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“The Curse of Willow Song" directed by Karen Lam
“The Curse of Willow Song” directed by Karen Lam

The Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) founded by Canadian filmmaker Leslie Ann Coles, celebrates its 19th year March 8–28, 2021. Films from Canada and around the world will be screened on Encore+ and on Digital TIFF Bell Light box.

The Female Eye Film Festival is an international competitive women’s film festival providing an exclusive showcase for Canadian and international independent filmmakers. FeFF pays tribute to the best and most creative the film and television industry has to offer, bridging the gap between the written, visual, and media arts. Movie Maker magazine voted FeFF one of the World’s Top Fifty Film Festivals for the ninth consecutive year in 2021.

FeFF has reinvented itself for 2021, meeting the challenge the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has taken on so many in the cultural sectors. This year FeFF will present a strong slate of female directed films, digitally, while unpacking a powerful series of industry initiatives virtually, and free to the public, you won’t want to miss.

The Female Eye Film Festival will present a stellar selection of films from across North America with foreign films from Hungary, Taiwan, Japan, Costa Rica, Germany, United Kingdom, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Russia on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox, March 26 to 28.

FeFF 201 will commence, March 8th, on International Women’s Day with a special FeFF Best in The Biz Tribute and Maverick Award to be presented to filmmaker, PATRICIA ROZEMA, in partnership with and streamed via the Encore+ YouTube channel. The FeFF Maverick Award celebrates innovation, creativity and perseverance in the film and television industry. Patricia Rozema is an award- winning filmmaker who has blazed a unique and enduring trail in the industry, both nationally and internationally.

“Encore+ is proud to support the Female Eye Film Festival. Encore+ hosts dozens of iconic Canadian films directed by women and will this year serve as a digital showcase for works selected for the 2021 edition of the FeFF”, says Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund. “I am delighted that this year’s Honorary Maverick Award will be bestowed upon internationally acclaimed director Patricia Rozema via Encore+, followed by a screening of I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Best First Feature Award and ranked one of 150 essential works in Canadian cinema history by the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016.”

Telefilm Canada is a proud supporter of FeFF’s Canadian features program and there are several on Encore+throughout the month of March: “Rustic Oracle” written, directed, and produced by Jillian Acreman; “The Curse of Willow Song,” directed by Karen Lam which received 10 nominations at the 2021 Leo Awards, taking home Best Direction and Best Cinematography; “Little Orphans,” directed by Ruth Lawrence; and “Sisters: Dream & Variations,” directed by Montreal filmmaker Catherine Legault. Foreign features include “Pooling to Paradise” by FeFF award-winning filmmaker Roxy Shih; and the documentary “The Invisible Father” directed by the daughter of Beat poet and experimental filmmaker Piero Heliczer; along with outstanding short films.

Premiering at Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox includefeature films “Cream,” a delightful debut comedy by Hungarian director Nóra Lakos the award winning “Small Time” directed by Niav Conty: and two breakout features, Taiwanese director/screenwriter Mian-Mian Lu’s “Mickey on the Road” and Japanese director Yoshino Takemoto’s “Left of Chopin.” Documentary features include “Six Angry Women,” directed by Megan Jones (USA), a bizarre true story of six women who carried out one of the most audacious feminist direct actions in American history; “Determined,” directed by Melissa Godoy, which follows three women at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease who offer their brains and bodies to a medical study (USA). Powerful Shorts screened on Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox will celebrate filmmakers from across North America and around the world.

FeFF 2021 premieres “ONE(NINE),” executive produced by FeFF Honorary Director Ingrid Veninger – nine chapters directed by nine notable Canadian filmmakers, among them Mina Shum and Jennifer Podemski, which links to COVID-19 – is making its world premiere at the festival. Also, Eastern Winds, co-curated and presented in partnership with St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, features a selection of four stellar short films from our eastern directors by Jordan Canning, Kerry Gamberg, Jamie Miller and Andrea Cass.

FeFF’s Industry Initiatives program supported by Ontario Creates will be strong as ever with Industry Panels, Good to Go pitch session, Director’s Round Table, and the Second Round with Canadian Femme Centric Women’s Screen based organization.

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