EVE Film Festival Delivers in Sophomore Year!

The second annual Eve Film Festival took place this past weekend and I was fortunate enough to attend. The website describes it as a ‘feminist event that showcases and supports work by women (cis and trans) and genderqueer directors in film’.

The word ‘feminist’ can have a stereotype but I would say this is a film festival that focuses on female filmmakers where anyone can attend.

The festival included, among other things, short films, feature films and a panel. Let’s start with the panel. A distinguished group of women in film gathered together to discuss their experiences in the industry.  Among them was Carly Brenner, an underwater Cinematographer, Jules Fitzsimmons, a Casting Director, Amen Jafri, a Documentary Filmmaker and Creative Coach, Jennifer Allanson, an actress and filmmaker and Morgana McKenzie a Director and Cinematographer. This panel, led by award winning filmmaker, Maissa Houri was well attended and provided the opportunity for the members to discuss experiences from their careers. As I listened to them I was impressed how each of them were able to find a level of success in a field that is usually dominated by men but I also liked the fact that members in the audience (many aspiring filmmakers) had a venue to ask questions and get support.

Several of the issues that were discussed have been issues I have dealt with, that many people have dealt with, again driving the point that this is a festival that anyone can attend and get something from.

Due to scheduling, I was only able to attend two of the feature films and each feature was preceded by a short film.

My reviews of the feature films will be available in the review section.

I had the opportunity of speaking with one of the organizers Maissa Houri who is already having a great year. Several weeks ago she won Best Director and Best Female Filmmaker at the Digi Film Festival.

Ottawa Life: How would you describe the Eve Film Festival?

Maissa Houri:  A festival dedicated to films directed by women filmmakers and women identifying filmmakers.

This is the second year of the festival, how do you feel it went this year?

It’s growing. It’s small but it’s bigger than last year and hopefully next year will also be bigger. I love what we do and we are still trying to get our name out there.

I really enjoyed the panel. What is some of the feedback you received from it?

They kept saying ‘we didn’t know that’s what it was like’ and they found it very eye opening. That was the general feedback, especially with Carly and Morgana speaking about getting gear ripped out of their hands. (The two cinematographers relayed stories of having men take their equipment with the mentality that they couldn’t carry it themselves.)

Over the weekend, you have had short and features, how did you go about the process of which films to bring in?

It’s a long process. We had a deadline to receive all of the films. We got over 120 films and last year we only got 40. We had a chart, we watched them, and there is a point system. Then a decision is made.

For a festival that is two years in you can see that there is a lot of thought process around the selection. If you were to look future state what is the goal for the festival in a year or two years.

We discuss this and we would like it to be bigger and bring in more mentoring workshops and networking.

The festival is over now but what can people do to reach out to be a part of this community?

We are active on social media, Instagram Twitter and Facebook and our web site and we will respond. We are always looking for volunteers and if people want to be on the organizing team we are always looking to expand. It’s going to grow. We are active all year.

Thanks for your time

Thank you!