Festival to go on Hiatus in 2021
Festival to go on Hiatus in 2021
After harsh winter weather conditions for three consecutive years, The Family of Woman Film Festival came to the decision in spring, 2019, to move the Festival date for 2020 from the end of February and beginning of March to the week after Labor Day in September.
As it turned out, our community had much more than weather to deal with when February turned to March in 2020, as what became a worldwide pandemic swept through Blaine County before anyone knew it had arrived. In fact, if the Festival had kept its usual schedule, it could have contributed, unwittingly, to the spread of Covid-19. We all entered uncharted waters with the hope that by Summer, we would be on steady footing again.
It soon became clear a live event would not be possible by September, 2020. The Festival’s wonderful partners, The Community Library and Boise State University, quickly switched to virtual formats, enabling live-streaming the entire Festival, including bonus events and on-screen participation from filmmakers from around the world.
The same spirit of compassion and generosity in our community that had allowed The Family of Woman to exist for so long was directed during the long-haul we faced toward making sure those living under the most difficult circumstances in our Valley received the assistance they needed. Knowing how resources were being stretched, The Festival is grateful that so many of our sponsors in the past wanted to also lend support to women around the world.
Because of this the Festival was able to donate 50% of gross proceeds to Friends of UNFPA, a goal that has not been missed during its 13-year history.
Much progress has been made toward arresting the spread of Covid-19, but, with the Delta variant, among other considerations, there is farther to go. Neither Boise State nor The Community Library will be hosting large gatherings this Fall, and indications point to public acceptance of virtual events rapidly waning. It will be difficult to present a virtual Festival once again that will have a strong impact in terms of both attendance and financial support for Friends of UNFPA.
After much discussion, The Family of Woman Film Festival will go on hiatus this year.
However, the purpose of the Festival – to support UNFPA’s life-saving work – is more important than ever:
• As the crisis in Syria continues, UNFPA safely delivered 98,000 babies without a single mother or infant dying.
• UNFPA provided 2.5 million migrants, internally displaced persons, and refugees with critical reproductive health services.
• UNFPA continued to operate 38 safe spaces for women to escape violence in the crowded Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.
• During the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, UNFPA has supported the country as the only global organization offering reproductive health services.
Covid, conflict and climate change have created a new world – but no matter what, UNFPA is there. In 2021, 100% of what The Family of Film Festival might have grossed will go directly toward the work of UNFPA. With the support of our generous audiences, in 2022, we hope The Family of Woman Festival can present live testimony from the courageous women around the world whose efforts have given us a ray of light in the darkest of times.
To donate, please visit www.friendsofunfpa.org/FOW2021
A pregnant woman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is cared for by midwives as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across Africa.