Win free tickets to the Athena Film Festival!

Do you like movies by and about women? Do you like movies about women who lead, and make change, and break down barriers? Then you’re going to love this year’s Athena Film Festival. The festival, now in its second year, is a collaboration between Women and Hollywood and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College.

Over three days this February, the festival will screen a number of movies, documentaries and shorts on the theme of women’s leadership. The lineup of screenings is wonderful, and includes Gloria: In Her Own Words and The Lady, the new Aung San Suu Kyi biopic. Check out the full program here.

The festival program also includes two free workshops for filmmakers, and a sneak preview of the documentary based on Nicholas Kristof and Sherly Wu Dunn’s bestselling book Half The Sky.

We are giving away five free tickets to the February 12 screening of Circumstance, a 2011 Sundance Audience Award winner written and directed by Maryan Keshavarz. Circumstance is about the love affair of two sixteen-year-old Iranian girls starkly, demonstrating the danger faced by anyone who dares to who challenge the fundamentalist morality imposed by the Iranian regime.

In order to win your ticket, tell us in comments by the end of today (EST): What one movie character would you want to have dinner with, and why?

I, for example, would have dinner with Scott Hastings, from the Australian classic Strictly Ballroom. Well, dinner and dancing. Because I love a man with a big… Barrel jump. What about you?

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

Read more about Chloe

Join the Conversation

  • Korri

    I would have dinner with Holly, from the English coming of age film about friendship Me Without You (2001), because I would love to talk poetry and political activism with her.

  • Thressa

    Vianne from “Chocolat,” please. She has some lovely ideas about female empowerment, maternal connections, and single motherhood; (I suspect) gripping stories from a mysterious past; and I bet she’d figure out my “favorite” for dessert.

  • Katherine

    I would have dinner with Tommy Corn from I Heart Huckabees – we could discuss Occupy and throw dinner rolls at each other (which I would prefer to a large orange rubber ball), and the dinner scene is my favorite part of the movie, so he seems especially appropriate.

    • Katherine

      Particularly with regard to environmental concerns’ impact on Occupy and vice versa, as they are of utmost importance!

  • Brynda

    I would like to meet Celementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because I want to talk to her about love, loss and risk. Also, she is kickass.

  • Emma Staffaroni

    I have two:
    1. Baya from the French film “The Names of Love.” – I would talk french politics with her in her very passionate, all-over-the-place style. And for those of you who’ve seen it, you know that we’d probably be in our birthday suits.

    2. George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” – preferably before he’s married. We’d dance the Charleston and then talk building and loan business. Again, probably in few articles of clothing.

  • nazza

    I would have dinner with Peter Cook, specifically in character as George Spiggott (The Devil) in the 1967 British filmBedazzled. Because I love dry humor, I’d would just sit back and listen to his witty, eloquent one-liners. I’d probably take notes secretly and see how many I could remember afterwards.

  • Lori

    Robby (the little boy) from Me and You and Everyone We Know… just to hear him say, “It’s spinning from the metal” in person.

  • Amy

    Elizabeth I, from Elizabeth. She was a feminist before the idea of feminism was even “invented”. And the dinner would be formal, and I’d borrow one of her gowns, because she had so many amazing ones in both that movie and the sequel!

  • Sarah

    I live very far away from New York but I want to answer this question anyway. :)

    Mine would be Frances “Baby” Houseman from Dirty Dancing. Not that I would really mind a visit and a dance with Johnny but I would want the opportunity to talk to “Baby” about coming into your own, people expecting less of you, the fear of creating new expectations for yourself that may not live up to the ideals of loved ones, discovering/owning your sexuality and respecting oneself enough to own up to your shit without letting it tear you down. That character will forever hold a place in my heart for going through all of that but also for the fact that she left me with a sense that she would continue to go through those things and didn’t see herself as “done”. And I would want to pick the brain of someone like that.

  • Stephanie

    I would have dinner with Paikea, from Whale Rider. We would talk about confronting traditions, our leadership styles and strengths, fostering positive community change, and, of course, our mutual love of the sea :) She would regale me with her story of ridding a whale.

  • Jenny G

    Forrest Gump, of course! I think we would definitely be friends if he were a real person and I love his way of thinking about the world. I could learn a thing or two from his optimism and view on life. Like my daddy says, the world would be a much better place if everyone were like Forrest.

  • Yasmine

    Julia Child from Julia & Julia of course! What could possibly be better than talking about passion and perseverance over a meal deemed delicious enough to eat by Child, herself? Best dinner ever on so many levels :)

  • Caitlin

    Hermione Granger from Harry Potter! How exactly does she perfect the swish and flick? What does a Chocolate Frog taste like? and of course what was it like being Bellatrix Lestrange? I wonder if she would even know how much of a feminist she is!