Back LIVE, the Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF), founded by Canadian trailblazer Leslie Ann Coles, celebrates its 20th anniversary June 9-12, 2022 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. FeFF was way ahead of its time when it was founded, and the festival’s slogan, “Always Honest, Not Always Pretty”, says it all. It’s an eclectic program of features, documentaries, shorts and the highly anticipated Late-Night Thrills and Chills – an international program of horror, suspense and thrillers directed by women – on Friday the 10th. June and Saturday, June 11 at 10 p.m. .

Voted one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Price of Admission” by Movie Maker magazine for a 10th consecutive year (2013-2022), FeFF is a competitive international women’s film festival that provides an exclusive showcase Canadian and foreign women and women. various directors.

FeFF has tackled gender equality and inclusion since its inception. The Indigenous Filmmakers Series was launched in 2008 with Indigenous Canadian filmmaker Jules Koostachin at the helm. In 2009 FeFF produced the first Young Filmmaker Development Workshop, a mentorship for budding filmmakers. To date, FeFF has produced 46 debut shorts, 26 by Indigenous filmmakers, and all of them have premiered at Female Eye. FeFF continues to provide a dedicated showcase for local filmmakers with the Toronto Filmmaker Series, which held its inaugural event in 2001. The screenplay development program, open to both men and women, celebrates its 15th edition in 2022.

The BEST IN THE BIZ TRIBUTE celebrates 2022 Honorary Director Valerie Buhagiar on Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. In Buhagiar’s latest feature film, “Carmen”, based on true events, 50-year-old Carmen finds her voice and her true calling and frees the villagers of a small Maltese town. (Supported by the Telefilm Canada Promotion Program.)

“When I answered Leslie Ann Coles’ call to receive the Honorary Director Award at this year’s Female Eye Film Festival, I felt a warm embrace, as well as the accumulation of years of sitting at my kitchen table to write, organize and imagine project after project.” said Buhagiar. “The FeFF has presented four of my films since 2008. This year, they open the festival with my fourth feature film as writer/director: “Carmen”. These are communities like FeFF and WIDC [Women In the Director’s Chair] who propelled me forward to reveal my true voice in cinema. The greatest gift you can give someone is inspiration, and the team at FeFF have done that time and time again. I am truly grateful and honored. Thanks.”

Other noteworthy Canadian feature films supported by Telefilm Canada include “We’re All in This Together”, a clever adaptation of the novel by Amy Jones written by, directed by and performed by Katie Boland in her feature directorial debut; “The Kissing Game”, a passionate solo and urban fantasy performance that explores love, betrayal, friendship and identity directed by new Montreal filmmaker Véa; “Be Still”, by Elizabeth Lazebnik, a tribute to Canadian photographer Hannah Maynard, who was 40 years ahead of the surrealist movement. FeFF also celebrates Toronto media artist Edie Steiner with a film retrospective and artist talk.

“In this ever-changing landscape, supporting women in film and elevating their work continues to be a priority at Telefilm Canada,” said Christa Dickenson, Managing Director and CEO, Telefilm Canada. “Increased career development, training for women of color and black women at all experience levels, and improved data collection are all essential to supporting more diverse storytellers in Canada. , we would love to thank the Female Eye Film Festival for all the work they do to put Canadian talent in the spotlight. »

Foreign film highlights include the documentaries “Mama Irene: Healer of the Andes”, directed by Elisabeth Möhlmann and Bettina Ehrhardt, a documentary that features a remarkable 84-year-old Peruvian shaman who draws inspiration from indigenous knowledge and traditions in endangered (Peru); ‘Independent Miss Craigie’, directed by Lizzie Thynne, which chronicles the extraordinary life story of Jill Craigie, one of the first female documentary filmmakers in the UK, whose work has long been overlooked (UK ); “Moonlight Shadow Wall”, directed by Shiman Ma, which tells the story of three families who reside at the foot of the ancient city of Xi’an and who embrace cultural traditions while trying to embrace a new era (China) ; and “Forbidden Womanhood”, directed by Maryam Zahirirmehr, a poetic and symbolic portrait of betrayal and loss in which 12-year-old Mahi’s mother refuses to tell him how a woman becomes pregnant (Iran).

This year’s INDUSTRY INITIATIVES, supported by Ontario Creates and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits (AFBS), features industry roundtables, script readings, the 10th annual live pitch, directors’ roundtable and a panel dedicated to women in virtual production who occupy creative roles in this fast-evolving pipeline. This panel will feature excerpts from their work and explore topics of democratized storytelling, female fatherhood and creative empowerment. Filmmakers will use process videos to demonstrate aspects of the VP workflow as it relates to pre-visualization, production, and creative collaboration.

“Over the past 20 years, in an industry where female filmmakers and screenwriters have been underrepresented, FeFF has brought a female perspective and diversity to the art of screen storytelling,” said Ron Zammit, President and CEO of AFBS. “AFBS is proud to support FeFF as a long-term supporter.”

“WIDC is delighted to co-present the annual Directors’ Roundtable on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Female Eye Film Festival. As the festival returns to in-person screenings and festivities, hosting the roundtable online provides an opportunity to enrich and expand the festival community. of women and non-binary directors and guests around the world,” says Dr. Carol Whiteman, co-creator and producer of Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC), which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

In 2014, Coles began international collaborations with the KIN International Film Festival (Armenia); the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival (Turkey); FemCine (Chile); the Los Angeles International Women’s Film Festival (USA); and Doctober (USA). In 2021, Coles selected films for the Beirut International Women’s Film Festival (BIWFF; Lebanon) and the Porto Woman International Film Festival (Portugal). FeFF shares a tradition of mentoring young women on their first films, which will premiere at our festivals with Beirut and Women’s Voices Now (WVN; USA). FeFF proudly presents a selection of short films directed by young women produced by BIWFF and WVN. We also look forward to co-presenting a selection of dance-on-film shorts with Dance Camera West (Los Angeles) and selected shorts from Porto Femme.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Telefilm Canada, Ontario Créatif, ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS), Cinespace Film Studios, ACTRA National, Women In the Director’s Chair and Encore+.

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