Maryknoll Sisters International film festival to include ‘Trailblazers in Habits’

Trailblazers in Habits,” a 65-minute film documenting the pioneer work of Maryknoll Sisters, the first U.S.-based congregation of Catholic women religious dedicated to foreign mission, has been selected to be shown at the “Through Women’s Eyes” International Film Festival April 6–7. Organized by the Gulf Coast chapter of UN Women, “Through Women’s Eyes” is part of the larger, 10-day Sarasota Film Festival, taking place in the city from April 5–14.

WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO  Watch the seven-minute trailer of the film (from YouTube)

“Trailblazers in Habits” tells the story, in the sisters’ own words, of the congregation’s work in education, health care, and the cause of social justice. A moving and absorbing chronicle that spans 100 years and several continents, the film celebrates the intelligence and tenacity, the love, compassion and generosity of these early feminists. The premiere coincides with the Maryknoll Sisters’ Centennial year.

Production of the film was almost entirely funded by donations from the thousands who attended Maryknoll schools around the world. Maryknollers wanted a way to tell the full story of the sisters’ contributions to their communities, from the building of schools and hospitals around the world to helping lay the foundation of Hong Kong’s social welfare system.

By turns tragic and joyous, yet always inspirational, this insightful documentary by award-winning director Nancy Tong, is a revealing portrait of these courageous women and a timely testimony to the sisters’ lifelong dedication to helping the disenfranchised.

“Trailblazers in Habits” will be shown twice during the festival: on Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m., and Monday, April 8, at 1 p.m. Both screenings will be held at the Regal Hollywood 20 Theatre, 1993 Main Street, Sarasota. Tickets are $12.50 each and may be purchased online at, over the phone at 941-366-6200 or toll free at 1-866-575-FILM; or at the theatre box office.

For more information on the film, visit

For more information on “Through Women’s Eyes,” visit