Moxie and resilience on display at Cannes Lions

"The Lemonade Mafia"

“The Lemonade Mafia”

A screening of
select shorts from the
Athena Film Festival
demonstrate the
dynamic grace and power
of today’s
female filmmakers

Four short films directed by women were screened at the Cannes Lions 2018 International Festival of Creativity as a part of a June 20 presentation by FCB Chicago’s CCO Liz Taylor and The 3% Movement’s founder and CEO, Kat Gordon.

The Athena Film Festival is an annual celebration that takes place at Barnard College in New York City. The Film festival’s mission is to “tell the extraordinary stories of strong, bold women leaders from all walks of life — stories of ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie.” Its sister-festival, the Athena Advertising Awards, featured Taylor as 2018 jury chair.

The 3% Movement is an organization committed to increasing the percentage of women in Creative Director roles to go beyond the once staggering 3% mark.

The short films screened at Cannes Lions were all part of the Official Selection of films at the 2018 Athena Film Fest.

Below are the four very different shorts that tell tales of resilience to social norms, courage in the face of sometimes-incomprehensible oppression, and remarkable moxie.

”Frontier” (2017), directed by Jillian Banner, is a documentary about legendary female bull rider Jonnie Jonckowski. The short reflects on Jonckowski’s career and her attempts to coach the up and coming Kenna Hazen. Frontier includes sweeping landscapes of Montana and highlights discrimination and struggle in the world of rodeo.


“Lemonade Mafia” (2017), directed by Anya Adams and written by Keith Edie, is a stylized narrative about a child entrepreneur who must learn to face fierce competition in the sour world of lemonade stands.


“116 Cameras” (2017), directed by Davina Pardo, is a documentary about the USC Shoah Foundation’s efforts to preserve the story of Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss. The film showcases how a slick interactive 3D experience is high-tech’s hope for archiving and communicating the Holocaust before it is too late.


“Whirlpool” (2017), written and directed by Elizabeth Dixon and Kate Baxter, focuses on Helen Keller’s often overlooked civil rights battles. This period-piece narrative emphasizes Keller’s political actions and her refusal to accept anything below full-equality for the deaf and blind.


The 2019 Athena Film Festival takes place on February 28th through March 3rd, 2019. Submit your films to the fest on Film Freeway. Regular deadline for submissions is August 15, 2018. To learn more, click here.

Contact Joey Filer at or follow him on Twitter @FilerJoey.