The Female Eye Film Festival  (FeFF), Toronto’s one and only international women directors film festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary, March 28th – April 1st, 2012. The Female Eye presents cutting edge live action features and shorts, experimental, animation and explicit documentary films from debut, emerging and internationally recognized directors.
Female Eye Founder and Executive Director, Leslie Ann Coles, an award winning filmmaker and actress, was working the festival circuit with her debut 40 min. debut film, In The Refrigerator, when it dawned on her that women were a minority on the indie scene and a pitiful minority in Hollywood and its various outposts. She launched an event so women could have an exclusive showcase in order to get their work to a wider audience.
The Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) held its inaugural event in November 2001 showcasing 42 films directed by women. The FeFF honours local filmmakers with the annual Toronto Filmmaker Series and presents an impressive program of films from women directors from around the world.
Coles recalls the original tag line “FeFF flicks, not just for chicks” the intent was to attract male attendees to the festival by dispelling the myth that women directors create films for women. The tag line “Always honest, not always pretty” sprang to the forefront in 2005 when Coles was asked to describe the films presented annual at the festival.
In 2003 Coles determined that women, like men, enjoy competition so she hosted the first competitive filmmaking event in Canada presenting juried awards for Best Films. In 2004, the FeFF opened the doors to her male counterpart with the first annual Script Development Program, a two tiered competition for male and female screen writers. In 2004, the FeFF commenced a series of community outreach programs which included the December 6th Program, a memorial screening in remembrance of The Montreal Massacre (1986) showcasing films that dealt with issues of violence.
In 2006, The Female Eye produced the first Young Filmmaker Development Workshop involving teenage females on the production of short super 8 experimental films that were premiered at the festival. The FeFF produced the 3rd edition of the YFDW in 2011 involving Aboriginal woman and girls, these films will be showcased at the 2012 10th Anniversary FeFF.
The Female Eye continues the tradition of presenting extraordinary films by local, national and international directors and boasts the inception of the Honourary Director and Honourary Maverick Award. In addition now attendees of this five full day event see Films, Script Readings, Industry Panel Discussions, Round Tables, Workshops and Best in The Biz Tribute Series along with the Honorary Director Brunch and Tribute.
The Female Eye continues to entertain and educate audiences while offering a perspective of the world through the female eye. This year’s exciting line up of filmmakers and celebs builds on the ever-growing success of ten years of The Female Eye Film festival to include the first LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.
Honourary Award Recipients: A sampling of past Honourary Award recipients.
- 2011 Mary Harron, New York City, USA (American Psycho, The Moth Diaries, I Shot Andy Warhol)
- 2010 Catherine Hardwicke, LA, CA (Twilight, Thirteen, Red Riding Hood, Lords of Dogtown)
- 2009 Patricia Rozema, Toronto, Canada (Kit Kittredge: American Girl, Mansfield Park, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing)
- 2008 Kari Skogland, Toronto, Canada (Fifty Dead Men Walking, The Stone Angel, Liberty Stands Still)
- 2007 Deborah Kampmeier, New York City, USA (Virgin and Hounddog)
- 2006 Gail Harvey, Toronto, Canada (Some Things That Stay, The Listener)
- 2005 Ann Marie Fleming, Montreal, Canada (The French Guy, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam)
- 2004 Deepa Mehta, Toronto, Canada (Heaven On Earth, Fire, Earth, Water)
- 2011 Anne Tait, former Casting Director, CBC, feature films, television series
- 2010 Kit Redmond, Executive Producer, RTR Media, former Broadcaster
- 2009 Linda Schuyler, Co-creator / Executive Producer, the Degrassi franchise
- 2011 Mackenzie Phillips, (One Day At A Time, American Graffiti, So Weird)
- 2010 Karen Black, (Nothing Special, Black Christmas)
- 2003 Elisabeth Moss, (Mad Men, Virgin)
Additional honoured guests have included Alanna Masterson and Tyler Blackburn stars of the award-winning feature film, Peach Plum Pear, along with celebrity guests, Carson Kressley and Hallee Hirsh.