Following a sold-out premiere in Ketchum, The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley comes to Boise on Thursday, Nov. 17, for a one-night-only screening at The Flicks.
Filmmaker DeSiree' Fawn spent her childhood on a ranch outside Ketchum and moved into the resort town when she was 8 years old. She said her background allowed her to understand both sides of the wolf issue.
"The film follows me, being from this culture but not understanding the wolf issue," she said. "I was trying to get to the emotional core. It's about the diversity in this small community."
After interviewing dozens of ranchers, hunters and environmentalists, Fawn had 80 hours of film to cut down to 87-minutes. She filmed and edited the entire movie herself, returning to New York for post-production.
When Fawn was finishing her master's in media studies in New York, the heated debate over wolves in Idaho drew her back home to create her film.
"No matter whether you're a hunter or environmentalist, people live here because it's such a beautiful place," said Fawn.
The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley also contains some of the last footage of the Phantom Hill pack--several of the wolves were killed during the 2009 hunting season. But Fawn explained that the wolves, while daring enough to enter sheep herding camps and kill unguarded livestock, are very elusive.
"I never came face-to-face with a wolf while I was filming," she said.
She did, however, encounter the aftermath of numerous wolf kills, including an incident near Baker Creek in which wolves killed at least 13 sheep. Fawn said she saw most kills while they were still fresh.
The director acknowledged that wolf reintroduction is a heated debate, but The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley avoids passing judgment. Fawn said she encourages people from "all sides of the issue" to view the film.