SFF has proudly included an all-women filmmakers portion in the Festival for the past two years. Called “Through Womens’ Eyes,” the section gives women the chance to show their films and participate in events dedicated to discussion and appreciation of their work.
This year, the UN Women’s National Committee, Gulf Coast Chapter held a reception at the Art Center Sarasota for event-goers like myself to get to know the wonderful women. It was pretty cool getting to pay tribute to the talented woman-folk who were gracing Sarasota with their presence. The filmmakers seemed authentically happy and honored to be part of SFF and to be recognized during this reception. Each of the women got up and said a couple of words, several of them expressing that unlike most other film festivals, SFF treated these creators of mostly short films with the same respect as those that created longer films, and that the hospitality was unrivaled. A message shared by the women unanimously was that the film community really needs more women filmmakers to share their stories. They got that notion through to the (mostly female) audience clearly, and at least had me thinking about ways to encourage more women to make films. Filmmakin’ woman Iman Zawahry assured me that though filmmaking may seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s easy once you dive in. Hm, I wonder how I can get my hands on a video camera. In any case, you go girls!