With war framing what most Americans have heard about Iraq for the last decade, San Francisco filmmaker David Fine has created a window into a world many might not have known existed.

With "Salaam Dunk," a documentary about a women's Iraqi basketball team, Fine explores the magic that happens when female students from a variety of faiths come together at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani and learn to play hoops. Fine directed the 82-minute film made last year in Iraq and produced in San Francisco.

The Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Committee will show the documentary, which won a gold plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival, on Thursday at the Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave. The reception will start at 6:30 p.m., with the film at 7 p.m. and discussion afterward.

Most of the women in the film, who are from Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Kurdish and from other backgrounds, had never played sports before coming to the university and being coached by an American, according to the film's website.

"It's about the difference that team athletic opportunities can make for young women -- as if Title 9 arrived overnight," said Maude Prevere, a member of the committee, said about selecting the film. "It's about what team sports can do for relationships between people who otherwise might never meet, much less work and even travel together."

Variety, a publication that follows the film industry, wrote that "Salaam Dunk" was "a stirring example of the possibilities for young Iraqis outside the country's war zones."

For more information about the film, visit www.salaamdunkfilm.com.

IF YOU GO
WHAT: Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Committee's showing of 'Salaam Dunk,' a documentary about an Iraqi women's basketball team.
WHEN: March 29 - 6:30 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. film and discussion
WHERE: Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont
INFORMATION: www.diversityfilmseries.org.