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Some history! Women's Film Festivals in 2013

2020: As I update the main festival page, I found it hard to delete this one. 

So here it is, in case someone's doing research and it's useful to see some changes over time!

In this Covid-era, our travel plans are mostly online, but I look forward to encouraging everyone again to travel to join women's festivals all over the world.


I've listed the festivals according to date because I can imagine women's film festival tourism. You might like to find festivals that will fit your travel plans?

Very often a festival's Facebook page or Twitter feed has more up-to-date info than its website.  Some festivals present great year-round programmes that complement their main festival and they tend to use Facebook and Twitter to advertise these.

Some festivals are also present their films online.

The notes I've added are a bit random, often included because the festival was new to me and I wanted to know more.

I've included lesbian festivals and one queer fest only. Mel Pritchard's marvellous and definitive Big Queer Film Festival List is here.

I have more work to do collecting info about ongoing online festivals, and collections of films by, for and about women. Please feel free to comment, and to email me with updates and festival posters you love!

I've written about the IWFFN here and (briefly) here and here.

Many thanks to Kyna Morgan at HerFilm Project for the extra festivals she tracked down for the list on her site, where the festivals are listed in alphabetical order. It's also exciting to see the development of the  International Women’s Film Festivals Network (IWFFN) where there's some useful info.

And here's a roundtable discussion on women's film festivals, held on September 10th, 2013 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.



Another Experiment By Women Film Festival (AXWFF)

Also here
AXWFF promotes and screens women’s experimental films that feature alternative forms not covered in film school and/or that represent themes and issues distinct to women and girls, with the hope to inspire others to make and hone their own experimental work to be shared with others.

"A monthly Los Angeles film festival that fetes the women who love writing, producing, directing, and watching badass genre movies: action, thriller, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, western, exploitation (of men or audience only), B-movie, and erotica. We feel passionate about raising the visibility of awesome indie genre movies by female filmmakers."

FilmMor Women's Film Festival on Wheels (starts Istanbul, Turkey, and travels throughout Turkey)
Starts second week March 2012.

Hope is in Woman the 2012 theme. Filmmor Women’s Cooperative, established exclusively for women in 2003, is here to make movies, to raise objections, to produce, to dream and to realize for women together with women! FilmMor (Istanbul 2d week March 2012 and then to other cities).

FilmMor also makes films, for example, this one about Kurdish women.

Lunafest (travelling, United States)
Short films by, for & about women. Aims to support and nurture the inspiring and often unsung work of talented women filmmakers and to raise funds and awareness for causes that help, empower and give a voice to women from all walks of life.

LUNAFEST - 2012/2013 Season Trailer.

Network of Asian Women’s Film Festivals
Includes festivals in the following countries: Japan, Taiwan, India, Israel, Korea

Viscera Celebrating female genre filmmakers

Viscera is "a non-profit organization expanding opportunities for contemporary female genre filmmakers and raising awareness about the changing roles for women in the film industry." It envisions "a world in which women are allowed equal opportunities to create and share their filmic visions in an appreciative environment". Viscera is an unorthodox festival because it focuses on promoting the films and their creators all year round. Its partners are "an ever growing community of film festivals, promoters, conventions, organizers, film clubs, and educational institutions who believe in the positive outcome of women creating horror." Its festivals include Viscera (horror), Etheria (fantasy) and shortly Full Throttle (action).
Twitter Facebook Tumblr

Women's Voices Now
Online: A collection of voices from women of all faiths living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim women living as minorities around the world.
Twitter Facebook

World of Women Film Festival (New South Wales, Australia, online, and around the world)




Women in Horror Recognition Month
February 2013

Every February, Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. WiHM seeks to expose and break down social constructs and miscommunication between female professionals while simultaneously educating the public about discrimination and how they can assist the female gender in reaching equality. Its vision is 'a world wherein all individuals are equally given the opportunity to create, share, and exploit their concept of life, pain, and freedom of expression.' From the Viscera Organization.

