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Organizer gives sneak preview of film festival

Written by on Saturday, January 20, 2024

After 25 years, “Through Women’s Eyes” is as valid a perspective as ever.

By Johannes Werner

Original Air Date: Jan. 17, 2024

Host: The “Through Women’s Eyes” film festival is taking shape for its 25th return March 7-12 in Sarasota. We’re getting a sneak preview, thanks to the Peace & Justice Report’s interview earlier today on WSLR with E. Scott Osborne, president of the organizing committee behind the festival.

Johannes Werner: E. Scott Osborne – who has been a teacher, an athlete, and a community organizer among many other things – is the president of the committee that organizes the annual “Through Women’s Eyes” film festival. This is the 25th year the festival comes to the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Sarasota Art Museum, and several theaters in town, but the original reason it came to be is still valid. Osborne explains.


E. Scott Osborne: Women are still portrayed on screen in a very biased fashion, they are far more likely to be nude on screen than men. So again, think about a lifetime of accumulation of these sorts of images, and what that says to all of us about women, and what it says about men. That’s one example. And another example, even in advertisements, not just the advertisements on television, but like on Facebook and every place else, men speak seven times more. And so, think about that … stop to count this up when we’re being exposed to ads, but if you accumulate that over a lifetime, what does it say about who’s the authority figure, who’s got the stage if you will? So, we know, and even though we have blockbusters like Barbie, you know, and obviously some female movie stars who’re phenomenally popular, it’s still over twenty years since … barely moved the needle in terms of these media things that people track. So, because of that we feel it’s still super important to elevate women’s media and that means see it through the eyes of women, literally. 

JW: This year’s festival features 32 films from 17 countries. Osborne called the selection a “carefully curated mix of shorts and features”. The first film she highlighted is Undivide Us.

ESO: One super interesting film is called ‘Undivide Us’, to go back to sort of political things, which is about … it looks at the question of whether we as Americans are as divided as the media really makes us out. Is that accurate? Our media has an interest in encouraging divisions, we have a corporate for-profit media, with the exception of folks like you, and they have a vested financial interest in drama, in entertainment, and battles, and horseraces. So, there’s a question of whether we’re really as divided as we think, or as we’re lead to believe. So this film shows focus groups of people from all over America who come together to talk about things like guns, and abortion, and it really says can the man with seven guns in his house speak and communicate with the woman who lives in the city and lost her brother to gun violence … you know, how do they talk? And so it’s fascinating, it’s called ‘Undivide Us’, that’s on Sunday. 

JW: Other films she pointed out are The Goat from the Middle East, a German film about an athlete who remakes her life after being paralyzed in an accident, and the 10 most popular films from past festivals.

To get the full-length interview, go to wslr.org, click on “archive”, and look for today’s edition of the Peace and Justice Report.


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