This year marks the second time that LUNAFEST, an annual national film festival supporting breast cancer research, will take place at LMU.
The event occurs tomorow and will feature an arrangement of women filmmakers whose work also focuses on women. The event is not connected with this year’s Bellarmine Forum, “Imagining Equality,” which focuses on women and women artists as well, but the coincidence helps to unite their themes.
“Fifteen percent of our proceeds go to support breast cancer research,” said Catherine Graham, co-chair of the Committee on the Status of Women. “And the whole event is by, for and about women. We’re excited to have two of the filmmakers present. Both Rosa Maria Ruvalcaba and G. Melissa Graziano, the directors of ‘Getting a Grip’ and ‘Love on the Line,’ respectively, will be in attendance.”
LUNAFEST was established in 2000 and is put on by LUNA, the makers of the whole nutrition bar for women, to support women all over Canada and the U.S. through charity, awareness and promotion of female filmmakers. This year, the Committee on the Status of Women is working with the School of Film and Television to organize the festival for its second year at LMU.
Women and women’s issues in the world are the primary focus of the films screened at LUNAFEST, and the subjects come in as many varieties as the women themselves. A few of the films that will be shown will be “The Translator,” a short international film about a subway; “Getting a Grip,” the story of the first female cable car operator; “Miracle Lady,” an international animated short film about two elderly women; “Thembi’s Diary,” the first-person audio diary of a girl who is struggling with AIDS; “Tightly Knit,” a short film about the bonds between a group of social knitters, and “Irene,” the story of an elderly woman’s battle with Alzheimer’s. These movies are only a handful of the selection, and 10 films will be shown in all. All of the films are under 12 minutes long.
“Breast cancer research is the whole reason LUNAFEST exists, and I enjoy it so much in part because the proceeds go straight to [that cause], and to help fund the festival itself,” said Ruvalcaba, the filmmaker behind “Getting a Grip.” “My film is about the first woman to ever be a cable car grip, in charge of stopping and moving the car along the cable ... [in a time] when women were not believed to be physically strong enough. It’s about the process she went through and all the training ... both physically and mentally.”
“They show new films every year,” Graham said. “And I think it’s neat that we can have some of the filmmakers attend, as well.”
LUNAFEST begins at 6 p.m. on Friday evening, in the Mayer Theatre in the Communication Arts building. Tickets are $20 each, and the event will also include a raffle and silent auction.