Twitter Tumblr Facebook

Post Alley Film Festival (Seattle)
8 February 2014
Female centric and eccentric. PAFF provides excellent thought-provoking film that entertains and challenges. Films can be brand new, multiple award-winning, or have been around many years and deserve an appreciative audience again. Post Alley Film Festival seeks the intriguing, the wacky, the bold, and applauds classic, elegant filmmaking. This is an Indy town and movies are our passion.

Ax Wound Film Festival
February 2014
New from Hannah Forman, founder of Women in Horror Month. Here she is talking to HerFilm Project's Katie Carman-Lehach.

7-10 February 2013
Women & leadership, at Barnard College. 

Everett Women's Film Festival (Everett, WA)
11-12 February 2011 Facebook

International Women's Film Festival (Institute for Research & Education on Women & Gender State University of New York at Buffalo)
16 February - 30 March 2012

Girlfest Hawa'ii (Honolulu, Hawaii)
16-20 February 2012 Twitter Facebook

Tx, @kimcummmings for the info about this *fabulous* festival, with film in there among an amazing range of events. This is how the organisers describe their herstory (there are other Girlfests in Brooklyn and San Diego, see below and I'd love to see/hear about more springing up)—

Girl Fest’s mission is to prevent violence against women and girls through education and art. Currently, we are Hawaii’s longest-running all-volunteer anti-violence multimedia festival. Girl Fest incorporates music, film, art, dance and spoken word to get its message out to the public. Girl Fest started doing quarterly smart parties in 2003 culminating that year in a sold-out V-Day Vagina Monologues performance at the historic Hawaii Theatre in February 2004 with Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Joy Harjo and Nora Okja-Keller. This event raised the money needed to start the annual Girl Fest festivals.

FrauenFilmTage (Vienna, Austria)
28 February - 8 March 2013 Facebook


Women Take the Reel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston)
March 2012 (check here for 2013 news to come, from the MIT Program for Gender & Women's Studies!)

Women's Film Festival (McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, Illinois)
March 2012

Corto Helvetico Al Femminile  (Ascona and Losone, Switzerland)
1-8 March 2013 Facebook Twitter Blog

Serseliafam International Women's Film Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania).
March 1–11 2012
Includes an international competition for a first-time feature film-maker. In 2012 the festival was held for the 7th year in Vilnius and other Lithuanian cities. The name of the festival comes from reknown French saying – 'cherchez la femme'.

Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza (Los Angeles)
2-4 March 2012 Twitter
I think this one's really special. It was founded by Josefina Lopez who wrote the classic Real Women Have Curves. "The mission of the festival is to build a network of Latina filmmakers that will draw attention to the growing number of Latinas behind the camera."

International Filmfestival Assen|women&film (Assen, Netherlands - site down 2 April 2013)
March 2-3 2013 Twitter
The International Filmfestival Assen|women&f has existed for over thirty years. Originally, the festival had an educational focus, but today it draws a large audience, mostly women, from all over the country and even from abroad. The focus of the program is on productions directed by women, or productions with a story or theme that concerns women. Core of the ideology of this choice is that women look at reality in a specific way and make movies which often have a different message than those directed by men. The organization endeavor to have the audience experience this specific way of making a film. As far as the content of the productions is concerned, the accent lies on picturing the diversity of women's lives in different cultures and times.

Women + Film (Denver, Colorado)
3-10 March 2013 Includes Voices Mobile Film Festival.
Vimeo (last year's mobile films)

Fusion Film Festival (New York)
7-9 March 2013 Facebook Twitter
'The Fusion Film Festival is New York University’s premiere film and television festival dedicated to celebrating women in film, television, and new media from student to icon. Fusion was founded ten years ago at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts with the mission of encouraging, promoting, and inspiring women filmmakers and the collaboration between the sexes. Every spring, Fusion mounts a multi-day film festival with multiple screenings, industry panels, pitch meetings, master-classes, retrospectives, and student showcases.'

