female eye film festival toronto

5 films to watch at the 2012 Female Eye Film Festival

The 10th anniversary of the Female Eye Film Festival kicks off this week with a slew of exciting estrogenic films, ranging from shorts and documentaries to thrillers and dramas, proving that female directors are forces to be reckoned with. Who knows? There might be the next Kathryn Bigelow waiting to be discovered.

Wednesday June 20 / Here I Am / Carlton Cinema / 4:30PM

This 2011 offering from Australia helps kick off the festival's Aboriginal Filmmaker Series. The drama, about a young Aboriginal woman with a burning desire to turn her life around and reconnect with her estranged family after a stint in prison, is director Beck Cole's first feature film. There will be a Q&A with Cole after the screening.

Wednesday June 20 / Billy Bishop Goes to War / Carlton Cinema / 7PM

Canadian acting great, John Gray, and acclaimed writer-composer, Eric Peterson, bring their iconic two-man stage play to the screen, courtesy of director Barbara Willis Sweete, this year's Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) Honourary Director. Through haunting memories and song, the legendary WWI flying ace, Billy Bishop (Peterson), recounts the horror of war. The film, which previously appeared at TIFF last year, is the fest's opening feature. There will be a Q&A with Female Eye Founder & Executive Director, Leslie Ann Coles, followed by a reception.

Thursday June 21 / The House / Carlton Cinema / 9PM

In this 2011 thriller by Canadian filmmaker Desiree Lim, Jean (Natalie Skye), quits her job as an investment banker on Wall Street to do some soul-searching. She returns home to Vancouver and retreats to an empty vacation home owned by a friend's rich family. She finds herself sharing the house with some scary squatters (spolier alert: they're actually ghosts) and Jean must confront these souls who are as tormented as she is. There's a post-screening Q&A after the screening with both Lim and Skye.

Friday June 22 / Beat Down / Carlton Cinema / 6:30PM
Directed by Deann Foley, Beat Down is an irreverant comedy about Fran (Marthe Bernard), who dreams of becoming a pro wrestler despite her ex-wrestler father's objections. Fran's a determined firecracker though and eventually learns the ropes of wrestling and life. Trailer Park Boys' Robb Wells co-stars as her single father. Foley and co-writer Iain MacLeod will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

Sunday June 24th / Union Square / Carlton Cinema / 5:30PM

Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino stars in director Nancy Savoca's poignant family drama as a hard-drinking party-girl from the Bronx who takes a trip to Manhattan to visit her clean-living sister (Tammy Blanchard). The film, which premiered at last year's TIFF, wraps up the festival as its Closing Feature. Savoca, a Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award Winner, will also be honoured at her very own tribute on Saturday June 23.

The Female Eye Festival runs from June 20 to June 24, with screenings taking place at Carleton Cinemas. Ticket prices vary, so check out their ticketing page for details.

Film art by Jeremy Saunders from Here I Am

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