Sarasota is the Center of Florida’s Universe when it comes to all things arts, film, music and culture. One of the organizations based here that might not be as well known as the yearly Sarasota Film Festival, is a four-day film festival called the International Film Festival sponsored by “Through Women’s Eyes,” an advocacy organization dedicated to women’s rights and gender equality. The festival includes narratives, shorts, feature films and documentaries.

Now in its 24th year, the Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival is being held March 9 – 13 and includes 7 features, 21 shorts, and 10 Emerging Filmmaker films. They
represent China, Ireland, Ukraine, England, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Belgium, the
Philippines, UAE, and the USA. After receiving over 325 submissions from 43 countries, the
selection committee chose 38 films that reflect a diverse array of experiences by and about
global women and the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the independent filmmakers are expected
to attend the festival and meet with audiences to share what inspires them and how they
created their films.

The festival will once again celebrate excellence with an awards ceremony, this year on
Saturday, March 11 from 1-4 p.m. at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center in Sarasota. Awards include Best Feature, Best Narrative Short, and Best Documentary Short; local
secondary students from the New Gate Montessori IB Global Program also participate in
judging and presenting an Impact Award.

E. Scott Osborne is President of Through Women’s Eyes, and also  the Festival Chair for the International Film Festival. Scott is an experienced writer, non-profit manager, and advocate; she has special interests in gender equity, athletics, education, and sustainable international development. She has lived in seven countries on four continents, working with local non-profits, schools, and international development agencies. She speaks regularly on gender equity, international development, climate change, and the global gender gap.

Scott loves to explore new topics and boil them down to suit just the right audience. Her writing has appeared in, the Albany Times Union, Tomorrow’s Child, Montessori Leadership Magazine, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and other publications. She is currently writing two books, one about women in India and one about the Montessori competencies we need to cultivate over a lifetime.

“Movies and visual media inform how we see our career paths, our relationships, our appearance and even the language we use. Yet these visual stories are overwhelmingly stories made by men,” says Scott. “Women are grossly underrepresented as directors, photographers, and cinematographers; as actors they speak less and get naked more. We want to tell other stories.”

Scott’s credentials are impressive and she should be a role model for all women looking to break the glass ceiling and also to be recognized for their accomplishments. She has been a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, an editor at a law firm in Belgium, an English teacher at a Montessori High School in Florida, an English tutor in a girls’ orphanage in India, and the Director for three countries (Kenya, Uganda, and the Sudan) for a large international nonprofit. While living in India, Scott’s research on gender issues led her to the concept that would become SPOILED, a play about violence and masculinity.

Scott holds a JD from the New York University School of Law, an MPA (Public Affairs) from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching certifications are in Montessori (Elementary I and II) and English as an Additional Language (Cambridge/ CELTA).

Two Kinds of Water (documentary)

There will be a total of  19 various film selections at the International Film Festival March 9 – 13. Sarasota Events Calendar has chosen to highlight a compelling documentary called “Two Kinds of Water”  that explores the lives of a family living in the Guet Ndar fishing community on Senegal’s north coast – a country whose name literally means ‘our boat’. The 5,500km coastline of West Africa is home to some of the most diverse and dangerous fishing grounds in the world. It provides a livelihood to eight million people as skills are handed down from generation to generation, yet climate change, over-fishing, and contested waters are producing new and deadly threats every day.

Two Kinds of Water charts the unbreakable bond between a fisherman and his wife as they fight to keep their young family afloat in one of Africa’s most vulnerable fishing communities. A combination of deeply poetic voices and lyrical journeys vividly illustrate the lives of people in ocean communities on the frontline of the climate crisis, people who lay their lives on the line each time they leave the shore.


When: Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival runs March 9 through March 13.

To contact them:

PO Box 4102 Sarasota, FL 34230

See their promotional video here 

Show times and tickets

Note: The films can all be virtually streamed on demand, plus includes new in-person events in Sarasota.

About Through Women’s Eyes
In 1994, a committed group of women based in Sarasota, Florida, formed the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women USA, a national organization with a mission to support the work of UN Women global. For the next 28 years, this dedicated group hosted educational, social, and fundraising events: luncheons, book club meetings, an annual film festival, walks against violence, and much more.

Their Chapter, the GCC, became one of the largest and most successful of the seven US Chapters, raising money for the valuable work of UN Women and their activities in 95 countries. Many of their Gulf Coast Chapter members had long connections to UN Women and to supporting women’s rights in other countries and they embraced this mission with gusto.

In 2022, UN Women USA disbanded its seven US Chapters, including the Gulf Coast Chapter, in order to focus exclusively on messaging and fundraising from their national office. Their work, and their member donations, will continue to benefit UN Women and its important gender equality goals.

However, their Chapter leadership and members felt it was critical to continue our in-person, local events to advance women’s rights and gender equality. They also became increasingly concerned about the rights of women, LGBTQIA, and non-binary people here in the US as longstanding rights appeared under attack in unprecedented ways.

A New Organization
Out of these changes this new organization was born: Through Women’s Eyes.

Sign up for their mailing list, watch for their events, look for our their social media posts, and come to an in-person event! They can’t wait to work together for gender equality.