International Association of Women in Radio and Television Asian Women's Festival  and here  (New Delhi)  
March 5-7 2013 Facebook
Meditation, Movement & Memories, women directors of Asian origin only, with three curated sections on women filmmakers from Hong King, Japan, & Turkey and a fourth on contemporary childhood. Here's the 2013 programme. I love it.

World of Women Film Festival (New South Wales, Australia)
5-8 March 2013 (Sydney)
Short films. Also online and around the world, see YEAR ROUND listing.
Facebook YouTube

Tricky women: Animation (Vienna, Austria)
6-10 March 2013 Facebook (full of good info, so many women animators I didn't know of!)
This is one of my faves!

Seen and Heard Film Festival: Promoting Women in Film (Red Rattler, Marrickville, Sydney, Australia)
7, 14 and 21 March 2013 Twitter  Facebook

Vancouver Women in Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada)
March 7-10 2013

Stranger With My Face (Hobart, Australia)
7-10 March 2013 Facebook Twitter
Where are the stories for women about the monsters within? Includes workshops, and a script competition.

7-10 March 2013 Twitter Facebook

Herat International Women's Film Festival (Herat, Afghanistan)
March 8 2013 Facebook

Bird's Eye View Film Festival (London, England)
8 March, 3-10 April 2013
Celebrating Women Filmmakers. Much more than a festival!
Facebook Twitter  YouTube

Arab Women's Film Festival  (The Hague, Netherlands)
8-10 March 2013
The Arab Women's Film Festival (formerly Arab Women's Film Day) is the annual global film festival that showcases a select variety of films in which the Arab woman stands central. Debates, workshops, music and an exhibition are, next to the regular programme, part of the festival as well.Its 3d year in 2013.
Facebook Twitter 

Women/Mujeres Spanish Film Festival (London, UK)
8-12 March 2012

Mis Me Binga (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
8-12 March 2012 Facebook

8-17 March 2013 and online here 8 March-8 April

Women's Film Festival (Brattleboro, Vermont)
8-17 March 2013 The 22d festival!!!

Women of Color Arts & Film Festival (Atlanta, United States)
15-18 March 2012 Twitter Facebook 
Taking a hiatus 2013, going to add archives to their site.

Femcine (Santiago, Chile)
19-24 March 2013 Facebook Twitter

20-24 March 2013

Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival (part of the Alliance of Women Filmmakers)
21-24 March 2013 Facebook Twitter

Women Who Dared: Focus on Korean Women Filmmakers (New Delhi)
March 22 2013 Facebook
I think this is a one-off, but a great example of the one-off festivals to celebrate?! And what a great title and poster!

Films de Femmes (Creteil, Paris, France)
22-31 March 2013 Its 35th fest! La grand-mère! Extraordinaire! Wish it had a poster to add!

Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival
27 March 2013 Facebook

Brooklyn Girl Fest; an international women's film festival (New York)
28-30 March 2013 Twitter Facebook Includes screenplay competition.


Beijing International Women's Film Festival (Beijing, China)
In association with Elles Tournent. Report here.

Mostra Internacional Films de Dones-Drac Màgic/ Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival  (Barcelona, Spain) 

April - June 2013 Twitter Facebook

Season Film Festival (Helsinki, Finland)
4-7 April 2013 Facebook
Replaces Artisokka Festival"still holds a special place for movies with a focus on women’s issues, female filmmakers and actresses as well as films that question gender roles as a whole. In collaboration with Fashion Film Festival, SFF also brings to the screen a selection of very chic films. The FFF-series consists of films focusing on fashion and design and their multifaceted relationship to cinema."

(in partnership with Women Make Movies)
6-7 April 2013 Twitter

April 7-10 2011 Seems to be in hiatus.

International Women’s Film Festival (Dortmund/ Koln, Germany)
9-14 April 2013 Twitter Facebook
This festival has an excellent film archive here.

IFEMA (Malmo, Sweden) 
10-12 April 2013 Facebook

10-15 April 2012 Festival in hiatus till 2014 but group is active on Twitter and Facebook.

