The Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) is celebrating its 21st edition with an exceptional lineup of films showcasing emerging and established women directors from across the globe. 

FeFF will be returning this year from July 26-30 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with a wide range of films, including documentaries, experimental films, animations, features, short films and so much more, diving into a range of compelling themes such as sexual rights and liberty, violence against women, intergenerational families, love, and identity.

The film festival will open up with a Toronto premiere of The Nature of Healing by Mohawk director Faith Leone Howe. Her debut film tells the stories of seven courageous Elders, all survivors of the Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest-running residential school. With themes of resistance, resilience and healing, this outstanding film reflects the festival’s long-standing tradition of celebrating Indigenous women filmmakers.

The festival’s opening gala will feature Stella, from UK director Jessica Fox. Inspired by the story of Cinderella, this is a tale of a 20-year-old German Jewish refugee on a search for her parents. Set in 1937 Scotland, Stella faces battles of war, identity, and love on her epic journey.

Here are a few of the feature highlights we are also excited to see: 

Every Day (Tara Alexandra Brown & Vin Chandra) (USA)

This film follows Maddie, who takes a job as a tutor for a wealthy family. She befriends Laurel, a nanny to the family, much to the dismay of her long-term friends and roommates. When Maddie’s trauma is triggered, she questions who she can really trust.

My Home Unknown (Yaz Canli) (USA)

In the midst of experiencing homelessness, Mina, a gifted artist, loses her dog, Burrito, which sends her into a mental health crisis. In her search to find home, she battles conflicts between her past faith, substance abuse, and the voices in her head. This poignant drama presents a raw story of faith, grief, forgiveness and acceptance on the journey to find home.

Montreal Girls (Patricia Chica) (CAN)

This story showcases a Middle-Eastern medical student, new to the city of Montreal.  After being changed by two young women who make him see his destiny, he forgoes his education, putting his relationship with his father at risk. 

Grey Matter (Arabella Burtfitt-Dons) (UK)

When a family’s matriarch is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, their dynamics are tested when she moves into the family home, and Chloe is forced to become a stay-at-home teenager overnight. 

Beyond the Light Barrier (Uga Carlini) (South Africa/Ukraine)

This film is based on a true story of South African meteorologist Elizabeth Klarer, who spent her days convincing the world that her alien lover from an advanced human race existed and held all the solutions to our problems on Earth. 

Late-Night Thrills & Chills: Friday, July 28 & Saturday, July 29

This program will include a selection of 13 horror, thriller and suspenseful shorts which will keep you on the edge of your seat. Noted for her feature debut Fixation at TIFF 2022, Mercedes Bryce Morgan will be premiering the erotic thriller Spoonful of Sugar. This follows a disturbed babysitter who experiences a sexual awakening while using LSD to alternatively treat a “sick” child from a family with dark secrets of their own. 

Closing Gala: My Love Affair with Marriage (USA)

Closing off this exquisite festival is a bold and brilliant animated feminist feature, My Love Affair with Marriage, written and directed by Brooklyn-based indie filmmaker, Signe Baumane. Hungry for love and acceptance, Zelma feels incomplete. Hounded by a Greek chorus, she sets out on a 23-year quest for perfect love and marriage, unaware that her own biology is the force to be reckoned with. 

Prepare yourself for a stellar selection of films from women filmmakers across the globe at The Female Eye Film Festival, running from July 26-30. Head over to their website to see the full programme.