Welcome to Reel Equals International Film Festival, a production of Through Women's Eyes in beautiful Sarasota, Florida! Our 26th annual festival, Reel Equals, is March 6-10, 2025. We are an international, mission-driven festival, dedicated to women filmmakers and films that address issues inadequately represented in the mainstream media. This year we will host The Green Room, a space for films that emphasize the environment and climate. We are also looking for films that the whole family will be able to watch together and discuss. Every year we host significant numbers of films from all over the world.

We frequently select films that go on to commercial success (RBG), publicize the work of voices that need to be heard (Nobel Prize Winner Nadia Murad), and remind the world about issues that need more attention (violence as an act of war in the DRC featuring Nobel Prize Winner Dennis Mukwege).

In 2021, our festival successfully launched on a virtual platform, permitting our most successful festival ever, with viewers from 38 U.S. states and 13 countries. In 2025, our films will be shown both in person at theaters in Sarasota and on our virtual, on-demand platform for a global audience.

PLEASE READ OUR SUBMISSION CRITERIA WITH CARE

We actively seek films that showcase efforts to bring about gender equality, important social themes and current events, films that reflect the LGBTQ+ experience, and films that reflect the full diversity of global women. We are looking for films that illuminate women's universal experiences and we welcome films from any country. All of our films must be captivating and, if there's some humor, that never hurts!

We accept films:
- made by anyone identifying as female or non-binary; or
- made by any filmmaker whose films focus on women's stories, interests. and lives.

We strongly encourage selected filmmakers to attend our in-person festival; it is a great opportunity to publicize the film, answer questions from the audience, and participate in our receptions and panel discussions with other filmmakers. We have a very engaged base of supporters who host filmmakers and appreciate the entire weekend.

Our organization, Through Women's Eyes, is a non-profit women's rights and advocacy organization.

Awards will be selected for:

Best Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Environmental Film
Best Emerging Filmmaker
TWE Team Choice

Homestays and travel stipends available to filmmakers selected for the festival.

1. All films must be in English OR contain English subtitles. All subtitles must be clearly within the visible frame.

2. All film genres are accepted.

3. Emerging Filmmaker category: to be eligible for the Emerging Filmmaker category, the producer or director must be either under the age of 30 OR enrolled in an accredited film school during the production of the submitted film. Documentation proving one of these criteria is required at the time of submission. For example, submission of a valid government ID or a student card/transcript. Please send documentation to team.throughwomenseyes@gmail.com. If this is your “first” film and you are NOT under 30 or enrolled in an accredited film school, please do not submit in the Emerging Filmmaker category. Your film will not be considered and your submission fee will not be refunded. You may resubmit in the general festival categories.

4. Films must have been completed AFTER December 1, 2023. All film submissions will be reviewed initially by 2 - 3 screeners; high-scoring films will then be reviewed by our advisory panel and referred to a final selection committee.

5. If selected, TWE has the right to use stills, posters, titles, or any information from the submission for promotional purposes.

6. Films that are publicly available prior to our festival, either in theatrical release or through electronic or digital media, or DVD sales, may not be selected. The only exception is showings in recognized film festivals.

7. EXHIBITION COPY OF ALL FILMS ACCEPTED MUST BE IN DCP FORMAT ONLY by upload to our digital partner. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS EXHIBITION FORMAT. Details will be provided to accepted filmmakers.

8. Films selected for the festival will be shown in both the live and online festival.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe

    I was delighted to travel to Sarasota to screen my film; The Soft-Skinned along with the work and company of female filmmakers from around the globe. Such a gracious committee - who provided such warm hospitality to the visiting filmmakers.

    May 2024
  • HAMIDREZA ARJOMANDI

    I am very happy that I have been chosen as the best emerging filmmaker of the festival in 2024.
    Thank you for the brilliant organization of this festival.
    I hope to be a part of this great festival in the coming years.

    March 2024
  • Dima Hamdan

    The Best Narrative Short award was the first win for us on our festival tour. We are so grateful. Thank you!

    March 2024
  • Kristina Kendall

    Great festival and fantastic audience! Would have loved to interact more with the audience and fellow-filmmakers.

    March 2024
  • This really is my favorite festival. Everything about it. The people who run it are amazing. The films are all really smart and inspiring. The venue is easy to get to and the town's great. And I somehow make connections each time I go. I highly recommend it.

    March 2024