For the past five years, the Worldwide Women’s Film Festival has celebrated the achievements of female filmmakers. This year, the festival will continue its mission of empowering women by showcasing 45 films across multiple genres from Friday, February 17th, to Sunday, February 19th.
“We want to empower the filmmakers to tell the stories that are important for the rest of the world to hear and also specifically to give women’s voices a chance to be heard,” said Kim Heunecke, the festival president.
Heunecke believes that the festival’s goal is as relevant now as it was in 2018 when the event first began. She believes that Hollywood is still lagging behind in hiring women directors, and that female filmmakers bring a unique perspective to the art form.
“Women filmmakers are telling stories that may not get coverage,” she said.
One of the most notable entries in this year’s festival is the documentary film, “Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of Migrant Crisis,” which follows four migrant attorneys navigating through difficult immigration policies for four years. Another entry, a feature film titled “Muse,” follows a successful painter struggling to find inspiration for her latest piece.
The festival also features “Bella: A Documentary,” which showcases the life, work, influence and impact of Bella Lewitzky, a California-based choreographer and Arts Activist.
These films were selected from a pool of over 130 submissions, making it tough for the judges to make a final decision. The judges considered each film’s originality, sound quality, videography, and depth of story.
While most filmmakers are vying for the best cinematography prize, which includes a $60,000 Panavision package, some are simply grateful to show their films in a North American theater.
“I know the 45 filmmakers are very happy to be in the film festival and I know that they’re very excited,” said Heunecke.
The festival will also feature panels each day, including its famous Sunday morning Filmmakers Breakfast, and after-parties on Friday and Saturday night that are open to the public.
Heunecke is proud of the festival’s inclusivity and diverse panel, and believes that it is essential to showcase films that tell stories that might otherwise go unheard.
“Even though Hollywood is getting better about hiring women directors, it’s still far behind,” she said. “Women filmmakers bring a unique eye to film and I think that’s really important that we show that.”
The Worldwide Women’s Film Festival’s continued efforts to support and empower female filmmakers is an important step toward promoting gender equality in the film industry.