When it comes to the Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival, taking place April 1 and 2 at the Regal Hollywood movie theaters downtown, the movies are about more than entertaining or even enlightening. They’re also about raising funding for the United States National Committee for UN Women, which champions gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.
The 18th annual festival, which partners with the Sarasota Film Festival that also starts this week (March 31), aims to present the best of current domestic and international narrative and documentary short and feature-length independent films about heroic women, produced by established and emerging female filmmakers. This year 22 films in all will be shown (15 shorts and seven features), and several of the filmmakers will be in attendance for the screenings of their movies.
Among them are director Jessie Auritt, who brings to the screen the story of a pre-teen Orthodox Jewish girl who breaks a powerlifting world record in Supergirl. Eighteen-year-old filmmaker Kasha Sequoia Slavner took a six-month journey around the globe to bring to life The Sunrise Storyteller. Directors Carrie Schrader and Charlene Fisk tell the story of 13 amateur golfers who ended up creating the Ladies Professional Golf Association in The Founders. (Schrader will be here in Sarasota.) Jessie Deeter tells the story of two women fighting to find their own voice in Tunisia with A Revolution in Four Seasons. And Lily Rivlin focuses on one of the most productive social change organizers in history in Heather Booth: Changing the World, which captures Booth’s more than 50 years of leading community action and political campaigns.
In addition, TWE and Sarasota Film Festival will team to present the Impact Award to documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy at a luncheon Friday at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Kennedy’s Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton opens SFF Friday night.
Tickets and a complete schedule of TWE films are available at throughwomenseyes.com. A reception greeting some of the festival’s filmmakers also takes place at 5 p.m. April 1 at Sarasota City Center; tickets for that event are $75.