The 23rd annual Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival kicks off this weekend with a cadre of films supporting and empowering female filmmakers. The festival, presented by the UN Women USA Gulf Coast in Sarasota-Manatee, aims to put female filmmakers in the spotlight and bring attention to topics that are frequently overlooked.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a male perspective in film,” says E. Scott Osborne, film festival chair and president of the UN Women USA Gulf Coast Chapter of Sarasota and Manatee counties. “But it’s not the only perspective.”
“The film festival is just one of the activities that we do, but it’s one of the best known,” she continues. “It started as a small event with only one or two films and has grown into what it is today"—a four-day event in which film-lovers of all kinds can take part in streaming 37 independent, international and domestic films ranging from two to 96 minutes in length.
At the end of the weekend, audience members can choose to attend an in-person event, consisting of an award ceremony and the viewing and discussion of a virtual reality film, Threshold, which will be shown with Oculus lenses. Audience members will also have the chance to meet with filmmakers from eight of the featured films.
“It is very difficult for females to get a leg up in the film world,” says Osborne. “That's why part of our mission is to not just bring these films to our audience, but also to help women filmmakers who do not get noticed and do not have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”
From documentaries to thrillers to family-friendly films, TWE Film Festival has a little something for everyone. Here's a sneak peek at what to expect in the lineup.
It’s 2022. Please, tell us, why is menstruation still stigmatized? Watch how a Ringling College graduate creates a whimsical, super-creative take on middle-schoolers tackling menstruation on their own.
What if you’re a young person living in Russia and the unusual nature of your existence is never spoken about? What if who you really are cannot be shared? Now imagine that one day you find more people like you and decide to take yourself out of the shadows and go public with your identity. Never Tell Anyone About This is a true-life look at a fascinating slice of modern-day Russia.
Bizarre Soviet irrigation experiments in Southern Ukraine created a slow eco-disaster that continues today. Sasyk Estuary, by the Black Sea, is ground zero for a battle between eco-activists vs. poachers, bureaucrats, and corrupt officials. This film explores the conflict.
The in-person award ceremony and virtual reality film screening will take place at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, on March 13. For more information on the event, to watch trailers or to purchase virtual and/or in-person tickets, visit TWE’s website.