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What began 25 years ago as a one-film event with screenings at a theater on the Ringling College Campus has morphed into a six-day film festival featuring 32 creative films from 17 countries. Celebrating its silver anniversary in 2024, The Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival (TWE) is in Sarasota theaters and online March 7-12.
“We are especially delighted that the Festival is back in local theaters this year,” said Scott Osborne, chair of the festival. “In addition to 22 new films, we’re bringing back 10 Greatest Hits, some of our audience favorites, from past years.”
This year’s films include 10 features, 22 shorts, 14 documentaries, 17 narratives, and the work of 6 Emerging Filmmakers from film schools around the world. Organizers received over 355 submissions from 42 countries and; final selections comprise 17 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Guinea, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Palestine, Sweden, Turkey, UK, and the US. Independent filmmakers from all over the world will attend the festival and meet with audiences to share thought-provoking discussions about what inspires them and how they created their films.
The festival will celebrate excellence at a reception and Award Ceremony on Friday, March 8 from 5-9 PM at the Ringling College of Art and Design Morganroth Auditorium. Films continue all day Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10 at the Sarasota Art Museum, SHS Alumni Auditorium. Students from the New Gate Montessori IB High School will once again select and present an award to a particularly inspiring film from this year’s line-up.
There is truly something for everyone at this year’s film festival, including:
X Trillion: Go on a journey with 14 women as they sail to the North Pacific Ocean to one of the most remote places on earth, the site of the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” – an accumulation of ocean plastic. See trailer here.
Book Club: Eight American women started a book club in the 1940s; little did they know it would bond them for the next 70. A look at friendships, despite all manner of differences. A Greatest Hit and one of our most popular films ever; if you’re in a book club, bring your group. If you’re not, bring a friend for an emotional and personal journey you won’t forget.
UnDivide Us: Are Americans really as polarized as the media portrays? Is it true that we can hardly talk to one another about issues like guns and abortion? Researchers set out to answer this question – possibly the most important question of our time – by bringing together average citizens from five states. A must-see for all concerned citizens. See trailer here.
The Fight for Black Lives (Panel discussion follows film): The health disparities between black and white women are shocking – but do you know what is driving these differences? See the film, then join our panel conversation with the filmmakers and local medical providers and patients..
See the real Afghanistan behind the headlines and newsreels. When Mom is Gone – a Greatest Hit – reveals the fascinating and moving realities of a rural Afghani family and The Last Hug chronicles two young women who left Kabul when Americans departed and were welcomed to the University of Arizona. See trailer here
Girl No 60427 and Blood Like Water, set in Israel and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, display the fascinating, complicated, and tormented emotions of the region. Girl is seen through the eyes of a grandchild discovering the Holocaust experiences of her grandmother, while Blood forces a Palestinian family to choose between occupying forces and their own people. Not to be missed. See Girl No 60427 trailer here.
Films are from the USA and 17 other countries, See here for the full film list.
The TWE Women’s International Film Festival film continues because progress toward a gender-equal media remains painfully slow. For example, women get 31% of screen time and are four times more likely to be portrayed nude than their male counterparts, and, by contrast, men speak seven times more in advertising. Behind the camera, women are only 18% of directors,19% of writers, and 7% of camera operators. Media informs our career choices, relationships, parenting, and so much more, so these disparities continue to shape all of us in profound ways. More authentic, representative media yields benefits for everyone.
When? March 7 – 12, 2024
TWE Women’s International Film Festival opens online on March 7 and in-person Friday night, March 8, and offers films all day Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10.
Awards Night Awards Friday night is in seven categories: Best Feature Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Emerging Film, New Gate Inspiration Award, and TWE Team Choice.
Where: Online, on-demand March 7-12 at EVENTIVE . https://twe2024.eventive.org/welcome
In theaters Friday, March 8, 5-9 PM, Ringling College of Art and Design, Larry R. Thompson Academic Center, Morganroth Auditorium
All-access, full festival pass, IN-THEATERS ONLY: $125
All-access, full festival pass, ONLINE VIEWING ONLY: $145
Five film pass: $50
Single film block: $12
About Through Women’s Eyes
Through Women’s Eyes is a 501c3 advocacy organization dedicated to women’s rights and gender equality. Learn more at throughwomenseyes.org. Net festival proceeds support women’s rights and gender equality programs.
~ Andrea Martone