This year’s Family of Woman Film Festival was a long time in the making, but is finally ready to move forward next week in a reimagined, fully virtual format—and this year, nearly everything will be presented for free.
Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, board member of the Friends of the UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund), established the film festival in 2008. With a carefully curated selection of films about and almost exclusively by women, the festival pulls focus onto the worldwide work of the UNFPA to safeguard and advance health care, education and human rights for women and girls.
This year’s festival, presented in partnership with The Community Library, will stream virtually via the library’s website from Tuesday to Sunday, Sept. 8-13.
“With a virtual festival, we have the ability to expand our audience beyond the capacity of any theatre without worrying about social distancing,” Goldwyn said.
“Through The Community Library network everyone can enjoy The Family of Woman Film Festival in their own homes with cocktails and dinner. It will also be easier to present interviews with filmmakers and film subjects after the screenings, no matter where in the world they may be located.”
The festival will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8, with the Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women. UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem will present this year’s keynote, which viewers can stream for free online at 6 p.m.
The films will begin the next day. Each of the films (including one donor-exclusive screening and one short documentary) was selected to exemplify the theme of the festival, “Women Who Won’t Be Stopped.”
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the festival will screen “A Girl from Mogadishu” along with an interview with director Mary McGuckian and film subject Ifrah Ahmed moderated by the UNFPA’s Sarah Craven.
“The Councilwoman” will follow at 6 p.m. on Thursday, followed by a live interview with film subject Carmen Castillo and director Margo Guernsey moderated by Boise Mayor Laura McLean.
On Friday, Sept. 11, the festival will stream “Apache 8,” followed by a discussion with filmmaker Sande Zeig and firefighter Katy Aday, who appears in the film. The discussion will be moderated by Tracy Andrus, president of Boise State University’s Andrus Center for Public Policy.
Haifaa al Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate” will screen at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. The festival will conclude on Sunday with a 4 p.m. showing of “The King of Masks.”