Davis Feminist Film Festival (Davis, California)
11-12 April 2013

High Falls Film Festival (Rochester, New York)
18-21 April 2013 Twitter Facebook

Formerly 360/365.
The High Falls Film Festival is an annual spring celebration that brings the finest in independent motion pictures, and film and new media artists to Rochester and Western New York audiences. It’s a film festival built for everyone, the avid movie fan, aspiring and established filmmakers, and those that just want to explore. Over the course of the festival, features, documentaries, shorts, children’s and young adult programs are presented, along with student filmmaking competitions and the winners of our year-round Shorts Contest. Honoring our past, the Festival focuses a portion of its programming on the achievements of women in all aspects of filmmaking. But the High Falls Film Festival expands that programming with a wide range of films appealing to both sexes, all age ranges, and personal tastes. Panel discussions and master classes presented by prominent industry professionals give our filmmaking audience unique access to advance their own talents in all aspects of filmmaking. Public parties, private receptions, and informal “Coffee With” events provide casual networking opportunities with visiting filmmakers.

A Corto di Donne (Naples, Italy)
18-21 April 2013
Short films (up to 30 minutes), 40 of them in 2013!

London Lesbian Film Festival  (London, Ontario)
April 20-22 2013 North America's only lesbian film festival!

Girl Fest San Diego
21, 27, 28 April 2012


May 3-11 2013

Mujeres en Foco (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
7-11 May 2013 Facebook
"Submission is open to any person... The only specific requirement is that film content is approached by a gender perspective and fits within one of the festival’s categories."

Flying Broom (Ankara, Turkey)
9-16 May 2013 Facebook Twitter

Breakthroughs Film Festival (Toronto, Canada)
10-11 May 2013 Twitter Facebook
"The Breakthroughs Film Festival is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to short films by emerging female artists. We show films from any and every genre made by talented young women just entering the Canadian film scene. This year it will be held at Innis Town Hall in Toronto. Breakthroughs refers to the struggles women artists face in an industry where they make up only 5 percent of directors and must, in many cases, work even harder than their male counterparts to make their voices heard. BFF is presented by Octavia Films: A Nonprofit for Women, an organization dedicated to promoting female artists in Canadian independent film. All proceeds from this festival go to fund our short films grants program, which awards grants in the amounts of $1,000 and $2,000 to promising filmmakers."

Women's International Film Festival (Los Angeles)
10-12 May 2013

Archer Film Festival(Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles)
10-11 May 2013 Facebook

"The Archer Film Festival is dedicated to empowering student filmmakers with a focus on the promotion of women in the film industry. All high school students of southern California and students attending girls’ schools across the nation are eligible to submit. We are seeking original voices that convey a unique point of view as well as an acute attention to craft and character....Top honours will be awarded to females in critical roles of production."

24-30 May 2013

Lesbian Film Festival of Freiburg (Germany)
30 May - 2 June 2013


Started 2013. Related to development and diffusion of female cinematographic talent, a festival dedicated entirely to women directors, born or operating within boundaries of the European Union. This choice is motivated by the will to offer an important showcase for women’s cinema, which is often forgotten or neglected by film festivals and international media. It tends to stimulate the growth of women’s presence in institutions and civil society, and also to put the spotlight on women on the island where maternity and femininity have always been treated as sacred not only since the founding of Rome, but also in previous centuries.

14-16 June 2013 Twitter Facebook
"Our vision nurtures queer women of color filmmakers as artist-activist leaders to create systemic change and lead social justice movements that incorporate the power of art as cultural resistance and cultural renewal." 

Female Eye Film Festival (Toronto, Canada)
19-23 June 2013 Twitter Facebook
"Always Honest, Not Always Pretty” The Female Eye Film Festival, established in 2001, is Ontario’s one and only annual international independent film Festival showcasing films directed by women. We present high caliber films in drama, comedy, sci-fi, action, documentary, experimental and animation. The Female Eye is a juried competitive film festival and presents films by debut, emerging and internationally recognized directors. Includes Aboriginal film series for Canadian Aboriginal and International Indigenous filmmakers.

