Family of Woman Film Festival Presents Extraordinary Women, Universal Questions 

"If we help women in the world, it helps the economy, it helps the future; everything gets better."

As always, the Family of Woman Film Festival (Tuesday, Feb. 27-Sunday, March 4) isn't for the faint of heart. Founded in Sun Valley in 2008, the festival "brings attention to the United Nations Population Fund, which works in more than 150 countries to assure women and girls have access to reproductive health care, education and basic human rights."

The theme of FWFF 2018 is "Women on the Margins," and the films tell the stories of women all over the world, from female Kurdish soldiers fighting ISIS to a South Korean poet grappling with Alzheimer's.

"If we help women in the world, it helps the economy, it helps the future; everything gets better," said Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, festival founder and director. She said while the stories are set in exotic locales, they pose universal questions.

"Should I get married? Should I stop living in the past? Should I leave home and strike out on my own? These are questions women the world over have asked for generations" said Goldwyn.

The FWFF 2018 films will be shown at venues across the Wood River Valley, including the the Sun Valley Opera House. Two of the films will also be shown at Boise State University: Mama Colonel on Tuesday, Feb. 27, followed by a discussion with Dr. Henia Dakkak of UNFPA; and In Syria on Wednesday, Feb. 28, which will precede a talk by its director, Philippe Van Leeuw. The Boise State screenings are free and open to the public.

There are seven films in all, including In Syria, which won the Audience Award at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival; and Poetry, which brought Korean actress Jeong-hie Yun out of retirement to play Mija, a woman "in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class." Goldwyn hopes audiences find inspiration in the stories of these women.

"We like to have stories that leave you feeling uplifted in some way. To have you recognize that yes, there's a problem, I recognize what the problem is but by God, this woman is doing something. I can do something too," said Goldwyn.

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