7th Family of Woman Film Fest Announces 2014 Line-up ('Anita,' 'Baobab Tree,' 'Bay Of All Saints')

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 7, 2014 2:43 PM
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For our readers in the Sun Valley, Idaho area - a part of the USA that I don't think has ever received any digital ink on this blog... a number of films we've highlighted in the last year (like AnitaTall as the Baobab Tree and Bay of All Saints), which may not have made it to your neck of the woods, are coming your way, so here's your opportunity to see them on the big screen.

Via press release:

The 7th annual Family of Woman Film Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho will take place March 7-9, 2014, at the Sun Valley Opera House

The festival supports the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which works in over 150 countries to achieve a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

“This year’s films were selected to represent a broad range of what the festival theme, Women and Education, might mean,” said Peggy Elliott Goldwyn festival co-chair. “While Anita Hills speaks to the power of truth, a small girl in Afghanistan only has a fantasy of school and an illiterate slum-dweller in Brazil finds life itself has given her an education.”

Films for the 2014 Family of Woman Film Festival include “Anita” U.S. (2013) by Freida Lee Mock, “Rafea, Solar Mama” (2012) by Mona Eldaief and Jehane Noujaim, Jordan, “Tall as the Baobab Tree” (2012) by Jeremy Teicher, Senegal, and “Bay of All Saints” (2012) by Annie Eastman, Brazil and “Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame” (2007) by Hana Makhmalbaf, Iran.

“Anita” is an acclaimed feature documentary film by Academy Award-winner and Sun Valley resident Freida Lee Mock. Now a distinguished law professor, in 1991, Anita Hill appeared before the Senate Judicial Committee during the confirmation hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.  Public reaction to her testimony helped create groundbreaking legislation against workplace sexual harassment.   

“Rafea, Solar Mama” documents the real-life story of Rafea, a Bedouin woman who struggles against tradition and society as she seeks to become the first solar engineer in Jordan. Living with her daughters in one of Jordan’s poorest desert villages on the Iraqi border, Rafea travels to India to attend the Barefoot College, where illiterate grandmothers from around the world are trained in six months to be solar engineers.

“Tall as the Baobab Tree” is a feature length dramatic film shot in Senegal and is the remarkable result of a student Academy Award-nominated film by Jeremy Teicher. Rooted in reality, the film tells the story of Coumba and her little sister Debo who are the first to leave their family’s remote African village to attend school.  But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage.

“Bay of All Saints” is a feature documentary filmed over six years by Annie Eastman in Brazil.  Through an introduction by a handyman, who became an integral part of the story, Eastman met Geni, Jesus and Doña Maria, three single mothers, who, though illiterate, found their voices and roles as leaders in the ongoing fight to save their stilt community on the Bay from destruction.

“Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame,” is a dramatic feature length film from Afghanistan.  Amidst the rubble from statues of Buddha blown up by the Taliban, poor families live in caves at the foot of the cliffs.  Baktay, a six-year-old Afghan girl is challenged to go to school by her neighbor’s son who proudly reads his lessons. Finding the money to buy a precious notebook and taking her mother’s lipstick for a pencil, Baktay sets out. On her way, she is harassed by boys playing games that mimic the terrible violence they have witnessed. 

“The Family of Woman Film Festival presents the clear need to educate and empower women and girls for the future of the world,” said Stephanie Freid-Perenchio festival co-chair. “Every year for the past seven years, our films portray this mandate—the challenges women and their families face and their successes.”

For more information, visit familyofwomanfilmfestival.org.

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More: Festival Dispatch

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