VisualizaMe (Almeria, Spain)
27-29 June 2013 Facebook

29 June - 7 July 2013 This year the Women's Panorama will focus on health and marine business.


15-21 July 2012 In hiatus 2013? Facebook Twitter

Bluestocking Film Series  Film Series (Portland, Maine)
July 18-19, 2014

Founded in 2011, Bluestocking Film Series focuses on screening narrative films that pass the Bechdel Test and feature female protagonists. Formerly biannual, Bluestocking Film Series is now a 2-day annual event. "Preference is given to fiction films that portray complex women characters and reveal the richness and diversity of women's lives and relationships with each other. We promote the idea that women characters deserve to be portrayed as flawed, heroic, and capable as their male counterparts. Submissions of all genres are invited, but we don't accept submissions of straightforward documentaries unless they are in a form that passes the Bechdel Test."

Femina: Festival Internacional de Cinema Feminine (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)
16-28 July 2013 Facebook

Screens mainly films directed by women in competition and thematic showcases: "Our goal is to promote the work of women in film and culture; foster the emergence of female directors and the presence of women in the audiovisual work market, as well as the production of films with feminine subject matter; showcase Brazilian directors, and bring international production to Brazil. The festival also screens films directed by men, as long as they deal with feminine issues or have women as protagonists, and films co-directed by men and women. Films of all genders, durations, regions of the country and continents.


August 6-11 2013
Films all directed or co-directed by a woman and focus on issues regarding women. Shorts and features, narrative, experimental and docos. 


Etheria (Boston, Massachusetts)
September 2013 Facebook
A new film festival that screens the 'best new short fantasy and sci-fi films made by women' and an imprint of the Viscera Film Festivals Organization, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to women directors.

Elles Tournent/ Dames Draien (Brussels, Belgium)
September 2012 Facebook

Women of the Sun (Johannesburg, South Africa)
2-9 September 2011 site 'temporarily unavailable': in hiatus?

13-15 September 2012
Femina Potens "is a nationally recognized non-profit arts organization, established in 2000, and dedicated to the advancement of LGBTQ & Allied Artists and Communities." Doesn't seem to be a fest this year, but there are ongoing screenings listed here.

20-23 September 2012 Facebook Twitter

Originally Film Women Mediterranean, a group dedicated to showing Italian films organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Marseille. Very quickly, driven by a small group of women, the project extended to both sides of the Mediterranean. Founded in 2006.

21 September-15 December 2012 Facebook

25-30 September 2012 Facebook 

Broad Humor (Venice, CA)
20-22 September 2013 Facebook Twitter Blog (includes QUEUE THIS every week, with Netflix suggestions)

"Broad Humor is a three-day celebration of female humor in film. We started six years ago with a question: why weren't we seeing more comedy from the women's perspective. We set out to see where women go to tickle the funny bone, and we found they go just about anywhere." A diverse programme that includes a Bechdel Test screenplay challenge.

Lady Filmmakers Festival   (Beverley Hills, CA)
27-29 September 2013 Facebook Twitter Blog 


October 2012. Can't find a 2013 site, but it's a longstanding fest, so one will pop up?

October 2012 In hiatus?

Lady Bug Film Festival (Gothenburg, Sweden)
October 2012

October 2013

Also here for submissions. For 2013, special themes are the Modern Witch-Hunt, Queer Flame, Women, Home & Country, New Currents, but other films are welcome too.

Soggettiva – Immaginari Lesbici (Bologna, Italy)
October 2013 Twitter Facebook

International Black Women's Film Festival (San Fransisco)
October 2013  Twitter Facebook
The International Black Women’s Film Festival screens media by and/or about Black women from around the world in non-stereotypical, non-pornographic roles. IBWFF combats negative stereotyping of Black women in film, television and media.

Chick Flicks (Dallas Texas)
3 October 2013
Run by Women in Film Texas.

