Some Films with Strong Female Leads We’d Love to See

{Image via Athena Film Festival}

{Image via Athena Film Festival}

Every year countless screenplays go unproduced. Hollywood has made an annual tradition of publishing its “Black List” of promising scripts that still haven’t made it to the big screen. The team behind the Athena Film Festival in New York this week – which highlights women’s leadership roles in feature, documentary and short films – created its own list of yet-to-be-produced screenplays with a gender focus. The Athena List, published earlier this week at, includes four films we’d love to see with women in strong leading roles. According to TIME:

On the Basis of Sex, by Daniel Stiepleman: The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years, including her time in law school and her first big sexism case.

The Good Years, by Rachel Feldman and Adam Price: The story of Lilly Ledbetter’s life before she became famous for the equal-pay act that bears her name.

The Sky’s the Limit: The Story of the Mercury 13, by Maria Burton, Gabrielle Burton, Ursula Burton and Jennifer Burton: A script, by four sisters, about the female astronauts who were prepared to go into space in NASA’s early days but then kept earthbound due to their gender.

Audrey’s Run, by Emily Abt: The fictional tale of an African-American woman running for mayor of Boston, set in contemporary times.

{Image via BtchFlcks}

{Image via BtchFlcks}

While these women’s stories sound promising and we’ll be in the theater to see On the Basis of Sex faster than you can say “equal protection,” Hollywood needs more than a jolt of dramas about women in the political sphere. We need to see women in strong leading roles at every point of the spectrum – from summer blockbusters and popular franchises to buddy comedies and compelling family dramas. We don’t want to have to go to a movie about sex discrimination or equal pay to see a woman’s film. If every women’s story was about fighting the patriarchy, going to the movie theater would be exhausting. We want to laugh, cry, stumble, fail and triumph alongside strong, diverse and realistic female characters.

The Athena List is a great start. But we’re hungry for more, Hollywood.


  • Share on: