Summary info for schedule – will be hidden on film page
A feature length documentary following a group of international women as they prepare for and perform in the Paris Philharmonic’s La Maestra competition for female orchestra conductors. Personal stories of survival, passion and perseverance are woven together with the drama and excitement of this one of a kind event created to break yet another glass ceiling for women.
Screening day / time
  • Oct 20 (Fri): Opening Night - 7:30pm
  • Oct 22 (Sun): Block 5 – 4:30pm
  • Oct 26-29: NOT AVAILABLE during Virtual Encore


Running Time
Feature Film
88 minutes
Documentary, Feature


Fourteen women will gather in Paris to show the world the singular talent which unites them and which for far too long has been considered the pursuit of only men. A flick of their wand can raise an ocean of sound and a look in their eye can command an army. Mothers, daughters, leaders—over four days each will take to the stage to compete in La Maestra, the only competition in the world for female conductors.

However, the stakes in the competition are only as great as what they mean to those taking part. The story follows five women for whom this is life-changing —a moment of true validation, the realization of a dream, a last chance. The film begins back at home with them, juggling the demands of everyday reality with the dedication required to prepare.

It’s a weaving together of “life ” and “art,” as they delve into the intricacies of the score, understanding it intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. So, too, do we begin to understand their hopes and dreams as people.

In this way, La Maestra and the art of conducting come to express something greater than the music alone. These women are smashing the glass ceiling, not just for first prize, but for everyone.

*Available in-person only.

Film details
Year(s) screened
  • 2023
Where to Watch
Festival screenings
Screening Day / Time
  • Oct 20 (Fri): Opening Night - 7:30pm
  • Oct 22 (Sun): Block 5 – 4:30pm
  • Oct 26-29: NOT AVAILABLE during Virtual Encore
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