Citizen Jane Film Festival (Columbia, Missouri)
4-6 October 2013

The Citizen Jane Film Festival grew out of a collaboration with Stephens College, a 179-year old women’s college with a growing film program. Since 2004 Stephens College has invited female filmmakers from all over the country to present their films to the students and community as part of the Citizen Jane Film Series. Growing out of the success of the film series, the Citizen Jane Film Festival first premiered in October 2008. CJFF tackles the underrepresentation of women in the film industry head on by creating a community that engages in lively discussions featuring the filmmakers, workshops, and one-of-a-kind parties. We invite filmmakers to come join us for a creativity retreat and a chance to connect with our amazingly supportive audiences. CJFF honors female filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and in all stages of their careers, bringing filmmakers together to share their knowledge and plant the seeds of our future films. We believe that through the support of avid audiences and fellow filmmakers we can ultimately change [the] dismal statistics and create a better future for all of us...Not only is Citizen Jane a film festival every fall, but during the rest of the year we continue to support and celebrate female filmmakers through an ongoing film series at Stephens College.  We host artist in residences to screen and discuss their films to the public, and they also visit classes and lead workshops.

LIFT Lesbian Identities Festival (Budapest, Hungary)
11-14 October 2012 Facebook

Lethal Lesbian (Tel Aviv, Israel)
13 October 2012

14, 17, 21 and 24 October 2013

The festival consists of a selection of short and feature films, documentaries, video art and animation, created by women, to be shown in various festival venues around Valencia. 

LA Femme International Film Festival  (Hollywood)
October 17-20 2013 Twitter

October 21-27 2013

October 22-26 2013 Twitter Facebook

Laboratorio Imaggine Donna (Firenze/ Florence, Italy)
25-30 October 2013 (its 35th fest!) Facebook

30 October-3 November 2013


Hecho X Mujeres/ Done By Women (Rosario, Argentina)
November 2012

Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival (Colorado Springs, CO)
November 1-3 2013 Twitter Facebook

14-17 November 2012
Facebook Twitter
Lots happening through the year: see their Facebook site.

Underwire (London)
20-24 November 2012 Facebook Twitter
A short film festival dedicated to showcasing the raw cinematic talents of women.

Vox Feminae (Zagreb, Croatia)
21-24 November 2012 Facebook Twitter
"Vox Feminae is currently the only festival in Croatia that promotes female creative work and to asses the problems involved in gender issues through international competitive film programme, workshops, exhibitions and appearances of female musicians, artists, activists, theoreticians. The goal of the manifestations is to increase the visibility of the female creative work and social activity by displacing it from the existing patterns and ways of expressing and by creating a new context of a public space that is safe for deliberating gender issues and is away from the binary opposition system. From 2010. the film programme section of the festival is held in an international competitive form, and the winner is decided by audience votes."

Mujeres en direccion/ Women Directing International Film Festival (Cuenca, Spain)
21-26 November 2011 In hiatus?

China Women's Film Festival (Beijing, Wuhan, Dalian, Guangzou, Hong Kong)
22 November-20 December 2013

26-27 November 2011
A One-Off? Hope not!

29 November - 2 December 2012 (inaugural festival) Twitter Facebook 
Very active Facebook etc.


Women Media & Arts and Film Festival (online/ & Sydney, Australia)
Online 1-14 December 2013/ Sydney 28-29 December Facebook
3-7 December 2013  Facebook


Providence Women's Film Festival

The International Images Film Festival for Women (Zimbabwe)

A call for films was announced on the African Women in Cinema Blog
The Festival Director, IIFF, Box BW 1550, Borrowdale, Harare.
Tel: 04 - 862355, cell: 0712 401 104/ 0712512552, email Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe.

Purple Pixels: Women in the Indie Film Frontier (Philippines), March 2011. Like many of the Asian festivals, this festival has been going for decades, but I cannot find any current links.

Unite To End Violence Against Women: "From the Bedroom to the Battlefield" (Johannesburg South Africa)
6-10 December 2011


Digital Chick TV: your guide to the best online shows for women

Busk Films: queerly original

Sistah Sinema: Queer Women of Color

Tello Films