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March 24, 2008 (Toronto) - Bologists, anthropologists and sociologists alike assert that there are distinct differences between the genders, including how each processes the world around them. So, is it a stretch to suggest that the distinctness with which women view and interpret their world is carried over to their professional lives, including creative decisions in the filmmaking process? 


One of Canada's most niche-focussed festivals will unwittingly tackle a few salient points surrounding this, as it introduces to the public a broad and impressive list of shorts, and feature-length narrative and documentary works, beginning this week, in Toronto. 


Featuring films directed exclusively by women, the sixth annual Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) will also offer script readings and panel discussions, herald the arrival of a new crop of student filmmakers as they present their films, and tie it all together with a requisite awards evening for well deserved honourees, including Kari Skogland (left), who masterfully directed Alliance Films’ THE STONE ANGEL, and will receive the 2008 Honourary Director Award.


“The Female Eye began in 2001 with forty two films, cultivated from the independent international film community. We are now in our sixth year, and we are bigger than ever, screening seventy two films, directed by women from all over the world”, says Leslie Ann Coles, the festival’s director. 


Features in the FeFF lineup include:


ARRANGED, a story of how an orthodox Jew and a Muslim form a relationship.


BLIND, a tale of a blind man, his mother, and the disfigured albino who enters their lives.


THE WORLD UNSEEN, (closing night gala), starring Lisa Ray, and set in the dismal apartheid-soaked reality of 1950s South Africa where a young Indian woman runs a café with her “coloured” business partner, then further defies the authorities by hiding someone on the run, short circuiting her life with the consequences of her actions.


THE STONE ANGEL, (opening night gala), starring Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn in a shared leading role with the exceptional Christine Horne; Cole Hauser; Kevin Zegers; Academy Award nominee Ellen Page; Dylan Baker; Sheila McCarthy; and, Luke Kirby. Adapted from a Margaret Laurence novel, The Stone Angel is the story of Hagar Shipley, who lunges at life with vigour and defiance, eschewing convention in favour of passion. Even as she ages and is reluctantly dragged by a tired old body into oblivion, she remains a warrior whose fierce determination moves her to reconcile her life’s numerous challenges. Director Kari Skogland will be in attendance for the screening and participate in a post-screening Q & A, a great opportunity to interact with the immensely talented, multi-nominated adn award-winning director, previously named one of Hollywood Reporter's "10 Directors to Watch".



Cole Hauser and Christine Horne star in

The Stone Angel, an Alliance Films release.

Photo credit - Alliance Films.


Documentaries in the FeFF lineup include:


THE OLDEST BASKETBALL TEAM IN THE WORLD, whose team members average seventy two years of age, as they train for the World Masters Games where they’ll take on younger, faster and stronger players, some of whom are former Olympians. 


The Female Eye Film Festival runs from March 27 (Thursday) to March 30 (Sunday), with screenings at Cumberland Cinemas (159 Cumberland, off Avenue Road), and Canada Square Cinemas (2190 Yonge, near Eglinton and Yonge). A series of panel discussions takes place at Canada Square Cinemas, on the concourse level. For information on tickets, and how to participate in panel discussions, visit their website at www.femaleeyefilmfestival.com




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