New York, NY (January 6, 2015) – Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Women and Hollywood are honored to announce that Academy Award® -winning actress and filmmaker Jodie Foster will receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the fifth annual Athena Film Festival on Saturday February 7, 2015. Celebrating her extraordinary 49th year in front of the camera, including groundbreaking performances in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs, Foster’s influence also extends behind the camera as an acclaimed director and producer. Foster joins previous awardees Sherry Lansing and Gale Anne Hurd who were recognized for their leadership and creative vision.
With her first acting role at just three years old, Jodie Foster’s career was launched with early performances in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Taxi Driver, where her astonishing maturity and talent stood out amongst veteran actors. She has gone on to appear in more than 40 films; earning two Oscars for The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused, and working with directors such as David Fincher, Robert Zemeckis, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, among many others. She also starred in her directorial debut, Little Man Tate, and went on to direct Home for the Holidays, The Beaver and most recently episodes of the acclaimed Netflix series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Foster is about to begin shooting on Money Monster, her fourth film directing, starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell.
Previously announced awardees at the 2015 Athena Film Festival include Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films, Gina Prince-Bythewood, director, writer and producer behind films such as Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees and Beyond the Lights, and Cathy Schulman, Academy Award-winning producer, President of Mandalay Pictures, and President of Women in Film, known for films including Crash, The Illusionist, Darfur Now and Bernie.
“It is truly an honor to receive the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena Film Festival, which celebrates the power, creativity and leadership of women in the entertainment industry,” said Jodie Foster. “These are values I share deeply with the festival and I am thrilled to be recognized amongst my colleagues and peers.”
“We are privileged to celebrate the career of such an inspirational and talented woman this year at the Athena Film Festival,” said Melissa Silverstein, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Athena Film Festival and founder of Women and Hollywood. “Jodie Foster is a trailblazer in the industry, and since the beginning of her career has broken down barriers for female filmmakers and actresses. We look forward to celebrating her amongst our other 2015 awardees.”
“We are so honored to present Jodie Foster with this years Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Kathryn Kolbert, co-founder of the Athena Film Festival and Constance Hess Williams Director of the Athena Center. “She is a unique force, greatly accomplished on both sides of the camera.”
Regina K. Scully, the Phoebe Snow Foundation and the Artemis Rising Foundation are the festival’s Founding Sponsors.