The Female Eye Film Festival showcases female directed films
Established in 2001, the Female Eye Film Festival is a competitive international film festival showcasing thought-provoking independent films directed by women. The festival honours female directors and actresses by displaying their works on the big screen.
2020 marks FeFF’s strategic move to the month of March to intersect with International Women’s Day. In addition, the festival is also moving to the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It's a new era for the Toronto-based festival that has been nomadic for the last 18 years.
The festival will present a whopping 56 films directed by women, from across North America and around the world, including films from Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and The Netherlands. A director Q&A will follow each screening. “This is a pivotal year for advancing gender equality worldwide, and our festival offers the perfect platform to further embrace this theme,” says Leslie Ann Coles, Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of FeFF.
Female Eye Film Festival launches on Thursday, March 5, 2020, 10 a.m. with the Indigenous documentary, The Condor & The Eagle, directed by Sophie & Clement Guerra. Four Indigenous environmental leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of “Climate Justice.”
The event is followed by four days of eclectic films that reflect the topics of gender equality, violence-against-women, women and technology, as well as socio-political shorts and documentaries that explore issues of women in technology, immigration, homelessness, aging, coming-of-age, and sexual identity.
The festival includes films such as; Rights Over Roses: Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage in Pakistan, directed by two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; Oriki directed by Nk’iru (Nigeria); Tech Bettys directed by Kathleen Davison (USA), Women Changing the World, directed by Bettina Kolb (Argentina, Guinea, India, United States ); and Touching An Elephant, directed by Lara Brose (Germany).
American Woman, written and directed by Semi Chellas will be featured at the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 5th at 8:00 p.m. The film recounts the story of two very different women thrown together on the run from the law in 1974. The director is best known for hit TV series Mad Men, where she was a writer and co-executive producer, nominated for six primetime Emmys, winner of two Writers Guild Awards (with creator Matthew Weiner) and writers’ room runner in the final two seasons.
The Female Eye also celebrates American filmmaker, Deborah Kampmeier with a retrospective look at three of her feature films. Her feature Split, screening Friday, March 7, 8:45 p.m., won Best of Show at FeFF in 2016. The film follows the surreal and epic journey of a young woman to claim her own darkness and sexuality so she can stop putting them in the hands of her abusive lover.
"The Female Eye has been a champion of my work from the beginning, before it was fashionable to support women's voices. It has been so important to me to have this home, which has given me a place to move from isolation to connection as I have searched, in my work, for a cinematic language to shift from the male gaze to the female experience. And so to have the opportunity to share all of my films at this year's festival and to receive this award is an incredible honor and a true homecoming. I couldn't be more excited and grateful," Deborah Kampmeier says.
FeFF’s signature Best in the Biz Tribute will be awarded to Kampmeier followed by a screening of her feature, Hounddog (2007) on Saturday March 7 at 12:15 p.m. Hounddog was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Kempmier’s first feature, Virgin (2003) will be screened Saturday March 7 at 7 p.m. Starring acclaimed actress Elisabeth Moss, Virgin was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards in 2004, the John Cassavetes Award, and Moss received a Best Actress award for her performance. The film won Best Feature Film at FeFF in 2006, where Moss was again commended for her performance with an Honorary Best Actress award. Moss will be on hand to receive FeFF’s Honorary Maverick Award following the screening.
The festival's closing night gala, Sunday March 8 at 8 p.m. includes the world premiere of Kampmeier’s feature film Tape (2019), the story of an aspiring actress (Isabelle Fuhrman) who crosses paths with the darker side of the entertainment industry. Joining Deborah for a post screening Q&A are actors Isabelle Fuhrman, Annarosa Mudd and Tarek Bishara.
Celebrate the women who work in the film industry at the 18th annual Female Eye Film Festival. This year's lineup of high-caliber films is not simply for industry insiders, film enthusiasts are welcome too!
Here's a preview of trailers from FeFF2020:
Festival Passes and individual tickets are available here.