Friday, March 6, 2009

Open arms to all women

Family of Woman Film Festival 2 gives women a voice


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

In a photo by Pewee Flomoku, Liberian women demonstrate at the American Embassy in Monrovia at the height of the civil war in July 2003. Photo by

The Family of Woman Film Festival 2 will present several documentary films about the plight of women in Africa and the Middle East who have been victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, forced migration and other extreme situations. The festival is a benefit for and an opportunity to promote awareness of the Americans for United Nations Population Fund. The fund is an international relief organization that actively seeks to promote the health and dignity of women everywhere.

Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, a Population Fund board member, will bring to the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum a festival of eye-opening films to educate attendees to the needs of unfortunate women in dire circumstances and offer festival participants an educational and uplifting experience.

"I believe in this," Goldwyn said. " I went to Africa, and it was a revelation on how small the world is. I found sisters. It is a universal feeling, and people are people everywhere, feeling and loving."

Films include "Lumo" from the Democratic Republic of Congo, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" from Liberia, "My Home, Your War" from Iraq and "A Walk to Beautiful" from Ethiopia. Several filmmakers will be present to discuss their work and the subject matter of the films, which include surviving rape in the Congo, ending civil war in Liberia, the effects of the Iraqi war and surviving incontinence in Africa.

Guest speaker Pamela DeLargy, chief of the United Nations Population Fund, will also be present for a free lecture on gender violence at The Community Library in Ketchum on Wednesday, March 11, at 6 p.m.

"Pam's job is to be a humanitarian for women who have special needs in disasters," Goldwyn said. "When a region is riddled with disaster, there is no relief and no sanitary supplies. Relief and aid workers will go in to a region and present emergency supplies to women."

Every five years, aid workers for the fund shuffle throughout several volatile regions around the world and work with native speakers to deal with women's issues. Goldwyn said fund workers are culturally sensitive, especially in areas where women don't have a powerful place.

DeLargy will be joined by the new president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, Christine R. Charbonneau, and filmmakers Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt of "Lumo" and Allison Shigo, co-producer of the film "A Walk to Beautiful."

"If you change the status of women by understanding their culture and society and by working with people, they become economically empowered," Goldwyn said. "The key is to educate young girls who will in turn educate their families."

Perlmutt will speak to student filmmakers at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum on Wednesday, March 11, and she, Shigo and DeLargy will speak to students and faculty at Wood River High School on Friday, March 13. That event is sponsored by the Amnesty International Student Club.

The Family of Woman Film Festival 2 will take place Friday, March, 13, through Sunday, March 15, at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. Films are $15 and tickets can be purchased at Chapter One Bookstore or Iconoclast Books in Ketchum.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com

Event schedule

Wednesday, March 11

Free lecture by Pamela DeLargy, chief of the United Nations Population Fund, at The Community Library in Ketchum at 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 12

Fundraising Reception with Pamela DeLargy, Christine R. Charbonneau, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, and filmmakers from the film "Lumo" and "A Walk to Beautiful" at the home of Gemma and Russ Daggatt. Cost is $200 per person, which includes priority tickets to film festival (to be picked up at the reception).

Friday, March 13

"Lumo" at 7 p.m. Filmmaker will be present.

Saturday, March 14

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" at 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 15

"My Home, Your War" at 3:30 p.m.

"A Walk to Beautiful" at 7:30 p.m. Film's co-producer will be present.

All film screenings take place at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum and cost $15. For details on fundraising reception and other information, call 622-1554.




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