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Family of Woman Film Festival announces 2019 lineup

January 4, 2019

KETCHUM — The 12th annual Family of Woman Film Festival, with the theme, “Women Still Waiting for Change,” announces its film lineup for 2019. The festival will take place Feb. 25 to March 3 at the Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum with 3 and 7 p.m. film screenings for each film on the day of its presentation. This year, the festival presents five documentary films and one dramatic film, each providing an important perspective on the lives of women.

“With the political turmoil around the world as well as in our own country, many may feel that the gains women have made in the past few years are slipping away,” said festival founder Peggy Goldwyn. “This year, we would like to point out that slow progress toward full equality remains a tide that cannot be turned, while still recognizing those women’s voices that are still waiting to be heard.”

On Feb. 25, the festival presents “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter” (documentary, U.S. and Mali, 60 minutes), at a free presentation at The Community Library in Ketchum as the Festival’s Filmmaker Retrospective. The film was first presented at The Family of Woman Film Festival in 2010. Mrs. Goundo fights for asylum in the United States because if she is forced to return to Mali, her 2-year-old daughter will undergo female genital mutilation. Hers is the first asylum case of its kind in the U.S. Filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater, who will present the film, traveled between Mali, where they filmed an FGM ceremony, and the courts of Philadelphia. This important film shows how women are profoundly affected by the legal struggles surrounding immigration.

On Feb. 27, “The Bleeding Edge” (documentary, U.S., 99 minutes), will kick off the festival screenings at the Magic Lantern Cinemas. Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering of “The Invisible War” and “The Hunting Ground,” along with investigative producer Amy Herdy, who will present the film, turn their sights on the $400 billion medical device industry. Lax regulations, corporate cover-ups and profit-driven incentives put patients at risk daily. A large percentage of these devices target women. Using emotionally powerful stories of people whose lives have been irrevocably harmed, the film asks, “What technologies may actually be killing us?”

On Feb. 28, the festival will show “The Judge” (documentary, Palestine, 81 Minutes), which provides rare insight into Shari’a law, an often-misunderstood legal framework for Muslims. Director Erika Cohn, who will present the film, tells her story through the eyes of the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts, Kholoud Al-Faqih. We see her fight for justice for women, along with drop-in visits with clients, friends and family. In the process, we also see some of the conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine — custody of children, divorce, abuse — while giving an uncensored look at life for women under Shari’a law.

On March 1, the festival will show “I Am Not a Witch” (drama, Zambia, 93 minutes), the directorial debut of Rungano Nyoni, who was born in Zambia and raised in Wales. The film has been nominated by Great Britain for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film. After a minor incident in her village, 9-year-old Shula is exiled to a traveling witch camp. She is the only child among women accused of witchcraft and exploited as field laborers. A government official co-opts Shula from the camp to use her “powers” for his own gain. Hauntingly beautiful, the film was inspired by actual witch accusations in Zambia during a severe drought.

On March 2, “Facing The Dragon” (documentary, Afghanistan, Europe and U.S., 80 minutes) will be the featured film. For more than four years, filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi followed two unconventional Afghan women — Nilofar, a member of Parliament, and Shakila, a television journalist — to assemble her latest documentary film. As American forces and aid leave Afghanistan, the country’s fragile democracy and the recent gains for women hang in the balance. The women are forced to choose between motherhood and ambition amid threats to their lives and families. The Family of Woman’s Retrospective Filmmaker in 2017 with her previous film, “Motherland Afghanistan,” Mojadidi also presented clips of this work in progress. “Facing the Dragon” is the winner of the 2018 Human Rights Watch Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking.

On March 3, the festival will close with “On Her Shoulders” (documentary, global, 94 minutes). Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of exhausting undertakings: giving testimony before the U.N., visiting refugee camps, soul-bearing media interviews and one-on-one meetings with top government officials. Filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows this strong-willed young woman, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped the hands of ISIS to become a beacon of hope for her people, even when at times she longs to lay aside this monumental burden and simply have an ordinary life. After the completion of the film, Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless efforts.

The festival will present the Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women on Feb. 26 at The Community Library.

The Family of Woman Film Festival was founded in Sun Valley in 2008 by Friends of UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund) and Board Member Peggy Elliott Goldwyn to bring attention to the work of UNFPA, which works in more than 150 countries to assure women and girls have access to reproductive health care, education and basic human rights.

The Family of Woman Film Festival will also present “The Bleeding Edge” on Feb. 26 and “The Judge” on Feb. 27 at Boise State University.

Visit www.familyofwomanfilmfestival.org to learn more.

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