ever won the directong Oscar"


I’m in the middle of getting the call to entries ready, and was thinking about other types of actions and interventions there have been in the film world. This Guerilla Girls billboard in 2006 was pretty major–OK, it’s essentialist, and I’m guessing their 7% was studio films only, and YES I KNOW that a woman has won the directing Oscar since then, although, let’s talk, she is a woman who makes movies about masculinity–but I wonder if it did much. I feel like if I was a filmmaker and saw it I would be like, well, I’m screwed. I probably would have written a pointed letter to the editor! Because that’s what I do! Sarah would have been soooo into it though. We’ve posted her S.T.I.G.M.A. manifesto here before–it’s worth reading, especially if you are applying this year.


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Hey everyone, as per our usual pattern, a dormant period will now yield a productive creative spree! Stay tuned for:

Our next Call for Entries. Read last year’s for a sense of what you’ll need

Information about the Feminist Film Fest we’re planning in conjunction with the ladies of Permanent Wave.

Here’s a video our pal Kathleen made about Sarah:

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Very happy to announce that Marie Losier’s The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye will be in this years Tribeca Film Festival! Marie was a 2007 recipient of the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant.

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Three updates!

Abby Moser
, one of this year’s grant recipients, will be screening her piece at MoMA in NYC this Wednesday, along with pieces by Beth B. and Sadie Benning:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 7:00 p.m
Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC 2010. USA. Abby Moser. 60 min.
Belladonna 1989. USA. Beth B, Ida Applebroog. 25 min.
Jollies 1990. USA. Sadie Benning. 11 min.



Hannah Neurotica, who does the zine Ax Wound: Gender in the Horror Genre, wrote an appreciation of Sarah and the STIGMA Manifesto for Rue Morgue’s Women in Horror month.


This powerhouse feminist, DIY, badass female filmmaker could have easily been responsible for something akin to Women in Horror Month if she hadn’t died so young. Not only did she start her own production company with her mother, Ruth Jacobson, but she worked as an art activist, a journalist, a ‘zine writer and most importantly, the author of The S.T.I.G.M.A. Manifesto. I found this manifesto online just a week ago and read it wide-eyed (I don’t say that as an expression, my eyes were seriously bugging out!). Here was a document written well over a decade ago holding almost the same ideals behind the Women in Horror Month manifesto, calling out the “stigma” of women working in the film industry…. Jacobson is part of our horror and underground film lineage, but just like most women she has gone relatively unnoticed. We cannot allow her to be written out of history, and with that I am here now to recognize the amazing passion she had while carving out space for women in filmmaking.

Marie Losier, who was a recipient of the grant in 2007, just won a Teddy Award for  her project”The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye.” We’re very proud to have supported it.

The jury gives the best documentary award to the Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye by Marie Losier. This film draws us into a whole new magical world of diversity where anything is possible; genders change, identities shift and two people can become one through pandrogyny. The jury feels that nobody could tell the story of this once in a lifetime love affair like Ms Losier, a filmmaker with the unique imagination to match her film’s subjects and the compassion to tell an extraordinary tale of queer pioneers into a simple and universal tale of love.

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And the winners are…

I’m extremely excited to announce that this year’s recipients of the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant are:

Susan Mogul, for her project Rude Girls, a documentary about the Southern California feminist art movement in the 1970s.

Abby Moser, for her project Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC, a documentary about the feminist music movement in New York in the 1990s.

Lana Wilson and Martha Shane, for their project Trust Women: The Story of Two American Abortion Doctors, about Dr. Leroy Carhart and Dr. Warren Hern, two of the very few late-term abortion providers left in this country.

There is more about the winners after the jump. I can’t overstate the strength of the submissions–it was incredibly hard just to narrow down the field to a smaller group of finalists, and harder still to pick amongst them. I want to thank the judges: Allison Anders, Michelle Handelman, Kathleen Hanna, Lee Jacobson, and Catherine Tyc for taking on this task.

There were a lot of documentary entries, and obviously three documentaries won, but I want to stress that the grant is open to all types of projects–experimental, narrative, non-fiction, and anything you can dream up. Sarah would flip her lid if she knew all of these amazing people were making work no matter how big the challenges.

I’ve been talking to some of you about doing a small traveling film festival for DIY and indie spaces–basically a program of shorts and trailers. More on that in a few weeks.

I have a few more people to thank: Sam Green, the founder of the grant, for his advice and for being the fiscal sponsor, and Ruth and Lee Jacobson, for everything. And the DONORS! Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign. You are helping to make dreams come true.

Again, congratulations to the winners and thanks again to everyone for entering!


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Still Waiting!

Sorry you guys–our judges have been busy with family emergencies, the Sundance festival, and other things, but we are hoping to get the info very soon. Hang tight.

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Hold tight everyone, just waiting on a few details. We’ll be announcing the winners and then some plans for our portable DIY instant film festival as soon as we possibly can.

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