Lunafest travels to Columbia

Apr 13, 2012

This week's show highlights a film festival by for and about women. Andlater in the show: an audio essay from a woman who gives a unique perspective to  kissing and being kissed.

Lunafest is a traveling film festival featuring shorts that raise awareness about women’s issues while also promoting women filmmakers. And this year it’s coming to Mid Missouri for the first time.

Brooke Golden’s the director of Lunafest, which started in 2000 as part of the Luna bar brand.

“It was started really as a way of thinking about how we’re building a brand that is really meant to support women, what does that mean and what nonprofits or charitable nonprofits do we want to give back to. That was the first piece. The second piece comes from our founder Kit Crawford who continues to be an owner of the company and she is passionate about the arts. She has an art background herself and this understanding about women in art. In particular that women are so underrepresented both in the director’s chair and also women’s issues being portrayed in the big screen. Just generally speaking there are not very many women filmmakers."

What started in 5 cities has grown to 150 screenings each year. With over 850 submissions, they narrow it down into a handful of films starting with the basic criteria that it has to be by, for and about women.

“Are these female directors? Are the topics that they are addressing relating to women’s causes and women’s issues? Are they made with women in mind?”

Then the board of advisors—all also women who represent the program in some way—narrow it down to the final 9 to 10 films that are included in each year’s program. This year some of the issues highlighted include:

“Do they tell us a story about women’s issues locally and globally, celebrating the things that make us all unique and the same and educating us about new issues, telling a unique story about something that we all deal with every day.

We have one this year that talks about Craigslist “missed connections”—how people use that tool and what it means.  Another one, How to be Alone, by Andrea Dorfman and it’s really told from a female perspective in a very lighthearted way. We have some educational films, some that might cause dialog and expand your thinking, to some that are just lighthearted and funny and meant to make you laugh.”

Central Missouri Community Action is bringing the festival to Columbia. Executive Director Darin Preis says they first heard about the fest last year and thought it would be a good fit for the community. Plus he says it’s a good way to highlight the complexity of poverty—part of the proceeds from Lunafest will go to Community Action.

“The reason that we latched on to it is because of the fact that of the 50 million Americans living in poverty, 2/3 of the adults living in poverty are women,” said Preis.

Golden talked about what communities gain by having the fest come to their town.

“It gives back to communities. It gives back not only to just any nonprofit but it’s a nonprofit that is based in your local community. So it’s a great way to just give back by attending. It’s a win win either way, but I think it’s really something to be celebrated. At it’s core it should just be a really fun evening of film.”

Lunafest will take place at 4 pm on April 22 at The Blue Note. All proceeds from the festival will go to the Breast Cancer Fund and Central Missouri Community Action.