The Family of Woman Film Festival was founded in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2008, by Friends of UNFPA Board Member, Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, to bring attention to the work of 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. Stephanie Freid-Perenchio became Co-Director of the Festival in 2012, and stepped down from her position in 2018, to serve on the Advisory Board.
Five feature documentaries and dramas from around the world are presented each year, personalizing the status of women in different societies. The Festival has collaborated with many community organizations, such as Wood River High School, Community School, Hemingway School, The Advocates, I Have a Dream Foundation-Idaho, and The Community Library. Films premiered at the Festival have also been screened at a satellite Family of Woman Festival in Wilmette, Illinois, as well as at individual film screenings in Minneapolis and Seattle.
In 2014, the annual keynote address was named the Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women, in honor of a local philanthropist deeply committed to working on behalf of women and children around the world. In the same year, a new feature was added, Filmmaker Retrospective, honoring a previous filmmaker participant for their work, and a collaboration with Boise State University was initiated, bringing a Festival film and speaker to the campus.
In 2015, The Family of Woman Film Festival launched a new partnership with Women Deliver, a global advocate for girls’ and women’s health and rights. POV Breakfasts, two intimate discussions with international speakers, were added to the Festival events, open to donors of $500 and above. Boise State University became a major Festival sponsor, with films and speakers at the University in conjunction with the main Festival in Sun Valley.
In 2019, Friends of UNFPA once again became the sponsor and beneficiary of The Family of Woman Film Festival. Also, the festival will move to The Magic Lantern Cinemas under a new partnership.